Until recently, hotels and motels were where guests would go if they needed to stay for a few nights.
If you need a long-term solution for weeks or a few months, you could expand your search and look for hotels offering extended stay options. These were few and far between.
Now, many hotels offer extended-stay options to stay relevant in the hospitality industry. These solutions provide guests with a place to live for two weeks up to one year, depending on the hotel. Instead of renting an apartment, you can choose a room or suite to stay in while you’re on the road.
It’s a convenient answer to your lodging problem, but not all extended-stay places are equal. When you’re looking for accommodations for more than a few days, consider these four factors before you book your long-term lodging.
1. Is It a Good Value?
We’ve all seen the price of real estate spiking over the past few years. Renting an apartment or a house can be more expensive than paying a mortgage, so many people are choosing long-term hotels when they need a place to stay for a while.
If you’re staying somewhere for business purposes, you may be able to get a corporate discount. Do the math to find out how much your lodging will cost. Then, compare it to how much you’d pay for a short-term rental property for the same period. Add the cost of utilities, WiFi, and other essentials that are included with the hotel’s rate.
If it’s still a good value, the hotel may be your better choice. Otherwise, keep searching for extended stay rentals in the area that don’t require a lease.
2. What’s the Deadline?
“Extended-stay” can mean a variety of time periods. Find out from the lodging company what their definition of extended means. For some places, it’s longer than five to seven nights. After that, guests may receive a discounted rate.
There’s technically no limit to how long you can stay at a hotel as long as you’re paying the bill. However, this varies by lodging and location. For instance, if you book an Airbnb for two months, then decide you want to stay longer, your host may already be booked for the third month and decline your request.
The same idea applies to hotels. A popular event could mean the hotel is sold out at a higher nightly rate. To keep your room, you would have to agree to pay the higher rate.
If the deadline for your extended visit isn’t set in stone, look for lodging with flexible terms and no limit to how long you can stay there.
3. What Are the Amenities?
You will live in this new, temporary home for a while. You must have the essential things you need to be comfortably nearby.
Long-term living means you’ll need laundry services, a kitchen, convenient shopping and restaurants, and other amenities.
Make a list of the things that are must-haves for your stay. You might be serious about your fitness, so gym access is non-negotiable. Maybe your dog is coming with you, and a pet-friendly place is your priority.
Some extended-stay places are cheaper because they have overlapping accommodations. If you’re okay with sharing a kitchen, living room, and/or bathroom, your options increase. Otherwise, add “private living space” to that list you are making.
Find accommodations that can handle whatever you don’t want to compromise on. You may have to pay a little more for these privileges, but they’ll make your stay a much happier time.
4. Where Is it Located?
The last main point to consider is the location of the lodging and your transportation requirements. If you have to get to your job site every day, you want accommodations that are relatively close to that destination.
Are you going to be driving or taking another form of transport? Parking a vehicle isn’t cheap in big cities, and you may have to add paying for a garage to the cost of your stay.
It could be more financially effective to take public transportation, a cab, or rideshare when you have to go out if your lodging is in a central location. Include this cost in your calculations when you’re trying to decide if a particular place is worth the nightly rate or not.
If it’s cheaper but further away, you could be spending that extra money on fuel or transportation. The better and easier choice would be to pay a few extra dollars a night to find something closer to your main base.
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You’re going to be hanging out at your temporary home for a while, so you want it to be a place you feel comfortable. Follow these four tips to narrow down your extended stay lodging choices to something affordable, convenient, and full of your must-have factors.