True Life: I Live in a Hotel

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INSIDE: Wondering what it’s like to live in a hotel? I’ve been doing it for a while and I’ll tell you the perks, the downfalls, and the costs. 

(Guest Post by Fabulously Broke – who is living my dream of hotel living!)

The questions I get asked the most when people find out that I live in a hotel, are:

How do you do it?
And, What’s it like?.

A lot of people have a misconception that a hotel is a single room with barely any space to move around in, and while that is true for a lot of hotels, if you do your research you can find a range of hotels with all or any of the following:

  • En suite kitchen (full or just a kitchenette)
  • En suite dishwasher (full or a portable one)
  • En suite laundry (washer & dryer)
  • Multiple bedrooms (if you have a family)
  • Parking (underground, outside, covered or sometimes none at all)
  • Permanent hotel room telephone number with voicemail
  • Cable TV (full premium channels)
  • Wireless/Wired Internet (High-speed)

These hotels are usually called “apartment-style” hotels, and while they still charge you per night, it is usually a discounted rate based on a minimum of a month’s stay (30 days).

What It’s Like Living in a Hotel

Living in a hotel is very much like living in an apartment to me. Actually, better, considering what I’ve been used to. If I were to take a lease for an apartment, I’d look for a bare bones studio or a 1-bedroom apartment, without a lot of the luxurious amenities above such as the en-suite dishwasher, dryer, and washer.

So this place I’m in right now? Uber luxurious by my standards!! Basic things people think might be a problem like having to do laundry is really quite simple. If you asked any hotel front desk, they will probably have a small room in the basement where they have a washer and dryer for $1.50 – $2.00 per load. Most people don’t bother with this service because they’re only there for the week or the weekend, but long-term hotel-dwellers like myself know to ask where the laundry is located on the first day we check in.

Worse comes to worst, and there is nothing available, I just go to a laundromat once a week, or start washing clothes by hand in the sink if I’m too lazy to venture out.

Why Do I Do It?

I’m a freelancing consultant, and the general rule is that most consultants travel. Freelancers get the projects with traveling that most people don’t want.

I actually didn’t have a choice in the beginning, I was working for a company as a consultant and they sent me pretty much everywhere. All over the U.S. and Canada, and I had no say in where I wanted to go or not. Of course, if here was a real family emergency or something, they’d try to help you out, but if you just don’t like to travel, then you probably shouldn’t be a consultant.

After I quit and became a freelancer, I found a lot more freedom in being able to take contracts wherever I want if there happened to be a bevy of choices. Alaska? No thank you. Middle-of-Nowhere, USA? I’ll pass. (But I should note that if you pay me enough, I’ll work pretty much anywhere they allow women).

My projects are usually 6 months or less, and on the very rare occasion would I ever be continuously in one city for a year or more, on the same project. As a result, I can’t stay in one city for even a year. Most apartments in Canada (where I’m based out of), don’t allow apartment leases for less than a year, which means I can’t just go to any apartment, I need to look for a hotel or an apartment that caters to short-term residents such as myself, and it is slim pickings here.

This is where hotel living comes in. I travel to each city, I find a hotel that suits my living (all I want is a kitchen) and my budget (!!) as much as possible, and I settle in for 3-6 months. After I’m done my project, I pack up, and I usually head back to my ‘home city’, where I stay in a hotel again, or if I’m lucky to have family there, I stay with them if they have space and I pay for rent, food and help them out with cooking, cleaning, etc.

It’s really out of necessity in needing a short-term “lease” if you will. I could certainly sign up for a year in one city, but what if my project ends early, or is only for 3 months? I’m stuck in that city for a year, while having to travel to another city and sign another apartment lease? It’s too expensive of an option versus just staying in a hotel.

The Perks of Hotel Living

1) The biggest perk for me is being able to leave any damn time I want! I know this sounds like such a weird thing to be happy about, but I like knowing that I can leave the next day, check out and not have to sign any papers, and pay for the end of the year-long lease or something. It is the best thing for consultants who travel from city-to-city like I do.

2) I can choose whatever hotel I want. I know ahead of time where the project is located, so I pick the best hotel that is nearby to that client. I can also check for amenities, points from their rewards program and what is nearby to the hotel — if it’s downtown, near to a grocery store and so on.

The view is also a perk. Once I had a room overlooking a mountain. That was nice, especially in the mornings when you step out on the balcony to watch the sunrise while having a cup of tea.

3) …which means I can determine my own commuting time. Generally speaking, my average commute is 15 minutes there and 15 minutes back, per day because I can choose the location of my hotel. I also try to find hotels close enough so I can walk to them (I loathe driving my car unless I have to). In contrast, when I worked for a corporation and I had to work in my home city, sometimes my commute was 4 hours a day, there and back. It’s horrendous to be stuck in traffic and it really sucks the life out of you, which makes you exhausted for the night and the weekends. Your commuting time affects your life in more ways than you think.

4) There’s a room cleaning service. Everyone always hones in on this one. “A MAID! You are so lucky you have a MAID!” Well she’s not my personal handmaiden or butler or anything, but I guess it’s nice to have someone.

  • I don’t really utilize this service because I don’t make much of a mess and
  • I’m not a freak about cleanliness.
  • I don’t need my bed made every day.
  • I use the same towel for 2 weeks before switching out.
  • I take out my own trash.
  • I do my own dishes (they normally don’t do dishes by the way)
  • I tidy up after myself as much as I can.
  • I also don’t like having a maid come in when she doesn’t need to, so I let her in maybe once a month to do some vacuuming and light cleaning. Other than that, I don’t like strangers in my room when I am not there, even if I know they can be trusted.

5) …ditto for the room service. People always have this dreamy look in their eyes when you say: room service. To be honest, in the past 4 years I have used room service TWICE. Those times were only because I arrived super late and was super hungry. Why? Well have you seen those prices? Damn. $15 for some eggs and bacon on toast? For that money I could feed 5 people for $15, so I’ll fry my own up, thank you very much. This is why I need a kitchen or at least a kitchenette.

I would even be happier with a microwave and bar fridge than with room service. (Funny story, I actually have a portable microwave that is light and easily plugged into hotel rooms in case I need it). You don’t think about it, but if your burrito from last night is cold and you need to heat it up, you can’t do it easily in your room without bothering hotel staff for a microwave, or you have to drive to work to use the kitchen there.

6) Free newspapers, coffee/tea and/or breakfast. Okay this is a stupid perk but a lot of hotels have a free breakfast included in the rate, and you can even pick up a newspaper for free. I paid for that newspaper in my rate you know!

7) Having your own kitchen and en suite amenities. This is a hit and miss. I hit it on the head with my current hotel (I have everything included), but sometimes you might run across a room not having enough equipment to cook with (a baking sheet always seems to be missing from hotel rooms!), or not having enough plates, or cups — these are all minor problems but real ones. Nevertheless, you have pretty much everything you need: cutlery, knives, cutting board, kitchen towels (swapped weekly), plates, cups, bowls, pots, pans, colander (strainer), kettle, toaster, microwave and so on.

8) Having a person at the Front Desk 24/7. This is awesome because if you have a problem of any kind, or if you are having a package delivered — there is someone there. Called for take-out? There’s someone there to answer the delivery guy and direct him to your room.

9) Having your pet there with you. Yes, some hotels may not allow pets, but a lot do, at least.. all the ones I’ve come across! I’ve never heard of a hotel that didn’t allow pets, in fact because I’m allergic to animals, I’m always hoping for a pet-free hotel, but no luck yet. They might just charge you an extra pet-owner fee to have to steam clean the room before you leave.

The Downsides of Hotel Living

1) Not having a permanent address. I consider each hotel room I stay in to be a semi-permanent address. For example, I don’t have packages sent to me unless I know I am in the hotel for at least a month and a half, and I won’t miss the delivery.

Not having a permanent address poses a lot of problems people take for granted such as for packages and parcels, but also for having to switch your identification or having to keep a horribly detailed list of who you have to notify every time you “move”. I do everything I can online but I also have to keep a P.O. Box as my “permanent” address, and I have all my mail delivered there, then forwarded to whatever hotel I’m living in at the moment. This works out for the most part, but timing is of the essence.

2) Not being close to friends and family. If I am lucky and I score a project in a city where a lot of my family and friends reside, I’m thrilled to bits. But more often than not, I tend to end up in cities where I literally know no one. It’s been a bit easier since I’ve been a blogger because I can meet up with other bloggers or readers, but generally speaking, it’s a lonely existence. If you are one of those people who can’t take on a ‘lone wolf’ mentality, this is probably not the best idea for you.

I should mention that if BF is on a contract in a hotel, I live with him there (depending on my situation). If I am on contract in a hotel, he lives with me. We’re always together as much as possible, with the ideal situation being that we are both working on projects in the same city as each other.

3) Forgetting stuff in hotel rooms. Have I ever forgotten things? HELL YES AND IT SUCKS. I think I just lost a pair of my favourite gloves, and I’m heartbroken over it. That, and they cost $50, which hurts me right in the wallet if I have to shell out for another pair. Being organized is key to being in these semi-permanent rooms, but sometimes you just forget something and it’s lost forever.

As a side note, if you ever lose a charger, just go down to the Front Desk and ask if they have a charger for your phone or whatever. They usually have a huge plastic box of left-behind chargers by hotel guests and I’m sure you’ll be able to find one to borrow and use for the interim.

4) Not having your things around you to use. For many people, this includes sleeping in your own bed, having your own bathroom, TV, closet, and so on. I sleep on a futon on the floor, and I actually bring it with me when I travel, so I always have my own bed and sheets! As for how to deal with other sentimental items such as photographs and so on, you can read my answer here: “FAQ: How to handle sentimentality in hotel rooms

5) Not having much choice in hotel rooms. I have stayed from Motel 6 standard hotels to the Marriott Residence Inn hotels (fabulous brand by the way). I am not really that picky on a hotel room, but if I am there continuously for more than a month, I NEED a kitchen.

I know it’s really fun and sexy for people to be allowed, even encouraged to eat out everyday at restaurants, but it gets old, FAST. It’s also really unhealthy considering the amount of salt, sugar and fat they put in those restaurant dishes. It’s really not that awesome after a while. Sometimes you just want some plain Brie or Camembert spread on some French bread. This leaves me a lot less options in hotel rooms if I need a kitchen, and if I’m in a small city — forget it! Sometimes you’re stuck in a room with water pipes that knock, and there’s not much you can do about it.

6) Not having enough space. Some hotel apartments are tiny. Tinier than a regular studio, think of half the size around 450 square feet! But I’m a minimalist so I don’t see the lack of space as a problem, but I can understand how people would feel lost without  everything they own and struggling with trying to decide what to bring and what to leave at home. If you want, you can read here for what I purged this time around, and what’s in my suitcase wardrobe-wise.

7) The Cost. Read below.

The Costs of Hotel Living

So as you may have deduced by now, living in a hotel, especially one with a kitchen, is not the bees knees in terms of cost. That being said, you have to consider that if you aren’t paying for it, you don’t care. A lot of projects say that expenses are included! That means you get a amount per day for food, called a per diem and you get your drycleaning, laundry and hotel room costs reimbursed. Sweet.

If you are paying for it in an all-inclusive rate, you have to consider that you can file it under your company as a traveling expense to take it out of your profit margin. This saves you a chunk in income taxes at the end of the year. Usually Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights are days you will have to pay for out of your own personal pocket, because most people travel in early Monday and leave late Friday. Therefore, business costs are only Monday to Thursday nights (inclusive), and are the only nights you can claim.

You also have to figure out how much is your “personal living” and your “business traveling cost”. Think of it this way:  if you were traveling for business, wouldn’t you have an apartment of your own somewhere in another city that you’re paying for? If so, then the other option is to take a hotel continuously for a month so you don’t have to check out and check back in each week.

The calculations:

So if you pay $2000/month for a hotel room (yes, that’s a cheap rate here!), the general rule of thumb is: 75% business, 25% personal. 75% business of $2000 = $1500, and 25% personal = $500.

Seeing the numbers like that, you can see how it isn’t so unreasonable to see that you’d normally pay $500 for an apartment in another city, and traveling during the week would cost you to the tune of $1500/month. It isn’t that far off from your regular estimates.

I like to compare this to getting an apartment for 12 months. For this particular city I am in, $1200/month x 12 months is $14,400/year! If I am only in a city for 3 months, 3 x $2000 = $6000. This is a lot better than having to pay for a whole year of an apartment I may not use, to the tune of almost double. Naturally, if you have to be there for 6 months or more, it is definitely more expensive, but that’s the price I pay for mobility, seeing as my projects have an element of risk to them, as they can be cancelled at any time. It really isn’t that bad, unless you start getting up into the $4000 – $5000/month range, which means $1000 – $1250/month is personally coming out of your pocket.

You can also split it with your other half. Naturally, if you have your other half with you, you can split the personal cost of the rent 50/50 (which is what we do), and the pain of paying for a hotel is not as bad, even if most of it is coming out of your bank accounts (business or personal).

Lastly, there are negatives like paying for parking at the hotel if you drove to that city. It can get pretty expensive in an urban city, especially if you’re downtown.

The bottom line is don’t travel and pay for a hotel unless you can afford to do so with the amount of money you are earning to make up for it. Living in a hotel is no different than living in an apartment; it’s just a different type of lease that makes sense if you don’t know where your next project will be, for how long and if you don’t have the time to search for an apartment beforehand.

Fabulously Broke is a 20-something year old who is currently a full-time hotel dweller, working as a freelancer in a big city. Since 2006, she’s been traveling on and off for the past 4 years, living out of a mix of hotels and apartments for periods of time. In 2010 alone, she has moved 19 times in between cities.  She can be found at Fabulously Broke in the City, a lifestyle blog that has a bit of money talk, and at The Everyday Minimalist, a blog all about real-life, doable minimalist living for the modern urban dweller.

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  1. Molly On Money January 31, 2011 at 8:10 AM

    There is something very romantic for me about hotel living. Even after breaking it down and dismissing some of my myths I still want to live in a hotel, at least for a bit!

    1. Frankie April 3, 2016 at 9:43 AM

      This is an excellent article. I live in a hotel too. I pay $694 a month. This may sound like a lot for a 450 square foot place. But consider I have no electric bill no security deposit no lease cable TV free high speed Wi-Fi the gym and laundry services. In addition my hotel is within walking distance of anything you need such as groceries fast food banking services laundry I mean anything.

      1. Done May 26, 2016 at 11:28 AM

        Where did you find a hotel for 695 dollars a month?

        1. Maggie May 28, 2016 at 3:03 AM

          Super 8 in London is $600

        2. Kayla R Hunter February 24, 2018 at 5:21 AM

          In sherman tx i pay 700 a month a my motel i have no cleaning service they let me have my own bed and tv i have a nuwave oven and a couter top bunner it is great for 2 people and a dog

      2. Ashley Kuntz February 28, 2021 at 2:19 PM

        WHAA!! I’m in Olathe KS just south of KC and my SO and I have been living at this motel 6 since march 2020 and its $302/week.
        I’m about to go insane without a kitchen and it gets dirty extremely fast if I slack for even just 48hrs.
        Our pit mix stays with us for free which is great and I do laundry at my moms.
        If I had a kitchen and an extra room I’d be golden but my daughter cant stay with me and ultimately that’s my goal: to find a nice non hotel place to live so my daughter can come stay with me

        And an apt is what 2 weeks here costs.

  2. Catherine January 31, 2011 at 8:14 AM

    I found this really interesting as I work in one of these hotels, here in the UK some of them are called ApartHotels or apartment hotels.

    Housekeeping, wifi, breakfast is all included in the daily rate along with taxes (VAT).
    And as FB says, the longer you stay, the better a rate you get.

    I’m a receptionist so I’m constantly seeing guests in and out of the hotel, handling bookings and quoting rates. We have lots of guests that stay long term from 1 month to over a year at a time and although it is rarely themselves paying but their companies, either way it is a great setup for those working or training away from home and saves tons of money in accomodation costs considering the lower rates for long term and the amenities provided you just dont get from a swanky hotel room. (not saying this place aint swanky tho ;p)

    FB’s right – eating out does get old and can be very pricey! For those on a budget, personal or otherwise it helps to have a dining room and full kitchen. Being central gives the option to dine out, but for our long term guests those who have worked hard all week just want to stay in with a pizza and put their feet up in front of the tv.

    Greatly interesting article, thanks FB & JM – nice to see an american perspective of it!

  3. FB @ January 31, 2011 at 8:22 AM

    Thanks for posting :) I really appreciate it, and I hope all the comments are just as positive/interesting.

    @Molly — It does sound very glamourous for the first little while, but then real life practicalities take over and you have to deal with them. :)

    @Catherine — Normally the company would pay, but I’m under my own company, so I charge it in my hourly rate, and use that money. This is why I like to stay on the cheap and eat on the cheap as well, because what I don’t spend, I get to keep.

  4. Kevin @ January 31, 2011 at 9:20 AM

    Not being a minimalist, I’d hate hotel living because I’d miss the love of my life too much (my TV). I also don’t want to pay for a storage unit for the rest of my crap.

    Also, I like to tip the housekeeper when she does do work, and I don’t like to waste a bunch of tip money on having my bed made and stuff, so when I do travel, I only let the maid in about once a week or less.

    Finally, I hardly ever travel for work, so it would make very little sense for me personally to live out of a hotel. However, I’m glad it works for you and congrats on taking the plunge and giving up the permanent address!

    1. Nat May 23, 2022 at 1:12 AM

      Hotels have TV’s. Surely you can byo smart device like Roku or apple tv, fire stick eyc

  5. Clare January 31, 2011 at 10:59 AM

    Wonderful guest post, I adore FB.

  6. Laura January 31, 2011 at 12:41 PM

    I think I could happily live in a hotel……nice to see FB over here J!

  7. retirebyforty January 31, 2011 at 2:12 PM

    I don’t think I can live in a hotel. I guess I like the familiarity of home too much. We love traveling and it’s fun during vacation, but we like having a comfortable spot to call home.
    I hate business trip. It’s difficult for me to meet strangers and I always end up sitting around watching TV. :(

  8. DoNotWait January 31, 2011 at 2:20 PM

    Very interesting to read about such a different lifestyle than my own. I am not sure I would like it though. Still, it makes it clearer and more understandable to me. Thank you for sharing FB!

  9. Sarah January 31, 2011 at 3:16 PM

    Wow, I loved this post! That’s such a cool lifestyle. While I would want more stability in my life, the idea of almost spontaneous living sounds exciting and interesting. I’d want to try it out for a couple of years. Thanks for sharing!

  10. Donny Gamble January 31, 2011 at 8:45 PM

    I don’t know if I could live in a hotel for more than a week because I need to have the ability to cook everyday

  11. jolie January 31, 2011 at 8:55 PM

    I love seeing my two favourite blogwriters come together :-)

    I have to confess after spending a week in Toronto in the Sheraton downtown, I could see how living in a hotel could really allow someone new to the place a chance to have a secure place to live in the heart of all the action.

  12. 20 and Engaged January 31, 2011 at 10:15 PM

    I think if the Mr and I lived in a hotel before moving into our first apartment, it would’ve worked. As for now, we’ve accumulated too much stuff lol

  13. Sandy @ yesiamcheap February 1, 2011 at 1:40 PM

    @20 and Engaged

    That’s where being a minimalist comes in handy. If you don’t have the stuff then you won’t miss it when you move from hotel to hotel. I’m embracing this minimalist lifestyle…although I couldn’t live without my air mattress.

  14. J. Money February 1, 2011 at 2:57 PM

    Glad you all enjoyed this as much as I did! FB is my girl — Right, yo? ;) I still think I can do this for at least a few years. Esp if I can get my minimalist priorities more in line! I haven’t been doing so hot w/ it lately, although I have been getting rid of a lot of stuff…. I feel like if you can stick to the “1 in, 1 out” mentality you’re doing pretty good. In theory you’d never be accumulating more than you have now. But in a perfect world you’d be getting rid of things too! so that one day you can live in a hotel if you want ;) W00T.

  15. Andrea February 1, 2011 at 7:21 PM

    The one thing I look forward to when going on vacation is staying at a nice hotel, I’m so spoiled with someone coming in everyday to clean the room, turn down service at night, room service, cable tv… I could go on and and I always say that I could live like this for a long time….

    However the reality sets in when I’m back home, and back to work, and I have to do everything again for myself…lol

  16. Squirrelers February 1, 2011 at 10:53 PM

    Really interesting. I could see how for a period of time in life that could be quite an adventure. I realize that it’s easy to say that from the outside looking in, but the idea of being flexible, with options to move many different places and have very little responsibilities, has some short-term appeal. Now, my own life situation doesn’t allow for this, but it’s interesting anyway.

  17. mia February 14, 2011 at 12:23 AM

    My lifestyle is similar. I consult, but in an unusual field–I’m in this city to work on my current project for one year (although many assignments in this field are shorter than an year). As a result, I currently rent a fully furnished apartment (comes with everything, including furniture, linens, dishes, tv, etc.)…I think my situation is pretty common in this city and definitely this industry. The lifestyle isn’t for everyone though, not knowing where you’ll be next year–I could be in another country living out of a hotel room at this time next year.

  18. J. Money February 14, 2011 at 6:37 PM

    Oh man, I LOVE that feeling of not knowing. I miss it. We had it all the time growing up in a military family :)

  19. FB @ February 15, 2011 at 8:54 AM

    @Kevin: We have a TV… in fact in the hotel I’m in right now, we have a big screen TV.

    @Clare & Laura: Aww thank you! :)

    @retirebyforty: I thought that too, but you get used to it. I guess it depends on your personality. I’m someone who loves the familiar, but am okay with change as well.

    @DoNotWait & Sarah: It is not for everyone, for sure :)

    @DonnyGamble: I always have hotel rooms that have kitchenettes or full-sized kitchens. I can’t go without cooking either!

    @jolie: Aww :) It can seem really sexy to live in a hotel but it isn’t as easy as it looks.

    @20andEngaged: Living in a hotel forces you to pare down on stuff. Even looking around I think: How the hell do I have all of this? Even if I know it isn’t a lot…

    @Andrea: That’s the thing, is that living in a hotel for me has very little perks in terms of people coming in to clean and whatnot. I don’t let them in.. I live in the hotel like it is my apartment.

    @Squirrelers: I’ve been doing this since 2006 and counting :) Going on 5 years now!!!

    @mia: Exactly. Not knowing where I will be is kind of fun but since I accept contracts, I know exactly where I’ll be!

    @J$: Thanks again for the AWESOME opportunity to post on the blog. Glad you liked it!!!!
    I guess it depends on your environment. As a kid, I moved somewhat, about 3 times, and then once I hit college, I moved once or twice a year, so it became natural for me. I didn’t feel displaced moving so often.

  20. Dave February 15, 2012 at 12:15 PM

    What advice could you provide regarding room rates? Can you negotiate a better rate if you tell them up front you will be there for a month or longer? What about Priceline or similar sites?

  21. J. Money February 19, 2012 at 12:17 PM

    I know when I researched I always saw the best deals at those “extended stay” places. Which have kitchens and mini living rooms etc. Not sure if they do specials on Priceline or Expedia and all that, but I bet if you called any hotel and told them your plan they’d give you a decent discount. Would be stupid to turn down so much biz like that :)

  22. Noy March 6, 2012 at 8:33 AM

    This is interesting article but I wouldn’t live in the hotel period. I work at the hotel as front desk clerk and i see different from you. Living at extended stay hotel is not cheap because you are paying for the amenities even if you are not using it. You pay two taxes and when you can rent the furnished apartment for less. You can’t refuse housekeeper service because hotel requires to get in your room every other days. Noise from party people and so on. I work in hotel long enough to say its not worth it.

  23. J. Money March 6, 2012 at 9:49 AM

    Huh, good to know! Thanks for sharing your take on it :)

  24. Andi-Roo June 21, 2012 at 4:20 PM

    My hubz & I plan to do extended hotel living after retirement, when it’s just the two of us. We love minimalism & have been paring down slowly over the years in preparation for this lifestyle. Thanks for the great piece on what we can expect when we finally get there! :)

  25. J. Money June 22, 2012 at 2:15 PM

    Glad you liked it! And even more so that you guys are gonna give it a shot! I tried convincing my wife but she wouldn’t have it, haha… enjoy the freedom!

  26. Garrett January 19, 2013 at 6:52 PM

    I am 18 and live in a small hotel room with my mom and stepdad, and then a little sister and 2 brothers, a toddler and kindergardner. We live in a hotel room because of financial issues. But FYI, living in a hotel for as long as i have sucks ):

  27. J. Money January 21, 2013 at 3:55 PM

    Oh wowww…. yeah that’s a LOT of people under one (small) roof :( I’m sorry to hear, and I hope it’s only temporary and things get better over there!

  28. Carol February 25, 2013 at 5:22 PM

    I’m getting divorced and I’m the one leaving the house… I’m not sure where I want to live (right now I live in Seattle).

    I like the thrill of being finally free and not knowing what’s gonna happen next. I could move to LA, NY, Boston, anywhere (I have an internet business, so work from my laptop).

    I’ve been considering hotel living for this reason and have looked at Extended Stay’s rates, which look very reasonable and comparable to the expenses of renting an apartment. $2000/mo. for a hotel room is actually the same amount I would be paying for a 1 bedroom apartment, plus utilities in the suburbs here in Seattle (there’s no way I would be able to rent anything for $500/mo. over here, or in any of the cities I’m considering, there’s nothing decent for less than $1.200).

    Another problem I have is all the paper work required to rent an apartment. I don’t report all my income to the IRS and since I work online, getting money from other contries (and leaving the money overseas), it’s hard to prove I can afford a rent at this point, so hotel living seems very appealing to me…

  29. J. Money February 26, 2013 at 8:02 AM

    Haha yes, I can see where that can be a problem ;) Aren’t you afraid of getting caught w/ the IRS? I couldn’t do it… the thought of jail freaks me out too much… But that aside, it seems like you’re a prime candidate for hotel living! A nice new change while other changes are going on in your life, eh? If you ever give it a shot, let us know how it goes :)

    Also, here’s my own list of pros/cons of hotel living if you’re interested:

  30. Justin Lewis May 24, 2013 at 12:15 AM

    Hey J$, I’ve been working from home since 2010 and have since then moved from a 2 bedroom apartment into a 4 bedroom house with a pool/hot tub/garage etc.

    To some that might seem amazing and to me it really did at first.. But working from home and maintaining everything at the home at the same time turns into a serious hassle.

    My girlfriend and I are currently looking between getting an RV or moving into a hotel. We’re comfortable with small spaces and I’ve lived in a car before (for 3 months when I was broke) so I know we can do it.

    The main reason we’re interested in it and something I didn’t see you talk much about is the fact that all bills are included. Electricity, water, internet, cable tv, breakfast, phone, and of course the rent/payment itself.

    At the moment we spend around $2,500/mo on rent + utilities + gas and it’s an hour drive to the city. If we were to move into a hotel our rent + utilities (for our area) would sky rocket down to around $1,186/mo ($39/night extended stay excluding tax), and gas would be barely anything since we could mainly walk/drive only a few miles if needed.

    Anyways, the only reason I’m mentioning this to you is because this is something we have seriously been interested in for a while and I think it’s a better option for our lifestyles. All I need is a place that has internet and access to go to a nice gym and we’re set.

    Finally, we can get up and head out to a different hotel in another state whenever we’d like.. which just sounds so much more enjoyable since I have clients all across the U.S. and Canada.

    What do you think…? Should we go for it or instead rent out a cruddy apartment (they aren’t great around here) for $1,000/mo which I likely won’t even get approved for because I don’t use credit cards (we were declined on the RV even though my monthly income is exceptionally high versus our payment).

  31. J. Money May 24, 2013 at 3:37 PM

    Hell yeah dog! If I were in your position I’d probably give it a shot :) Better to try out while y’all are young and no kids/etc/etc (well, at least I assume you don’t have any kids?). That’s the main reason holding us back. Or, rather ME back – my wife isn’t a fan of the idea, haha… either RV living or Hotel living :)

    (this post was written by a friend of mine btw, not me).

    Here are some articles and thoughts I’ve written myself about hotel and RV living over the years. Both fascinate the pants off me, but just too hardcore at the moment for us. Maybe that will change in the future?

    Good luck with your decision! Let us know what you end up choosing later if you remember :) I’ll have to live through you guys for now…

  32. Paula June 8, 2013 at 2:51 AM

    Nice article. We move all over the lower 48, have been for the past 5 years. About 70 or so moves in 5 years. Hotel living can start to suck (especially right now, we can’t find a hotel with a kitchenette in our max price range, and I REFUSE to give over that since 1/3 of our check already goes to rent)!! People don realize how truly expensive this can be. I do love seeing new places though.

    1. J. Money June 10, 2013 at 12:36 PM

      Oh wow, 70 places is a lot! You’re quite the adventurer :)

  33. Jennifer July 19, 2013 at 4:17 PM

    It has its moments – as a general manager of a hotel I am fortunate enough to live onsite in an apartment (the size of two general rooms) I have a full kitchen, living room, dining room, bedroom, office, bathroom, and a pantry (through clever use of about 100 dollars worth of lumber). My other half travels doing construction so sometimes it does get old that we do always feel like we are at hotels – but it is nice. I love the all inclusiveness and right now not having children or being married it is wonderful.

    Before I was in this industry I lived in an area that had been affected by a hurricane, the houses that survived were VERY out of my price range for rent – so I lived in a hotel room; which is the sole thing that made me see how interesting this industry could be and led me to declaring my major and getting my career started!!!

  34. J. Money July 19, 2013 at 4:53 PM

    AWESOME!! Way to live the dream and also turn it into a career – that’s pretty cool :)

  35. Mexicaligurl July 16, 2015 at 5:31 PM

    I’ve been in this room for over 30 days now they want me to leave cuz I’ve been here morrthen 38 days can they ask me to leave? What rights do I have

    1. J. Money July 20, 2015 at 12:05 PM

      Can you move to another similar hotel? Not sure why they’d do that since you’re a paying customer, but maybe they have weird rules or it’s a legal thing for some reason. You’d probably be better off at one of those extended stay-like places where it’s more common for people living there to stay for long periods of time vs shorter ones. Def. worth googling more though and finding out your rights! Hadn’t thought about that before.

  36. Peter2016 September 14, 2015 at 5:14 PM

    Dear FB,
    I could not agree more with you in regards to the hotel life style! I made a great saving as well as pension in my professional life time and am romancing the globe ongoing, year round with my gf. as I have lived most of my life all over the world, having moved 52 times in life over all continents and having visited almost all of the official 193 UN recognized countries on the globe, inclusive the 2 poles. The hotel life is my life style (albeit in the upper 5* ones) and I know very well that not all of us can aford such kind of life style, Again, as Joni Mitchel was singing it so well for all others it is: “where some may find their paradise, others do come to harm!” I arranged for an appartment in a European city with a paid personal assistent who takes care of all my bills and other, being in contact with me, once every week. Kindest regards from Venice at this moment ….

    1. J. Money September 15, 2015 at 7:08 AM

      Bad ass, Peter! Way to make it happen!! Haven’t been to Venice since I was a kid and didn’t appreciate it, haha…

  37. Max December 20, 2015 at 12:32 AM

    Yeah, Im in America and I live at a motel 6… It’s not fun, it’s actually really fucking depressing. But its a big step up from living in a tent, with 4 months ago I was doing. I can’t find a job, I’ve had one interview in 6 months. All but 100 dollars goes back into the hotel room.

    1. J. Money April 4, 2016 at 7:09 AM

      Awesome!! You’re making me jealous!! :)

  38. john Oliver September 17, 2016 at 2:58 PM


    1. J. Money November 29, 2016 at 10:31 AM

      There’s def. a difference between *being forced* to move into a hotel (and probably a crappy one?) compared to doing it on your own wishes (and into a nicer one).

      Sorry to hear it isn’t going well for you :(

  39. Rene November 19, 2016 at 3:01 AM

    I wish I could just check into a nice hotel and live there forever! I had the best breakfast buffet, eggs, gluten free bagels and all you can drink coffee…..I just got home and my food at home is so boring. :( I live in a one story studio apartment that is so small I can hardly sleep, I have total insomnia. I love this article but first thing that came to mind is I can’t afford it, if I could check in to the residence by marriot I would, or a boutique hotel. Best thing to do is invest in your own land. I need a two story house at least so I can sleep.
    How can you afford hotels? I wish I could. They’re usually $100 a night. There’s a spa/nature hotel up the road that is just amazing and sometimes I wish they could just put me up in the top floor without paying too much as usually it’s empty. Or any hotel.
    I love hotel beds, hotel food.

  40. Maress November 19, 2016 at 3:05 AM

    I wonder if you can work at a hotel (I doubt it, I doubt they house employees) and work there, plus it would probably zapp all your time and be full time if they gave you a room or suite. I’ve seen live in B&B jobs and they give you a suite but those are hard to find.
    Best I guess to just decorate your apartment like a hotel…

    1. J. Money November 29, 2016 at 10:37 AM

      I bet you could pull that off if it’s a smaller or boutique-like place. It probably won’t nearly be as fun/nice for reasons you’ve already mentioned, but no harm in researching a little, right? Call up some of the hotels you like in the areas you like and just ask the manager! Never know what could come of it :)

  41. Pam Richards January 27, 2017 at 3:16 PM

    ‘I would love to live in a hotel forever,but i’m stuck here in an apt.complex.”I can’t afford to live in a hotel as much as would love to.”I guess i’m stuck between a rock and a hard place.”

  42. Amanda September 12, 2017 at 3:05 PM

    Hi there! I am an RN about to start travel nursing and was planning on looking at some extended stay hotels for my contracts. In your post you mentioned a cot that you take with you so you can always sleep on your own bed. I like the sound of that!! Could you let me know what kind you use? Thanks!

  43. oth November 18, 2017 at 8:35 PM

    I just moved to California (San Francisco Bay Area), currently in a hotel. Was looking for apartments but just realized that the hotel is just as cheap and better.
    Only problem is, would I be able to get CA health insurance and a CA driver’s license using the hotel address? I do plan on staying for at least 6-12 months.

    1. J. Money November 20, 2017 at 11:01 AM

      interesting question! I know there *are* services out there where you can get a “normal” address (like not a PO Box) for like $ but not sure that would help w/ licensing as you wouldn’t be able to prove you lived there… Have you already asked the hotel about it? If they have people living there for long periods of time I’m sure others have tried to figure it out as well.