Is it crazy to live in hotels full-time?

Last year when I decided I wanted to leave Tampa I pondered just moving into hotels full time. I ended up moving to Seattle, and just last week renewed my lease by another six months, so am now in Seattle till next April.

The thing is that I already spend more than half of my time away from home, so in a way it’s really tough to justify an apartment. Not only do I have to pay rent, but I pay utilities, water, cable, internet, a car payment, and car insurance. That really adds up given that I spend an average of maybe 10 days a month at home.

So why haven’t I moved into a hotel yet? Because the prospect of being “homeless” is kind of scary. At the end of the day where I live in Seattle isn’t my “home,” per se, in that it’s not really where my heart is. Not that I don’t love the area, but at the end of the day my parents are in Tampa, and I’ll never feel “complete” living 3,000 miles away from them.

But really there’s just something extremely comfortable about having a place to store things, having a door you can look that’s your “space,” and ultimately having somewhere to have your mail sent.

In an ideal world I’d be in a relationship and have a Goldendoodle, but neither seems to be an option right now, so the more I’m seriously toying with the idea of living in hotels full-time.

When I think of how much I’m paying on a per-day basis for my living expenses (for the average of 10 days that I’m at home), I could actually stay at a really nice hotel for that same amount. And that doesn’t factor in the housekeeping, free breakfast, free internet/cable, free snacks (at Andaz properties, for example), etc. Other people have tried living in hotels, so it’s not entirely unreasonable.

live-in-hotel
Would this be so bad?

I’ve also changed my thinking a bit, and am now more comfortable at the prospect of having a hotel as a home. When I first considered living in a hotel I was considering it entirely from a marginal value perspective. My thought process was “okay, I guess I’ll have to switch hotels every night since that’s the way to maximize points.”

But I quickly realized that would drive me absolutely bonkers. No one can live 4PM check-out to 4PM check-out without going nuts at a certain point.

However, I really think I could make this work if I had a “home” hotel. In other words, a single property to spend maybe two weeks a month at, so I can check in for a while and not go crazy.

Not only is the math justified in comparison to what I’m spending for the 10 days I’m home now, I’m downright giddy about the prospect of earning all those hotel points. For example, as I posted about earlier, even without any promotions you’re already looking at basically getting 17% of “value” on Hyatt stays, so those would add up very quickly.

Has anyone ever done this? If so, how has it worked out? Is the hotel willing to store some stuff for you (like maybe a big suitcase) while you’re gone? How much of a lower rate could you get with a long-term arrangement? Any other pitfalls?

Anyway, at this point I’m really serious about this, and fairly certain it’s what I’ll do full-time starting in April. Now I just have to figure out the right hotel (ideally a Hyatt)…

Comments

  1. I say go for it! Why not? It’s not a long term commitment, and if you don’t like it after a month, look for an apartment. One option–make your home hotel relatively near your parents or a good friend. Then, you could store some things there. It was great meeting you in Chicago–I admire your traveling lifestyle. Denise (of Hyatt Cannes fame!) 🙂

  2. I looked at doing this about seven years ago when living in Southern California for a temporary assignment, and it definitely can make sense, especially in markets like SF where there can be a large discrepancy between apartment or home rental rates and the cost of an extended stay hotel in a neighboring suburb. One other thing to note is that if you are staying longer than 30 days, most hotels are able to waive the local occupancy tax (though you often have to call them to modify your reservation accordingly), which can provide additional savings.

  3. Assuming that your “home” hotel will remain in the same city/area, you could always rent a small storage unit for your infrequently used items.
    And would you have access to kitchen facilities, such as through an extended stay suite? I couldn’t stand the thought of not being able to make my own food occasionally, even if it is just a grilled cheese sandwich!

  4. I’ve been “homeless” for a few years now, after 30 years of being a home owner. Officially, I’m living in the spare bedroom of a friend of mine in Beaverton Oregon, but practically speaking, I’m living at the Extended Stay America across the street from my client in Los Angeles. I get “home” for one weekend a month to run errands in Portland and pick up my mail and packages, but otherwise, I’m living out of a pair of carryon bags for 48 weeks a year.

  5. It would be crazy not to investigate the value proposition. Do it while you are young! Explore the world for the next few years…
    Wouldn’t it also give you greater flexibility as to what your new base city will be? Try it, like it, stay for a while?

  6. Ben, if you’re paying more in housing costs per month than 10 nights at a really nice hotel, you probably have too nice of an apartment given the time you’re there. Why don’t you just rent a smaller apartment, maybe even a little outside the city if you have a car, or just a room in a 2 or 3 bedroom apartment, for a fraction of the cost? Then if you need the privacy or to be closer to the city you can always get a hotel room a couple nights a month and still pay less combined than you’re paying now. I travel alot too and am probably home only half the month but it’s nice to have a place to call your own, even if it’s just a room.

  7. I did that due to work and it worked out fine. I stayed at the hotel 3 weeks at a time then go ‘home’ for one or two nights before coming back. Although the ‘home’ is just another hotel at my home city…
    The hotel has long term storage and they gladly check my luggage in and out… Sometimes when the hotel is sold out, I will just go to another hotel nearby and come back the next day.
    The difficult part is the laundry, your personal items and storage space… I had 9 suitcases…. I had them tag my luggage carefully and store them in a special corner in the long term storage room.
    The best part – if the next door hotel chain have a better promotion… It is time to switch 😛
    You will save more money when you go on ‘holidays’

  8. Have you read Paul Carr’s book “The Upgrade”? It’s a great read and tells his story about giving up his flat in London and living in hotels around the world. As someone who also toyed with this idea before, I highly enjoyed it.

  9. My parents are currently living at a hotel for ~8 weeks and they found it really easy to negotiate a long-term rate for their stay. When they need to, they store their things in their car (easier with an SUV and few/low-value belongings). Admittedly they are a very different demographic than you, but they say it has gotten old quickly to not have full kitchen facilities. I’m interested to hear how it works out for you.

  10. I lived in hotels for 300+ days in 2010… The last 3 months in the same Staybridge Suites. It was great, had storage closet (private with key) for my stuff that would not fit the room.

  11. If it makes sense financially….get a storage unit & just do it! (I’d do it myself but the numbers just don’t pencil out for me.)

  12. Olive8. Winter rates can be $100-120, and you can probably negotiate a discount on summer rates if you pre-pay for a block. The top floors are condos, so they have some nice facilities. There’s no club, so you can take all your free breakfasts at the restaurant. And you’ll be in “real” Seattle just blocks from the light rail to the airport.

  13. There’s a couple living in the grand hyatt Singapore grand club room at $300/night for more than a year. One of the best GHs in the world imo.

  14. I just put my condo up for sale and am looking at doing the same or similar.
    I’m thinking not 100% hotels, but also rent a condo or apartment or a week or month depending on what is available in the area I am traveling.

  15. I think you should find a cheap studio apt rental in the greater Tampa area where you can store your stuff and stay when you are not traveling. You will be close to your parents when you are “home” but you will still have a private space to sleep and work. You can essentially stay “away” as long as you want if you keep rent and other costs very low. You seem very close your parents so you should have a home base near them for the few days per month when you are not on the road. When you get older and look back on doing this, you will be glad you did!

  16. I’ve been homeless since May, went full nomad after leaving my apartment in San Diego – yes it was scary at first. I have quite a lot I’d love to say on this, but a few notes about my experience thus far:

    * I find the optimal blend to not be 100% hotels, but a good “value”, whatever it happens to be. I stay partly in hotels of varying price, partly airbnbs, occasionally for free with friends, a lot of IHG PointsBreaks, and in rare circumstances hostels. Right now I’m in Thailand staying at 5-star Starwoods for ~$100/night with Plat suite upgrades. In Seattle/Portland I stayed in Airbnbs because hotels are meh and I enjoy neighborhoods like Ballard & Almeda.

    * Leveraging points & promos like we do – especially with things like IHG PointsBreaks and the Big Win / Marriott MegaBonus promos means that the average effective stay cost is less than extrapolating cash-out-of-pocket on a day-to-date basis.

    * This lifestyle is much easier if you can make a serious commitment to minimalism – it reduces so many hassles/barriers that you forget about up-front. I personally live out of a backpack w/7 day laundry cycles. Check-in/check-out cycles aren’t bad if you can carry everything on your back.

    * Stay together with friends at hotels, or mixing in free stays at friends’ apartments is a good way to avoid loneliness. I’m sure you have friends all over the world.

    * You’ll need to have a mailing address. I use a UPS Store mailbox (looks like an apartment) and pay a friend to check mail & deposit checks. Other people use things like EarthClassMail.

    * Starwood Platinum and Hyatt Diamond is addicting. You will find it difficult to mix in budget hotel stays when they treat you so well, with lucrative points coming back. Stay logical and reason without emotion about mile value you’re getting back – it’s hard. Seth Miller has a lot of good points in this regard.

    If you focus on value and mix things up, it’s possible to have a pretty good mix of sometimes-luxury experiences. I’m averaging about $2000 on mostly by-no-means-budget accommodation and have been living all over the place.

  17. Get rid of your stuff, it just weighs you down, well except for those amenity kits and rubber duckies you collect. But seriously, try this for a few months, you have nothing to lose. All you require is an internet connection, live out of a carry-on and backpack. Would love to see how it works out.

  18. “if you’re paying more in housing costs per month than 10 nights at a really nice hotel, you probably have too nice of an apartment”

    Agreed! I wondered why you didn’t do the hotel thing last year (I think I’d give it a shot if I were you). I also previously wondered why you couldn’t make living in Tampa work given how little you’re at home.

    I’ve been renting a furnished apartment for a month or two, then traveling for a couple weeks, then coming back to my home city and renting another apartment for a couple months before traveling again. I hate paying the rent for even a week or 2 if I’m gone. Luckily there are many short term rentals.

  19. BEST IDEA EVER!
    (it’s capslock day)

    Seriously, this does sound good, but you have to learn live with it.

    For example: expat life does sound awesome to me, but 95% of the people I know they all say it’s the worst idea ever. Not having an own home, not investing in anything nice, … But is it that bad?
    Same goes for you, if I remember correctly you don’t really have a lot of decoration and stuff, so a hotel can be a good idea. A lot of hotels could probably even offer you a discount if you stay there regularly.
    But your bears and Rimowa amenity kits have to be moved every time then. And that can possibly be frustrating. If you have a “home hotel” though, this is less of an issue. After some time people will know you and they’ll make everything to your wish 🙂 So it’ll be like home.

  20. As someone mentioned, why don’t you get a smaller place outside the city that is cheaper or, better yet, get roommates? I think it is funny that the option is Bellevue or hotels full time. No in between.

    There are many more options. As transient as you are, you do not strike me as the permanently nomadic type without a “home base” to work from.

  21. @ KevininRI — But it’s not just an apartment, but also a car, car insurance, etc. I wouldn’t need those if I were living on the road.

  22. @ Jonathan — I’m definitely not the permanently nomadic type, and to be honest eventually I kind of dream of settling down, getting a dog, and taking maybe one or two trips a year. But for a year I think it could be not only an interesting learning experience, but also interesting to write about.

  23. I did this briefly for about 4 months while working on a long term project.

    I was working at SFO during the week and driving back to LA every weekend. When my landlord in LA jacked the rent up another $250, I gave my notice and moved my stuff into storage. At that point I stayed in the hotels during the week and “couch surfed” at friends and family’s houses during weekends. Outside of a lack of permanence, I found very little difference between an apartment and a hotel.

    For certain people that kind of lifestyle can work just fine. Others feel they have to nest which unless you never check out as your example shows, is impossible.

  24. Would be surprised if there’s not someone in short term corporate housing who specializes in this exactly. There’s quite a few of them in the Tampa area. Or just go directly to the hotel management and tell them exactly what you want. My parents lived full time in a hotel when our home was rebuilt due to a fire. There are people out there who can do this for you.

  25. I think it “sounds” more doable than it really is – you’d have to put most things in storage (else you have very few personal items).

    That said, you could live cheaply in Cat 1-4 Hiltons for the rest of your days simply by churning a Surpass Amex at 0.195 cpp.

    If you could find a decent Cat 2, with 5th night free (8K/night), you’d pay $15.60/night.

    If you were to splurge, you could stay at Cat 3 or 4 for 16K w/5th night free = $31.20/night. Looks like there are a few decent choices near Orlando (Hilton Orlando/Altamonte Springs).

    16K HH using 6x Surpass at grocery means you’d need to average $2,667 in gift cards a day and cash them out. Not entirely unreasonable if you have convenient grocery/WM locations.

    With Surpass, $40K spend on the card gets you Diamond status, so you’d get free wifi and access to Exec Floor lounges – and bypasses length of stay restrictions using award points.

  26. “But for a year I think it could be not only an interesting learning experience, but also interesting to write about.”

    Although I’m not entirely ready to pass judgment on my experience yet, for what it’s worth I think being nomadic for 6mo – 1yr is a great experience – I’m having a blast. Like you, I’m not the type to do this long term, and will probably settle down with an apartment in either San Diego or Austin next year. But, hopefully just get some super cheap studio that allows me financial flexibility to continue traveling frequently, just with a home base.

  27. Perhaps you have the feeling that you’re living out of a suitcase now, but, as you say, having a place that’s your own to return to from your trips gives you some sense of being centered. It also gives you some privacy that’s missing at a hotel.
    And since you’re thinking of moving back to Florida to be near your parents, I can’t imagine where you could live and be happy without a car.
    Psychologically you would not be grounded and I think after a short while at a hotel you’d come to realize that rather than building a life for the future, you are so living in the present that your future options will diminish.

    It might look good on paper from a purely financial perspective, but the sense of impermanence will also lead to a feeling of insecurity, it will be more difficult to make new friends and the ultimately not only will it artificial, enhancing a feeling of loneliness, but you will be treading water rather than growing roots.

  28. I couldn’t do it personally, but I think that it’s an interesting idea. Personally, I’d look into a cheaper roommate situation so you have somewhere to call home and store your stuff. Here in the Denver area you can get a room in a pretty nice shared house for $350 a month.

  29. Get s storage locker or an office with a mailing address instead! You can sleep at a hotel, but have a place to store and file things and do work. But maybe an apartment or an office are six of one, a half dozen of the other…

  30. Just move back in with your parents. They should give you free rent if you keep taking them on nice trips! 🙂

  31. Why don’t you try it for 3 months and see how it goes? A trial period wouldn’t hurt to see if you actually like it. You would just need a place for all of your stuff during that time and a p.o. box.

  32. Go for it!

    Of course living out of hotels means that you are able to be based anywhere in the world. So consider the possibility basing yourself in HK/FRA/Azerbaijan/…. for a few months. It will likely open up lots of new travel opportunities (and bonus you will no longer be classified as ‘homeless’ but may call yourself a traveller!)

    And I would agree to use TPA for a PO Box/Storage Unit (or Mom & Dad’s house if they are happy with it).

    BTW it is the second time that you have mentioned owning a dog. And now you specify a Goldendoodle….. Learning from my mistakes, as you daydream, I would really advise you to work backwards from airline regulations and focus on smaller dogs that can travel inside the cabin. There are many trips that we would have taken our dog with us, but haven’t because it would be stressful to her to have to be in the luggage hold for long flights/ multiple legs etc….

  33. A decade ago I recall someone Pricelining the HR San Francisco 30 days at a time. Back then Priceline stays counted towards status and even promos..! A standard win was ~ $35++/night IIRC.

  34. I’d hafta disagree about the idea of a ‘home hotel’ as it sort of defeats the purpose. Living in a hotel affords you the freedom to change locations easily, why would you give up that very thing by staying in one place, might as well just rent a room in a student house. What would be ideal is to marry your constant air travel with the hotel idea, and just stay at your destination(s) for longer stretches of time.

  35. This is something VERY doable when you are young and without a family. I would’ve loved to do it…GO FOR IT! Doesn’t mean you can’t change your mind later on. But if you don’t, you’ll always be left wondering…WHAT IF?

  36. It’s a moot point for you since neither WA nor FL have income tax, but if you were living in a state with an income tax and decided to start living in hotels, would you be able to change your residency to a tax-free state, or would you have to spend a certain amount of time there?

  37. I usually leave a big bag when checkout at the hotel if I know I am going back in a week or two. Every marriott and hilton hotels have a storage room to let you put stuffs there for free.

  38. We gave up our condo six months ago and just move around the world where we fancy whenever we get the urge. During the 6 months we have stayed at a mix of hotels/VRBO rentals and staying with friends and relatives. The biggest issue we have found with hotels is the laundry costs. Sometimes I wish we had our own place as a base to leave stuff and make is easily accessible. When we gave up our condo we put 15 boxes in a friends basement. In the past 6 months we have managed to live out of a carry on piece of luggage each.

    We love the freedom of this lifestyle and have 2014 scheduled for more of the same. Life is too short to be weighed down by stuff.

  39. It would add a new new twist to “your place or mine?”. What is the reaction when “your place” is a hotel.

  40. What you should do is get an old Chevy Astro Cargo van and put a mattress in the back and live in the Federal Way Walmart. Then you can go on Craigslist and find a long term storage/parking lot close to Seatac for maybe about $50 per month so you can park there when you go on trips.

  41. I absolutely understand the temptation of trying such an arrangement. I, however, am most struck by the sentiments you express in your third paragraph. I don’t think you should underestimate those concerns. There is no reason you can’t leave the Seattle area, and even try hotels for a few weeks in a new place short term. But I’d urge you to try a locale that appeals to you and then rent a modest apartment or share a house. Maybe you could even share with someone who doesn’t travel and also wants a dog! Life is not all about the points. Best of luck!

  42. @mike,
    how much do you estimate an old Chevy Astro Cargo van (for how many people) cost, if not too old and works well without frequent repair?

  43. Many extended stay hotels have laundry facilities for guests. If you don’t want to stay in one of those all the time, just stay periodically when it coincides with your laundry cycle.

    BTW I also lived in hotels for one summer about a decade ago. It was enjoyable for the short term but not sustainable (for me). Got “homesick” after a while.

  44. You could always try moving to a place with good public transportation, where you don’t need a car to get around.

    Also, PLEASE don’t move back to Florida. You have the freedom to go anywhere in the world, so for those of us who live vicariously through you, don’t make a choice of your own free will to go to the worst state in the country, in my humble opinion. Go literally anywhere else!

  45. Here is my suggestion.

    First pick your favorite cities. Say you love the coffee at Cafe Hawelka in Vienna, the spice market in Istanbul, the okonomiyaki in Shibuya in Tokyo, your pulled tea in Hong Kong etc. I would sayno more than six.

    Then do an AirBnB search in those cities and settle on a favorite apartment in each city. This way you get to know the neighborhood in each of those cities and can even modestly cook when you want to. You will then have upto six ” homes” .

    Your parents home would be your permanent mailing address and storage area.

    It does leave the problem of the Rimowa cases etc up in the air though.

    All the best

  46. I’ve had colleagues who did that for up to 4 years before settling down and getting an apartment. Do it for a year and see how you like it.

  47. They did drive a lot so they relied on storing a lot of stuff in their car. They did have hotels but weren’t above sleeping in the car if absolutely necessary. They were gamblers so comped rooms were commonly free but not always available.

  48. +1 to the idea of doing this short term to see where you might want to live permanently.

    My partner and I travel like that a lot like that, although we’re being dumb about it and not really capturing any of the value from our house sitting empty while were away. Having pets really holds you back.

  49. Sounds like a cool idea to me. Other people seem to have suggested some books to read, but have you read “The 4-Hour Workweek?”

    It has a few suggestions on how to make this sort of lifestyle work, and then there’s the whole “digital nomad” concept — there’s a lot of reading about that if you Google it.

  50. I’m 50 and have been living nomadically for about a year now. You might be surprised how freeing it can be to get rid of your stuff. “The more you give away, the lighter you become.” Also, it’s amazing how easy everything becomes once you get rid of all the bills. You have nothing to lose by trying it!

  51. Heh, that $31/night estimate sounds great. 2.5k a day is a shit load of spend, though. Bet you would get audit real quick.

  52. Stuart Falk, comment 28, nails it, I think. I suppose if it something you are genuinely curious about do it for six months as an adventure. But I would impose some time limits in advance. You have a fun and exotic life and should enjoy this nomadic phase while it lasts. But you don’t want to get so settled into a hit-the-road lifestyle that it becomes the only one you really know or are comfortable with. Relationships, a sense of place, the daily rhythms of life–these are better than upgrades and late check-out, as cool as those things are. Nothing succeeds like excess, and it is what makes this blog fun. But what you are contemplating does indeed sound excessively excessive.

  53. The guy who writes http://www.travelisfree.com appears to be living in hotels exactly as you describe.,.with his wife. The only thing that I would question is food…depending on where you are located, eating out all the time could get expensive, even if you’re getting free breakfast. I suppose you could load up at the breakfast buffet and skip lunch

  54. I find my self in a similar situation. I’ve been offered a job that would require me to spend 6 to 8 months in Baton Rouges(I live in CA). As of right now I have two options, take up residence in a hotel or rent an apartment for that time. Hotel will cost about $1400 a month where as apartments are $500-1500 a month.
    Hotel pros:
    Cleaning service
    No utilities
    Free transport to and from work.
    If I don’t like the neighbors I can switch rooms or hotels
    Apartment pros:
    I can get a dirt cheap one with min utilities, as I will be working 12hrs a day 6 days a week. So I will only be sleeping there.

  55. I spent the better part of 2 years with a “home” hotel for business. I was on a long term project in Nashville and negotiated a very nice deal with the local Hyatt Place in which I spent 4 nights a week, 50 weeks a year. In addition, since everyone knew me it felt like Norm walking into Cheers every week (if you are old enough to get the reference…). They kept my stuff every weekend when I went home and even arranged laundry over the weekend as well. Your situation would be different, but similar. I guarantee you that your CVI (customer value index) with Hyatt or any chain would skyrocket due to all the extra nights. Want to know how to get treated like royalty even when every other Diamond is being turned away? Then watch what happens when you spend the extra 120 nights a year (10 per month) at one chain. I have been there. The experience will be worth writing about; I guarantee it.

  56. How about getting a room at a friend’s apt or house? You can have all the things that you cherish (in a home) for a fraction of the cost and be able to share your experiences after you come back from your 80 hours around the world trips.

  57. I did this for about a year. Kinda fun. I used my parents address for everything and that wouldn’t be a bad idea since there’s no income tax in FL. I kept everything at my parents house up until I started med school, and now I’m stuck in one place for more than I’m used to.

    Granted I did this right out of college so suite upgrades ended up being fun for randomly organized parties/pub crawls too.

    I used a cheap storage locker near an airport for stuff and it worked out well. I also had a girl who was willing to do my laundry weekly, as long as I took her out once a month for dinner.

  58. I lived in Century Hyatt Tokyo for over six months while on a work assignment. Negotiated a good long-term rate which was cheaper than cut-rate apartments in central Tokyo. Hardest part was convincing Tokyo immigrations officials that the Hyatt was my “permanent address” — they kept thinking I didn’t understand the question. Hotel pretty much kept me in the same room, though occasionally bounced be to a mirror image room (which caused major disorientation for a few days).

    Had a very positive experience. Bought a couple of things to make my hotel room more comfortable (in the late 90’s this consisted of a VCR and an oscillating fan). When I would leave for meetings back at HQ, hotel would store those items for me and allow me to stash my underwear/socks/etc in safe deposit boxes. Would do my wash at local coin laundry a couple of blocks away. It was nice always having a clean room and fresh sheets. In retrospect, I might have been able to cut an even better deal if I agreed to housekeeping less frequently than every day.

    Upside was I ended up with a few gazillion Hyatt points and was treated very well at Hyatts around the world.

  59. @andy

    You can probably get a 2000-2005 Astro Cargo Van for around $4000 or so. The engines will last at least until 200,000 miles and they are pretty reliable. Probably good enough space for one person but if two or more, then a converted RV van at least would be needed.

  60. @lucky(21): I do not get why you need a car if you have an apartment and you do not need a car if you have a “home” hotel. Either way you need to travel to your “home” by either using a car or taxi/public transport. So whether you want/need a car only depends on the location and not of the type of accommodation.
    Another thing to consider that wasn’t mentioned yet as far as I see: When you have an apartment, you can just turn up whenever you want. For the hotel – at least if you want to get good rates – you need to plan and book ahead. (This is also in contrast to a lot of examples mentioned here: Booking a hotel for two months straight will give you much better rates than staying in 10 days every month on arbitrary dates.)

  61. Yes, we do this Lucky, and I think it’s great…
    Once you get over switching hotels every night! In fact, those feels of having a place, kind of happen when you are at a single hotel for two weeks or longer. This is key and absolutely wonderful.

    The money we save too, is outstanding, more than enough to spend on restaurants instead of cooking. I mean, if you’re frugal. Night based promotions, mistake fares, really great promotions like Big Win (imo), Point Breaks… anyone of these things and I book long stays.

    Also, my wife and I can alternate stays and stay in the same room if we want. Another way to do this is redeem points int he middle, or third party sites (ymmv), or whatever.

    So we end up chasing great deals, like PointBreaks and mistake fares.

    Try it for a year man. There are pros and cons. But for us the Pros far out weigh the cons. The fact is, we can see our families whenever we want. We can do what we want, live where we want, go where we want.

    And the last thing is Ben, you don’t have to stay in hotels if you don’t want to. Want to spend a month in SEA but hotel deals aren’t there? Hop on craigslist and get a sublet or short term lease. We haven’t done this, or housesitting yet… but do consider it.

    But… I’m bias and realize it’s not for everyone! But I have a hard time understanding who wouldn’t want to be in a 5* hotel, with a lounge and house keeping. :-p

  62. I personally found it was not for me. I sold my house with plans to build a new house. Tossed everything in storage. I already work elsewhere 23 days a month I thought what is the big deal.

    For me I found it awful not to have some place to come back to. Issues with government systems and bills make the process exhausting. On top of that I never felt settled. Never could pull together all the comforts of having something for me. I went forward and built my new house. Even though I am at best there 8 days a month I look forward to those 8 days. Cooking meals , having a place to entertain friends and guests overnight and just feeling settled.

    For me it just wasn’t an option,

  63. Hey Lucky. If you spend less than half your time at home, what about renting a car from SEA (or wherever) instead of owning one when you’re in town?

    The $ (and stress) cost of insurance, payments, depreciation, maintenance, parking etc might be more than just renting one, and plus it will always be parked for free at the airport waiting for you!

    I find big airport rentals are usually quite cheap…. like $150/week all in, especially off season, weekends etc.

  64. @drew

    Yes your hotel strategy would work for a couple. Unfortunately single people would have to check out every other day in order to get the stay counted as a new stay. Maybe just get late checkout and then do something all night and try to get early check in the alternate day. Probably have to have a gym membership at 24H Fitness to take a shower on the off day.

  65. I say go for it! I was staying at the hyatt house in Brookfield, CO last week and we discussed this exact thing. A Hyatt house would be perfect because they have a full size kitchen. Plus they have a separate living space. It was really pretty nice and has complimentary breakfast with made to order omlettes. It also has complimentary happy hour Monday through Thursday.

    I know that living in a hotel would be MUCH cheaper for us. When you include electric, gas, water, cable, Internet, trash, etc. plus you get daily maid service, free tea and coffee, shampoo/conditioner, etc. I think it’s a great idea!

  66. When I moved to Seattle I lived at the Belltown Inn for about a year while I figured out what I wanted to do. It was about $1500/month. They also had weekly rates. It was fun, and gives you a lot of flexibility. I stored a lot of my crap in the room and had the rest in storage. It isn’t a fancy hotel but it worked well for me.

  67. Surprised you don’t have all the women throwing themselves at you! You should just say, “Hey baby, wanna fly first class?”. 😉

    I know I’m a little late to the party, but I say go for it. I – myself – could easily do something like this. I do a fair bit of it as a business traveler myself, and I don’t even mind the “checking in/checking out next day” hassle to take advantage of a “stay” promotion. Plus, I’ve always been nomadic myself so this helps. I get ansy if I stay in a place for too long.

  68. Why don’t you rent out your room via airbnb when you are out of town? It will probably recoup your rental cost entirely, maybe even turn a little profit. Invest in a Heavenly bed, and throw in those nice toiletry that you collect from hotels, you will have a Luxury suite to rent out.

  69. Buy a house that has a mother-in-law unit. Rent out the house, keep the MiL for yourself. Your renter should cover the mortgage/taxes/etc. That way, you have a home base and it will be self sufficient.

    Alternately, maybe go on a cruise ship. Everything is included and you can get amazing last minute deals – which is pretty much how you roll…..

  70. We have been living in a nice serviced apartment in China for the last 2 years (family of 3) and we get to pay through Chase sapphire and rack up double points under “hotel” category. Living in a Hotel full time is a fabulous thought (we’ve seriously thought of moving to our local hyatt but there is no kitchen!) but if you factor in the limited space and maybe if you just want to cook a quick healthy meal, a serviced apartment “hotel” is perfect. 🙂

  71. I just found this idea extremely interesting because I live in Seattle as well. I would think Hilton-Seattle to be one of the ideal place to do this given their rate can be as low as $79 per night. Also, since Seattle has a great public transportation system( King County is cutting some bus routes next year though), I really don’t think you need a car. Just take bus or light rail whenever you need and find a nice hotel by Westlake station!

  72. Better check on the tax consequences. Didn’t you have a guest blogger last spring who spoke to this very subject? I seem to recall that if you’re always on the road, you can’t write off travel expenses…

  73. I live in hotels, not full time yet, but I spend two to three months a year living in hotels in vegas, laughlin, and flagstaff …most (all) have allowed me early/late check in/out so it usually isnt a problem being “homeless” between 11 and three…if between hotels I just find something to do.

  74. I started living in a hotel 7 weeks ago. I recently organized and cleaned out a very large property for a friend. I had lived there as well for 18 years. I helped the friend settle into assisted living, which was like a third job for a while, with all the paperwork, arrangements, interviews, site visits, etc. Unfortunately, my friend can no longer live independently. I knew this was coming, so had prepared mentally (as best I could). I had a lot of stress in my life the last 3 or 4 months. I gave away an incredible amount of stuff (lots of charitable donations for taxes this time), handled all the legal details of the closing, and slept very little.

    I realized I wanted to create a new chapter and try some new things. This is something I have thought about for about 3 or 4 years. I have also wanted to down-size A LOT (I am not into possessions anymore!). I am intrigued with findings ways to live more simply and to enjoy life more.

    So far, this is working well. I feel very liberated. I don’t have to worry about clearing snow out of the driveway, how much the heating oil costs this winter, taking care of all the maintenance (the place had 5+ acres and buildings that were falling down), and the roof is not coming in.

    I negotiated a great deal that the Hilton will honor for at least 6 months, if I want to stay that long. This is much cheaper than renting an apartment in this area and I don’t have to sign a 1 or 2 year lease. I have a small kitchen, free breakfast, breakfast guest passes for friends if I want (I just keep asking for things and they oblige!), gym and pool here, walking trails, etc. I am less than a mile from basic services (bank, PO where I now have a box, groceries, drug store, dry cleaners, bagels, delis, etc.).

    I have a nice large room, with a good view. I moved my office equipment here. I am going more paperless (although I can’t go totally paperless). I am more productive than I was in my old office. It is very pleasant working here and I have access to extra printers and other computers should I need them. I do a lot of writing in my work and conference calls, so this fits my needs quite well.

    I got a Westy storage area near by for the time being, but I plan to continue cleaning it out a bit at a time over the next several months. I stayed in the same area for a while, as I know where all services are and, with the dramatic changes that have happened to me the past few months (I won’t elaborate here), living at this hotel seemed the best approach for now.

    I will probably move to another hotel in 4 to 6 months. It will be in one of my possible future locations, so I can live in the area for a while and try it out. I think I may follow this approach for the next couple of years. This will enable me to spend 4 – 6 months in different places and really check them out, before I make a decision as to where I want my primary residence to be.

    There are a variety of conferences and groups at the hotel all the time. I have met several interesting people already and I am enjoying the ambiance. I view the lobby as my living room. I spend time there relaxing, working on my notebook or iPad if the mood strikes, or having friends over for drinks and appetizers.

    I have my own company, travel about 20% of the time, and I can work from almost anywhere. Moving out of this area was one of my goals when I started the company 4 years ago.

    I have wanted to move away from this area for many years. I am not sure where I want to locate for the next 10 years or so, but I decided to live in a hotel while I make decisions about my next move. I may live in more than 1 place. I have my eye on 4 or 5 areas I want to explore more. Maybe hotels will become my second residence on an ongoing basis.

    I’m looking forward to learning more and sharing info.

    Pat

  75. I trabel between Oregon and Washington very frequently. Thankfully, my company provides a free apartment where I am located most of the time. When in Washington, I always stay at the Larkspur in Renton. The value and kitchenette are big pluses.

  76. I have embarked on a similar journey. I’ve sold all of my belongings and reduced my possessions to a couple suitcases. I’ve rented a small studio to keep as a base, an official address, store what is left of my clothes & personal artifacts and as a place to unwind for a few weeks a year.

    My biggest concerns & annoyances about hotel living so far are:
    – terrible/expensive Internet wifi connections in some/most places – This can be solved by buying a local 4G sim card and a global travel wifi modem – still it cannot beat a great cable/fiber connection at home.
    – noisy hallways and neighbors – Lots of door slamming and sometimes annoying housekeepers despite the privacy signs
    – kitchen/fridge – I love to cook my own food sometimes or just buy something from the grocery store that’s too large to fit in a minibar. The solution would be to live in a apartment hotels but usually those do not offer as good location/standard/facilities are the large 4-5* chains.
    – laundry – $7 to clean socks.

  77. Well, this is the most strange article i have come accross so far. I can’t think of anything else to write but that you could travel the world around 60 times and never find the warmness and hapiness of a home and family. Thats it. No big secret treasures hidden somewhere out there.
    Regards,
    Panos.

  78. I am living Monday to Friday in a hotel in a city where i work and weekends back to my apartment. But, as I am relatively young lady (30), having very succesful career and I love to live unusual and to experiment, i have been living all around the world for eg in a hut in Zimbabwe… So I decided i will quit the apartment that i use 8 days a month and fully live in a hotel hihi. I really like this lifestyle, daily cleaning, free breakfast, hotel pub and beers one min walk :))) People ask: dont you miss home? But come on, i had safe home as kid with family, as student with friends and probably later on my own family, I love being connected with people but right now I couldnt be happier with my comfortable but eccentric lifestyle 🙂 All the best

  79. I live in hotels around 23 – 26 days a month because of my job. I’ve been doing this for a little more than 10 months now, and I must say I actually really enjoy it. Back home I rent an appartement with my brother, be he basically lives there alone since I’m there for a week at the most in a month. You do get used to living this way, out of a large suitcase. I really enjoy being able to visit and see new places all the time, but I do prefer staying at least a few days in one place. After a while you find a good rhythm, packing up, packing down, checking in,checking out etc. Will I be doing this forever, probably not, but certainly for a few years I guess.

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