Tips For Planning A Comfortable Long Term Hotel Stay
Traveling for work can often upend our normal living situations for extended periods of time. Whether you’re staying in a hotel room or in corporate housing, planning ahead can help you adjust to your new surroundings and maintain your daily routine as best as possible.
This article will show you how to make hotel living easier, and make it feel more like home.
Which Type Of Room Should You Book?
Most travelers only intend to stay in hotels for a few nights at a time. Overnight bookings are by far the most common types of hotel stays.
An extended stay refers to a booking that lasts longer than a week or two, so that would be the best choice here.
Many hotels offer extended-stay guests special long-term or corporate travel hotel rates that are often less expensive than the normal daily rate of an overnight stay.
In some metropolitan areas, the total monthly rate of the room and included services make it a cheaper option than a one-bedroom apartment rental, providing balanced travel expenses and discount travel options.
Some hotel chains, such as the Home2 Suites by Hilton, are specially designed for travelers wanting extended stays.
These can include extra perks included in the nightly rate, such as:
- Unlimited Wi-Fi
- Daily housekeeping
- Laundry service
- Continental breakfast
- Swimming pool
- Fitness center
If you are looking for an extended stay in a normal hotel, you likely won’t be able to do so using typical booking sites. As a Lodging Performance Network (LPN) for business bookings, Hotel Engine’s Project Services team can arrange your extended stay with the hotel as a complimentary service.
However, remember that not all hotels offer long term stays.
Hotels in very busy tourist areas, for example, that have a high demand for rooms, may not allow guests to book extra-long visits. The length of stay allowed at hotels also depends upon local laws and tax regulations in your area.
Is It Less Expensive To Rent An Apartment?
Sometimes, but not always.
An LPN like Hotel Engine can negotiate a lower rate for your extended stay in a hotel.
Amassing rewards points accrues free nights, and credit card points add up as well.
When you add utilities plus coffee and breakfast to the average cost of a small apartment, a hotel will often come out to be about the same or less expensive.
Also, most states have an occupancy tax or a hotel tax, which is included in the total price of renting a hotel room. However, this tax can be waived after a certain number of nights at the same hotel. For instance, California does not charge an occupancy tax on extended stays lasting longer than 30 days.
What Should I Bring For A Long Term Stay?
This will differ if you are staying in an extended stay hotel or in a standard hotel room.
Here’s an overview of what to bring to your home away from home.
Cooking And Eating In A Hotel Room
Keeping up with eating balanced meals and fresh foods will help you feel better while you’re staying in a hotel for a lot of time. You don’t have to rely completely on pizza delivery or fast food.
Takeout and grocery delivery companies like DoorDash and UberEats are now servicing most areas, bringing you more options for having healthy meals delivered. Many hotels also have room service.
You can also prepare salads, sandwiches and other cold meals in your room. And if you have a kitchenette, you can cook hot meals as well.
To help plan ahead for your meal prep, check out what appliances your room includes.
Making And Storing Food At An Extended Stay Hotel
Many extended stay hotels include small kitchens with refrigerators, plates, cutlery, cups and glasses.
Extended Stay America even offers small appliances, pots and pans and other kitchenware upon request.
Making And Storing Food In A Hotel Or Motel
Most hotels now have rooms with microwaves and half-height refrigerator/freezers.
The hotel may furnish you with cutlery, a glass and a plate. A small appliance for making coffee and tea will be present also.
Depending on the hotel, you may have access to continental or full breakfasts in a common area in the mornings.
The Best Snacks For Long Hotel Stays
While hotel room service and takeout can be delicious, it can often be very expensive, and the cost may soon outweigh the novelty.
And you definitely can’t get by just eating snacks out of vending machines.
Bringing your own snacks saves you money, and ensures that you have access to nutritious food.
Fresh fruit, yogurt cups and granola bars are all great options for snacks that you can keep in your hotel room to keep you away from vending machine junk food. These are great options not only because they are nutritious, but also because they don’t require any cooking.
If you drink soda, buy a six-pack and keep it in your room.
Housekeeping may not visit every day, so avoid munching on anything that leaves a lot of crumbs on the floor or bed. Tidiness goes a long way toward happiness in a small space.
Everyday Essentials For Extended Stays
If you are going to be living in a hotel for an extended stay, it’s a good idea to bring everyday essentials that your hotel may not provide a lot of:
- Toiletries – Most hotels provide guests with shampoo, conditioner and bar soap during their stay. However, you may want to bring your own full-size versions of these items. That way, you can use your own preferred products, which will keep you feeling your best.
- Laundry items – Your extended stay hotel may have an on-site laundry facility for your convenience. Bring your own laundry detergent and fabric softener, as well as a laundry bag or basket for transporting your items.
- Medicines and first aid – Be sure to pack all the medicines you take on a daily basis. Also, think ahead to anything you might need — like allergy medicine or ibuprofen for headaches. Cold and allergy medicine may also come in handy. And while your hotel will be able to provide most first-aid items, it never hurts to keep a pack of bandaids on hand in case of blisters or minor injuries.
Forgot to pack something? You’ll likely be able to get Amazon deliveries to your hotel! Just double check with the front desk.
Bringing a few personal items can make your hotel living space more cozy and comfortable.
You might consider bringing some of these:
- Family photos
- Supplies for your favorite hobby, like craft materials
- Your streaming device (check and see what entertainment options will be included with your room first)
- Favorite pillow or throw blanket
- Gaming console and needed cables
- Exercise mat and/or small set of weights (especially if your hotel doesn’t have a gym) for healthy travel
- White noise machine to help you sleep
- Religious, spiritual or educational materials you use often
Take Advantage Of The Outdoors And Neighborhood
Be sure to get as much sunlight and fresh air as you would at home.
Get to know the property by taking a walk around the outside as well as visiting common areas like the pool, gym and business center. Bring a book to the pool (even in the off season) and settle in for a good read. Some properties even provide a grill and a picnic area. Check with the front desk for grilling utensils and supplies.
Find out more about the neighborhood as well. The local library will allow you to sit comfortably to read and may even give you a temporary card. There may be local exercise or hobbyist classes as well.
Can I Stay In An Extended Stay Hotel With My Pet?
A lot of people would agree that they couldn’t go weeks without their furry companions.
Thankfully, pet-friendly hotels are on the rise, adding to the growing list of hotel amenities that are becoming more popular as the hotel industry evolves and changes.
Finding Pet-Friendly Extended Stay Hotels
Most booking platforms, like Hotel Engine, have search filters that you can use to browse only hotels that are pet-friendly. However, even if a property comes up in your search, it’s smart to double-check the policy before you reserve.
Make sure the hotel’s pet policy includes your type of pet, and that the room you’ve booked is pet-friendly. Hotels may also have different policies in place for extended stays than for overnight stays.
Additional things to look for in the hotel policy include:
- Any additional fees that the hotel might charge when bringing a pet for your extended stay
- Weight limits on larger animals
- How long your pet is allowed to remain in the room unattended
It’s a good idea to book in advance if you’re looking for a pet-friendly hotel to ensure that you have as many options as possible.
Making Your Pet Comfortable & Safe Living In A Hotel
Even if your hotel room is comfortable for you, your pet might not feel so comfortable when coming to live in a new place.
To keep your pet less stressed while they get used to their new living arrangement, it is recommended that you not leave your pet alone in the room for the first day or two of your stay.
Keeping the volume on your television low, as well as reducing other excess noise in the room, can also help your pet to feel more comfortable.
If your pet has a bed, blankets or toys that they are familiar with, bring them with you to the hotel and find a place where your pet feels safe and comfortable to place them. This can be in a quiet corner, between the bed and the wall or even inside the bathroom, away from doors and windows.
Being considerate of other guests while living in a hotel room with your pet is also important.
Making sure your pet is trained to keep quiet indoors can help prevent other guests from being disturbed during their stay. The hotel will greatly appreciate this as well.
Especially when you’re traveling for work, it’s important to make yourself comfortable in your hotel room so that you can fully relax in your free time and start your days feeling refreshed.
Following the tips above will allow you to recreate some of the comforts of home while you’re away, helping you stay focused and productive.
Audrey Fairbrother is the Content and SEO Manager at Hotel Engine. She spends her days writing about all things business travel, researching topics that are important to Hotel Engine’s audience and cultivating the company’s brand voice. When she’s not working, Audrey enjoys spending time with her family, and hiking in the nearby Rockies with her dog, Albie.