What I’ve Learned From Living In Hotels

Filed Under: Advice

I’ve been living out of hotels for almost a year now, and have mixed emotions about the entire experience. I’m working on a more in-depth post, but it’s tough to distill such a big life change into something readable. So that’s a work in progress.

In the meantime, I put together a quick list of some of the main things I’ve realized from living out of my suitcase over on USA Today Travel’s new Road Warrior Voices blog…

I get messages every day asking about the laundry situation, in particular, so hopefully this is helpful for some of you!


  1. Lay out what you think you need and then take half is dead on. A woman I used to work with started the Six Items or Less movement – pick six pieces of clothing, and that’s it for 30 days. A pair of jeans, couple of t-shirts, etc. Most of us wear the same few things, even when we have giant closets filled with stuff. Think of how much easier it’d be boarding planes if those wheelies weren’t stuffed to the gills.

  2. I spent a year doing this – get a quality 2nd portable charger for your smartphone. It’s invaluable for all the times you’ll use it for travel, banking, podcasting, news, email, etc. Make friends with the bag storage guys; it’s amazing how things can disappear & my corollary to that is find out what front desk people go that extra mile and keep an eye out for you. In return be good with your tips because they learn real quick who takes them for granted.

  3. Ben,

    Andreas has asked this before; same question (https://onemileatatime.com/2013/10/22/live-in-hotels-full-time/comment-page-1/#comment-1258022): have you read the infamous Paul Carr’s book, The Upgrade: A Cautionary Tale of a Life Without Reservations on the topic of living in hotels, at least in retrospect?

    Amazon reviewer: “I enjoyed this book much more than Bringing Nothing to the Party, in part because in between the tales of drunken excess, there’s several pretty practical tips for how to actually afford to live in hotels full-time on a writer’s salary. Though perhaps not the point of the book, it was an interesting insight.”

    I also wonder how your comfort level/budget compares to his. He bargained heavily.

  4. I am on a long-term construction project and live in a hotel. I love it. For me it is much better than having an apartment. I pay $700 a month which sounds like a lot. But I have no electric bill no cable bill no internet bill no lease no hassles. The hotel is very clean on the inside and out and centerally located. There is a pool laundry services daily maid service and 24/7 maintenance service. In addition I am within walking distance or at most a 10-minute drive for anything I need including shopping dining entertainment and banking services. Yes the room is somewhat small at about 450 square feet but is cozily furnished and very comfortable. The staff is very nice here. It is great to come home from work to a cleaned place with fresh towels toilet tissue ect. There is also a pool and laundry facilities. I explained my needs and circumstances to the owner manager of the hotel when I checked in so they gave me a ground-floor room as I requested in a quiet section of the hotel. I negotiated the monthly rate the owner-manager was happy to accommodate me. I consider Hotel living very carefree and I would highly recommend it. I realize everyones circumstances are different though hotel living is an option certainly worth exploring.

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