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Weekly Commuting

Posted: Tue Apr 10, 2018 11:11 pm
by IoTfela
Hi,

Wanted to hear from folks who do weekly commuting for work. We are DINKS in late 30s and have a very comfortable home in SoCAl, Recently got an opportunity in the bay area which is too good to pass in terms of career advancement and compensation. The plan would be for me to rent an apartment in bay area and and then on Thu/Friday evening fly down to Socal and fly back on Monday morning. My spouse could eventually move to bay area aswell but i want to wait and see how the new job goes before she moves--initially thinking of 6-1 yr before we make that move. Ran the numbers and we overall come ahead. Any tips/insights from folks who have done similar arrangement?
TIA

Re: Weekly Commuting

Posted: Tue Apr 10, 2018 11:36 pm
by Dilbydog
I’ve done something similar, Vegas to the BayArea every week. Get TSA Pre check if you havent already. Use laundry service, becoming a more common job perk in he greater SJ area, so you’re not doing laundry on your weekends at home. Do as much of your busy work as you can while you’re remote, so you can maximize time with your spouse.

Find something to do with your time while remote. Put in long hours, take a class, something, otherwise you just stare at the walls.

Re: Weekly Commuting

Posted: Wed Apr 11, 2018 12:25 am
by TTBG
Use Southwest. You could book 1-way flights a couple of months in advance whenever they have a sale. Then you'll have some flexibility to make last minute changes since Southwest doesn't charge change fees (you'd have to pay the regular ticket price of course which is probably higher at the last minute).

+1 on getting TSA PreCheck.

Re: Weekly Commuting

Posted: Wed Apr 11, 2018 12:28 am
by bstewie
TTBG wrote: Wed Apr 11, 2018 12:25 am Use Southwest. You could book 1-way flights a couple of months in advance whenever they have a sale. Then you'll have some flexibility to make last minute changes since Southwest doesn't charge change fees (you'd have to pay the regular ticket price of course which is probably higher at the last minute).

+1 on getting TSA PreCheck.
Funny, just typing: avoid southwest 100% of the time, assuming you like being home on time (if at all).

OP, find a professional with a room for rent and save a few dollars while figuring out the big picture plan.

Re: Weekly Commuting

Posted: Wed Apr 11, 2018 1:00 am
by HEDGEFUNDIE
Definitely doable. Get an apartment walking distance to the office so you don’t need rental car. Or get the cheapest car lease you can find (<$100).

Alaska Airlines waives change fees for high tier elites, they status match other airlines, or you can just email them and ask for a status challenge.

Re: Weekly Commuting

Posted: Wed Apr 11, 2018 10:47 am
by IoTfela
thanks. Please keep them coming. Southwest will be the preferred airlines given the number of flights and ease of changing reservation--little concerned by the on time comment. On the car, i plan to take one of my cars there. On the laundry--never thought about it :happy --how much does it generally cost to wash/dry and iron (shirts only)?--i am seeing $1-$3 per lb online. I have never gotten my clothes washes outside... alternate would be to get apartment with W/D--but are about $200-300 more expensive.

Re: Weekly Commuting

Posted: Wed Apr 11, 2018 11:57 am
by mega317
One consideration, are you going to furnish the apartment? What about TV, internet, kitchen supplies, etc. If you haven't considered all of that it might change the math a bit.

My wife did something like this for a while, though not every week. She had good luck with AirBNB which avoided the above considerations, plus when she found one that really worked, she struck a deal with the owner offline for a solid discount. For 4-5 nights per week it could come out similar to renting a place.

Re: Weekly Commuting

Posted: Wed Apr 11, 2018 12:02 pm
by dm200
Could you alternate which of you does the weekend commute?

Re: Weekly Commuting

Posted: Wed Apr 11, 2018 12:07 pm
by Pajamas
IoTfela wrote: Wed Apr 11, 2018 10:47 am -how much does it generally cost to wash/dry and iron (shirts only)?--i am seeing $1-$3 per lb online.
Per lb. is usually for wash/dry/fold. For button-front shirts that need to be laundered and ironed, the cost will probably be $2-4 each, boxed or on hangers.

Use a permanent marker to put your name and phone number and customer number inside even if the laundry irons on a label.

Re: Weekly Commuting

Posted: Wed Apr 11, 2018 4:04 pm
by IoTfela
dm200 wrote: Wed Apr 11, 2018 12:02 pm Could you alternate which of you does the weekend commute?
yep. planning on Spouse traveling up once a month :happy

Re: Weekly Commuting

Posted: Wed Apr 11, 2018 4:07 pm
by IoTfela
Have already enrolled in TSA pre. on the credit card strategy, i already have the Chase Sapphire reserve that gives 3x points for every dollar spent and i looked at the southwest card and it seems to give 2 points--so thinking of sticking to CSR for now--(will also have to unfreeze/freeze credit) Anything that i am missing by not getting the southwest credit card?

TIA

Re: Weekly Commuting

Posted: Wed Apr 11, 2018 6:05 pm
by AndroAsc
I don't understand how you come out ahead in the numbers? You have to rent an apt in the Bay Area and keeping your house. That's two housing payments + weekly airfare. I'm really confused in what universe does this make sense?

Re: Weekly Commuting

Posted: Wed Apr 11, 2018 6:40 pm
by cockersx3
Just got done commuting across the country for a year-long work assignment, with my company paying for an apartment at the host site and commuting as you suggested. Agree with everyone on Pre-Check and the use of SWA. I've actually had great luck with Southwest in terms of on-time performance. Make sure to sign up with their frequent flyer program (Rapid Rewards) - they offer free early-bird check-in and a 25% bonus on points once you hit 35K points or 25 one-way trips IIRC , which it looks like you may hit. They also offer same-day standby for tier members which is convenient in case you have the ability to sneak out earlier than planned occassionaly.

Regarding laundry - I would do everything humanly possible to avoid taking luggage back and forth with you. Unless you're planning to carry everything on with you (and lug it through security, and through the airport, etc) you'll chew up valuable time dropping off and picking up luggage. I would try to find an apartment with a washer/dryer if possible, since doing laundry remotely isn't that bad - start washer load at night, throw in dryer before heading to work, repeat as necessary. Getting laundry service is another option, but I've gotta think that this gets expensive over time. Is it possible to share an apartment with someone in the Bay area? As fast as that area is growing, seems like finding a roommate wouldn't be too difficult.

If you don't already have one, get yourself a tablet and a good set of over-the-ear noise-cancelling headphones for the plane trips. I found it useful to load up on podcasts for the flights, makes the time in the air feel like less of a waste. ( I was never able to do much work on the plane).

I had wifi access at my apartment, so I ended up picking up a FireTV stick and used it to watch TV after work - usually just for the background noise. Don't forget to bring chargers for any electronics you bring back and forth - I ended up leaving one at the apartment rather than constantly bringing it back and forth with me.

Try to do what you can to eat healthy - hard to cook for only one person, and it's easy to revert to convenience foods after putting in long days. I ended up getting lots of cereal and fruit, and avoided fast food which helps.

Re: Weekly Commuting

Posted: Wed Apr 11, 2018 6:47 pm
by cockersx3
Oh, and don't forget to wash your hands frequently when you're in the airport. I always wash up after getting through security, after landing, and also immediately after getting to my destination (assuming the trip involves a shuttle bus). I did that and never got sick even after a years worth of travelling.... :D

Re: Weekly Commuting

Posted: Wed Apr 11, 2018 7:58 pm
by HEDGEFUNDIE
AndroAsc wrote: Wed Apr 11, 2018 6:05 pm I don't understand how you come out ahead in the numbers? You have to rent an apt in the Bay Area and keeping your house. That's two housing payments + weekly airfare. I'm really confused in what universe does this make sense?
The universe where Bay Area tech companies pay $200k to kids fresh out of college.

Re: Weekly Commuting

Posted: Wed Apr 11, 2018 8:03 pm
by Murgatroyd
Did this for 4 years. It was fine for 18 months or so and then got REAL OLD. I don’t care if I ever see an airplane again.

Re: Weekly Commuting

Posted: Wed Apr 11, 2018 8:22 pm
by Iliketoridemybike
cockersx3 wrote: Wed Apr 11, 2018 6:47 pm Oh, and don't forget to wash your hands frequently when you're in the airport. I always wash up after getting through security, after landing, and also immediately after getting to my destination (assuming the trip involves a shuttle bus). I did that and never got sick even after a years worth of travelling.... :D
We use disinfecting wipes to clean off the armrests, tray tables etc. We get odd looks, but never have gotten sick after a flight.

Re: Weekly Commuting

Posted: Wed Apr 11, 2018 8:37 pm
by dandinsac
I fly from Sacramento to SoCal every few weeks. I have switched to JetBlue for price, leg room, and reserved seats. Southwest is typically $75-100 more expensive. Downside of JetBlue is that they have fewer flights. Transportation or airport parking is another cost you'll need to manage.

Re: Weekly Commuting

Posted: Wed Apr 11, 2018 9:07 pm
by 123
I've done similar business travel weekly for 3 months at times between the Bay Area and Southern California. Short flights, Southwest works great. Leave home and fly Monday morning and return home Thursday evening or Friday afternoon. Gets to be an easy routine.

Re: Weekly Commuting

Posted: Wed Apr 11, 2018 10:41 pm
by IoTfela
cockersx3 wrote: Wed Apr 11, 2018 6:40 pm Just got done commuting across the country for a year-long work assignment, with my company paying for an apartment at the host site and commuting as you suggested. Agree with everyone on Pre-Check and the use of SWA. I've actually had great luck with Southwest in terms of on-time performance. Make sure to sign up with their frequent flyer program (Rapid Rewards) - they offer free early-bird check-in and a 25% bonus on points once you hit 35K points or 25 one-way trips IIRC , which it looks like you may hit. They also offer same-day standby for tier members which is convenient in case you have the ability to sneak out earlier than planned occassionaly.

Regarding laundry - I would do everything humanly possible to avoid taking luggage back and forth with you. Unless you're planning to carry everything on with you (and lug it through security, and through the airport, etc) you'll chew up valuable time dropping off and picking up luggage. I would try to find an apartment with a washer/dryer if possible, since doing laundry remotely isn't that bad - start washer load at night, throw in dryer before heading to work, repeat as necessary. Getting laundry service is another option, but I've gotta think that this gets expensive over time. Is it possible to share an apartment with someone in the Bay area? As fast as that area is growing, seems like finding a roommate wouldn't be too difficult.

If you don't already have one, get yourself a tablet and a good set of over-the-ear noise-cancelling headphones for the plane trips. I found it useful to load up on podcasts for the flights, makes the time in the air feel like less of a waste. ( I was never able to do much work on the plane).

I had wifi access at my apartment, so I ended up picking up a FireTV stick and used it to watch TV after work - usually just for the background noise. Don't forget to bring chargers for any electronics you bring back and forth - I ended up leaving one at the apartment rather than constantly bringing it back and forth with me.

Try to do what you can to eat healthy - hard to cook for only one person, and it's easy to revert to convenience foods after putting in long days. I ended up getting lots of cereal and fruit, and avoided fast food which helps.
thank you. very helpful.

Re: Weekly Commuting

Posted: Thu Apr 12, 2018 1:25 am
by quantAndHold
I did this for a year, San Diego to SJC. The company put me up in an extended stay hotel. Once I found a room I liked, the hotel put me in the same room every time. I got a membership to the Planet Fitness next to the office so that I didn’t just sit in the hotel alone eating pizza and watching HBO. My coworkers had family and lives of their own, and after the first week or so, at the end of the workday, they went home, and I was still...there.

I was able to expense stuff, so I left my laundry at the dry cleaners on the way to work on Thursday morning and picked it up Monday after work so I didn’t have to carry much luggage, left my car parked in the lot at the San Diego airport, and had Hertz Gold. If you can’t expense stuff, you’ll need workarounds for all of that.

It was okay for awhile, but I was pretty much always exhausted. I was up really early on Monday, never slept that well at the hotel. Every Thursday it was a battle to get the rental car back through traffic and make the plane, and I would get home at 9:30 Thursday night and have to go into my local office on Friday. I would recover from the travel about Sunday, then I’d head out again on Monday morning. My wife hated it because she was trying to hold down the fort at home by herself.

After a year of this they closed the office and I got laid off. I wasn’t too upset. After that when there was travel involved, I usually got someone else to do it.

The next time I got an offer like that, we just moved, but kept our Souhern California house in case it didn’t work out. That worked better for us.

Re: Weekly Commuting

Posted: Thu Apr 12, 2018 12:44 pm
by IoTfela
thanks all.
Are the commuting expenses deductible (airfare/uber/ etc?)

Re: Weekly Commuting

Posted: Thu Apr 12, 2018 1:25 pm
by atomicrc11
I did a long distance work arrangement such a this. It wasn't the Bay Area, so I don't know how it will compare price wise but for me, it was just cheaper and easier to stay in a long term stay hotel. No leases and it is furnished, has cable/internet, they clean the room for you, provide you towels and you still have a small kitchen in which to cook should you so desire. It takes a lot of things off your plate while you are working. I even got plenty of hotel points and status out the deal, which lead to an awesome vacation a year later.

If you try this route check out the hotel sites for prices, but don't stop there. Contact the individual hotels and ask if they will give you a discount for monthly stays. My rate was well below the daily rate listed on the hotel site. Just ask for the business manager or similar title and see what they can offer.