Home away from home

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epilnk
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Home away from home

Post by epilnk » Wed Sep 19, 2018 9:35 pm

My husband recently took a job requiring one week per month in another city, requiring a fairly long flight. His company will put him up in an extended stay hotel during those weeks but I would like to make this as comfortable and convenient as possible.

People who regularly travel to a second location for work, where do you live? How do you make this lifestyle less stressful? Any tips for making this work?

JBTX
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Re: Home away from home

Post by JBTX » Wed Sep 19, 2018 10:07 pm

epilnk wrote:
Wed Sep 19, 2018 9:35 pm
My husband recently took a job requiring one week per month in another city, requiring a fairly long flight. His company will put him up in an extended stay hotel during those weeks but I would like to make this as comfortable and convenient as possible.

People who regularly travel to a second location for work, where do you live? How do you make this lifestyle less stressful? Any tips for making this work?
I'd usually stay in a hotel. May or may not rent a car, depending on if it is downtown or in burbs. Eat out. It isn't terribly complicated.

Best thing is to be able to travel with as little as possible, although in this case you'll need clothes for a week. See if eligible for TSA pre register. Get wrinkle free shirts/slacks that don't wrinkle as much - he'll still probably have to do minor ironing, or else hang clothes in bathroom and run hot water in shower (not ecologically friendly, but effective!) but hotels usually have iron.

mouses
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Re: Home away from home

Post by mouses » Wed Sep 19, 2018 10:14 pm

I'm thinking maybe get an apartment if the company would fork out for that? 1/4 of his life is a lot of time to spend in a hotel.

Or he might make an arrangement with the extended stay hotel to leave some clothes, etc., there, have them cleaned, to minimize what he has to carry back and forth.

(Already I am thinking that job sucks. I had to travel that much for a job and I burned out pretty quickly.)

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ResearchMed
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Re: Home away from home

Post by ResearchMed » Wed Sep 19, 2018 10:39 pm

mouses wrote:
Wed Sep 19, 2018 10:14 pm
I'm thinking maybe get an apartment if the company would fork out for that? 1/4 of his life is a lot of time to spend in a hotel.

Or he might make an arrangement with the extended stay hotel to leave some clothes, etc., there, have them cleaned, to minimize what he has to carry back and forth.

(Already I am thinking that job sucks. I had to travel that much for a job and I burned out pretty quickly.)
Yes, have him find a place where he can leave a couple of suitcases, and have that include clothing and perhaps some toiletries, etc.

The nicer places (I doubt the company would spring for this level/$$) would have his clothing all pressed and hanging in the closet when he arrived, and pack up for him.
But if he uses long folding bags, he should be able to keep many things just hanging up, and keep them on hangers, etc.

Try to think of a few things to keep there that would be a bit "homey"... a few photos, a knick knack or two, something so it doesn't feel totally like a sterile... extended stay motel/hotel...
Perhaps a special down pillow, for example, if that's what you use at home, for comfort.

See if he can get the company to go a bit upscale (I obviously have no idea what level is being considered), if he's going to be spending 1/4 of his life there, and after a long trip.

Will you be able to join him occasionally?

Now that I'm retired, DH prefers that I accompany him on most business trips, except overnighters.
Even if he has dinner meetings, it's still nicer (for both of us, of course).
The work that I do is on my laptop, which I just bring with me, so it's pretty much the same for me.
Yes, we have to pay for my airfare and meals, but we don't eat expensive meals except very occasionally.
And the airfares aren't much. The occasional long-haul, he pays cash and gets reimbursed; I use awards.

Is this for the indefinite future?

RM
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Dottie57
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Re: Home away from home

Post by Dottie57 » Wed Sep 19, 2018 10:41 pm

mouses wrote:
Wed Sep 19, 2018 10:14 pm
I'm thinking maybe get an apartment if the company would fork out for that? 1/4 of his life is a lot of time to spend in a hotel.

Or he might make an arrangement with the extended stay hotel to leave some clothes, etc., there, have them cleaned, to minimize what he has to carry back and forth.

(Already I am thinking that job sucks. I had to travel that much for a job and I burned out pretty quickly.)
How about making sure the hotel has decent amenities -exercise room, pool etc. if he likes to read - a kindle paper white.

I think an apartment is out of the question.

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Watty
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Re: Home away from home

Post by Watty » Wed Sep 19, 2018 11:34 pm

epilnk wrote:
Wed Sep 19, 2018 9:35 pm
People who regularly travel to a second location for work, where do you live? How do you make this lifestyle less stressful? Any tips for making this work?
I have never been in that situation but if he does a things like yard work and repairs around the house then you might start doing those when he is out of town or use a lawn service and a handyman so that he does not have a weeks worth of chores waiting for him when he returns.

Eating when you are on the road and someone else is paying for it can be a health challenge so he needs to watch out for that.

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epilnk
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Re: Home away from home

Post by epilnk » Wed Sep 19, 2018 11:38 pm

ResearchMed wrote:
Wed Sep 19, 2018 10:39 pm

Yes, have him find a place where he can leave a couple of suitcases, and have that include clothing and perhaps some toiletries, etc.

The nicer places (I doubt the company would spring for this level/$$) would have his clothing all pressed and hanging in the closet when he arrived, and pack up for him.
But if he uses long folding bags, he should be able to keep many things just hanging up, and keep them on hangers, etc.

Will you be able to join him occasionally?

RM
Will extended stay hotels allow regulars to store some things between trips? If so, that might be a good solution. Is this common, or is an amenity that is only offered by certain places? How do you go about finding a place that offers this?

We still have kids in school so I won't be joining him.

Career wise this is a pretty good position if we can keep the logistics from burning him out. He's working more for the benefits than the salary - one of our kids has expensive medical needs, keeping him a health insurance slave and keeping me at home. The travel isn't that much more than he has done at times in the past, but the 3 weeks at home are highly flexible with almost no commute so it may be a net gain. But yes it's a lot of time away from home and family, and that's going to get old.

Topic Author
epilnk
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Re: Home away from home

Post by epilnk » Wed Sep 19, 2018 11:44 pm

mouses wrote:
Wed Sep 19, 2018 10:14 pm
I'm thinking maybe get an apartment if the company would fork out for that? 1/4 of his life is a lot of time to spend in a hotel.
We are definitely thinking about whether we could manage that in the long run, once he's settled into the position and knows the city a bit better. We'd have to see what the company would support. But it's a high COL city and real estate has been very hot the last few years, so even a studio wouldn't be cheap.

sailaway
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Re: Home away from home

Post by sailaway » Wed Sep 19, 2018 11:48 pm

We recently stayed at a Staybridge hotel that had storage units in the building. At the time we wondered about that, but perhaps this is precisely for this kind of guest?

I think a decent hotel is better than an apartment, if only for the housekeeping.

One thing my parents did when Dad started travelling more was to get matching stuffed animals. Corny, but it was something to remind each of the other every night.

Topic Author
epilnk
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Re: Home away from home

Post by epilnk » Wed Sep 19, 2018 11:50 pm

Watty wrote:
Wed Sep 19, 2018 11:34 pm

I have never been in that situation but if he does a things like yard work and repairs around the house then you might start doing those when he is out of town or use a lawn service and a handyman so that he does not have a weeks worth of chores waiting for him when he returns.

Eating when you are on the road and someone else is paying for it can be a health challenge so he needs to watch out for that.
He won't stay anywhere without a kitchen due to health issues. We have a guy who does all the lawns in the neighborhood (small properties) and most of the other outside chores are mine. But no handyman. It would break his heart to come home and not have a week's worth of home repairs waiting for him. :happy

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ResearchMed
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Re: Home away from home

Post by ResearchMed » Thu Sep 20, 2018 6:45 am

epilnk wrote:
Wed Sep 19, 2018 11:38 pm
ResearchMed wrote:
Wed Sep 19, 2018 10:39 pm

Yes, have him find a place where he can leave a couple of suitcases, and have that include clothing and perhaps some toiletries, etc.

The nicer places (I doubt the company would spring for this level/$$) would have his clothing all pressed and hanging in the closet when he arrived, and pack up for him.
But if he uses long folding bags, he should be able to keep many things just hanging up, and keep them on hangers, etc.

Will you be able to join him occasionally?

RM
Will extended stay hotels allow regulars to store some things between trips? If so, that might be a good solution. Is this common, or is an amenity that is only offered by certain places? How do you go about finding a place that offers this?

We still have kids in school so I won't be joining him.

Career wise this is a pretty good position if we can keep the logistics from burning him out. He's working more for the benefits than the salary - one of our kids has expensive medical needs, keeping him a health insurance slave and keeping me at home. The travel isn't that much more than he has done at times in the past, but the 3 weeks at home are highly flexible with almost no commute so it may be a net gain. But yes it's a lot of time away from home and family, and that's going to get old.
First, if he'll need a kitchen (or at least a little kitchenette), then a regular hotel probably wouldn't work anyway.

Someone else already mentioned "storage units". I suspect your husband isn't alone in "returning frequently".
Note that this might make him a particularly valued guest, if he'll be filling a room/mini-suite 1/4 of the hotel/motel's time, so try to get some extras at no cost OR with cost included so HE (and you!) isn't the one paying.
Also, once they know him, they also will continue knowing that he's a responsible guest, and don't need to fret about the condition of the room after he leaves, etc. That IS of some value. (We've been in the hospitality business with vacation rental cabins... one "never knows"...!)
Call around and ask what they can/will offer such a guest.

And yes, things like little stuffed animals (with mate at home) will help. ANYTHING that puts an extra smile on his or your faces!

I also agree that he probably shouldn't be dealing with housecleaning. So even if it's not daily, at least he doesn't need to clean/do linens during his stay or before the next stay.

RM
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MDfive21
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Re: Home away from home

Post by MDfive21 » Fri Sep 21, 2018 7:57 am

i find that keeping myself full of healthy food is the biggest challenge on the road. if i don't have the sort of food i'm used to, i just don't feel good.

stay in a residence inn or some other property with a full kitchen. full size fridge and an oven. pick a location near a good grocery store, preferably walking distance.

northtexan
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Re: Home away from home

Post by northtexan » Fri Sep 21, 2018 11:03 am

Depending on housing costs and how much the company is paying for the extended stay, as well as your families financial status and expected time of this job. Could use the money to pay for a condo or house. Then have a literal second home. Once the job is competed or retired could rent it out. Would depend on a lot of factors and would have to take on considerable risk

renue74
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Re: Home away from home

Post by renue74 » Fri Sep 21, 2018 11:35 am

Find an AirBnB with good amenities. You can work out a deal to take X week per month with the owner.

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praxis
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Re: Home away from home

Post by praxis » Fri Sep 21, 2018 11:40 am

He must be trusted and respected to be chosen for this mission. That's cool. I'm thinking this experience is going to depend a lot on his personal preferences in his many daily choices. This can be a fun adventure for him.

I traveled internationally and throughout the US for 30 years and most of those trips lasted over at least one weekend. Most of the time I stayed in medium range hotels and more and more it seems that there are options for at least a mini kitchen. It wasn't always available on my trips back then. I carried some food along always, and a small immersion heater that can bring a cup of water to a boil in about 2 minutes. I carried tea and coffee bags, bullion cubes, cocoa, soup packs and some of my favorite crackers and cheese for times when I didn't want to go out.

If I didn't have access to a gym, I did my own workouts in the room or went on a jog in a park or along a river or lakefront.

I brought paperbacks to enjoy when I chose to eat out alone or while in the room, but now I use my Kindle. Clothes were never a problem. Neither was luggage. I wore a sport coat and tie every day on these trips and only used carryon luggage. He can pack all the wrinkle free clothes he will need in a small roll aboard bag and rinse out socks and underwear in the sink. Hotels have laundry service.

You mention this is a HCOL city. That says to me that it is full of cultural opportunities and he might find some of them interesting. Museums, galleries, historical sites, college plays, parks, music, even short classes like local birding, cooking, hiking, photography. What are his interests at home? Can he pursue those in this city? My wife rarely joined me. We had school kids then. But when she did I enjoyed exploring a new town with her.

I enjoyed the notes my wife tucked inside one of my socks.

Hockey10
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Re: Home away from home

Post by Hockey10 » Fri Sep 21, 2018 6:00 pm

MDfive21 wrote:
Fri Sep 21, 2018 7:57 am
i find that keeping myself full of healthy food is the biggest challenge on the road. if i don't have the sort of food i'm used to, i just don't feel good.

stay in a residence inn or some other property with a full kitchen. full size fridge and an oven. pick a location near a good grocery store, preferably walking distance.
+1

Try eating a lot of fresh fruit. Even if you are staying at a hotel that has "free" breakfast included, eat the bananas and low fat yogurt instead of the waffles, sausage, omelets, and bagels. Find a local grocery store and buy some fruit.

SoAnyway
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Re: Home away from home

Post by SoAnyway » Fri Sep 21, 2018 10:34 pm

epilnk wrote:
Wed Sep 19, 2018 9:35 pm
My husband recently took a job requiring one week per month in another city, requiring a fairly long flight. His company will put him up in an extended stay hotel during those weeks but I would like to make this as comfortable and convenient as possible.

People who regularly travel to a second location for work, where do you live? How do you make this lifestyle less stressful? Any tips for making this work?
OP, congrats to your DH on the new gig! For anyone who's ever been a road warrior, the answers to the questions you're asking really depend on (1) the city and flight duration to get there from where you two are, (2) what options the company is offering for accommodations, and (3) DH's experience as a road warrior. Can you name point A airport, point B airport, and the extended-stay hotel chains DH's new employer will pay for, and maybe some info on DH's travel-for-work experience (some love it; some hate it)? If so, I think you'll get more actionable advice. Just my $.02.
Nothing in this post constitutes legal or medical advice. | Consult your attorney or physician to verify if/how anything stated might or might not be applicable to your specific situation.

StealthRabbit
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Re: Home away from home

Post by StealthRabbit » Sat Sep 22, 2018 5:47 pm

SoAnyway wrote:
Fri Sep 21, 2018 10:34 pm
...OP, congrats to your DH on the new gig! For anyone who's ever been a road warrior, the answers to the questions you're asking really depend on (1) the city and flight duration to get there from where you two are, (2) what options the company is offering for accommodations, and (3) DH's experience as a road warrior. Can you name point A airport, point B airport, and the extended-stay hotel chains DH's new employer will pay for, and maybe some info on DH's travel-for-work experience (some love it; some hate it)? If so, I think you'll get more actionable advice. Just my $.02.
^^^^ as mentioned above.. keeping us guessing makes it tough to get specific advice.
only 1 wk / month away is a pretty good gig, so congrats on that!

While I prefer non-hotel options ( renting a guesthouse at a view home / on the beach / mtns / park...) . It can be best just to rack up the airline miles and hotel points near the new job and take the family on several 'destination retreats' / yr. :sharebeer ( :idea: = 'Family benefit' for time away)

Our Kids liked the 'first class upgrades', and water parks (younger), then Golf and Skiing destinations (my kids later became youth golf and ski instructors at resorts for rich families who have kids to pawn off. = :moneybag in tips).

Most of my gigs were international, so we eventually homeschooled and brought the kids with, by Jr High school age they had the freedom to stay home if they needed, but they enjoyed the travel and adventure of new places / cultures, and new people to meet.

You can do A LOT to help make this a win. (such as the 'notes' in the socks, recipe and activity hints to keep healthy, occasionally joining for a couple nights (solo...) let the kids have some freedom too :D ! (Or use Duct tape to tie them up for a couple days if they abuse their freedom :twisted: )

Slacker
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Re: Home away from home

Post by Slacker » Sat Sep 22, 2018 5:57 pm

There are usually "extended stay hotels" that include a full kitchen. The ones I've stayed at in various cities often seemed to be popular among the airline crews too. Perhaps ask the crew on the next flight for some recommendations. These "hotels" were often very similar to a condo.

Freefun
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Re: Home away from home

Post by Freefun » Sat Sep 22, 2018 6:16 pm

epilnk wrote:
Wed Sep 19, 2018 11:38 pm
ResearchMed wrote:
Wed Sep 19, 2018 10:39 pm

Yes, have him find a place where he can leave a couple of suitcases, and have that include clothing and perhaps some toiletries, etc.

The nicer places (I doubt the company would spring for this level/$$) would have his clothing all pressed and hanging in the closet when he arrived, and pack up for him.
But if he uses long folding bags, he should be able to keep many things just hanging up, and keep them on hangers, etc.

Will you be able to join him occasionally?

RM
Will extended stay hotels allow regulars to store some things between trips? If so, that might be a good solution. Is this common, or is an amenity that is only offered by certain places? How do you go about finding a place that offers this?

We still have kids in school so I won't be joining him.

Career wise this is a pretty good position if we can keep the logistics from burning him out. He's working more for the benefits than the salary - one of our kids has expensive medical needs, keeping him a health insurance slave and keeping me at home. The travel isn't that much more than he has done at times in the past, but the 3 weeks at home are highly flexible with almost no commute so it may be a net gain. But yes it's a lot of time away from home and family, and that's going to get old.
Almost any hotel will store things. I spent years going to a few of the same hotels. They stored my luggage and in most cases they were able to clean clothes and have my stuff back in the room when I checked in (so I didn't need to bring luggage most of the time). I didn't pay anything special for this but I did tip them well. These weren't fancy hotels- one was a little Four Points Sheraton.

I like the suggestion of a kitchen and within proximity of groceries, things to do etc. preferably within walking distance or mass transit.

Airbnb is also a great idea. Many hosts wouldn't mind storing things.
Remember when you wanted what you currently have?

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GoldStar
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Re: Home away from home

Post by GoldStar » Sat Sep 22, 2018 6:29 pm

It depends. Is the company covering his other expenses beyond hotel - are they covering meals? If yes is it based on costs, are there caps, or is there a fixed amount (weekly per diem)?

Also, as others have asked - when you say long flight what is that - 5 hours or 20 hours? Time zone changes is 3 hours or 16 hours? These make a big difference on tolerating this type of schedule.

The good news is he is going to same location every time- this makes it much easier on finding the right place, eating, etc. And 25% on the road is much easier than 75% - should be manageable.

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