How to Live in a Hotel

Hotels offer many amenities.
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When your job has you on the road six months of the year or you feel an urge to travel the world, hotel living is a great option. Staying in a hotel for the long term does not have to be an inconvenience, especially if you choose from the growing number of extended-stay hotels on the market. You could also opt for an Airbnb, condos, a small apartment rental or if your company is paying for it, a luxury hotel. Wherever you stay, there are plenty of ways to get mail, cut costs, deal with your luggage and get amenities at your home away from home.

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Check Long-Term-Stay Rates

Many hotels offer extended-stay rates for regular and long-term-stay guests, especially in college towns or cities with lots of international travelers, like New York City, San Francisco or Los Angeles. Ask the hotel manager about these rates and let the hotel know that you plan on staying for a long time. A lot of hotels have benefits for those staying for long periods of time, going as far as to offer free nights in some cases.

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Be sure to ask if there is a time limit on how long you can stay in your hotel room. Some hotels even set up monthly rates just like apartments but without the lease. If you are a regular guest, see if you can negotiate the price a bit or ask for certain amenities. You'll want to be sure you don't overstay your welcome, though, and risk eviction from your hotel.

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Look for Amenities

Hotels can be a great option for short- or long-term stays, whether you're on business or vacation, as outlined by Condé Nast Traveler. If you are living in a hotel full time, be sure to take advantage of the hotel amenities. Most hotels have laundry service, pools, gyms and restaurants on-site. You might look for a room that has a kitchenette to allow you to cook in your hotel room. These can be great ways to save time and money while you're at a hotel long term.

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Odds are you will want to use Wi-Fi and the phone wherever you stay, just as you would in your own home. Most hotels offer both of these services with the hotel room. Unlimited local calls are included, but guests are charged for long-distance phone calls.

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Cable television, free continental breakfast, use of the fitness center, free parking, room service and maid service are added amenities that make living in a hotel more comfortable. Ask how often long-term hotel guests can expect housekeeping. Some places may reduce the cleaning service to just once a week unless daily housekeeping is requested.

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Travel Light if Possible

One big problem of living in hotels is the lack of space to store your things and the fact that it is a nonpermanent residence. For many, hotel living is no problem, and they are comfortable living out of a couple of suitcases. If you've already embraced minimalism, this may be no problem for you.

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If you do want to keep some of your household items, furniture and excess clothing, consider renting a storage space. A small space can be inexpensive and will allow you to keep a lot of your things while you travel. Before you move into the hotel, make a list of items you need to take along. Try to list only items that are essential.

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Dealing With Mail

Another issue to consider is how to receive mail and other correspondence. Some hotels will accept and hold mail for their long-term residents. Ask about their mail policy before having mail sent to you at the hotel. Another option is to have mail sent to a relative's home with their permission.

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You could also use this relative's home as a place to stay and a permanent address between hotel stays. You can also pay for a post office box to receive your mail. If you receive a high volume of mail, consider a USPS service that holds your mail until you arrange to pick it up.

Get Hotel Offers and Benefits

Certain hotel chains offer reward points for stays that can be used for discounts on future stays, which is helpful for travelers, explains U.S. News & World Report Travel. Make sure you're taking advantage of any loyalty programs the hotel belongs to if you are staying for a long time. If you're a member of the hotel's loyalty program, you may be able to get discounts on your stay or earn points that can be used for future stays.

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Finally, if you're paying for your hotel stay with a credit card, be sure to check if your card offers any rewards or perks that can be used toward your stay. Many cards offer points that can be redeemed for travel expenses, so you may be able to offset the cost of your hotel stay with your credit card points.

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