Ways to Make Your Long-Term Hotel Stay More Comfortable
In my line of work, I've occasionally had to travel for business and stay in extended-term hotels. While this might sound like sort of a fun idea and a nice change of scenery, the truth is that often times, these hotels don't come with enough amenities or supplies to make the trip all that enjoyable. I don't know about everyone else, but the first time I had to stay in a long-term hotel room, I ate in restaurants way too frequently, packed a lot more than I needed because I didn't think the hotel would have laundry, and I didn't bring a lot of things I probably could have to make my stay a little more comfortable and home-like. That being said, I've since traveled on extended-stay basis a few more times, and have compiled a few tips for you to make your work trip a little bit nicer and more enjoyable—even though you're still working.
Research and Utilize the On-Site Amenities
My first time staying in an extended-stay hotel, I didn't think to check if the hotel offered things like a business center, free wifi, a kitchen or anything like that. Once I got there, I realized my room had a kitchenette, but I had no idea where the grocery stores in the area were and didn't want to get lost. I also figured it would just be easier to eat out instead of attempt cooking in the tiny kitchen, and while it was, I felt a little sluggish due to all of the rich restaurant food—you can't eat salads for every meal, obviously. I also brought my wifi hub and cords when all I really needed to do was hook into the hotel's free wifi. I didn't realize they had a business center, and the place I was staying at didn't have a desk, so I worked at night while sitting on the hotel room's bed. It wasn't exactly the most relaxing room at night, nor the most productive work trip, to say the least. When you're staying in a long-term stay hotel, research the amenities offered before you go, and if you have a choice between hotels, pick the one that has the best amenities for what you need—for example, if you're not doing all of your work in an office, you might want to make sure there's a desk in your room or a business center in the hotel so that you don't end up like me, sitting cross-legged and uncomfortable on a bed, writing up reports.
Pack Only Necessary Business Clothing
When I travel for business, I like to bring only necessary business clothing. Especially with how picky airlines are nowadays with what they let you bring on the plane, it's important to me that I only bring what's absolutely necessary. On my first business trip, that meant packing a full week's worth of different work-appropriate outfits. Naturally, this takes up a lot of space in a suitcase, so you can imagine my chagrin when I got to the hotel and realized they had a laundry facility available for long-term stay guests. Now, I only pack a few outfits that I can mix and match, as well as some comfortable clothes for time off and a nicer outfit or two in case there are evening outings, and maybe a swimsuit if I'm visiting a hotel with a pool. Not having to pack 7-10 work outfits saves a lot of space when packing, especially because it usually means I can bring fewer pairs of shoes, as well.
Bring Things for Your Downtime
Finally, when I left for my business trip the first time, I assumed that my entire days would be back to back meetings followed by doing work until bedtime. I'm not sure why I thought this, but I was a lot younger and assumed "business" trip meant "only business, all the time" trip. Of course, that isn't the case. When I stayed at the Barcelona Suites Albuquerque hotel, I was pleased to find not one but two pools, one indoor and one outdoor, which was great since I was travelling when it was warm outside. I got to sit by the pool and read a good book, and since I had thought ahead, I was able to figure out where the grocery stores and local shopping were and so, during the times when I wasn't working (which, admittedly, weren't all that often, but still), I actually enjoyed my time.
Planning for business trips doesn't have to be stressful. Check in on what the hotel has to offer you during your stay, and pack accordingly. Utilize what they offer to their long-term stay guests, and remember to bring things for when you're not typing away or in meetings.