Before heading out on this journey, we would have conversations with people about our plans for this time on the road. Many times, these discussions would lead to talking about what it would be like to live in a hotel.
I think a lot of people romanticize the notion and imagine it to be totally different than it actually is.
I know I did this a little myself. We’ve both lived in a hotel before, but there are a few things that we had forgotten about. So just for fun, we put a list of things together.
Here are ten things no one tells you about living in a hotel.
1) There’s no such thing as a normal, easy home-cooked meal…
Unless you visit your mom.
If you have a suite, this might not be true for you, as you probably have a kitchen set up (we highly recommend this if possible), but most people don’t go this route.
So, if you don’t have a suite, you feel quite accomplished when you manage to make a decent meal that isn’t a microwave dinner.
Crock-pot meals are the norm and you suddenly realize how many things you can cook in a microwave (I talk about this a little more below).
Traditionally, we cook a lot of fresh meals from scratch, but since we’re a little limited in our ability to do that right now, we’ve discovered how many great easy microwavable meals Trader Joe’s has in their frozen section. It’s just an added reason to love shopping there!
2) A hotel room is not a “tiny” home
The idea of living in a tiny home is one that reality television has made to look like fun, but living in a hotel is nothing like that.
The difference is the innovative use of space. A tiny house is designed so that every space can be utilized to maximum potential.
However, a hotel room is just a room. It has a bed, a desk, a tv, a mini fridge, and a closet.
It’s a little harder to utilize all the space efficiently, so again, we’ve had to get innovative in this area.
We bought a little metal shelving unit that we can put together and take apart at each location to hold our kitchen items which include: a crock-pot, rice cooker, utensils, and dishes. It helps keep things out of boxes for easier access.
We also bought one of those over the door shoe holders which we hung on the outside of the closet door so we can utilize floor space. It might seem silly but every bit helps when you are literally making the space your home for extended periods of time.
3) There’s cable, but no Netflix
This might be the saddest one. This realization came after we were settled into our hotel room. And it was a bummer…
We brought a Blu-ray player to hook up to the tv so we could rent and watch movies from Redbox. The player also has an app on it to log in to Netflix, but the whole thing requires wifi and it’s a little difficult to use hotel wifi for it.
4) Free Coffee. Every. Morning.
I don’t think this one even needs to be explained. Unlimited amounts of free coffee every day is probably one of the better perks of living in a hotel room!
5) Cozy at home isn’t really a thing
We discussed this one and apparently, it’s more of a female thing. Even though I feel comfortable and safe everywhere we go, I never quite get that “make yourself at home” feeling.
For instance, I find it gross to walk around the hotel room barefoot, whereas Josh doesn’t have a problem with this at all. The reason this makes me feel out of place is because when we have our own house, we never wear our shoes inside, so I’m always barefoot at home.
There’s also never that moment at the end of the day, when you sink into your couch, totally relaxed, in your PJs, with your favorite book or movie.
And there’s a slight inconvenience to doing a lot of simple tasks like laundry, dishes, and cooking.
I guess in essence, there’s always a mild displaced feeling.
But that’s okay because, in the end, it’s all worth it. It’s the adventure of a lifetime.
6) Innovative meals are something to be proud of
I mentioned this a little earlier and it is so very true! The first time we lived in a hotel room, I spent a lot of time researching meals I could make.
We had a crock-pot, rice cooker, George Foreman Grill, waffle maker, toaster oven, and a toaster that we brought with us. The hotel had a microwave and a mini-fridge/freezer already which helped a ton.
We ate fantastically well that first time. Especially, for living in a hotel room.
Breakfast included bacon, egg & cheese bagels, waffles, oatmeal, and grits. Lunch and dinner were things like baked salmon & asparagus, organic bacon cheeseburgers, beef stew, chicken salad sandwiches, Mexican rice bowls, quesadillas, and turkey BLTs just to name a few.
Life was great! We barely ever ate out because we weren’t suffering at all. And as you can probably tell, we were proud of ourselves for not taking the easy route and ordering pizza every night.
7) You take more walks
When your whole living space is just one room, you have to get out a bit more. You need the air and the exercise.
If you’re anything like us, being trapped in a single room all day long will leave you a little antsy, so trips to the café to do computer work and evening walks make a huge difference. Plus, it’s been a huge bonus that the areas we’ve been in so far are absolutely gorgeous!
Seriously, though. This is my view right now at the coffee shop near my hotel. It’s just perfect.
8) It’s easier to lock yourself out of your “house”
This one is for obvious reasons. If you forget your room key and the door shuts behind you, you’re locked out. Amazingly, neither of us have done that this time around… Yet.
(Update: I have now done this twice…)
9) You joke about how great it’ll be to have housekeeping clean for you, but then you actually feel a little guilty watching them clean up after you and end up helping.
Oh, man. I really did have this discussion several times.
In theory, it seemed like it would be great. I wouldn’t have to clean the bathroom, change sheets, or vacuum for the rest of the year.
But when it came time for housekeeping to do all this, it felt weird to just sit and watch them work. Besides, you can have a great conversation with the ladies when you’re cleaning together.
10) Home really is where the heart is
We’ve had this discussion several times. We’re incredibly happy in our situation. We’re together and that’s what matters most to us as active duty military. We take any chance we can to be together.
Every situation is exactly what you make of it. Are there certain things I miss about having a house? Yeah, there are.
Is it slightly inconvenient to be living on the road and in hotels? Yep, every so often I have a day that I just really feel done with it.
But don’t we get those feelings sometimes anyways? Even in a house? Even when everything is going right? Yes, we do.
So instead of feeling frustrated or overwhelmed in it all, we sit back, laugh about the terrible stuff and enjoy the rest of it. We choose to be happy. Right where we are.
Have you ever lived in a hotel?
Tell us about your experiences and tricks you learned to make it easier below.
Seriously, we would love to hear your stories and tips!
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