Written by: Guest | Best Company Editorial Team
Last Updated: May 13th, 2020
Guest Post by Brenda Morris
Business travel no longer requires people to stay in hotels with few amenities for long stretches of time. Thanks to the internet and home sharing marketplaces, people traveling for work have more choices than ever before.
But it's not just the variety that is drawing business travelers to home sharing sites in record numbers. Short-term rentals can also help save money on everything from lodging to meals.
Consider this: according to SAP Concur, the travel expense management company, home sharing among business travelers grew 56 percent year over year from 2015 to 2016. Plus, adoption has continued to increase since then as more people realize the benefits associated with this way of lodging.
From lowering costs of accommodations to saving money on dining, here’s a look at why short-term rentals can save you money on your next business trip.
1. You save money on lodging costs
Traveling for business used to mean staying in a hotel for the length of the visit, even if it meant being stuck in one room for 10 days. Workers higher up on the corporate ladder would be lucky to get a room with a separate living room and kitchenette. Either way, business owners or travelers would shell out a lot of money for very few amenities.
With a short-term rental, business travelers get many more amenities and usually at a lower cost. While it will depend on the city you are staying in and the length of your visit, a recent study looking at extended hotel stays versus short-term rentals found that in most cities, the latter won in overall value.
Take Houston, Texas for one example. The research found an extended stay hotel costs around $2,500 per month for a one-bedroom studio. That compares to a short-term rental that costs an average of $1,228.27 to $1,532.93 per month. In New York City, an extended hotel room will cost on average $3,507.36 per month compared to $3,279.38 per month for a two-bedroom apartment.
2. You get more space
Traveling for work isn’t always pleasurable. After a day packed with meetings, sometimes you have to sit down, roll up your sleeves, and get some work done. This may be difficult to do in a cramped hotel room, such as a one-room studio with nothing but a bed, small desk, and bathroom.
Staying in a short-term rental instead of a hotel will give you much more space — and you likely won’t have to pay more for it. And if you decide to bring the family along for your extended trip, they too will be comfortable.
3. Wi-Fi is included
Business travelers simply can't do without internet access while traveling. While some hotels offer it for free, most require you to pay for it. With most short-term rentals, Wi-Fi is included for free. Local phone calls and TV entertainment — if the homeowner subscribes to a service such as On Demand or Netflix — are also typically included in the price of the rental.
In addition to getting free access to Wi-Fi, internet connections are also typically more secure in a private residence than in a hotel. Hotels have been a hotbed of activity for hackers who try to break into the Wi-Fi network to access guests’ data.
4. You can stock up and dine in
A big cost of traveling — whether for pleasure or business — is food. Meals can get pricey, especially if you are staying in a hotel room without a kitchen and must eat out three times per day. Even attempting to save money by eating fast food can have a long-term cost in terms of your health.
With a short-term rental, however, you don’t have to worry about spending a fortune on meals. Most short-term rentals provide guests with a fully equipped kitchen including a full-sized refrigerator, stove, and microwave, making meal preparation as simple as if you were at home. Business travelers can stock the refrigerator with food and snacks, and cook meals instead of dining out. Doing so enables business travelers to save money and eat a healthier diet while on the road.
5. You have more lodging choices
When it comes to staying in a hotel, even an extended one, your choices are limited, from location to layout. But when a business traveler goes the short-term rental route, options abound.
Business travelers have a variety of different lodging choices, whether it means staying in a furnished home, apartment, bungalow, or guesthouse. People traveling as a group won’t have to worry about finding a hotel that can accommodate everyone since some short-term rentals have multiple bedrooms.
Short-term rentals also provide business travelers with better location options, particularly in cities where finding a hotel may be difficult due to nearby concerts or events. With short-term rentals growing in popularity, businesses are using them to house employees for conferences, relocations, off-site meetings, executive travel, and corporate retreats. Some companies are offering them as an incentive or reward for a job well done.
6. You’ll be happier and more productive
Getting motivated to work when you are on the road can be tough, especially if you are away from your family and home for an extended period of time. That is why your accommodations are so important. For instance, if you are stuck in a small hotel room with little in the way of amenities for 10 days, you may get frustrated and depressed, which could hinder your work. However, if you are staying in a fully furnished short-term rental with free Wi-Fi, a fully stocked refrigerator and the other comforts of home, you're much more likely to be more productive overall.
If you are looking forward to the trip because you know you will be staying somewhere nice, and at a lower price, it will put you in a positive state of mine. The happier you are, the more productive you will be — a win-win situation for everyone involved.
Thanks to the Internet, business travelers have a lot of options when it comes to traveling for work. While hotels have long been the only accommodation, short-term rentals have been growing in popularity as more choices become available. For business travelers, not only will they save money going this route, but they will also undoubtedly have a better experience — turning their trip from a dreaded one, into a great one.
Brenda Morris is a marketing professional and writer. She has over 10 years of experience working for companies to take their marketing to the next level and contributed widely to publications on the subject. She lives in Maryland.