Life is unpredictable.

The many plot twists that occur in life—a new job, marriage, pandemics—lead us on unexpected journeys. But what never changes is the need for a home-base that allows you to rest and replenish your energy while still fitting into your budget.

Short-term or temporary housing is a great solution for those who have jobs that require constant travel or those who need a place to crash while they find a more long-term option. Temporary housing is definitely not one size fits all, so let’s check out a few different short-term housing options:

Short Term Rentals

Short term rentals are your standard apartment or housing rentals that are available with different lease length agreements. Typically, most apartments will offer short term housing, but the rental rates will be a lot higher than if you were to commit to a standard twelve month lease.

Just like a regular apartment, you’ll have to apply and submit to a credit check. Some places may even allow you to negotiate a deposit based on your rental history and credit score. The shortest lease term that most apartments will agree to is 6 months, but some may agree to shorter terms.  The downside of doing a shorter term lease in an apartment is a higher deposit and monthly rent.

Utilities that are usually covered, may also not be covered for temporary residents. Also keep in mind your four-legged friends. Even if you find a pet-friendly short-term apartment, you’ll probably need to pay a pet fee and extra rent for that as well.


Subletting is when you take over someone else’s apartment using a sublease. A sublease is an agreement between you and the tenant that you are moving in and agreeing to pay rent to the landlord. A tenant might want to sublease their apartment if they have to move suddenly and the landlord won’t let them break their lease. Instead of breaking their lease, they can find a new tenant to take their place (that’s you!).

The benefit to subletting is that you may not have to pay a deposit or submit to a credit check unless the tenant doing the sublease is real thorough.

Corporate Housing

Now if you are lucky to work for a big fancy corporation who wants to relocate you for a position, then this may be an option for you.  Many apartments offer corporate housing, which many times may be a part of your job package or compensation. Another great perk of corporate housing is that they come fully furnished, meaning that there is no need to go furniture shopping, which is a lot less stressful.

The only downsides to this type of temporary housing are the inability to customize the décor of the apartment and also higher costs if your company isn’t covering the cost.

Vacation Rentals

The next and more fun temporary housing option is a vacation rentals! Doesn’t that sound exciting? Typically, many vacation rentals that are used for shorter term vacation homes can also be used for longer stays. Some examples of companies that offer vacation rentals are Airbnb and HomeAway. These companies then guide people to properties (or private rooms within the property) that are available on a short term basis. Very similar to corporate housing, these can also be a lot cheaper if your stay is longer, and they typically come equipped with everything you need as far as furniture, housewares and linens are concerned

One pro of this type of rental is rates that are way cheaper during the offseason months. Cost could also be a con if your stay is during the busy season, or summer/holiday months.

Extended Stay Hotels

The next stop on this temporary housing choo-choo train is extended stay hotels. What are those you say? Extended stay hotels are typically designated for business travelers who need a normal than longer stay for work or a conference. These rooms are typically set up to have all the comforts of home, and also offer great rates for longer stays. Many of them feature the same layout as a typical apartment home, just a lot smaller.

The downside of using an extended stay hotel is the noise from neighbors, just in case your neighbor like to have loud hotel parties at 3 am. Plus living in a hotel room for a few weeks can get old quick, even if it has a free continental breakfast.

With Relatives

The last and least conventional form of short term housing is a relative or family member’s home or guesthouse. This one depends on whether or not you happen to have family that is willing and has the space to accommodate you in the city that you are traveling to.

This would be extremely effective for those who are moving to a new city for a job and need a temporary couch to crash on until they can secure more permeant housing. It also it great for someone who does gig work and will only need a place to stay for a very short amount of time. It also helps if your relative happens to be a super rich bajillionaire that can let you “borrow” their house for an indefinite amount of time, just sayin.

Where to Keep Your Stuff

A final thing that should be considered when looking for temporary housing is storage. If you are moving for a temporary, but extended amount of time, you may need to find a self-storage facility to store your furniture or extra personal items. Another thing to consider is the proximity of the storage facility to your temporary housing location.

This is especially important for those who may be moving from location to location in a short amount of time. Be sure to take the time to shop around and make sure that you are getting the most bang for your buck. Safety is another factor that should be considered when deciding on a storage facility. Check out reviews from other customers and also seek out personal recommendations if possible.

This should go without saying, but you can’t live inside a self-storage unit for any amount of time. If you were thinking that you could just crash at a storage facility for a few days until you find a real place, think again. Not only is it illegal, but it is dangerous and uncomfortable. Don’t do it!

Jessica Johnson