Shared Housing

The Comprehensive Guide to Choosing Temporary Homes Beyond Extended Stays

Alcove Team · 3/27/24

The Comprehensive Guide to Choosing Temporary Homes Beyond Extended Stays

The quest for temporary living situations, especially when extended stays are the norm, is becoming more than just a necessity. Today, it's an adventure rife with choices that can define one's experience in new cities or during transitional periods.

If you've found yourself in a situation where living arrangements are uncertain but you desire comfort and reliability, you're about to discover several options that offer more than your typical extended stay home.

The Extended Stay Challenge

An extended stay home is typically a fully furnished residential apartment or condominium unit that includes professional hotel services. It's a sensible choice during a job relocation, a long-term project away from home, or when renovations disrupt your usual living situation. 

However, this type of accommodation can be complex, expensive, and might lack the personal touch you're accustomed to.

Why Seek Alternatives?

The cookie-cutter nature of extended-stay homes often leaves individuals craving a more personalized experience. Cost also plays a significant role; these homes aren't the most budget-friendly, particularly for young professionals and digital nomads seeking both comfort and thrifty living.

Preliminary Considerations

Before you set out to find your alternative to the extended stay model, there are key factors you should consider. 

Gauge your Financial Landscape

Your budget will largely dictate the options you can realistically consider. Be sure to calculate all-inclusive costs, including utilities, internet, and any applicable fees that often sneak their way into your monthly bill.

Location, Location, Location

With cost often being a barrier, location can be a game-changer. Think about proximity to your workplace, the city centre, and public transportation hubs. 

Necessities vs. Luxuries

Does your temporary home need to have all the bells and whistles like a pool or gym, or are you content with a workspace and a kitchen to whip up the occasional dinner? Make a list of your must-haves versus the 'nice-to-haves.'

The Main Event: Exploring Your Alternatives

Now that you're equipped with your housing compass, it's time to explore the alternatives that could offer a more tailored solution.

Short-Term Rentals

Platforms like Airbnb and Vrbo have revolutionized the way we approach temporary housing. From studio apartments to sprawling lofts with a view, you can find a range of accommodations that cater to your exact needs for the desired period.

Shared Housing: Community Meets Comfort

The new kid on the block, shared housing, takes communal living to a more luxe level. At a shared housing space, you might find a fully furnished shared apartment that encourages community activities and allows you to build a network of friends; right within your building.

House Sitting

Not just for retirees, house sitting has become a popular way to secure free accommodation in some of the most beautiful locations. While it may come with some added responsibilities, the cost-saving and adventure aspects can be too good to pass up.


If you're not ready to commit to a lease or a hefty rent, subleasing allows you to take up someone else's lease for the remaining period. This is particularly popular in areas with high student populations, where you can find fully furnished apartments ready for a temporary tenant.

Home Swapping

For those who crave a taste of authentic living in a new locale, home swapping offers an intriguing solution. This method involves trading your home with someone else for a set period, providing both parties with a comfortable and cost-effective stay. 

It's a unique way to immerse yourself in the local culture, live like a resident, and enjoy the comforts of a fully equipped home.


Once considered the domain of young travelers, hostels have significantly evolved. Many now offer private rooms with en-suite facilities, combining the affordability of hostel living with a degree of privacy and comfort. 

Hostels are perfect for the socially-inclined, offering communal spaces like kitchens and lounges where travelers can meet and exchange stories.

Work Exchanges: Work for Your Stay

A growing trend among travelers who wish to extend their stays without breaking the bank is participating in work exchanges. Through platforms like Workaway and WWOOF, individuals can find opportunities to work a few hours a day in exchange for accommodation and sometimes meals. 

This alternative is ideal for those looking to learn new skills, contribute to a community, or simply experience life in a different culture.

Each of these alternatives presents a unique set of benefits and considerations, expanding the horizon for those seeking temporary homes beyond traditional extended stays.

Weighing the Pros and Cons

Each alternative comes with its own set of benefits and drawbacks.

Cost Considerations

When it comes to the wallet, the pros of finding alternatives are clear. Short-term rentals and subleases often come with a lower price tag, while shared housing can offer a balance between cost and community. 

Traditional options like extended-stay homes might trump the rest in terms of all-inclusive convenience but fall short in cost-effectiveness.


The ability to adapt to your changing circumstances is crucial. Short-term rentals and subleases often offer flexible terms, whereas shared housing and traditional extended stays may require a longer commitment.

Community Feel

If loneliness isn't your jam, shared housing might be the perfect solution, with built-in community activities and the opportunity to meet like-minded individuals. Alternatively, a house-sitting gig could be a solitary yet soulful experience, connecting you with a neighborhood like a local.

Making the Final Decision

In the end, your choice of temporary housing is personal and it should align with your circumstances and desires. Here are the final touchpoints to guide you:

Assess Your Priorities

Review your budget, necessities, and any other specific needs. Which alternative checks the most boxes on your list?

Speak to the Locals

Online forums and social media groups are treasure troves of local insights. Tap into these networks to gather unfiltered reviews and suggestions that can sway your decision.

Trust Your Instincts

Sometimes, the best decision is the one that's led by your gut feeling. Permit yourself to explore options that excite you, even if they're outside your initial search.

Crafting Your Ideal Temporary Home

Armed with this guide to alternatives to extended-stay homes, you're now prepared to craft an experience that is financially savvy, personalized, and perhaps even enriching.

Here at Alcove, we provide a modern way to rent a room. We are the trusted platform for leasing private bedrooms in single-family houses. To learn more, visit Alcove Rooms.