Your bags are packed, you’ve downloaded your plane ticket to your smartphone, your schedule is set, and you’re about to embark on a trip that could last weeks or even months. The final question, and one that will have the most impact on your experience, is “Where am I going to stay?”.
Many travelers only consider hotels and short term apartment rentals. However for many medium to long-term trips, crash pads are the best way to reduce cost, reduce stress, and maximize efficiency.
What is a crash pad? A common definition is: a place to sleep or live temporarily, often at a greatly reduced cost compared to other temporary housing alternatives.
For many, the term “crash pad” conjures up the image of a frat house like living situation where several people are crammed into a tiny apartment with bunk beds in an attempt to save on housing costs.
Commercial airline pilots pioneered crash pads as a way to sleep in between flights when away from home. They often have stacks of triple-decker bunk beds crammed into a single room. In New York city they have some that contain 28 beds in a three-story row home — "hot bunks".
While airline crash pads were designed with a singular focus on cost efficiency, a new class of crash pads has emerged that provides budget-savvy travelers with the comforts of home without the monotony of a hotel. The picture below will give you a glimpse of what the crash pad world has evolved into and a picture is worth a thousand words…
This paradigm shift has ushered in many newcomers to this new luxurious and competitive market. The result is additional benefits for travelers as these companies battle each other for market share.
But enough about the origin, history, perception, and transformation of crash pads. Let’s get into the reasons WHY you should stay in a crash pad and WHAT you can expect.
Crash pads can cost as low as $1500.00 a month, making them an obvious choice for low cost lodging. Furnished apartments are usually paid for by corporations who pay a premium to keep their employees comfortable, leaving individual customers with few affordable options. The cost per month can range from $3144.00 to $4272.00 in major cities such as Los Angeles and San Francisco.
If you’re on a budget, the availability of a fully equipped kitchen allows you to stay in and cook your own meals as opposed to eating out. This can save you hundreds over the course of a month or longer when you consider the cost of per person an average meal outside the home $12.75 per person.
Crash pads come fully furnished with tastefully designed décor, high end appliances, and top notch entertainment centers. The typical bedroom contains a bed, desk, chair, lamps, dresser, closet, and a TV. The living rooms contain a larger TV with couches and a coffee table. Most crash pads go all out on fast internet and premium cable packages. As for the rest of the house, we’ll let you check out another example in the picture below.
Securing a short-term lease can be extremely difficult as landlords typically want long term renters. The chances of finding a lease shorter than 3 months are slim but there are some out there if you’re willing to pay an increased rate or lay down a handsome sum for a security deposit. If you set up your own short term lease, expect to set up several different billing agreements! Crash pads are built around flexibility, and accordingly leases can have minimum terms as short as a week and offer the ability to end your stay with minimal notice.
You pay one monthly fee that includes your own private room, utilities, maid service, wifi, and cable. When you stay in select crash pad companies, you can show up with nothing but your clothes and food because the rest is covered.
You can cook your own food in a full-size kitchen that includes all of the cooking necessities such as pots, pans, mixers, dishware, silverware, glasses, etc. The ability to cook for yourself saves you money by reducing the need to eat out and you have the option to prepare healthy meals to keep you physically fit and mentally tough. Hotels often limit you to a microwave and a mini refrigerator (if you’re lucky).
As the market competition increases, furnished housing companies are starting to offer incentives such as discounts on your first month’s rent, gym memberships, ride sharing credits, and in-home-chef service. When crash pads compete… you win!
Hotels, hostels and even some apartments are extremely small and have very limited space. This may not seem like a big factor at first, but if you’re staying for more than a week or with other people, the tiny space of a 300 sq. ft. room can be very confining and quickly appear to close in on you.
The advantage, again, goes to the crash pad model. You get access to the entire house including the living room, kitchen, dining room, and outdoor space. Your personal bedroom is kept private with programmable keypad locks.
You have the ability to meet other professionals in the same situation as you; a valuable built-in networking opportunity. Whether or not you and your crash pad compatriots are in the same industry, the living arrangements will afford you opportunities to connect with others that you might not typically encounter in a high-rise apartment building or hotel.
Crash pads are no longer the frat house horror scenes your parents used to sleep in when they were bumming rides to Woodstock. They’ve evolved with the times and have experienced an exponential increase in luxury, stature, and comfort… without an exponential increase in price! To learn more about crash pads to see what and where they’re offered at, check out Military Crashpad.