Living Out of Suitcase or Mobile Household

Living out of a suitcase is only for tourists, become a mobile householder.

Living Out of Suitcase or Mobile Household

You have heard the saying,
“I am living out of a suitcase.”

This is an intimate comment to me, and for the first 5-10 years of my perpetual travels, it was probably true, I lived out of a suitcase. What does this mean? When a person lives out a suitcase, it means they never moved in, they never set up a household.

Mobile Household

A Mobile Household can be the Goal

I believe a world traveler needs to move in, and set up house, make the Hotel room a home away from home, while tourists can easily live out of a suitcase. A vacation is two weeks of living different, life is not about the Hotel room, and it is about what you are doing, while long term travel or living abroad is setting up a mobile household.

I sometimes think the words “Home away from Home,” on a Hotel sign should be a warning, marketing words, and never a Home, only when he owner lives on a property is this ever even close to true.

I strive to set up a household, outfit my room, make my Hotel room into an apartment, and in West Africa this is almost crucial to my emotional status. In many ways, I avoid India because there is too much work to achieve this goal. While in Central and South America is easier, I think Southeast Asia is awkward, but manageable.

Chinese live very different than Americans, when in Tibet, or China, it was hard to know if they took showers, maybe they was on the once a week plan.

West Africans, and India people live radically different, what is clean for them, is often dirty to an American.

The best Hotel anywhere on the planet is less than one year old, there has not been enough time to break things, and the place is still clean. The ground in dirt that accumulates in the corners of room has not yet accumulated.

The Solution is to Move into All Rooms

I carry lighting; ways to heat water for showers, and know how to clean, sanitize, and often buy brooms and toilet brushes. It is normal for me to buy Clorox and steel wire brushes.

I am always ready to do spring cleaning.

I do not expect a 10-20 dollar hotel to take care of me, and refuse to pay a 10 dollar a day employees to take care of me in a 100 dollar hotel. This here in is the paradox, how can I expect “Five Star Treatment,” from a housekeeping staff that lives in “Minus One Star,” homes. They live sub-standard at home, and truly do not know my home lifestyle. They have never lives in a super clean house, it is an empathy problem.

A Mexican is going to make me live Mexican.
An Asian will make me live Asian.
Maybe, a Swiss person can make me live better?

West Africa does not even have American TV to guide them, and teach them how we live, and the Frencophone culture still has squat toilets… hehehe

Therefore, when you hear yourself saying,
“I am living out of a suitcase.”

Say to your friend, mate, or spouse,
“Let buy what we need to move in, let’s make this Hotel room a home.”

Generally, in a five star room, you should almost live better than at home, it is meant to be a pampered moment in time. Room service, and clothing picked up, nothing out of place, and an over-abundane of hangers, and all my clothing washed, all the time, never a thought about taking care of myself.

Think about this, all people on the planet have dirty clothing; there is a need to do laundry once every 3-5 days.

The best of the best Hotels, are going to have laundry service, you should be able to drop off clothing in the morning, and pick up in the evening. I can do this with Mom, why not in my Hotel?

Hotel Owners could empathize

If I owned a Hotel, especially the so-called “Boutique Type,” or the “Bed and Breakfasts,” I would move into each room in the place. Live for one week out of a suitcase, and see what is possible, walk the walk, and stop talking the talk, make a Hotel a home where we can unpack our suitcase and live.

Contrary to any stupid crap you think 300 dollars even in the USA for a one-room place is a lot of money. For every dollar above 10 dollars per day for a hotel room, you better be making my room a home, I often feel like 100 dollar per night hotels are slums, owned by slumlords. They make me pay the most amount of money, and refuse to give me what I need, making the most amount of money for the least amount of value for the buck.

I like to know I got my 10 dollars per day worth for a room, that is an easy goal to achieve, but seldom have I got my 100 dollars per day worth in a Hotel, it is tough to take one room, and make it worth 3000 dollar per month, it almost never tolerable Hotel room at this price.

30 days times 100 dollars is 3000 dollar per month.

Fun stuff, and if you have never lived in a Hotel room for three month than come travel the world, and be a mobile householder with me.

Andy Graham Ghana, West Africa 2012


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I lived for 3 months in a Chinese Hotel and paid approximately $18/19 for it per day. It was clean, small but adequate as I only used it to take showers, reast and sleep.
Chinese business men were paying anywhere from $50 to $200 a day. I was lucky because my new wife (prior to marriage a couple weeks later) did the negotiating.
It proves a point that hotels will negotiate if they are not totally filled up.
In the U S it is much more difficult except for independent motels. You might get a few dollars off but not a lot when going to corporate motels and hotels.
I never try to make a hotel room my home I only want it clean, convenient and at a reasonabe price.

I do think most western Europe hotels are exceptional in their amenities but then you pay for it. Switz, Ger, northern Italy, some French, Scandanavia, Austria, etc have very good to great rooms and if you want cheaper their Hostels are also very good but cost more than those in other countries, most are on a par with U S motel fees of $40 to $75 a day for single room w/shower.
Japan is out of sight most everywhere, they do not negotiate but they are the most clean and friendly, helpful staff anywhere.
Switz and Ger along with Japan are very effiecient but Switz are not always super helpful and France still doesn't seem to like Americans at times.
I still travel with a backpack and small tote and stay as mobile as possible without lugging rolling suitcases around. I buy what I need if necessary rather than try to take everything with me and leave some things behind.

I am quite lucky. My hotel room has been personalized to the point that it is home. The staff customized it to my needs. Two lamps instead of one. And brand new lamps with really optically friendly shades. And a fresh bath towel folded on my pillow every day. I have gotten used to sleeping with a bath towel on my pillow. I like the feel of the cotton. And if I get a nose bleed or perspire too much it saves the pillow.
I guess it might be a little unusual but my room is cleaned every day to the point of operating room sanitized. I love it.
But my situation is a little unusual. The owners are Americans. They are retired US Military, married to Filipino women. And I am treated like an honored guest.
I have decided that I love being pampered. LOL
Phil J

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