When urban life gets too gritty for workers in the bustle of the city, many are drawn to the quieter pace of life in the UK’s countryside. However, for those not fortunate enough to have a spouse’s income or lottery winnings to fall back on, the best option is often a split-location lifestyle: Monday to Friday in the smoke earning a living and the weekends unwinding to the sound of birdsong.
The financial commitment of running two households can be an unnecessary burden in these times, with the threat of an interest rate rise. But this needn’t mean an end to your dreams of a flint cottage by the sea: after looking at the alternatives, many are discovering it can be achieved by booking temporary accommodation in the city centre for their daily grind.
Some find the options in the temporary accommodation bracket, such as hotels, a little impersonal. So how can you have the best of both worlds – a shorter commitment than a long lease or mortgage while still feeling at home from Monday to Friday?
Whether you are an MP who thinks a long lease on a rented apartment might be a little presumptuous, or someone in an equally unpredictable job, booking a serviced apartment makes your accommodation a little more flexible. It also requires far less paperwork than a long lease and there is no need for the financial commitment a deposit entails.
If you’re thinking about opting to stay in a serviced apartment during the week, it may be worth considering your length of stay. Even when the countryside beckons come Friday night, many find that the cost savings involved in booking an apartment for longer than a five night stay make it a more economically sound option.
These savings can be greater than you think. For example, Warwick Road Apartments in Earls Court, close to excellent routes out of London along the M4, have a nightly rate of £125 for stays of 1-7 nights. This drops to just £85 for a 90 night continuous stay. Combined with savings made from the drop in VAT rate from 20% to 4% for stays over 28 nights, this brings the total down from £9000 to £4964 – a saving of over 44%.
There are other more practical reasons for longer bookings, such as being able to leave personal belongings in the apartment to make the Sunday night journey from country to city a little easier. Household essentials like washing powder and toothpaste can also be left in the apartment ready for your return.
Committing to a block of nights also removes the worry of finding there is no availability when you renew the weekly booking. Not forgetting, of course, that if you tire of long walks in the country and fancy a weekend in the bright lights of the city you have the option of using your weekly abode.