You might think that after you’ve bought a home, you’ll never have to rent again, but there are all kinds of reasons you may need to explore a temporary rental down the road. Maybe you need to travel for work, or you’re finally taking that extended backpacking trip you’ve been planning for years—whatever the cause, you’ll need to figure out where you’re going to lay your head at night while you’re away.

You have many more options than you might think, so follow along as we explore the different types of temporary housing, and who they suit best.

Vacation Housing

Whether you’re taking a family vacation, or heading out solo, you’re probably going to want to both fill your home while you’re gone, and find somewhere to stay during your travels. Vacation housing can accommodate those in need of very short-term rentals, such as a night or two, to longer rentals of a month or more.

Your housing options as a traveler can include:

Vacation Exchange

A vacation exchange is when you temporarily trade your home with someone else for a short period of time, generally a week or more.

For example, Merry and Sam own a house in Nova Scotia, Canada and they want to spend some time in Texas. It just so happens that another couple in Texas, Harry and Brienne, wants to vacation in Nova Scotia.

Via an online home exchange group, the two couples find each other, come to an agreement, and swap houses for a month during the summer.

This is a great option for those who want to make sure that their home isn’t empty during their holiday, and that they don’t have to pay extra for a hotel or other accommodations while away.


Although there are certainly many other temporary rental sites for travellers, Airbnb is by far the most popular.

Airbnb is made up of individuals offering their homes for certain periods of time for a fee in a variety of places. The benefit of Airbnb is that you can find rentals for just a night or two, so if you are heading to a wedding out of town, or just passing through Rome on trip through Italy, you can find multiple options to suit a variety of budgets.

Alternatively, Airbnb is also a smart option for homeowners looking to make a little extra cash by renting out a room without having to buckle down with a long-term tenant.

Hotels, Motels, and More

Of course, you also have the regular options of staying in a hotel, motel, an inn, or a hostel while on your trip. Not all of them are the best options for those who are sticking to a tight budget, but they can be the most reliable and easy to arrange if you need something quick and hassle free.

Business Housing

Business trips are one of the most common reasons that you may require temporary housing, and what type works best for you, or the company you work for, can depend on a variety of factors. Types of business housing can include:

Corporate Housing

Often, businesses whose employees tend to travel to the same places on a regular basis, say a head office in another state, offer what is called corporate housing. Corporate housing is generally available for 30 days or more. This is when apartments, condos, or other housing options are rented by the company on a long-term basis, and are used by traveling employees when needed.

These spaces are often part of larger buildings designated for corporate rentals specifically, and do not allow for residential tenants.

Dorm Rentals

Dorms may be full during the school year, but many students return home or take trips during the summer, leaving the on-campus housing empty. In order to make up for this profit loss, many universities offer dorm rentals specifically for events or corporate use.

Often, these are available for group rentals as opposed to single room rentals, but it can vary depending on the campus. The downside of this option is that dorms are usually only available for temporary rental outside of the standard school year, meaning they’re only up for grabs from May-August.

Serviced Apartments

Serviced apartments are a mix between corporate housing and hotels. They provide a large, furnished space (usually a full apartment), and also some services, like cleaning, laundry, and so on. Some offer full services, like a hotel would, while others only offer the basics.

Serviced apartments can be used by individuals and businesses, but are more popular in the business world since they can be a bit pricier.

Short-Term Residential Housing

Traveling doesn’t have to be for pleasure or for business, sometimes it can be due to a number of other things, such as renovations, school, or a temporary move during a relocation. These options vary in lease length, but are, for the most part, available for longer than other temporary living arrangements and offer a larger variety of choices.


Although more popular 40+ years ago, there are still homeowners who will offer room and board for a small fee on a nightly, weekly, or bi-weekly basis. These usually come in the form of one furnished bedroom and shared living space, and include TV, internet, utilities, and sometimes even food in the price.

Boarding is great for those who are on a strict budget as they are often much cheaper than hotels, but offer many of the same benefits.


Subletting is when a renter still has time left on their lease, but needs someone to take it over for the remainder of the term. These rentals are best for someone looking for a place to stay for a month or more, and who has their own furniture to fill the space with.

This can work well for people who are need an in-between home during a relocation or who need to stay in the area for an extended period of time.

Short-Term Leases

Though most property managers and landlords do prefer leases of at least a year, some may still consider a shorter lease in certain circumstances. If you do need a shorter lease, say 3-6 months, try talking to a property manager in the area to see if there are any homes available and explain why you need one.

Reasons for needing one could be that you are waiting on a home purchase approval, renovations or a new build to be completed, or that you are trying out a new job or town and want to get a feel for your new situation before committing long-term.

Home is Where You Hang Your Hat

Temporary rentals, whether for a night or a couple of months, can save you money and offer you a more comfortable and homey space than other options, like hotels. By exploring all of your options you can choose a rental that suits your situation, budget, and personal preferences, making your short-term housing your home away from home.

What kind of temporary housing have you used before? Would you do it again?

Posted by Brittany Foster

Brittany is a writer, editor, and content manager interested in law, marketing, and technology. She's been writing for LawDepot since 2014.