Contractors typically fall into two categories: those that don’t need to travel for work or prefer to do a long commute rather than staying overnight, and those that have to travel long distances and stay on site for the duration of the project. Typically, those that fall into the former are willing to sacrifice time for lower expenses, but in the case of the latter who aren’t able to commute to the project location, they have no choice but to find suitable accommodation.
Unless budget is not an issue, you may have to compromise on something, and understanding what is most important to you will ensure you get the most bang for your buck. When you’re looking for accommodation, there are a few things you need to know to secure yourself the best rates.
Tips to find the best contractor accommodation
Type of Accommodation
When looking for accommodation, contractors have a number of options, with three of the most popular being hotels, guest rooms, and serviced accommodation. For a single individual, guest rooms typically work out the cheapest for shorter stays, but for longer stays it is possible to get a better rate on an entire property.
For groups, renting an apartment or house is usually the most cost effective means as they can accommodate multiple guests per room, and are the most flexible option. When staying at a property, it is possible to have the accommodation serviced like a hotel, but it is usually cheaper to forego this option if it is optional.
When booking contractor accommodation - perhaps even more so than other business travellers and leisure guests - location is crucial. When working 8, 10, and 12 hours days - or maybe even more - you don’t want to have to travel far at the end of the day. Depending on where your project is based in the UK, it may be easier or harder to find something close to you. If you’re working in a city or big town, chances are you’re going to have an abundance of suitable options available to you, but if you’re in a small town or village, your choices are going to be more limited, and the few options that you do have may have a monopoly on the area and demand a high price.
In many cases, the further out you go from city centres, typically the cheaper your accommodation will be, however especially in the peak of summer, high demand and low supply may force you to either stay further from your desired location or pay significantly more for it. If you currently look for all your accommodation yourself, we recommend reaching out to a contractor accommodation provider such as Comfy Workers to do the leg work for you. Not only is it a free service, but because they have a network of thousands of hosts, you’ll often find properties that aren’t listed anywhere else.
Unless you don’t have a limited budget, chances are you’ll have to sacrifice something to keep the price down. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to keep your stay affordable. If you’re booking for contractors at your company, or you are a contractor yourself, one of the best things to do is to stay with other contractors you’re working with if they’re on the same project. Because it is often possible to change the layout of the rooms when renting an entire property, double beds can often be changed for two single beds, and if the guests don’t mind sharing a room, prices can be lowered significantly on both relative and absolute levels. It is for this reason that we recommend travelling in groups.
When you book accommodation can also have a significant impact on price, but as contractors often find out if they’ve secured a project with very little notice, it can be difficult to book in advance. Sometimes you can get lucky and hosts lower prices so their properties aren’t empty, but it sometimes leads to price increases, especially depending on location.
It is usually quite difficult to predict project duration as circumstances can change and other factors can influence how long the job will take, but the longer your stay, the cheaper you can get your accommodation for. Booking in advance for long durations usually allows you to avoid seasonal price hikes and demand in popular holiday destinations.
Where to find the best contractor accommodation
For contractors looking for accommodation, first thoughts might be the likes of Airbnb, Booking, or Travelodge, but looking for contractor specific accommodation through providers such as Comfy Workers can often save you time and money over the alternatives. With hosts all across the country, you can get rates that aren’t available elsewhere, and you don’t need to do any of the leg work. After completing an enquiry online, you’ll receive a shortlist of suitable properties that fit your requirements via email, so you don’t need to spend time pouring through site after site and listing after listing.
Unlike regular hotels and Airbnb, specialist contractor accommodation providers better understand the needs of contractors, and they can accommodate last minute requests as well, and they do this without a fee.