Finding a New Lockdown Home

When the government orders another lockdown the whole country lets out a collective sigh and prepares to hunker down at home to see out the extreme restrictions as best they can. Tough times for everyone but at least you’re in your own home aren’t you?

Well, not everyone. Due to our life choices we don’t actually have a home. Perhaps we were too reckless and should have planned ahead but who on earth could have foreseen this pandemic? So when Boris and his team keep telling us all to ‘Stay Home‘ we need to knuckle down and find ourselves somewhere to call ‘home’.

Now I know that staying in hotels and bed’n breakfasts is strictly banned currently but there are a few exceptions. Obviously if you’re a keyworker you may need somewhere to stay but also if the guest accommodation is your main residence it is also allowed. Which means that we can book hotels and other places for overnight stays.

We’ve have found that we have booked accommodation in three distinct ways.

  • Premier Inn
  • Booking.com
  • Airbnb

As I’ve said before, Paul Young may have sung the soundtrack to our JWalking lives – ‘Wherever I lay my hat that’s my home‘.


Premier Inn

Our go-to budget hotel is a Premier Inn as we like the large rooms and generally the beds are mega-comfy. Oh and I think the purple colour scheme suits my complexion! The only problem with a long stay is the fact that they have no cooking facilities and we are restricted to cold food from the local supermarket. Ok for a couple of days but thank goodness Ryan lives close by to the Maidstone hotel so we can pop round for hot meals every other day.


Booking.com

Our go-to site for booking overnight accommodation when backpacking or travelling has always been booking.com as it just has a huge selection of properties but we’ve found it less useful during the recent lockdown. Trying to find places for a month at a time is virtually impossible unless you want to spend thousands of pounds. Our two week stay in Herne Bay in January was a fortunate exception to that (Herne Bay).


Airbnb

The best place to find month-long stays at a reasonable price (not always though) is definitely Airbnb as most properties offer monthly discounts. Plus if we’re staying somewhere for a number of weeks we have to have a separate kitchen, bedroom, living room etc and things like washing machines, WiFi, and heating are essential. Our stay in Birchington was a lovely Airbnb (Never heard of Birchington).

It seems incredible but over the past 5 and a half years we have stayed in 95 different Airbnbs in 13 different countries. Only five to go to get our century award! Actually four as our next already booked stay is an Airbnb.


The Future

The uncertainty over housesits and the ban on overnight stays with friends and family has really caused us serious issues over the past months and moving ahead it won’t improve until the country starts to open up.

April 12th is when self-contained hospitality reopens and I think May 17th might be the prospective date for all national travel reopening. Only if there are no more spikes in Covid infections of course. Currently looking good but let’s carry on being sensible and wait and see. Fingers crossed……


16 comments

  1. Glad to hear you guys are staying positive in these most trying times. I’ve been worried about you! Staying in a Premier Inn is not ideal. How are you getting on regarding the vaccine programme? I know from being off-grid ourselves over the past 7 years – our situation was the same as yours when we first arrived back in the UK. Our plan was to find somewhere to rent and bunker down asap (anywhere we could afford which brought us back up to Scotland) and to get back in with a GP, a dentist, etc. We are still waiting for our Covid vaccine appointments but are looking forward to the day. We doubt we’ll leave the UK to resume our travels this year – although we have been offered a longterm housesit in France – but no thanks to Brexit – long-term would mean 90 days max and that makes us nervous of giving up our rental here just yet. Is there no way of you being able to rent somewhere with a kitchen until things get back to something we might call normal again? Thinking of you. Stay safe! Janice xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tough times aren’t they? Glad you’ve got somewhere to sit it out in Scotland and you’re probably right not to give it up for France. We’ve organised our jabs for next week down here so that’s a real result. Booked them direct on the NHS site. Premier Inn wasn’t too bad but thank goodness we had Ryan’s to go to . Moving from Airbnb to Airbnb currently.

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  2. Nearly at 100 stays! That’s a great record. AirBnB is such an easy way to book and stay but I imagine it’s proved more challenging over the past year. Hopefully, fingers crossed, things start to settle and open up again and this year is a much better one for you. All the best.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We love Airbnbs but you are so right with it becoming more challenging recently. Also with overseas travel likely to be restricted all year it may be more difficult in the summer here too.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve already read about St Leonard’s and Bexhill so I know you’ve found a new place and it looks pretty cool. Must have been a godsend having the exception that allows guest accommodation as a main residence. I suppose it’s all part of the adventure for you two now!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have been thinking of you both and wondering how you’re getting on. I appreciated reading about your processes for finding places to stay and wish you luck. Hopefully you can manage to continue to find places to suit your needs. So pleases Ryan is nearby for you 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • It’s an ongoing challenge finding places to stay and of course proving to be very expensive but that’s the way it is so no moaning. Just proving hard to know what to plan or book for the future as everything is so changeable currently.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. I don’t believe anyone who says they saw this pandemic and lockdown situation coming! Definitely couldn’t have planned for this. Hopefully we’re on the way out now though, and travelling will be a bit easier for you both.

    Liked by 2 people

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