Cheapest Destinations Blog is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

What to Do When It’s Time to Trade Travel for a Home Base

This post brought to you by CORT. The content and opinions expressed below are that of Cheapest Destinations Blog.

home base furniture

It’s great fun to be a nomad and travel around the world non-stop, but eventually nearly everyone starts yearning for a home base—at least for a while. It gets tiring to be on the move all the time, living out of a backpack, wearing the same clothes for weeks on end. It gets frustrating when you don’t have lasting friendships. You spend an inordinate amount of time trying to find a good Wi-Fi signal.

It doesn’t have to be all or nothing though. Just because you stop moving for a while doesn’t mean you have to buy a starter home in the suburbs with a two-car garage, a new car, and four pets. Nearly every nomad I know over the age of 30 has settled down at least temporarily at some point without suddenly becoming a boring old fart that never leaves town again. More often the base is temporary, a place to stop, rest, and feel at home for a while. It’s a place to hang out with people and see familiar places for more than a week.

But how do you do it without being tied down, by becoming a slave to possessions again (like the typical American) and getting stuck? Here are a few ideas.

Join the Rental Economy

In case you haven’t noticed, we’ve moved to a renting rather than buying culture in many aspects of our lives. We get a subscription to Spotify and Pandora instead of buying music. We stream movies from Amazon and Netflix. We can get a subscription for food delivery, make-up, shaving supplies, pet food, or whatever. Many are forgoing a second or even first car and just using ride-share services or the occasional Zipcar instead.

It’s becoming apparent that the new generation is not as enthused as the old one about filling up a house they own with lots of stuff. As a recent Goldman Sachs report said, “It’s not just homes: Millennials have been reluctant to buy items such as cars, music, and luxury goods. Instead, they’re turning to a new set of services that provide access to products without the burdens of ownership…

rent furniture

Of course if you rent an apartment, you need something to sit on and sleep on. The obvious way around this is to rent a furnished apartment, but that’s often unattainable or priced for executives passing on the bill to their employer. One way around this is to apply the rental economy to the big stuff and rent furniture. You can get a package from CORT Furniture Rental that will be as simple or comprehensive as you’d like, designer-stylish or basic. It’s not all that expensive either if you compare it to the cost of buying even low-end things outright. A basic package covering a living room, dining room, and bedroom is $270 per month in my zip code of downtown Tampa. You can even rent a TV or microwave on top if you want. They cover much of the USA and 80 countries such as the UK, Thailand, Australia, and Argentina.

Just as renting a house or apartment keeps you from being stuck there, so does renting what you need inside to have a home base. When it’s time to go, you don’t have to fill up a giant storage container and keep paying for that every month. (Been there, done that, and it’s not fun.)

Become a House Sitter

A lot of nomads who want bouts of settling down go this route if they aren’t real particular about where they live. Stints can range from a few weeks to a year or more of living in someone else’s house for free in return for basic upkeep and (usually) pet care. So you have to like animals, first of all, and have the ability to keep plants alive while you’re there.

house sitting

There are multiple services out there like Trusted House Sitters that can get you into this kind of program. Here’s an $8 e-book I recommend that covers the whole process in detail: International House Sitting.

Chez Père et Mère

Yeah, I know. It’s not very sexy to move in with your parents when you’re in your late 20s, 30s, or 40s. But they’ll be really glad to have you home for a while and you will have comfortable surroundings that are probably pretty nice. Someone might even cook for you regularly. You can catch up with old friends and familiar haunts. And hey, you can’t beat the price…

Visit Sponsors Site

First two photos courtesy of CORT, last photo from a Lake Chapala (Mexico) member on Trusted House Sitters.


Tuesday 31st of May 2016

Indeed, it's very nice to have a home base and stop from time to time. Honestly I am the fan of having your own place, but renting is also Ok. The main idea is to know when to stop and regroup your traveling plans.


Monday 30th of May 2016

In 2012, I put everything into my van, parked it in my niece's back yard, and moved to the Philippines. Stayed for 18 months, until I got so homesick I had to come home. I was lucky, charged the battery and I was on my way. Still had some money, but apartments are so expensive, so lived in my van and traveled around the US for about 8 months before I found a subsidized apartment I thought I cold afford. Now back in Asia, but still paying $350/month to keep the apartment!


Saturday 21st of May 2016

One can always buy used furniture on Craig's list and sell it again when departing at a small or even no loss, the same goes for vehicles if you are knowledgeable. If I ever return to the USA I will by a used RV / motorhome and still be a nomad on a budget!