What You Need to Know About Living Bicoastal

By Mark Lamoriello, AIF® | President, Chief Investment Officer | 10.19.2017

The bustling city or the relaxing beach? The seasons of New York or Boston, or the sunshine of L.A. or San Diego? For Americans like Jennifer Beeston, living bicoastal offers the best of both worlds.

However, splitting time between two coasts has its own challenges. In order to minimize the hassles and maximize the benefits, Beeston has a few tried-and-true tips based on her experience:

Set Up Two Different Households | Beeston alternates weeks in L.A. and New York City, which means she travels back and forth four times a month. “If you’re long-term bicoastal, setting up two households is essential,” she says. “There’s nothing worse than taking a red-eye, waiting for your baggage, and then sitting in a hotel lobby until you can check in.”

For the first year Beeston lived bicoastal, she had a home in L.A. and stayed in hotels in New York. It was difficult. Just renting an apartment in New York after a year made a huge difference. Once the apartment was stocked, Beeston no longer had to worry about clothing, toiletries, and other necessities.

Keep Both Households Stocked | Even though life is easier with two households, there are challenges. Keeping both locations stocked takes coordination. Because Beeston alternates weeks in L.A. and New York, it is relatively easy to keep food staples in each location. Grocery delivery, or a trip to the market the day after arriving, means fresh produce and other items for the rest of the week.

It also makes sense to hire help with cleaning. When a regular cleaning crew makes its visit before you arrive, you don’t have to worry about tidying up. Relaxing is much easier when you know you won’t spend your first day vacuuming and taking out the trash.

Deal with Jet Lag | Beeston prefers to fly when she can sleep. This helps her manage jet lag. “Fly in the highest class possible,” she suggests. “There’s a big difference when you can lie down flat on a long flight with a pillow and a blanket instead of being stuck sitting straight up.”

Flying non-stop when possible can also help. When you live in two major cities on the coasts, you are more likely to find non-stop flights between them — and get some solid rest during travel.

If you do have trouble sleeping, Beeston says melatonin can sometimes help, along with making use of earplugs and a sleep mask.

After a while, when you incorporate your flying schedule into your regular schedule, your body gets used to it. “I was surprised at how quickly my body acclimated to the schedule,” Beeston says. “Plus, now that there are two households, it’s much easier to maintain a rhythm.”

Plan for Your Needs | At first, living bicoastal can take getting used to. There are a lot of things that require planning. Beeston inherited three dogs suddenly from her ex. She doesn’t shuttle them across the country each week, so she makes sure they have a pet sitter to take care of them.

Parking can be another issue. A car service, or even planning on using ride sharing can help you avoid the inconvenience of getting your car and driving it home after a long flight. After a while, though, you get used to the flight schedule and you can create a standing appointment with a car service; it can be significantly easier to leave the airport and have someone else drive you home.

Experience the Best of Both Worlds | Finally, Beeston says that if you’re going to live bicoastal, make sure to experience it. “I love living bicoastal for the people and the opportunities that exist in both cities.” She points out that there are different advantages to living in L.A. and New York, and she accesses all of them.

Don’t let work take over your life when you’re in one city or the other. Take advantage of the cultural opportunities available in each. “Become fully immersed while you’re there,” Beeston says. “You are a citizen of more than one city and you should enjoy it as much as possible.”

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