How to make your travelling smooth and pleasant

We all travel whether it’s short or long distance. We also know that travelling is a hassle and can sometimes take too long. In this blog, we have a few tips for making your travelling more smooth and pleasant! You’ll even want to travel more no matter how long it takes. Here are the following tips you can implement in your travel journeys and when you arrive at your destination. 

Before travelling

First things first, when your accommodation is booked, always check what services they offer and if they offer additional items in your room. For example, dry cleaning, a hairdryer, a hair straightener, a ride from and to the airport etc. If they do not provide this, you can take that into account during your packing and planning.

Packing

After you’ve done the first step, start with packing your suitcase. By using packing cubes or organising bags you are able to fit more into your suitcase in an efficient fashion. Depending on how you organise the packing cubes you won’t have to unpack your entire suitcase. For example, having each bag contain one outfit or have your morning/bath essentials in one cube, so when you arrive early or late you won’t have to search and take out everything one by one which usually takes up some time. A cube for shoes, so you can keep your shoes separate from your clothing. The cube packages are washable. Check this link for an array of choices.

Instead of having a completely new outfit for each day and making your suitcase heavier, try to pack multi-functional clothing that you can mix and match depending on the weather and function. This will make your suitcase lighter and easier to close. 

As said before, call the accommodation to see what they offer otherwise it is a good idea to bring a portable steamer or wrinkle releaser. This will save you space in your suitcase if your clothing needs pressing. 

A small toiletry kit will go a long way as well. These include small bottles and or sprays you can fill yourself for your lotions or buy smaller versions of a product that contain only 20ml to 50ml, convenient for short trips. 

If your going to another country make sure you have a universal plug, so you can charge all your electronics and make use of your own portable appliances. 

During your flight or train ride

Keep in mind what you will need on the flight and pack that in a small travelling bag. These are the items you will need during your flight and/or train/car ride. The air in an aeroplane is very dry, so make sure you bring moisturizer and a water bottle you can refill. Vitamin C will also be helpful, an eye mask, sunblock, compression socks, anti-bacterial wipes and gel. Extra clothing to change on the plane just in case there is a delay and you have to get to an appointment directly from the airport.

Bring entertainment with you (movies, series, music or a good book), noise-cancelling headphones if you want to be in silence or to make sure you will not hear anything whilst enjoying your music, a power bank for charging, and snacks. Always be prepared, as they say, better safe than sorry.

Useful apps

Don’t forget to download everything on your phone in advance if you can. Your phone is your most important gadget when travelling. You can check-in online through your phone, have your entertainment on it and can help your short or long-distance travelling. The following apps you should download are:

An airline app for information, online check-in and to collect travel points if applicable. Depending on the airline you are travelling with you will have to download that specific one. For example, KLM or American Airlines

A currency app, to understand how much you are spending when you are not used to the type of currency you will be using. For example the free currency calculator application XE Currency.

A taxi or Uber app, to take you where ever you need to be by car. 

A parking app, if you’re renting a car. This will make it easy to pay for your parking spot and have an invoice send to you to know the costs you made and possibly get the costs back from your employer. For a parking app, you will need to download one that is available in the country you’re travelling to. The EasyPark app has parking possibilities for 1200 city’s and counting within Europe.

If you’re planning to use public transportation, you’ll need to download a public transit app that is available in that country or city. You’ll be able to plan your route via the app and you will know the cost of the trip. CityMapper is a very useful app which includes all public transportation information from several cities worldwide, for example, Lisboa, Istanbul, New York, Toronto, Hong Kong, Los Angeles etc. Check out the public transportation applications available in the country you are visiting (if CityMapper isn't available there) and download one that includes different public transportation providers.

Maps.me is an app that can be used offline. You can plan a route through cities and even countries.

If you want to read more about other useful apps, especially for every business traveller, click here.

With all these tips you will be able to have a smooth trip and you will not have to worry about anything anymore. Remember to use packing cubes to save space and time, use mini or refillable toiletry bottles, a universal plug, and your carry-on essentials. And don’t forget to bring and/or download entertainment, the essential apps and lastly -and maybe the most important one- don’t forget to bring snacks! Now all you have to do is enjoy the flight since you will be prepared for anything coming at you! Enjoy your travel, till the next blog!

Did we forget any tips or do you want to add some, comment below!

 

By Naziha Bentouhami

 

Sources:

Emily, Business Travel Essentials

Airplane Essentials, Travel Fashion Girl

How to pack light, Travel Fashion Girl


Types of Serviced Accommodations

Whether it’s for a short period before finding a permanent home in a new country, a shorter stay for a project or for even an extended stay for a long-term work assignment, business travellers need at least some of the comfort that a home provides for their stay abroad.

Serviced accommodations are integral for business professionals and the companies that employ them.  Companies prefer to accommodate their employees in serviced accommodations to keep their employees comfortable and happy. This can improve work quality and productivity. In other words, serviced apartments aid in having an improved work-life balance.

An increasing amount of companies and professionals are opting for serviced accommodations as opposed to hotels with a growth of about 7% in comparison, and an expected increase of 23,000 serviced apartments by the year 2022 in Europe alone. According to ones’ demands and needs, there is a wide range of different types of serviced accommodations available, especially in the past decade a significant increase has been parallel to the rising amount of global nomads that need a place to stay abroad.

But what type of serviced accommodations are offered by providers? 

The range of accommodations provided have a minimum requirement that fit the demands of professionals abroad. Basic serviced accommodations come with furniture, an equipped kitchen, bathroom and toilets. Along with that, there are certain amenities provided similar to that of a hotel such as towels, toiletries, housekeeping services and a reception.

The three types of serviced accommodations being offered are aparthotel rooms, serviced apartments and corporate housing.

  • Aparthotels, are the most identical to a regular hotel. Aparthotels are literally what the name implies: A combination of an apartment and a hotel. This type of serviced accommodation has almost the same services as a hotel and are in designated buildings. An aparthotel provider of Short Stay Citizens, Citadines, offer services such as a 24-hour-reception, housekeeping, room service, meeting rooms, laundry and dry-cleaning, babysitting and more. Depending on the location and provider, some aparthotels might offer more or fewer services. The biggest difference is that the rooms are a bit bigger than the regular hotel rooms but smaller than your average one-bedroom or studio serviced apartment. Aparthotels typically include kitchenettes with limited kitchenware. This type of serviced accommodation, usually, does not have minimum stay requirements such as other types of serviced apartment or corporate housing.

  • Serviced apartments are typically in residential buildings however there are some in designated buildings. For instance, The Ascott Residence in Beijing, also offered by Short Stay Citizens, has buildings around the world offering serviced apartments. Some have a front desk, room service, fitness centre, a business centre, swimming pools, babysitting and more.

  • Serviced apartments in residential buildings, such as Stayci in The Hague, have fewer services but most of them do have housekeeping services and have a washer and dryer in the apartments or in the building. These types of serviced apartments don’t have a reception on site: Guests need to check-in at a designated office for check-in, or the concierge will meet the guests at the apartment to hand over the keys, or self-service check-in is also possible. These serviced apartments are bigger than aparthotel rooms, fully furnished and fully equipped. Most providers have a minimum stay requirement of 7 or 14 days. However, depending on availability, some serviced apartment providers might also provide short stays of less than a week.

  • Corporate housing is an apartment or a house that is fully furnished and equipped. Corporate housing is also sometimes referred to as serviced apartments. Although very similar to serviced apartments, they do not have the same amenities. For example, some only have cleaning services and high-speed internet. It also, usually, has the largest living space compared to aparthotels and serviced apartments. This type of housing has the least similarities with a hotel. For instance, they do not have a front desk, room service, gym, car hiring service, etc. Most corporate housing also has a minimum stay of 14 days or one month. Companies that send their employees frequently abroad to the same location, or for an extended period of time, generally prefer corporate housing.

Corporate housing and serviced apartments can be privately owned or professionally managed.  Privately owned apartments are owned by people who want to rent it out. These types of apartments can be rented for a longer period of time than professionally managed apartments and are often cheaper than other serviced accommodations. However, they offer fewer services and the quality are often not guaranteed. The professionally managed serviced accommodations include more services similar to a hotel and quality is guaranteed. Serviced accommodations are generally less expensive than hotels depending on the length of stay. However, some serviced accommodations might be more expensive due to their location. However, the living spaces are bigger and it has better amenities, therefore, making the stay worth every penny.

For more information check our blog about “The difference between professionally managed serviced apartments, privately owned apartments and hotel rooms”.

Every individual has its own housing preference depending on their needs, wants and budget. Contact Short Stay Citizens to find the serviced accommodation that is best for you!

By Sahar Tahib

 

Sources:

Dwellworks Blog, 2017

Globetrender, 2018

Buying Business Travel, 2019

Gethppy, 2019

National Corporate Housing

 


Tips for Business Travel Insurance

Are you a frequent business traveller? If you answered yes, then keep reading! We have made a checklist for you to see if you need it. Already know that you need it? Scroll down for tips and see if you have the right insurance.

Questions you need to ask yourself about travel insurance

  • Does your company have a corporate security program that covers travel?
  • Does your health insurance cover you internationally?
  • Do you have a credit card with benefits?

If you have answered any of these questions with no, you should look into business travel insurance. You do not want to be abroad, have a medical emergency and worry about the costs. There are different ways you can cover yourself during your business trips. We will discuss some of them below.

Upgrade your health insurance

Many health insurance companies have upgrades that can cover medical bills abroad and emergency transport etc. You should consider changing to another health insurance if the international coverage is not reasonable enough for you. Most basic health insurances do not or only cover medical costs partially. For better cover during travel, you will need to upgrade. Keep in mind that they will not cover travel inconveniences such as lost luggage or delays.

Look into what your credit card offers

Many credit cards offer travel insurance. You can either use your personal or your company credit card to see which one offers the best travel insurance. If you want to use your credit card travel insurance, be aware that you need to pay at least a part of the trip expenses with the card. Keep in mind that credit card travel insurance is quite limited, hence annual coverage limits not per trip. Read into the fine print of the conditions to find out what they cover.

Invest in a separate (business) travel insurance

Or better yet, try convincing your company to invest in one. There are various options: Some you pay every month, another option is travel insurance per trip, or some are available on a yearly basis. What does the travel insurance company do for you?

  •     Track lost luggage
  •     Offer baggage delay coverage
  •     Travel assistance
  •     Find local medical care
  •     Locate translators
  •     Cover lost luggage till a certain amount
  •     Cover trip interruption
  •     Trip cancellation coverage

The difference

As mentioned above, health insurance only covers medical expenses. Credit Cards only cover trips that were fully or partially paid with the card. Travel insurance covers your medical bills and any other inconveniences during your trip. If you do not travel often, you can combine your health insurance and credit card travel insurance and have a safety net during your trip. But if you are a frequent business traveller a separate travel insurance plan is highly advised. 

Tips

  1.     Before you choose travel insurance, compare the limits of cover with the amount that is deducted from a payout or your own mandatory coverage.
  1.     Try not to use tools like websites that compare insurances, because the insurance companies will show their lowest prices to make sure they appear at the top of the search results. But these low prices come with low coverage and high mandatory personal coverage. Visit the websites of the insurance companies and write what is necessary for yourself and make your own comparison tool.
  1.     If you travel more than four times a year, it is best to invest in travel insurance on a yearly basis. If you travel less than that, go for separate travel insurance for your trips.

Now you know if you need separate travel insurance, the ways you can cover yourself during your business trips and some of our tips. At Short Stay Citizens we ensure full legal security throughout the booking process and your entire stay. That is one less worry, however, having travel insurance is of great importance for frequent travellers. We hope you’ll find your perfect fit after reading our blog. Any tips for fellow travellers? Comment below!

 

 

 

 

By Leticia Cardoso

 

Sources:

Business Travel Insurance 

Guide to travel insurance, 2016

 

 


Short Stay Citizens' Pillars Explained

Stay Royal, Stay Together or Stay Central. Terms you regularly see used by us. But what do they represent? What are the differences between Stay Local and Stay Central? We have divided our serviced apartments into six different pillars. We believe in certain feelings and tailored needs. While some want peace and quiet, others want to stay in the centre of it all. Continue reading to find out what they mean, stand for and what vibe each of the pillars brings. After reading this you will know what pillar might suit you best…..

 

#StayHigh

Stay High

Are you afraid of heights? Or can you just stare at the city’s skyline for hours?  With our Stay High apartments, you will have the most beautiful views in the city. Enjoy the views from the balcony, but some of them even have a private rooftop! You will feel like you’re on top of the world. The serviced apartments in this pillar are located in vibrant cities like New York, Hong Kong and Dubai.  

 

#StayLocal

Stay Local

Feel like you are a local, no matter where you are staying! Located in vibrant neighbourhoods with shops and restaurants right at your footsteps. There is no running or escaping the locals since you will be living right next to them. Embrace the charm of the local community!

 

#StayChic

Stay Chic

You want to enjoy the luxuries of life, host dinner parties, have easy access to fine cuisine and cultural highlights as museums and theatres. If this sounds like music to your ears, select our elegant serviced apartments in the Stay Chic pillar. Stay Chic serviced apartments are commonly stylish and fashionable apartments located in cultivated areas. 

 

#StayCentral & #StayTogether

Stay Central

As the name says it, the locations are central. This pillar is perfect for the global nomads or business travellers that are continuously on the move. The apartments are located nearby public transport and have good connections with airports. Stay Central serviced apartments are also typically surrounded by-or nearby- amazing restaurants, bars, shopping streets, and parking garages.

 

#StayTogether

Stay Together

Is your family staying with you? Of course you’d want the apartment to be in a nice, quiet and family-friendly neighbourhood. Well, Stay Together serviced apartments provide these. Additionally, these apartments also tend to be near some greenery as well!  These serviced apartments have multiple rooms and fulfil the needs of each member of the family. It will feel like home, to all!

 

#StayRoyal

Stay Royal

Last but most definitely not least, SSC’s most luxurious and glamorous serviced apartments. Live like royalty with great services offered at all times. The Stay Royal pillar is a collection of hotel suites offering space, luxury and privacy for those who crave it. 

 

Still can’t choose what pillar suits you best? Or are you feeling multiple vibes? Some serviced apartments qualify for more than one pillar. For example, you can Stay Central and Stay Together if an apartment has multiple bedrooms and is also located near public transport. For every pillar, Short Stay Citizens provides quality serviced apartments, offered by carefully selected providers and most important, safety and legal security during the entire stay.  

 

Book your serviced apartment with Short Stay Citizens today! Click here!

 

By Leticia G. Cardoso

 

Sources: Short Stay Citizens, Our Pillars

 


Travel Compliance for Business Travelers: Why an effective Travel Compliance method is important for Multinationals as well as Business Travellers

You are about to embark on an exciting journey to work for your company abroad, something that you will have to keep into account is the type of travel compliance policy your company employs. These are the things that you should take into account when dealing with Travel Compliances and what it means for an employee or employer.

Travel compliance is an agreement multinational companies have to take into consideration when sending employees abroad, such as regulations of the host country and policies the company itself has in place. Not all companies employ the same methods regarding their Travel Compliance, but all of them are in place to make sure spending does not exceed reasonable amounts and laws and regulations are taken into account- while providing professionals with comfortable accommodations when working abroad.

Why do companies bring over or send employees abroad?

One could argue that there is no need to move employees around from one place to another, because why not just hire someone that already lives there? In most cases, this is not attractive for companies if there is a certain type of expertise needed which they cannot find in the country they operate. It would be much more effective to rely on an employee that has a track record and familiarity with the company.

There are various risks involved for business travellers and companies when the regulations of a host country are not taken into account, what are these risks exactly?

For the company

  • Fines
  • Not being able to apply for new working permits
  • In rare cases civil/criminal action

For employees

  • Entry denied to the country
  • Fine(s)
  • Incarceration

Apart from the external risks companies and employees are exposed to when not carefully handling their papers- there are policies set by Multinationals to ensure employees travelling to work abroad do not spend excessive amounts of money. Of course, a multinational is not going to monitor an employees’ every move while this person is abroad, as this would not only breach their privacy but also create a hostile working environment. Instead, companies choose to set certain policies and methods in place to ensure employees do not exceed the set budget- these methods are never able to control expenses entirely, making acting in good faith on both sides imperative.

Expense management is a vital aspect of travel compliance, but what type of methods and processes can multinationals put in place?

  • Automation: By having a monitoring system in place to see what type of expenses are made, a red flag can indicate which expenses are of the highest importance.
  • Process optimization: Along with automation optimizing the processes that go along with detecting certain expenses are important, by automatically searching for the largest expenses it would be possible to avoid looking at all of them individually, instead, focusing on the most important ones.
  • Expense reports: By examining expense reports of an employee over a longer period it would be possible to see whether this person has a predisposition to spend excessively.
  • Comparing Employees: Aside from individual expense reports it is also effective to compare employees with each other to see if one of them spends more than the other while keeping relative measures into account.
  • Resolution Workflow: By assigning certain names for the cases in which excessive spending has been made, it would be possible to categorize them, thereafter it would be possible to see which ones are a recurring problem and give employees training to prevent it in the future.
  • Expense report data mine: By storing cases of excessive spending it would be possible to have useful information for other methods such as comparing employee expenses and having a centralized system possible.
  • Comprehensive Centralized System: By combining several types of information that can be gathered a centralized system will enable it to effectively deal with information.

Overall, it can be said that Travel Compliance is something that will be increasingly important in the future, parallel to the rising amount of Business Travellers. For companies, this means managing expenses properly and employees should be well informed about what type of expenses they are allowed to make.

 

Short Stay Citizens

If you’re in need of serviced apartments, use Short Stay Citizens to relieve you from the accommodation compliance. Short Stay Citizens work with professional serviced apartment providers to ensure industry recognised compliance standards.

 

 

By Selçuk Salman

 

Sources:

Visa Traveler, 2019 

The Accidental Expat, Baker McKenzie

Corporate Compliance Insights, 2016


Global Nomads vs. Tourists

People are travelling around the world to explore, learn and enjoy new places, cultures, languages, for their own personal growth. Everyone travels in their own way, whether that is by getting a hotel, an apartment, a room, or with a camper. Everyone has their own preferences when it comes to travelling and how they will be spending their time in the city or country. 

There are two differences made when it comes to the people travelling, namely, the tourist and the global nomad. Well, at least global nomads make that distinction themselves.

Global Nomads

Global nomads have the desire to connect with the country.

Global nomads like and want to be called a global nomad, global citizen, traveller or if they are backpacking a backpacker. For now, we’ll just be using the word, global nomad.

A global nomad is someone who is well travelled. They travel frequently, usually for an extended period, and have the desire to connect with the country. They stay at local accommodations, join locals in their daily routine, connect with local educators, professionals and community members to learn firsthand about their culture, history and language. They want to learn and grow from their experience in another country and take what they have learned and share that with their community, whether that is back at home or online. They want to know how locals live their lives. Global nomads want to meet people in their homes, have authentic meals and contribute to their community in any way possible. A global nomad will do some research into the country before going and will even learn a few phrases to show their gratitude. For example, greetings, thank you’s and how to address someone. 

Tourists

Tourists often don't stray too far from the hotel.

According to the Cambridge dictionary, the definition of a tourist is: ‘’someone who visits a place for pleasure and interest, usually on a holiday.’’ In addition, a tourist does not travel frequently and travels mostly during the holidays. They often travel to a city or country that can offer them something special that their country or city can’t offer, for example, good weather or beaches. They will mostly stay in the hotel and will not stray too far from it. Tourists usually stay in the city centre, join in activities offered by the hotel and visit the hotspots. A tourist will want all the comforts they have at home available in other countries, including food. A tourist will visit restaurants with a familiar menu or dine at the hotel. 

 

 

At the end of the day, we all want to visit new places, explore, learn and enjoy ourselves. The only difference is how we do it. What works for you might not work for another and we should not shame one another for that. Just remember the next time you are travelling, whether as a tourist or a global nomad, we all want to have an amazing experience! 

 

 

By Naziha Bentouhami 

 

Sources:

Cambridge Dictionary

Nicola Balmain, Nanda Journeys