5 Tips for Coordinating Extended Business Travel

No matter how you slice it, planning a long business trip can be challenging. If you’re coordinating extended business travel for yourself, one of your employees, or an entire company, there are plenty of logistics to think about, including lodging, costs, safety concerns, health, etc. To make the task easier on you, here are 5 helpful tips for planning an extended business trip for yourself or your staff.

Make Travel Plans as Early as Possible

Sometimes, last-minute trips are unavoidable —but the sooner you can make travel arrangements for an upcoming trip, the better. You’re more likely to get better rates on airfare and lodging by booking early, and you may also be able to redeem travel rewards to save even more.

Pack Accordingly

Determining how to pack for an extended stay can be one of the most frustrating aspects of a business trip, largely because there’s a fine line between under-packing and over-packing. Using luggage with extra compartments can help conserve space, as can rolling clothes instead of folding them. Your packing should include the following basics:

  • Your work materials
  • Electronics and chargers (e.g., laptops, tablets, phones)
  • Toiletries
  • Clothes for a range of temperatures
  • Casual clothing along with business attire (you won’t be in meetings the entire time, after all)

Allow for Down Time in Your Schedule

Longer trips require a bit of pacing to keep yourself or your employees healthy and to prevent exhaustion. Try not to “hit the ground running”; instead, allow a day of downtime between travel days and work days to take a breath and regroup. While on the trip, be careful to allow enough space between appointments, and if the trip lasts more than a week, be sure to schedule days off.

Track Expenses

If things get hectic during a business trip, it can be easy to lose track of expenses. Try to adopt some sort of system to help you and your team keep track — not only to stay on budget, but to make sure you’re able to claim eligible deductions later.

Work with a Corporate Lodging Provider

For extended stays, short-term corporate housing is a safer, more affordable alternative to expensive hotels — plus working with a corporate lodging provider makes the entire process of coordinating extended business travel much easier because the lodging details are handled by a professional.

If you’re trying to coordinate a business trip to Atlanta or Jacksonville, TP Corporate Lodging can arrange for you and your team to stay in fully-furnished, comfortable apartments for less than the cost of a hotel. Give us a call at 800.428.9997 to learn more.


Why Choose Corporate Lodging?

When you travel on business for an extended stay, or if you need temporary housing during a relocation, you have a number of options available — for example, extended stay hotels or Airbnb. However, many relocation experts recommend corporate lodging as a safer, more affordable alternative for extended stays.

Why choose corporate lodging? Working with a certified corporate housing provider enables you to rent a clean, comfortable furnished apartment with the comforts of home, giving you greater peace of mind whatever your reason for traveling. Let’s explore some of the reasons why you might want to choose corporate lodging over other temporary housing options.

Corporate Housing Is More Affordable than Hotels

The cost of a hotel stay can add up quickly, even in extended stay properties, generally because you’re paying for extra conveniences and amenities you don’t need and will probably never use. Corporate housing is much more affordable, in part because you’re not paying for those amenities. For less than the cost of a small hotel room, the corporate lodging option provides you with an actual furnished apartment with fully equipped kitchen and the comforts of home. (Plus, you often benefit from the additional amenities of the apartment community where you’re staying.)

Corporate Housing Is Safer than Hotels

Even with added security measures, thieves like to frequent hotels looking for careless travelers to prey upon — not to mention hotel staff can access your room whenever they wish. In addition, with different people staying in the rooms every night, sanitation is an ongoing challenge. Corporate lodging is typically safer in these regards because your apartment is clean, private and affords limited access — plus, predators aren’t looking for you there.

A Better Option for Travelers with Pets

If you bring a pet on an extended stay, you have a number of additional challenges. Many hotels are not pet-friendly, and those that are may charge extra for the privilege — not to mention the risk of flea or tick infestations from pets who have been in the room before you. A kennel typically isn’t a good option, either, because many pets become ill or deal with separation anxiety when left in a kennel for long periods of time. Corporate lodging provides an ideal alternative for pet owners because your pet gets to stay with you in a homelike environment, following a similar routine to what they do when you are home.

Greater Benefits for Companies

If you are a business providing temporary housing for one or more of your employees, working with a corporate housing partner offers a wide range of advantages over booking multiple hotel rooms. Not only do your employees benefit from more comfortable lodging, but your task becomes much less stressful when you have a local agent handling the details for you. In addition, you may also enjoy some added tax benefits by working with a corporate lodging provider.

These are just a few of the reasons why you should consider corporate lodging over hotels for extended stays. If you need short-term housing in Atlanta or Jacksonville, we can help. Call TP Corporate Lodging today at 800.428.9997.


Tips for Choosing Corporate Lodging

For extended business trips, company transfers, transitional housing or temporary housing during a home renovation, choosing a furnished short-term corporate rental is often a more comfortable and affordable option than staying in a hotel. Corporate lodging offers all the comforts of a “home away from home” so you can relax during down times and stay healthy during extended business trips or other times of transition.

That being said, not all short-term housing options are created equal. Some corporate housing firms operate with terms you may be uncomfortable with; others may nickel-and-dime you with hidden costs or simply don’t offer the types of furnishings you need. To ensure the best possible experience and the best value for the money, we offer the following tips for choosing corporate lodging.

Make Preparations in Advance

With any temporary extended stay, there are a number of logistical things you must consider (for example, knowing what to pack, forwarding mail, etc.). The following list of 8 things to do before moving into temporary housing should help you stay on track.

Know Which Questions to Ask

What furniture is included in your apartment? Is there any additional security deposit? Which utilities are included in the rent? Are vacuums, kitchen utensils and cleaning supplies included? Can I request certain furniture pieces? Are there any hidden costs? When talking with any corporate lodging agency, you need to ask these and other questions to make sure there are no unexpected surprises. We’ve put together a checklist of questions that should help.

If Using Airbnb, Look for Certified Corporate Lodging

Airbnb can be a great resource for finding furnished homes and apartments for cheaper rates than a hotel, but not every host on that platform operates up to Airbnb’s exacting standards. For the most consistent experience, make sure the host you choose is a certified corporate lodging agent. This article explains how in further detail.

Work with a Local Company

For best results, try to work with a corporate lodging agent with specific experience in the city you’re traveling to. For example, if you’re looking for a good corporate apartment in Atlanta, a local agent will have the inside scoop on travel times, traffic patterns and the best corporate housing options in Atlanta. Likewise, if you’re traveling to Jacksonville, Florida, a localized agency will have the best info on top corporate housing in Jacksonville.

Whether your extended stay is for business or pleasure, following these tips should help you find the right furnished temporary housing for your needs. If you’re looking for the best corporate lodging options in Atlanta or in Jacksonville, TP Corporate Lodging can help. Give us a call today at 800.428.9997.


5 Questions to Ask Before Moving into Corporate Lodging

If your business or company sends you to another city for an extended stay, temporary corporate housing provides an excellent alternative to expensive and constraining hotel stays. Corporate lodging typically provides a fully furnished apartment rather than a single room or suite, with a fully equipped kitchen and other extras. However, these lodgings naturally work a bit differently than hotels or shared housing platforms like Airbnb. To help you find your bearings and know what to expect, here are 5 important questions to ask before moving into any corporate apartment.

1. What amenities and benefits are included in the price?

With temporary corporate housing, you’re moving into an actual apartment or residence, not a hotel room. As a result, you may be trading some advantages for a few luxury amenities provided by hotels that you probably won’t use, anyway. That said, every housing agency operates a little differently, so don’t assume a certain amenity is included — always ask for a list. If the unit is in an established apartment complex, chances are you’ll be able to access most of the amenities that complex provides (for example, a fitness center, pool or community area), but check with your management company first. If you need something that isn’t included, your agency may be able to arrange it for you.

2. Who pays for utilities?

If you’re going to be staying on a while, especially, make sure you have this information up front. Some corporate rental agencies include the cost of utilities in the cost of the rent, but some may not. Best to know up front to avoid any unpleasant surprises.

3. Is housekeeping included?

Again, you’re staying in an apartment, not an actual hotel with housekeepers. In many cases, housekeeping service is a benefit that is traded off in exchange for a larger, more comfortable living space, as well as to keep your costs down. If housekeeping is not included in the price and you need that service, ask your corporate lodging agent if housekeeping can be arranged.

4. Is the unit pet-friendly?

This is a very important question to ask if you’re bringing a dog or cat with you. Some units are pet-friendly, but if you bring a pet into a unit that is not, and that pet causes damage, you may be responsible for extra expenses. Ask in advance; a good agency can usually accommodate this need with pet-friendly lodging.

5. Whom do I call with a problem or maintenance issue?

Let’s face it — things happen. A toilet backs up, a dishwasher breaks. Since you’re effectively renting from a housing company rather than the apartment manager, you need to know up front who to call if something goes wrong. Sometimes the agency will have you contact the residential management office; other times they’ll ask you to call them directly. Make sure you know who to call to get your problem resolved — and make sure you’re also provided with an after-hours phone number for emergencies.

At TP Corporate Lodging, we go the extra mile to make sure your home-away-from-home meets all your needs, and we make sure you know what’s included and who to call if you run into trouble. To learn more about our available corporate housing in Atlanta and Jacksonville, call us today at 800.428.9997.


Where to Find Luxury Furnished Rentals in Atlanta

If you’re coming to Atlanta, Georgia for an extended stay—whether for work, pleasure, health issues, family issues, etc. — finding a decent place to stay can certainly be a challenge. Hotels can get very expensive, and most apartments are unfurnished and want you to sign a lease of at least 6 months. You need something worry-free, preferably something with some amenities — but where do you look? How do you find luxury furnished rentals in Atlanta? Let’s explore a few options.

Craigslist

In recent years, Craigslist has become a go-to site for anyone looking for just about anything at a decent price — including short-term and furnished rental property. Craigslist has virtually replaced the classifieds. The caution is that Craigslist is largely unpoliced, and a lot of scam artists use it to prey on the unsuspecting. It’s not uncommon to put down a deposit on an apartment that is already occupied by someone, only to have the “landlord” suddenly disappear. You need to vet every lead carefully if you go this route.

Airbnb

Airbnb has become one of the world’s most popular platforms for finding short-term housing, and it’s definitely possible to find a great place to stay using this platform. However, again, you’re often dealing with individuals renting out their spaces, and quality control is an ongoing issue. Also, if you’re not careful, you could end up spending nearly hotel rates on a so-called “luxury” space.

Rental Management Companies/Real Estate Agents

People coming in from out of town often try a more conventional route in finding furnished rental units — approaching a management company or even a local real estate agent. Occasionally you can find something to suit your needs through either of these channels, but it’s akin to looking for a needle in a haystack. Management companies sometimes have furnished rentals, but most of them deal with unfurnished units and require a lease — and real estate agents almost exclusively deal with units for sale. Don’t be surprised if you come up empty-handed.

Corporate Housing Company

In most cases, one of the best solutions for finding a good luxury furnished rental in Atlanta is to work with a local corporate housing agency — a company that actually specializes in short-term housing solutions. A good agency can offer a selection of fully-furnished apartments in luxury complexes offering a full array of amenities — for a fraction of the cost of a hotel stay. These units are the closest thing you can get to having a “home away from home,” and the process is simple and painless.

If you need to find a comfortable furnished rental for an extended stay in Atlanta, we are here to help! Call TP Corporate Lodging today 800.428.9997.


How Temporary Housing Works for Insurance Claims

It’s a situation none of us wants to think about, but occasionally homes do get destroyed or rendered uninhabitable by fire or natural disaster. If it happens to you, it can feel like the end of the world. Even if no one was hurt, you’re facing the potential loss of many belongings, possibly of sentimental value — not to mention the question of finding temporary housing for your family and yourself while you figure out what comes next.

The good news is that if you carry a good homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy, there is probably a provision in there that allocates funds for temporary housing in the event of fire or natural disaster. You’ll usually find this provision under a “loss of use” coverage clause or even “additional expenses.” (If your current policy doesn’t provide this coverage, we highly recommend getting one that does.) By default, many insurance companies (and homeowners) assume that “temporary housing” means putting your family up in a hotel while repairs are made to your home. But this poses another set of problems: What happens if you can’t move back home for months? Is your family supposed to stay in a cramped hotel all that time? And since hotels are expensive, what if the hotel costs are more than your coverage allows, whether as a daily rate or a total amount?

A Better Solution

This dilemma can be solved by another, better option: Obtain temporary housing through a corporate housing agency. Instead of defaulting to a hotel, you and your family can stay in a fully furnished luxury apartment. This option gives your family plenty of space and all the comforts of home — not to mention any additional amenities offered by the apartment complex — and your insurance company will love it because it usually costs significantly less than a hotel stay.

How Insurance Works with Temporary Corporate Housing

In most cases, your insurance covers corporate housing in much the same way the policy would handle a hotel stay. This typically happens in one of three ways:

  • Your insurance company handles the arrangements with the housing provider directly. This option is the easiest because you just get to move in without worrying about up-front costs. If your policy works this way, you may need to advise the insurance company of your wish to stay in corporate housing so they don’t put you in a hotel by default.
  • You file a claim and the insurance company reimburses you. This option requires you to pay upfront for your housing, but you get it back eventually.
  • You obtain an advance payment from the insurance company. If your insurance provider wants to reimburse your claim, you may be able to get them to advance you part of the money up front. This option provides a suitable compromise if you don’t have the money to pay out of pocket initially.

Other Important Tips

A couple of other things you need to be aware of when looking at temporary housing after a disaster:

  • Corporate housing may not be covered in the event of flood. Most homeowner’s and renter’s policies don’t cover floods. If you live in a flood-prone area, you may be required to carry separate flood insurance FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), but this provision also doesn’t cover additional living expenses like temporary housing. If you’ve been displaced by flood, contact FEMA to find out your best options.
  • Read the fine print of your policy — before disaster strikes. Don’t assume your housing is covered in the event of a disaster; make sure of it. Find out how much money your policy allows for additional living expenses or loss of use, and find out whether the insurance company prefers to handle the arrangements or reimburse you. That way, you’ll be prepared for what happens with fewer surprises in the event of a disaster.

In Atlanta or Jacksonville, TP Corporate Lodging will work with your insurance company to get your family into a comfortable, fully-furnished temporary apartment in the event of fire or natural disaster. To learn more, call us today at 800.428.9997.


Short-Term Furnished Housing for Atlanta Renovations

Atlanta is a city full of life and texture, including many new and historic homes. Sometimes a renovation or remodeling project can make your home unlivable or highly inconvenient for extended lengths of time. At other times, if you’re building a home, the construction timeline may be delayed due to weather, supply shortages or any of a number of other factors. These temporary inconveniences will be worth it in the end, but what do you do when your living situation is in transition? Let’s explore a few options for short-term furnished housing for Atlanta renovations.

Why Hotels Aren’t Always the Best Idea

By default, many families choose to book rooms in a nearby hotel while their home is going through renovations. Some hotels are indeed geared for extended stays, offering larger suites, kitchenettes and even small apartments. However, this may not always be the best choice for your family. For one thing, hotels come at premium rates, including amenities and services you’re not even likely to use — and even extended stay hotels can get costly over time. Plus, if your renovations go over time or over budget, it doesn’t take long to deplete any savings you’ve accumulated over time.

Airbnb? Maybe…

These days, online platforms like Airbnb are providing a popular alternative to expensive hotels by allowing people to list extra rooms, apartments and even houses for rent. Here in the Atlanta area, it’s fairly easy to find a fully-furnished place large enough for a family, usually for less than the cost of a comparable hotel suite. While this option has its advantages, there are ongoing questions about quality control as some people find their apartments aren’t as advertised, or their hosts don’t take good care of them. Airbnb is taking steps to reduce these risks, but it still may take a little bit of vetting to find the right room.

Corporate Short-Term Housing

Here’s a third option that many people overlook or are unaware of: work with a corporate housing agency to procure short-term housing. This type of service is frequently used by companies or employees staying on business, but it actually works quite well for families in transition, as well. (In fact, some people stay in short-term corporate housing during relocation while looking for a permanent place to live.) A corporate lodging agency arranges for you and your family to stay in a fully-furnished apartment in the Atlanta area, usually with full access to the amenities of that complex, for a fraction of what a hotel usually costs. This options basically gets you the comforts of home for however long you need it, without breaking the bank.

If you’re in the midst of an Atlanta home renovation and need an option for short-term housing, TP Corporate Lodging is here to help. To learn more about availability and rates, give us a call at 800.428.9997.


Choosing a Corporate Production Housing Partner

When you’re bringing a full film crew to another city for a production shoot, the fewer details you have to worry about, the better. Here in Atlanta, which has in recent years become one of the busiest film production hubs on the planet, there’s a constant challenge to find enough available short-term housing for incoming film professionals (and sometimes their families). Finding creative ways to fill this need — within budget — can be a full-time job in itself. One great way to solve the problem is to work with a corporate production housing partner — an agent or company who can make these arrangements for you. Here are some tips for finding the right company to work with.

Look for a Company Specializing in Furnished Apartments

To be clear: For best results, you don’t need a “booking agent” or glorified travel agent whose job it is to book enough hotel rooms or Airbnb to cover your housing needs. That strategy can be costly, deliver inconsistent results and may not give your team the level of comfort they really need for an extended shoot. For any shoot lasting longer than a week, look for agencies that specialize in fully furnished apartments at corporate rates. That way, you can be better assured your team will rest more comfortably at night and come to the set refreshed and ready to work.

Look for a Company with Local Expertise

Corporate housing companies with a national reach may appear professional and well-connected, but there’s really no substitute for working with an agency with local ties to the community. Some reasons why this is true:

  • A local corporate housing company knows the various neighborhoods and “hotspots,” knows your prospective filming locations and knows which apartments would be most comfortable and convenient for your team.
  • A local agency will have solid, trusted working relationships with apartment complexes across the city, making it much easier to procure sufficient housing in a short amount of time.
  • A local company will also have a better ability to customize a corporate housing plan to suit your specific needs — all the way down to providing individualized attention to the needs of your teammates. (For example, if someone is bringing a dog or needs a high chair, these are accommodations more easily met by a local company.)

Film productions are stressful enough on their own, even at those rare times when things are going exactly as planned. Don’t add to the stress of your Atlanta film shoot by taking on the burden of finding housing for your crew. TP Corporate Lodging can be your trusted corporate housing partner to make sure your team can live and rest comfortably without breaking the bank. To learn more, call us at 800.428.9997.


How to Find Certified Corporate Lodging on Airbnb

In recent years, Airbnb has gained a lot of steam as a platform to find comfortable lodging as an alternative to more expensive hotels. It can be very useful for families to find vacation rentals or for business travelers to find affordable places for extended stays. It’s also a way for private individuals to make a little extra income off their property — and, ironically, here’s where the challenges lie. Even with robust screening in place, it can be difficult for Airbnb to monitor quality control for the individual renting their place for the weekend versus a certified corporate lodging partner with consistent standards (like TP Corporate) who also may be using the site.

Fortunately, there are a few ways to find certified corporate lodging on Airbnb while weeding through the many private listings that may or may not be as advertised or up to your standards. Here are some tips.

Check out Airbnb’s Corporate Travel Section

Unbeknownst to some, Airbnb has a specific portal for business travelers to find great places to stay on business. This presents a great opportunity to find lodging that is especially work-friendly, and you’re more likely to find a higher concentration of listings there by corporate lodging agencies.

Look for the “Plus” Button

In an effort to improve quality control across the site, Airbnb has launched Airbnb Plus, a new classification guaranteeing the highest quality standards in their listings. Plus listings have a history of consistently high reviews and are personally visited by Airbnb staff to pass a 100-point inspection. Many corporate lodging partners qualify for the “Plus” ranking, so this is also a good way to find them.

Research Specific Hosts

When you come across a listing on the site that seems to check all the boxes for you, dig a little deeper and click on the host icon. Find out whether it’s an individual or a business and whether they have multiple properties available. This is also a good way to identify a company providing quality corporate housing.

Many users have had good experiences all around with Airbnb, which is one reason the site is so popular. However, a few bad apples still slip through the cracks, and when you’re trying to make quick plans for business travel, you want to be certain you’re getting a good unit and a good host without having to do hours of research. The best way to do that is to find a reliable corporate lodging partner with a track record of quality. If you’re heading to Atlanta or Jacksonville on business and need reliable, affordable lodging, call TP Corporate Lodging at 800.428.9997.


Short-Term Medical Lodging Resources for Patients & Families

An extended family health crisis can add untold amounts of stress on patients and families alike. Not only is there the concern for the patient’s well-being, but the added financial pressure of healthcare and medical expenses can take a huge toll on the family, as well. Occasionally, the best treatment can’t be found at local facilities, and the patient may need to spend time at a specialized facility in another city or state. This means finding short-term lodging for the patient and the family members who accompany him/her — all adding up to even more expenses.

How can family members juggle all these details and extra expenses when all they want to do is be there to support their loved one during treatment? The good news is that if you’re going through something like this, there are housing options available that you might not have considered. Some of these options can save you money over expensive hotels, and some can even function as a home-away-from-home. Let’s explore some short-term medical lodging resources for patients and their families, discussing some of the advantages and possible disadvantages of each.

Hotel Discounts

For most people, the default option for temporary, out-of-town lodging is a hotel or motel. The problem is that these hotels come at a premium cost, and even those properties designed for extended stays can add up quickly in price. The good news is that sometimes medical healthcare facilities negotiate special discounts with nearby hotels to help offset the cost (ask your healthcare facility for a list of options).

  • Advantages: Using medical discounts at a hotel is a quick, convenient way to answer the question of where you’re going to stay so you can give more attention to your loved one. The discounts are sometimes significant and can lessen the financial burden.
  • Disadvantages: Even at discounted rates, hotels can be costly — and the cheaper ones with fewer amenities frequently aren’t comfortable enough for longer stays. Unless you’re staying in a suite, spending weeks in a single room can also add stress to an already difficult situation.

Hospital-Affiliated Housing/Non-profit Groups

Some healthcare facilities also have set up some form of specialized housing for families to stay in at discounted rates while their loved one undergoes treatment. This housing is often set up to feel as home-like as possible (although there are some limitations), and they are often specialized to accommodate a certain type of illness (for example, cancer treatment). There are also non-profit organizations that provide temporary housing for families in health crises for little or no cost. (Ronald McDonald House is an excellent example, providing housing for families with sick children.)

  • Advantages: Hospital-affiliated and charitable housing are geared to making a healthcare crisis easier on the family. They are deliberately close to the facility (either across the street or in walking distance), provide home-like facilities and sometimes even meals, and can greatly reduce the cost of short-term lodging.
  • Disadvantages: Due to great demand, these housing options are frequently limited on space and availability. They also may restrict admittance to families dealing with a specific type of healthcare issue.

Shared Housing Platforms (e.g. Airbnb)

In recent years, another housing option has emerged that can help families find home-like conditions out of town at a reasonable cost. Using an online platform or app like Airbnb, families can rent fully furnished homes and apartments made available by their owners. These come at a variety of price points, but they are generally comparable to or cheaper than hotels.

  • Advantages: Airbnb and similar platforms help families find actual residences to stay in, including fully equipped kitchens so families can do their own cooking. The home-like surroundings make it easier to stay for longer periods of time.
  • Disadvantages: While these platforms are taking steps to improve quality control, it’s often a “buyer beware” situation. Lodging options may not always be as advertised, and individual service may vary.

Short-term Corporate Housing

One highly effective housing option that often goes overlooked is to work with a short-term corporate housing agency, one that specializes in providing furnished residences for stays lasting longer than a week to several months. Businesses often use these agencies to provide housing for traveling employees, but they can be a great option for patients and families, as well. The agency arranges for the family to stay in a fully furnished apartment (often with luxury amenities) for a fraction of the cost of hotel stays.

  • Advantages: Corporate lodging can add up to significant savings for families in medical crises while providing an actual, fully furnished residence to stay in. Since the housing company oversees the details, quality control is greatly improved over Airbnb and similar options, as well.

Whether you or a loved one is undergoing rehab, fighting cancer or dealing with some other debilitating illness, the last thing you need is to face unnecessary financial burdens associated with your extended stay lodging. If you or your loved one requires treatment in Atlanta or Jacksonville, TP Corporate Lodging can provide high-quality corporate lodging for the family at very reasonable rates. To learn more, call us today at 800.428.9997.