4 Gift Giving Ideas for the Traveling Professional

Are you ready for Christmas? Do you look forward to buying presents, or do you dread it? If you’re on the road, these 4 quick tips can help take the stress out of gift shopping. Christmas present

1. Shop Online.
We love our families, and if you’re traveling, you may not have time to go to the store. Consider shopping online. Most corporate apartments include wi-fi, so you can buy for your loved ones from the comfort of your own living room. No need to wrap presents or fill out cards. All that is done for you when you order. Consider sending the website to your loved ones and asking them to pick out what they like, so you know you know what they want. At Amazon, your recipient can add items to their wishlist, then send the link to you. It couldn’t be simpler. Right?

2. Buy Gift Cards.
Gift cards are a great way to buy presents. Many financial institutions offer the cards in a variety of denominations for a small activation fee. If you don’t have time to stand in line at the bank, pick up some cards at Walmart or the grocery store when you are waiting to check out. With a gift card, your family can pick out what they want and do the shopping themselves.

3. Pay someone else to shop.
For professionals who want to ensure a more personal touch, consider paying a friend or family member to do your Christmas shopping for you. This is a great option when you live far from the people you want to give a gift to. For years, my sister in Washington paid my oldest daughters to shop for her, wrap the gifts and put them under the tree on her behalf. Imagine the joy on their siblings’ faces when they opened a gift they had been admiring for weeks in the store! You become the hero and everyone, including the shoppers, are happy.

4. Dedicate one weekend just to shopping.
If your staying in a furnished apartment away from home, you can use the weekend to pick up momentos and souvenirs that family members will remember for a long time. Purchase unusual items that are specific to the locale you are working in. In South Central Texas, you can find interesting salsas that travel well and are perfect for the person who loves hot food. It’s a great way to show you were thinking about your family and friends while you were gone.

Christmas shopping is easy to do with a little planning when you are traveling. These tips can get you started and help make the holiday season enjoyable. And when you have to live away from home, let us know how we can help you with a furnished apartment for your temporary home. Come home to Capri, your home away from home. Happy holidays!

Anna Scheller, CCHP

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Four Questions to Ask When Looking for Corporate Housing

Fully Furnished Short Term ApartmentKimberly Smith is a pioneer in the corporate housing industry. As the CEO of Corporate Housing By Owner, she has helped countless homeowners and companies promote their corporate housing inventory on line. In her blog post, “Top Corporate Housing Rental Questions to Ask”, she offers some important information on what you can do to ensure you receive the best experience.
When renting a furnished apartment, Kim urges clients to ask quality questions. As she points out, “All Corporate Housing Rentals or Corporate Housing Companies are NOT created equal.” Be sure to ask about the following:

1. Fees. Companies and individuals vary as to what they charge and what is included. Kimberly offers the following questions to ask a prospective provider. “What does the monthly rent include? Are there discounts for longer leases?” Ask about fees and deposits. What is refundable and what is not? By asking about the charges, hidden costs don’t need to spoil an otherwise enjoyable stay!

2. Location. Many people assume that a provider has an office nearby, but that’s not always the case. Kim recommends asking how to get help if issues arise. Ask about amenities provided with the apartment. Knowing what to expect and what services are available helps you have a more pleasant stay!

3. Policies. Kim advises renters to ask about the company’s policies. What happens if you are unhappy with your accommodations? Reputable providers will make sure that you are comfortable, but things can go wrong. How is that handled? Be sure to ask the question before you commit, so you know what to expect.

4. Certified. As a former President of the board of directors of the Corporate Housing Providers Association (CHPA), Kim highly recommends that you find out if your provider is a member of CHPA. “CHPA is the trade organization for the corporate housing industry and requires specific levels of professionalism, excellence, customer service, and ethical standards,” she says. Company representatives who are certified corporate housing providers (CCHP) have passed a test to ensure they abide by these standards.

Corporate housing is a growing and ever evolving industry. As an industry, professionals will strive to provide the best in short term furnished housing for a variety of people. I think Kimberly says it best. “You can count on one thing staying the same: corporate housing always has and will continue to provide short-term furnished housing to individuals and business executives who need a place to call home, even if only for a short while.” Thanks, Kim!

Anna Scheller, CCHP
Capri Temporary Housing
For more questions to ask, visit Kim’s blog at http://www.corporatehousingbyowner.com/blog/2013/10/top-corporate-housing-rental-questions-to-ask/

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