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Tips for Temporary Lodging

Our Best Tips for Your Temporary Lodging Stay

Whether you are in between moves or staying somewhere for short period of time, you will need temporary lodging. This can be a hassle for anyone, but there are things you can do to make it simple. Here are some of our top tips for making your temporary lodging stay as easy as possible.

 Furniture Rentalrental furniture for temporary lodging

Renting furniture can be beneficial for many reasons, even if you’re temporarily staying somewhere or not. First of all, think of how much easier the moves will be without moving all of your furniture. You have to move to the temporary lodging, then move back to your permanent home. Putting your current furniture in a storage unit is always an option as well. If you’re in between homes and are wanting to buy new furniture for the new home, this is also an easy option. By renting furniture until you move into the new house, you won’t have to move your old furniture. Not to mention, being able to choose the perfect match for your new home once you have moved in. Furniture rental is by far one of the best ways to make temporary lodging a breeze!

Mail Delivery Options

mail delivery options for temporary lodging

One aspect of temporary lodging which many people typically don’t think about is mail delivery. Whether you are in between houses or temporarily staying somewhere for work, how do you receive mail during this time? An easy choice would be to find a family member or friend who could pick up mail or have it sent to their house in the mean time. Also, depending on where you will be, you could have the mail forwarded to your temporary home. Usually, going with a friend or family member is suggested. That way you wouldn’t need to be worried about your mail getting sent to the temporary place.

Another mailing option is always to open up a P.O. box. These can either be a blessing or a pain to deal with. If you are close to the post office and won’t need to go out of your way to get to the box, these can be very helpful. All of these options are good, but it’s always nice to check with your local post office to see which route they recommend you take. 

 

Storage

Minimalism is a useful skill to have when temporarily staying somewhere. Essentially, everything you have with you is going to be packed and moved twice within a short amount of time. That can be a pain to deal with. Depending on the situation, the best way to make moving easier is storage. Yes, it does need to be moved to storage, but you do save time on packing. By bringing just the essentials you need, you can easily cut down on the stress of moving as well as from a temporary stay.

Now that you’ve gotten some pro tips for your next temporary lodging stay, where do you start? You will need to determine where you are staying first, the details can be handled later. Contact us today to get started!

Posted in Blog, Extended Stay

The Difference Between Good and Bad Corporate Apartments

As our world becomes smaller reasons for extended business travel increase, which means the need for quality, affordable corporate apartments also increases. Staying away from home for such extended periods are hard on any employee, which is why enjoying their accommodations is so vitally important. Not only to individual morale and comfort, but also to the success of the work project that was the impetus for extended stay in the first place.corporate lodging

In order to find corporate apartments for your next business trip, or for employees your company is hosting, you need to use a provider that has quality partnerships. Beyond customer service and billing options, you are using a temporary lodging provider to help you find the best option for your specific needs.

In order to truly provide you with the highest number and quality of listings, as well as maximum comfort during the extended stay, a corporate housing provider must have partnerships with the below.

Partnerships with Commercial Real Estate Brokers

Finding the best, and most, corporate apartment options means partnering with someone who knows a market’s apartment industry inside and out. This means partnering with a reputable, local commercial real estate Broker.

Commercial real estate Brokers are professional market navigators and are well connected in their real estate sector. Those that have a specialized history in the apartment sector have a deep network of brokers, property managers, developers and lending institutions all providing insider knowledge into current, and future, apartment availabilities.

Corporate housing providers, through their relationship with local commercial real estate brokers, are able to provide their clients with more options, which means more competition, which means more value.

Partnerships with Property Managers

Much like commercial real estate Brokers, a partnership with Property Managers can yield extended corporate apartment options. This is definitely a benefit, but it’s not the only benefit that this partner can bring to the table.

hattiesburg apts

Not only do you want to ensure you find the best corporate apartments, you want to ensure that the one you choose provides timely and thorough response to any issues that can arise during the extended stay. Through partnerships with quality property management firms your corporate housing provider issues a promise that their apartments will be property maintained and that the employee staying there has their needs promptly met.

Whether a leaky faucet or an issue with the air conditioner, partnerships with property managers mean a happy extended stay. This means a happy employee in a productive work living environment, which is something you truly can’t put a price on.

Want to Ensure You Find the Best Corporate Apartments? Partner with a Quality Provider.

The rural southern market can be difficult to navigate at times. If you are traveling for business and in need of corporate apartments in Mississippi, Alabama or Louisiana then you need a quality partner to find you only the quality availabilities. Our team has over 37 years experience in the Gulf South apartment sector and has partnerships with only the most reputable providers. This translates to a pool of only vested, quality corporate apartments that are maintained to the highest caliber. If you would like to see options for your next business trip then please contact us today.

Posted in Blog

Packing For Your Next Temporary Lodging Stay

4 Steps to Perfectly Packing For Your Next Temporary Lodging Stay

temporary lodging suitcase

Those who stay in temporary lodging do so because they have travel needs, whether business or personal, which cause them to be away from home for periods of a month or longer. Typically once a traveler has a stay that is two weeks or longer their packing list gets exponentially longer. While packing for a stay in temporary lodging does require a bit more thought, and items, it shouldn’t require a moving van.

With years of experience managing temporary lodging facilities we at Southgate Executive Lodging have packing down to a science. Below we lay out our four steps to perfectly packing for your next long-term stay away from home. 

Step 1: Learn what’s available at your temporary lodging unit

First things first, figure out what items are currently stocked at your temporary lodging unit. If you are using a reputable provider they will give you a detailed list of items in their furnished units, so be sure to ask. Below is what you should typically find:

  • Furniture: If your unit is furnished that means it should come with all the essential furniture items: couch, coffee table, end tables, dining table and chairs, bed and dresser.
  • Housewares:The temporary lodging unit should come with everything that a traveler will need for daily life: linens, pillows, hangers and a fully stocked kitchen. Kitchen items should include all necessary utensils, cookware, appliances and gadgets.
  • Electronics: A good temporary lodging unit will have a television, DVR and modem providing private, dedicated Wi-Fi access.

Step 2: Pack the essentials

While the below seems obvious, the trick is learning what you need to bring…and what you can acquire onsite, saving you precious packing room for your extended stay.

Basic Items

If the below items can’t fit into a carry-on sized bag then go ahead and purchase onsite.

  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Shampoo, conditioner, body wash
  • Blow dryer, curling iron, and any hair-related items that you use
  • Makeup, aftershave gel, face wash, beauty items
  • Perfume/cologne
  • Razor and blades

Necessities

  • Medicine/medications/prescriptions
  • Glasses or contacts
  • Important documents (Passport, etc.)
  • Pet supplies and medications (if they are joining you)

Clothing

  • 2 weeks worth of clothing: You will have laundry facilities onsite so whether staying for 30 or 60 days, you only need 2 weeks worth of outfits.

Electronics

  • Phone and charger
  • Laptop and charger
  • Portable hard drive
  • Camera and charger
  • Portable reader and charger

Step 3: Pack the non-essentials…that you really do need

temporary lodging bedroomOnce a traveler packs everything we listed in Step 2 they have the essentials they need for a long-term stay in temporary lodging.  While we could end our packing guide now, we have learned a thing or two about what truly makes for an enjoyable stay. This includes those items that a traveler may not “need” but in fact serve to make them happy and bring a piece of home on the road. This can actually be just as important as those essential items.

  • Photos: There is nothing like seeing the places and faces of those that make you happy. Just a couple of personal photos in a space that isn’t yours will instantly make it feel closer to home.
  • “My favorite ____”: Everyone has that one item that makes them feel at home. Whether that is a weathered hoodie or a stuffed animal, bring that one thing that provides inner comfort.
  • Pillows: There is something about laying your head on your own pillow at the end of the day. Bring yours with you and sleep just a little better at night.
  • Portable Music Player: If you need music in your life and your temporary lodging unit doesn’t have a stereo, it’s a great idea to bring a portable music player along for your extended stay.

Step 4: Edit

One of the downsides of staying at temporary lodging for long periods of time is that you are away from all your “stuff”. While we all yearn for “our bed” and “our couch”, it’s super unrealistic and ultra difficult to bring those items with you.

Trick of the temporary lodging trade? Once you feel you have everything that you want to take with you, edit…and then edit some more. It’s normal to want to take everything but the kitchen sink, but trust us…it’s a pain to travel with a lot of stuff. Not only do you have to keep track of it for when your stay is over, you have to get it to your destination. Remember less is more, and chances are you get whatever you need at your destination.

Bonus Step: Work with a dedicated temporary lodging provider

Before you even pull out your suitcase to pack, you need to first find temporary lodging for your travel needs. If you are planning a trip to Alabama, Mississippi or Louisiana and are searching for extended stay options, contact the dedicated team at Southgate Executive Lodging. We will match you up with the perfect temporary lodging unit to fit your travel needs. Call us at (601) 599 – 5634.

Posted in Blog, Extended Stay

Temporary Lodging Provider Questions

8 Important Questions to Ask Your Temporary Lodging Provider

Temporary lodging is a necessary option for many travelers who have needs, business or otherwise, that will have them away from home for lengthy periods of time. Compared to normal hotels, or even extended stay hotels, temporary lodging is popular because it offers the conveniences of a rental lease without most of the obligations.

As much as travelers know of temporary lodging as an option for their “home away from home”, many aren’t aware of the specific details that make it different from say a hotel or a typical rental lease. Below we outline the information that any guest in temporary lodging should know before they commit to a contract for stay.

If you are seeking temporary lodging options for your next trip, make sure you ask these important questions. No one likes surprises; especially those that affect your bank account, so take heed and ask away!

The Most Important Questions to Ask Your Temporary Lodging Provider

What is the minimum length of stay?

Most temporary lodging providers have a minimum length of stay of 30 days (one month), depending on availability. So, if your trip is only running 2 weeks this won’t be an option for you. As you know apartment rentals require yearly leases, but temporary lodging offers the flexibility of 3-month, 6-month, and month-to-month lease options (depending on provider).

Am I required to provide my own insurance?

When you stay at a hotel you aren’t worried about wear-and-tear or damages. Conversely, when you sign an apartment lease you are required to carry renters insurance. So where does your temporary lodging provider stand on insurance requirements of their furnished rental units?

Be sure to ask your provider if they offer any kind of insurance. Accidents happen, and any guest should know who is getting that repair bill.

Do you have on-site or dedicated property management?

If you are in a hotel you call the front desk, if you live in an apartment you call the owner or property manager, but what do you do when you have an issue or need at your temporary lodging unit? From simple questions to a burst pipe, you will want to ensure that wherever you stay on your extended trip has dedicated or on-site property management. Trust us, it means the difference between a highly stressful or completely relaxing stay. Which do you prefer?

How much notice is required for move-out?

Yes, when staying in temporary lodging you will need to provide notice of move-out. Similar to a typical rental lease, most providers will require guests to provide 60-day notice when under a short-term lease and 30-day notice when under a month-to-month lease.

What furniture and household items are included in your furnished temporary lodging rentals?temporary lodging room

Packing for a stay in temporary lodging is not the same as packing for a hotel. Since you will be gone for an extended period you want to ensure all the comforts and conveniences of home are met. Most every temporary lodging unit comes furnished, but what exactly does that entail?

From stereos to kitchen appliances, be sure to ask your provider for a detailed list of items they include in their units so that you know what you need to bring with you.

What is included in the cost of the temporary lodging rental?

It’s safe to assume that rental rates for a temporary lodging unit includes all costs, but what if it doesn’t? A proper provider is going to provide the following:

  • Furnished apartment/unit with all housewares
  • Utilities (electric, water, trash, sewer)
  • High-speed, dedicated wireless internet
  • HD cable service
  • 24-hour emergency maintenance

Word to the wise: If the temporary lodging provider you have found does not include at least all of the above, then find a new place to take your business.

What are my payment options?

It’s 2017, obviously a reputable provider is going to allow payment in the form of check, cash or credit card…but are those the only options a traveler may need?

Many business travelers these days have their lodging handled through a corporate department, and as such do not handle any payment. A great temporary lodging provider will have a system in place to offer corporate invoicing, ensuring documented and streamlined payment.

Do you require a security deposit?security deposit for temporary lodging

Most temporary lodging providers are not going to require a deposit, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t going to require anything. Much like incidentals at a hotel, travelers will find that they are required to place a credit card on file in case of damage or unexpected charges. Best to work this out with your temporary lodging provider before you sign a contract for stay.

Need Temporary Lodging in Mississippi, Alabama or Louisiana?

If you are in need of temporary lodging options in Mississippi, Louisiana or Alabama and are seeking lodging for a week or longer, be sure to find the best and most economical options available to you. The team at Southgate Executive Lodging has over 50 years experience in the area and can help locate the best housing to fit all of your business travel needs. If you would like to speak to one of our reservations specialists, or have us send you a detailed list of your options, please contact us today.

 

Posted in Blog, Extended Stay

Life Changing Travel Hacks

5 Life Changing Travel Hacks for the Savvy Business Traveler

As a business traveler your number one goal is always stress-free, on-time, efficient and inexpensive travel. Getting to the place you need, when you need, at the price you want, in the shortest amount of time and as trouble-free as possible. Sounds like a pipe dream, right? It doesn’t have to be.

The key to the successful and happy travel experience we outlined above involves one step: preparation. Below we outline our best business traveler hacks that will help create an on-time and easy travel experience.

(For even more travel hacks that will “help even the most seasoned jetsetter avoid the inevitable hassles of frequent flying”, see this article from Business Insider.)

Business Traveler Hacks You Need to Know

Don’t Check That Luggage

As a business traveler your goal is to travel as efficiently as possible. To do that, you should always avoid checking luggage. The reason for this is two-fold: One, it’s a highly avoidable time suck, and two, it’s risky.Luggage for Business Traveller

First, checking bags is seriously time consuming. From having to wait in line to actually submit your luggage, to waiting what seems like forever at the baggage claim. You can add on anywhere from 1 to 2+ hours to your travel time simply because you checked a bag.

Second, checking bags can be risky. How so? Because you may make it to your final destination on time, but your bag may not. According to airline information technology company SITA, 6 bags per 1,000 passengers were mishandled in 2016. Sound low? That’s because those were for direct flights. If you are like most business travellers and have a connection, the odds of losing a bag dramatically increase by 47%.

The moral of the story is to prepare, pack light, and bring a carry-on with you on your next trip. You’ll save time, money and the stress of a lost or late bag.

Know When to Buy That Flight

No one really knows why flights are priced the way they are. Have you ever found a ticket to Europe for only $70 and the same day seen a flight from South Carolina to North Carolina for $500? Perfect example that flight costs are based on travel dates, demand, time of year and other factors that none of us will probably ever understand.Business Traveller Airplane

Don’t be discouraged though! There are some tried-and-trusted hacks for purchasing flights at the lowest possible price and it all has to do with timing. Here are some of the best tips:

  • Search (and buy) early. The best time to see the lowest prices is anywhere from 6 to 8 weeks out from your desired fly date.
  • Holiday travel should be booked even further in advance, as far out as you can get.
  • You will see the cheapest prices if you travel mid-week (Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays). The most expensive day? That would be Sunday.
  • It’s also best to buy your ticket mid-week, with Tuesdays and Wednesdays producing the best deals on average.
  • When searching for flights be sure to clear your browsing history and cookies, and use an incognito window. The jury is out on whether this actually matters, but hey it’s easy and if there’s a chance it can save.

Prepare For Data Dead Zones

As a business traveler your work doesn’t just stop because you are on the go. While traveling you still have to stay on top of all your duties, meaning must become a walking mobile office. Knowing how important it is to meet deadlines and be connected, it’s always advisable to prepare for the worst – i.e. data dead zones.

What if you can’t get Wi-Fi? What if your cell phone is getting no, or a very faint, signal? To navigate this situation unscathed it’s all about preparation, making sure you collect and bring vital and important information.

This includes:

  • Writing out all of the addresses for the places you need to be as well as taking pictures, screen grabs or printing out maps on how to get there.
  • Print out a copy of your schedule including the contact information of all pertinent parties.

Hotel Upgrades Come to Those That Wait

If you want a hotel upgrade, then don’t check in early. According to “How to Travel the World on $50 a Day: Travel Cheaper, Longer, Smarter”, hotel upgrades are first given out to their elite members, but by mid- to late- afternoon most of them have checked-in. That means if you wait to check-in until later in the day you will have a better shot at getting one of those upgrades that was not taken by an elite member.

Enroll In TSA PreCheck or Global Entry

Everyone knows that going through security is one of the most time consuming parts of travel. If you want to seriously save time, and frustration, then enroll in the security check express lane…aka TSA PreCheck and Global Entry.

These programs pre-approve travelers (who are not convicted criminals) allowing them to breeze through security checkpoints because they have been deemed a “low-risk traveler”.

TSA PreCheck costs $85 and makes US domestic travel easier by allowing a business traveler to keep on their shoes, belts, etc. Global Entry costs $100 and makes international travel easier by allowing business travelers to easily gain re-entry to the US by getting rid of paperwork and processing lines.

Bonus Hack: Hotels Aren’t the Only Option For a Business Traveler

When staying away from home most business travellers tend to do the obvious and search for hotels as their temporary housing, but they aren’t the only choice. In fact, hotels are often the wrong choice, providing less options, amenities and higher prices for a business traveller. Instead, seek out lodging options in an AirBnb or a furnished apartment or home. Need help with that?

If you are travelling to Mississippi, Louisiana or Alabama and are seeking lodging for a week or longer, be sure to find the best and most economical options available to you. The team at Southgate Executive Lodging has over 50 years experience in the area and can you locate the right housing to fit all of your business travel needs. If you would like to talk to us, or have us send you a detailed list of your options, please contact us today.

 

Posted in Blog

Preparing for Temporary Lodging

At some point in our lives, everyone will have a need to stay in temporary lodging. Whether in the military, getting a new job, relocating to a new city or caring for a loved one…there are several scenarios that would require a person to live for several weeks to several months without or in-between a permanent home. 

Temporary LodgingNo matter the reason, it’s helpful to do adequate research before a move into temporary lodging. With any move, big or small, there can be unexpected issues and obstacles that pop-up. The best way to ensure a smooth transition is proper planning. 

Below we lay out our best advice, acquired through years of experience, to prepare for a stay in temporary lodging. 

Plan Ahead: Packing and Sorting Tips 

Since temporary lodging is short-term you won’t be moving everything you own, just yourself and the essentials. The more you move, the more expensive and difficult the process becomes so learn to be choosy and take only the items you really need. 

Below we lay out some tips and ideas for deciding what to bring and how best to sort your belongs for maximum efficiency and ease. 

  • A few weeks out from a move put a box in to everyone’s room that is moving into temporary lodging. Over the course of a week fill that box with all the items you feel are essential to your daily life. A week before your move, reassess and see what is truly vital. This is a great way to cut down on clutter. 
  • Dependent upon where you are going, you don’t have to bring your entire wardrobe. If you are going to a cold climate pack those types of clothes, similarly for hot climates. Since your stay in temporary lodging is short-term, only bring clothes that match the current climate. 
  • Always set aside and take the essentials and valuables. This includes important documents, prescriptions, jewelry, personal toiletries, all dire electronics (phone, laptop, computer, camera, chargers), children’s toys and pet necessities. Basically anything that is meaningful to you or expensive. 
  • Get a detailed description of everything that is currently available in your temporary lodging unit: TV’s, stereo equipment, entertainment items, kitchen appliances, utensils and cookware, bedding, and towels. Figure out what is missing and ensure you set those items aside to bring with you. 

Getting There: Best Ways to Transport It All 

You are moving out of a permanent home but not into another permanent one, so there will be some separation between you and your stuff. Now that you have sorted and packed accordingly for temporary lodging, you must now worry about how everything will get there. 

Here are our best choices for transporting your valued belongings: 

  • Moving Trailer: For moves in town or nearby the obvious choice is to use a moving trailer for all of your items. The good news is that most trailers come with the option to purchase insurance, covering your items in case of damage or disaster. 
  • Moving Container: If you prefer not to drive, you can fly yourself and loved ones, and send all of your stuff in a moving container. Shipped to any location across the country (even sometimes internationally) this is a super hands-free option. Most companies also offer up to a month of storage if you needed/wanted to take your time on the journey. 
  • Moving Company: Another “I am traveling without my things” option is to use a professional moving company. Though the most expensive option, moving companies come insured and also offer unpacking services and storage options. 

Temporary Storage: Secure the Best Option 

Short-term temporary lodging goes along with short-term temporary storage. Since you are only taking the most select and necessary items on your move, it will be necessary to find a storage solution for the rest of your belongings. Temporary Lodging

If you are not keeping your things with a mover, or paying for a moving container to be stored then you will need to select a self-storage unit. When selecting here are a few things to keep in mind: 

  • Make sure it is in a safe, well-lit and easily accessible location. 
  • If you plan on leaving your items for a few months, only use units that offer climate control. 
  • Ensure there the property has code-enforced security gates, uses a camera system and has a 24-hour monitored security system. 
  • Before signing a contract for any self-storage unit make sure you physically see the exact unit you will be assigned and measure properly. 

Temporary Lodging Options 

There are a few different temporary lodging options you can find. 

  • Hotels 
  • Extended Stay Hotels 
  • Furnished Apartments/Homes 
  • Mobile Housing Solutions 

If you are in need of temporary lodging information for Mississippi, Louisiana or Alabama reach out us at Southgate Executive Lodging. From decorating tips to locating options off the beaten path, our expert team has insider knowledge to help you with any of your temporary housing needs. Contact us today and see how we can be of service!

Posted in Blog, Extended Stay

Questions for Your Corporate Housing Provider

5 Questions to Ask Your Corporate Housing Provider

Traveling for business and staying away from home in corporate housing can be tough, especially for extended periods of time. In order to ensure the best outcome it’s important to do your research.Corporate Housing - Traveling

Not all corporate housing options are created equal and there are certain things that can make or break your extended stay. To ensure the most comfortable and enjoyable trip be sure to ask these 5 questions before you sign any housing contract. Trust us, you will be glad you did.

What are my corporate housing options?

Each business traveler has different corporate housing needs and there are many factors that affect what those are. From the type of work to length of stay to office location, where you end up and in what type of corporate housing will look different for everyone.

Since there are many variables involved it’s important to seek a provider that can offer you the full spectrum of housing options. Do you need a one-bedroom apartment (traveling alone) or do you require an entire home (traveling with your family)? Do they offer both furnished and unfurnished units? What about locations off the beaten path, do they offer mobile housing solutions?

Be sure to clearly define your needs and only book the corporate housing solution that meets and exceeds those expectations.

What amenities are included?

Like we said before, not all corporate housing is created equal and the offered amenities is where you will really feel the difference. Be sure to find out exactly what is included in your extended stay. Does ‘fully furnished’ mean kitchen utensils and linens? What about Internet access? Do you have to pay extra for cable?

To ensure maximum comfort make sure your extended stay provider offers the following amenities:

  • Private, Dedicate Wi-Fi: You will want a private, dedicated Internet server that delivers unencumbered Wi-Fi at the fastest speeds possible.
  • Extended Cable with DVR: After a long day of work you will want to zone out, and you will want to do it on more than 4 channels. Also, with today’s technology make sure they offer DVR capabilities so you never miss your favorite show.
  • Fully Stocked Housewares: The corporate housing unit should come with everything that makes a home, from comfortable couches to linens. Make sure they offer a full-size, fully stocked kitchen including all necessary utensils, cookware, etc.
  • Dedicated Parking: Look for dedicated parking in the form of private sparking spaces or even better, a garage or carport.
  • Laundry Facilities: Ensure that there are laundry facilities in your corporate housing unit, and if not available, at least on-site.

What are your corporate housing accreditations?

In any industry, accreditations ensure quality. When it comes to corporate housing you will want a provider who is held to ethical, professional and customer service standards. You will find this through membership and active involvement in the Corporate Housing Providers Association (CHPA).

The CHPA is a trade organization that requires adherence to strict and specific corporate housing standards, distinguishing quality providers from the rest of the industry. This extensive education into temporary housing provides corporate housing providers with the tools to meet any client need or challenge.

Can I bring my pet(s)?

There may be situations, especially when staying for extended periods, where you may need bring along your furry family. Since apartment communities and private residences each have their own rules and regulations, make sure your corporate housing provider is able to offer accommodations that accept, and cater to, your pet(s).

Is there a dedicated property manager?

It’s Murphy’s Law: anything that can go wrong will go wrong. So, when staying in an apartment or home for an extended period you can assume something will inevitably break. In the event of a maintenance issue, you will want it fixed quickly and efficiently. The only way to ensure this is by working with corporate housing provider who offers dedicated customer service/property management.

This person will be on-hand for any issues, questions or concerns that may arise during a corporate housing stay. From billing inquiries to a leaky faucet to a question about where to go for dinner, make sure wherever you stay offers you a dedicated communication line.

Hopefully these tips have provided you with good directives to find your ideal corporate housing situation. If you still have questions or would like more information on options throughout Mississippi, Alabama or Louisiana, contact the team at Southgate Executive Lodging at 601-599-5634.

 

Posted in Blog, Extended Stay

Business Travel: Tax-Deductible?

Business Travel: What Is (and Isn’t) Tax-Deductible

Business travel, whether for a quick trip or extended stay, can wear on any of us. For most business owners the biggest place this is felt is in their bank accounts. From lodging to meals and transportation, business travel charges can add up quickly. Fortunately, most of these expenses are tax-deductible. 

Now that this year’s tax season dust has settled, let’s take a closer look and clearly define what you can, and can’t, write off as a business travel expense on your tax return. 

Tax-Deductible Business Travel Expenses 

The IRS defines business travel as any travel that is “longer than an ordinary’s day of work”, requires you to sleep away from home and is temporary (i.e. less than a year). 

The IRS requires that business travel expenses be, “ordinary and necessary expenses incurred while carrying on your trade or business.” 

The following business expenses will generally qualify as tax-deductible. Don’t forget, always save your receipts! 

Transportation 

Trains, planes or automobiles…no matter how you get to your business-related meeting or event, the expense can be deducted. And once you get to your final destination? Any transpBusiness Travel By Airplaneortation or fees associated with the trip are deductible as well. This includes taxis, Uber or Lyft, rental cars, tolls and parking. Don’t forget that you can also write off every mile you drive for your business, whether in your car or a rental. The current deductible rate is 57.5 cents per mile, offsetting gas and upkeep costs. 

Extra Tip: Even cruises for business purposes are considered a write off, though limited. Typically you can claim up to $2,000, but be prepared to show clear justification and documentation. 

Baggage and Shipping 

All baggage and shipping fees associated with business travel are tax-deductible. Keep in mind that the final destination for these items must be your business travel location. 

Lodging 

Whether in an extended stay hotel or AirBnb, your accommodations during business travel are considered a write off. Be careful, this doesn’t cover every charge you could possibly incur. Be sure to always get a detailed, itemized bill for all lodging charges, as not everything is tax-deductible. Parking/valet charges? Absolutely. Mini-bar and movies? Most likely not. 

Meals 

Any meals associated with business travel fall under the tax-deductible category. Let’s not go crazy though. Be aware that while you can claim meals as part of business travel, according to current IRS rules you are limited to only deducting 50% of the total cost. So, for every $500 you spend, only $250 you can write off. Business Travel By Skytrain

Miscellaneous 

Most any charge that is directly related to and necessary for business travel can qualify as tax-deductible. This includes conference or event registration fees, any equipment that is necessary for a presentation or meeting, dry cleaning or laundry service and more. 

Non Tax-Deductible Business Travel Expenses 

If any of us got creative enough we could probably come up with a reason why a certain charge was a necessary expense for business travel. When it comes to the IRS though, you don’t want to get too creative. To avoid an audit, keep all deductions within reason. 

To help you tow the line, the IRS has deemed the following as non tax-deductible business travel expenses. 

Expenses Located In Your Home City 

In order to claim expenses as related to business travel you have to actually travel somewhere, outside of your home city. The only business expenses that are deductible at home are meals and the standard mileage rate (57.5 cents per mile). Lodging, transportation, conference fees and shipping within your home city are not considered a write off. Business Travel By Car

Companion Travel Costs 

The charges incurred for anyone who comes along on your trip, who is not there for business purposes, are not tax-deductible. 

Unnecessary Expenses 

Unnecessary: A broad term, but when it comes to the IRS – an important one. No one wants to be flagged for an audit, trust us. To protect yourself, always ask this question before claiming any deduction, “Was this expense necessary to conduct business while traveling?” If it’s even a little bit questionable, do yourself a favor and don’t claim it. 

Resources

For additional information on tax-deductible expenses for business travel, see IRS publication 463 – Travel, Entertainment, Gift, and Car Expenses

Sources

The Balance

QuickBooks

Posted in Blog

Make Your Furnished Short-Term Rental Feel Like Home

Furnished short-term rentals are an excellent alternative to hotels when staying for longer periods of time. Even though your stay is not permanent, it should be a happy and comfortable one. In order to feel at home when you’re away from home, here’s our best tips for personalizing a furnished short-term rental. 

First Find Out What You Can and Can’t Personalize 

The number one rule when personalizing a short-term rental is to always think “no damage décor”. Since your new rental is temporary, the management company is expecting you to return it in the same condition as when you took occupancy. 

You can assume this means no painting, no wallpaper and no new fixtures or installations. If you are in doubt as to what is and is not acceptable, the best course of action is to always ask the management company before doing anything that could cost you. 

While you may be limited in changing anything of permanence at your short-term rental, you are not limited in ways to add your personal flair and touches. Keep reading for accepted ways to decorate and personalize your home away from home. 

The Small Touches 

You’ve heard the saying before; little things can go a long way. This could not be truer than when decorating a furnished short-term rental. From adding pops of color to arranging a space layout that works for you, here’s all the ways you can make your short-term rental feel more comfortable and inviting. 

Bedding 

Bedding in Short-Term RentalSleep is important, after all we spend a third of our lives doing it. To maintain productivity when traveling, it’s important that you have a serene and comfortable sleeping space. Adding personal bedding is an easy way to make your bedroom feel cozier, and more like

yours. 

Throw Pillows 

Pillows are our favorite way to instantly add a pop of color to a room, and on a budget. When it comes to these, we say the more the merrier! A few for the couch, a couple for the bedroom, heck throw some on kitchen chairs. Best part? When you’re ready to head home, just pack them up and take them with you! 

Framed Pictures 

Adding personal photos is one of the oldest tricks in the decorating book. Placing a few frames of family, loved ones, pets, or whatever it is that makes you happy, will go a long way. 

Rearranging Furniture 

While changing out the furniture at your short-term rental is not an option, rearranging itis. You would be surprised how simply moving a coffee table, sofa and couple end tables will make a room feel completely transformed. Plus, by rearranging you can make the space more functional for your needs. 

The Big Touches 

If the small changes just aren’t cutting it for you and you need something a little bolder, here are some ideas for “no damage décor” that can turn a blank space into your space. 

Wall Art 

From textiles to canvas prints to poster, adding wall art can instantly transform a short-term rental. You can add additional wall art, or simply replace what is currently in place (carefully storing the current artwork in a closet or under a bed). Be sure to use wall putty or temporary hanging options so as not to do any damage to the walls. 

Furniture Covers 

For a very vocal change to main living spaces consider getting furniture covers. There are tons of sofa and chair covers options out there, allowing you to get the look you want for a temporary situation. 

Rugs 

Rugs are a great (and temporary) way to bring personal style to space. Since they come in so many sizes and shapes, and are relatively inexpensive, there is sure to be an option to fit any short-term rental layout. 

Need Additional Short-Term Rental Resources? 

If you are in need of short-term rental information for Mississippi, Louisiana or Alabama reach out us at Southgate Executive Lodging. From decorating tips to locating rental options off the beaten path, our expert team has insider knowledge to help you with any of your temporary housing needs. Contact us today and see how we can be of service!

Posted in Blog, Extended Stay

Try Mobile Housing for Onsite or Rural Projects

When finding and coordinating an extended stay for yourself, your family or your corporate team, there are many options available to you. From furnished apartments to private residences, there are sure to be plenty of choices in any given local market. What if you need temporary housing for a project in a rural area, or an off-the-grid location? What are your options then?Two Mobile Housing Options

While it can seem challenging to coordinate housing when your project is most literally in the middle of nowhere, Mobile Housing is the ideal solution. Instead of trying to find the nearest hotel or apartment community, which could be up to 3 hours away, mobile housing brings the shelter to you.

Below we take a look at how mobile housing serves temporary needs, and the options that are currently available. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out and ask.

Mobile Housing Options

Whether your project is located on the oil fields, a sprawling ranch, or a backcountry site, mobile housing is the answer to your temporary dwelling needs. Below find the current mobile housing options that are available.

Mobile Manufactured HomesMobile Housing-Small Home

The most common, and widely used, type of mobile housing is mobile manufactured homes. These temporary housing units come complete with all the comfort, convenience and amenities of a typical home, without sacrificing quality.

These mobile housing solutions includes full kitchens, full bathrooms, living rooms, and are available from one up to four bedrooms. For larger projects that require housing for a high number of employees, clients will typically use multiple manufactured homes and set them up in a park-like setting.

Bunk Sleeping Halls

For situations where the temporary housing need is simply too high, or if there are budgetary restraints for private mobile homes, bunk sleeping halls will be theMobile Housing-Many Small Options best solution.

This mobile housing solution is designed for comfort and practicality and can sleep anywhere from four up to 20 persons under one roof. They come standard with quality HVAC, electrical, privacy curtains and offer bathroom and kitchen options.

Dining Facilities

Mobile dining facilities are available to meet the needs of highly populated onsite and rural projects. These self-contained, portable units come in a variety of sizes and have room to seat and service any dining need.

Furnished Offices

For projects that require employees to have dedicated, private working spaces, mobile furnished offices are available. These mobile units come turnkey and are outfitted with everything a client would need to run their project smoothly.

This includes comfortable and quality office furniture such as desks and chairs, any necessary office equipment such as copiers and printers, and of course is outfitted with fast and secure Internet connectivity.

Mobile Housing Logistics

Mobile Housing Logistics

Dike, Iowa, July 3rd, 2008–Park model mobile homes arrive in Dike, Iowa at the FEMA staging area to be set up and prepared for move-in by victims of the Iowa flooding disaster. There is a housing shortage in several of the affected areas, so FEMA is providing the mobile homes as temporary housing. Susie Shapira/FEMA

When a project is located in rural or off-the-grid locations, there is more to plan for beyond the actual housing, sleeping and dining needs. If a location is truly in the middle of nowhere, that means there may be no access to electricity or safe, clean water.

As the need for mobile housing has increased, especially in the face of natural disasters where a high number of people are displaced or in military mobilizations with classified locations, so has the technology.

Each mobile housing solutions comes with the following:

* Waste Water Processing Systems

* Potable Water Systems

* Electric Systems

Seeking Mobile Housing in Mississippi, Louisiana or Alabama?

If you have an upcoming project located in rural areas of Mississippi, Louisiana or Alabama the staff at Southgate Executive Lodging can help. Our dedicated professionals have extensive knowledge of temporary housing options and have established working relationships with quality partners located throughout the South. We’ve been there to help set up mobile housing for both the victims of Hurricane Katrina and military mobilizations for Iraq and Afghanistan deployments. We can be there for you too. Contact us today.

Posted in Blog, Extended Stay