Archive for the Traveling Professionals Category
Magnets are one of those little touches we don’t realize how much we miss when they aren’t there. Over time, magnets have become much more purposeful than the mere refrigerator decoration to uphold family photos and schoolwork. Some of the first refrigerator magnets came in the basic rectangular or cylinder shape and have since transformed into small works of art accentuating your kitchen. We really like these DIY magnets to adorn your fridge in a temporary location and provide a respite from impersonal accessories.
Go eco with these mini gardens made using wine corks. A simple and quick creation will add beauty and life to your kitchen with just a few items; corks, a knife, glue, magnets, and a screwdriver. You can even make these once you’re in your new location and store them in an empty travel mug when it’s time to go back home. Start by carefully carving out the center with a knife and finish creating the hole using the screwdriver. Glue the magnet to the back of the cork. Fill the hole with dirt and a small plant. Use plants that don’t require a lot of care and have a long life.
Sticking to the “green” theme, we found these unique tree branch magnets. Using a small branch (preferably found on the ground), you can add an earthy theme to your décor. Customize the branches by painting patterns or initials on them. Short inspirational quotes would be a good way to start your day each morning. We think there would make great coasters too! (If you missed our DIY coaster post, check it out.)
The blog How About Orange has created mini mod clocks using bottle caps. Of course, you can paint the caps in any design you prefer. Add a theme or mix it up. Due to the depth of the caps, it is important to glue something thick to the inside, such as a piece of cardboard, prior to adding the magnet. This way the magnet can effectively attach to the refrigerator or magnet board.
Magnets have moved beyond the kitchen and into the office or living areas. Create a personalized board for the office using a large sheet of metal, some fabric or patterned paper, and a large wood frame. Supplies may be purchased from craft stores, found around the house, or for a unique find, check out yard sales and thrift stores.
Our final DIY magnet project is created in a similar fashion to the memo board, but on a smaller scale – a magnet photo frame. What a perfect way to switch out photos quickly without all the fuss of removing the layers from the back of the frame and constantly checking to make sure if the photo is straight prior to sticking the cardboard back in. Plus, this way, you don’t injure your fingers trying to pull up on those little metal tabs every time.
One of the great things about corporate housing is the modern, upscale furniture rentals you’ll enjoy. But one of the down sides is being away from the things that make your house your home. With Earth Day quickly approaching we’ve decided to celebrate our environment with some upcycled DIY projects. The kicker is that these ideas are also perfect additions to temporary housing decor because they add personal touches to your home away from home.
When staying in a temporary corporate apartment it is important to keep furniture rental items in the condition in which they were found, thus avoiding any additional fees. We’ve found some fun coaster projects to help protect tables from unwanted rings and stains. Plus, coasters take up almost no space in your luggage and are easy to transport!
The quickest and easiest coaster we found involves just a little cardboard and patterned duct tape. This idea is inexpensive, fun and creative, and if you leave one of these guys behind, you won’t be too disappointed.
We just love these wine bottle cork coasters. Save the corks from your next wine and cheese night, cut them in half, and glue together in any shape of your choosing and glue a ribbon around the edge. This is a simple, yet classy addition to your coffee table.
Martha Stewart is always coming up with creative ideas and this one easy as pie with an elegant flare. Buy plain white tiles, lace, and spray paint. The possibilities are endless and the project is completed within minutes. Other lace options include using decoupage to adhere the lace to a tile for a 3D textile feel.
The next coaster project brings fun to the table. Utilizing pieces of the classic board game Scrabble, glue letter squares onto a cork board and add felt to the bottom. Letters can be placed randomly, with words hidden, or personalized with names. Create a theme amongst your coaster set and make a game of it when guests arrive!
The ultimate in coaster personalization comes with the addition of your favorite photos, wrapping paper, images from magazines, or your most memorable travels; that’s right, use a map! Using print outs or any type of paper, decoupage and tile, you can personalize to your heart’s content.
Alternatively, stamps may be used.
Drum roll please……we have found the most creative, Earth friendly, simplistic DIY coaster project for you. Are you ready for it? A cinnamon stick coaster! Just glue some cinnamon sticks together and trim with yarn or ribbon. Not only do you have a beautiful addition to your table which protects it, this crafty piece will make your place smell delightful. And it will certainly be an interesting conversation piece!
All of these ideas are a wonderful way to spruce up that coffee table, whether it’s rented or owned. Not only are these ideas great for your home, they make great personalized gifts for the people in your life. Sometimes do-it-yourself projects may seem overwhelming, but with a little imagination and some inspiration, DIY can provide you with a sense of accomplishment. Earth Day is almost here, get started now and share with your friends.
Check our blog often to find out about more projects from our DIY Series! We’ve already shown you our favorite DIY pallet furniture ideas.
Did you know that Pinterest is the third most popular social networking site out there? The site has become so popular we suspect people have imprints on their fingers from clicking the “pin it” button so often.
Part of this popularity may stem from how easy it is to use Pinterest for fun and exciting things, like planning a vacation. When planning a trip, the first step is figuring out where to go. The Earth is covered with land and sights to be marveled at and Pinterest allows the user an attractive way to discover them. Take a look around at what your pinning friends have posted and see if any of their favorites strike your fancy.
Still looking for a destination? Choose from the variety of categories that Pinterest offers from the menu at the top of the page. Some of the following topics that may help to get the vacay planning on its way:
Travel: this category will give you ideas from all over the world. From anything your heart may desire, to the fully unknown. One click on this link and you’re sure to dedicate hours of cyber-traveling bliss.
Architecture: is a great topic for those that have a passion for unique buildings and history. This link will show you amazing sites around the globe and can ignite the urge to visit places you’ve never imagined.
Art: if you have an eye for art or are intrigued to learn more about it, view this category for ideas of where you favorite art/artists are located. Get inspired to visit your newest favorite art works.
Outdoors: allows you to feel out what you want the most. Is it a botanical garden you want to visit or are you more interested in basking on the sandy beaches of an exotic destination?
Sports: utilize this Pinterest category as a way to find new and involved sporting events around the globe.
Once you’ve narrowed down an idea of where you would like to go, create a board for your top location. Create a different board for each city to compare and organize. Additionally, create separate boards for activities and different things to do and visit in those cities. What would you like to do while on your trip? Use Pinterest to put together a variety of fun things to do and start planning out an agenda.
It’s also helpful to have an idea of what’s to eat locally while on vacation, especially for those with special diets and allergies. Search the restaurants close to where you will be staying and create a board for “eats”. You can link directly to the places you are interested in checking out and include their direct contact info within the pin. Do the same for your lodging options: have some hotels or home stay options pinned.
Be prepared! Pin important and useful information that you will need while on vacation. Include your flight info, local travel info (i.e.-bus lines, etc,), resort information, and maps of the town you will be staying in. This is all especially useful if you are traveling abroad and don’t speak the native language.
The best thing about all of this pre-pinning? If you have the Pinterest app on your phone, you will have immediate access to all necessary information! It’s never been easier to plan your vacation with Pinterest.
Once you have arrived to your destination and are ready for some fun, snap a bunch of pictures and – you guessed it – start pinning! Maybe you can help another Pinterest user to help plan their next vacation.
So you’ve just been temporarily transferred to sunny San Diego… welcome! America’s Finest City is kind to new arrivals and the people here genuinely like to share in the wonders of our own city by the sea. Plus, there are so many things to do no matter what kind of lifestyle you have – and no matter how busy you are on assignment, there’s no doubt you’ll break out to experience life as a San Diegan, if only on occasion and if only for a little while. But one of the worst feelings as a traveling professional is feeling like a tourist in a city you don’t feel comfortable calling home. Any traveler knows the merits of acting and feeling like a local in a temporary city, but knowing where to start isn’t always easy. Here are some ways to find fun and interesting things to do for any personality; these tips can be applied to any city you’re in so you’ll never have to feel bored or alone again anywhere in the world!
- SanDiego.org: Calling itself “the official travel resource for the San Diego region”, this San Diego website is a great place to start with a lot of the touristy stuff. There is information about getting around San Diego, tips for being in the city with kids, an updated list of events, and it even has a few current offers for fun things to do. Tip for other cities: Wikipedia isn’t a bad place to find online resources! Go to the travel section of the city’s Wikipedia page or scroll all the way down to the references section. Plus, if you’re visiting a rather touristy city there’s bound to be ideas buried in the page itself.
- MeetUp.com: Whether you’re on your own, with a few colleagues, or have your spouse with you, attending a meet up is a great way to meet new people while participating in something you all have an interest in. Chances are there’s already an established meet up for your industry, so you could use the opportunity for some laid back networking, too. Tip for other cities: Just select the city you’re in, browse some of the activities that interest you, or simply hit up the “socialize” group! Meet up groups typically always have new members so you won’t feel like a total stranger.
- Follow local organizations on social networks: Make a list on Twitter, a circle on Google+, and follow local brands on Facebook to stay connected to goings-on. A great benefit to this tactic is brands tend to give their followers exclusive access to or advance notice about events and special occasions, and you can really feel like a local! Tips for other cities: Keep a separate list or circle for the different cities you visit so you can keep track of the awesome local venues. Google does a decent job of translating Twitter accounts and other websites if you find them in an unfamiliar language.
- Find local blogs: Say you’re interested in hiking and will be a temporary resident in San Diego. Head to the Google blog finder and plug in “hiking San Diego” and you’ll be presented with blogs from individuals and organizations that have recent posts related to hiking. (If you try it with beer, food, or really any outdoor activity you’ll have plenty to choose from.) Read through a few posts and you’ll surely gather some ideas on things to do that will make you feel like a local in no time. You can create an email alert for as many topics or interests as you want that delivers blog posts to your inbox! Tips for other cities: It’ll be easy to find blog posts about something the city is famous for, and then you’ll get to experience this as the locals do.
- Ask a bartender: Or a server, or the person in the lobby of your temporary housing building, or a local colleague you’ve come to know. Sometimes good old fashioned asking around leads to far better results than you can find online. Plus, it has the added benefit of being able to tell that person your interests so they can tailor their responses, and you might learn an insider tip the good-old internets won’t tell you. Tip for other cities: Nothing different, just remember to not be afraid to ask! You might find the chance to make a good friend or lasting connection, and if you’re reaching out in an unfamiliar language it shows courage.
Participating in the corporate world involves a fast paced environment with little time for tedious tasks. While constantly on the go, it may be tricky to find the time or place to crack open the laptop. You might have known for months that you’ll need to be temporarily relocated to another city for training purposes or helping get a new location off the ground, but finding the time to sit on the computer searching for the right home away from home isn’t exactly what busy professionals like to do in their downtime.
Fortunately, some temporary housing companies have heard you. They realize you have a host of other things to worry about, and that finding a temporary home shouldn’t be one of them.
With the click of a button on your phone, you could have that new place in minutes. Yup, there’s an app for that. Here are a few that we found to help you get started:
- Synergy Housing-gives users the ability to search furnished accommodations all over the world. This app offers the opportunity to view photos, specials, and featured locations immediately. Customers are able to confirm reservations directly through the app by logging on and entering an email address and confirmation number. Additionally, guests can verify the address and access major details including arrival and departure date, as well as key pick up information.
- BridgeStreet Serviced Apartments-search for temporary living in more than 260 cities globally. Some features include reservations, check-in information, photo tours, welcome packet information, emailed receipt, property maps, and itinerary. You don’t even need a computer with this all-inclusive app.
- CRS Temporary Housing- allows users to submit housing requests and caters to displaced homeowners and business owners (whose needs can change within hours). Within 24 hours of a submitted claim, the company has offers available for the applicant with a goal of having the owners into a new place within 72 hours, promising as little time interruption as possible.
Whatever your needs may be, having an app at your fingertips is sure to help ease the stress of finding temporary housing. You have other things to focus your energy on – let your smartphone handle the house hunt.
What to do when you’re temporarily relocated
Commutes are a notorious part of the American corporate world – and often more so in other countries- that when you’re temporarily relocated to a city far far away (or even just far enough away that a daily commute is highly impractical) it can feel as if you don’t have any options. There are plenty of reasons professionals are relocated, often temporarily, to a position outside of their home range. Climbing the corporate ladder and needing extensive training in a specific vertical, providing your expertise in the form of temporary training to a new location, or simply being the best person for a tricky job in a location no one else is qualified to fulfill. The position may be a great one, but the housing situation can cause you to want to pull your hair out. If your company has left you to find a temporary housing solution on your own, or you just want to know what your options are in terms of locations and amenities, we’ve come up with a list of helpful websites to pin down the perfect temporary corporate housing solution.
Temporary corporate housing solutions
- Execustay-The folks here make it possible to search a wide variety of housing options that specialize in different lifestyles, including military, corporate, and fully furnished. Just type your desired city and state into the search box for listings in the related area. The search will result in a map of available housing along with their listings and links to each residence. Most locations require a minimum of 30 days stay and rental fees often include the rent, furnishings, housekeeping, Wi-Fi, and utilities. Talk about a package deal! Additionally, floor plans, video tours, photo galleries, and furnishing listings are available to view online. This company also offers international temporary housing. When staying with an Execustay residence, customers are able to earn Marriott Points, which are applicable towards free hotel stays and merchandise.
- Nomad Temporary Housing- Appropriately named, Nomad has over 71,000 listings in over 700 cities! Their search is so refined, that the customer can enter the exact dates in which accommodations are needed, along with the city and country desired. Search among intern programs, insurance housing, vacation rentals, even group relocations. Check the website often for web specials and updates to their blog for the latest news and information.
- Beds4Meds- Catered towards medical professionals and pin points five major medical metropolitan areas including Baltimore, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, and Seattle. Search results include a map, photo gallery, current temperature, and some offer a list of nearby medical locations and distance to the residence shown. The website offers a Rotation Finder which allows those in the medical field to search states throughout the U.S. to find away clinical rotations. MedBed, Inc is on Twitter and Facebook. If interested in housing, potential residence may register and fill out an application online.
- PC Housing is a corporate housing provider in the United States and Canada, aimed at helping traveling professionals have one less thing to worry about. Located in major corporate centers, such as San Diego and Irvine, California, as well as in cities in all 50 states and some cities in Canada. PC Housing helps corporate travelers to find a temporary home close to their new position to reduce the commute time.
Make it feel like home
With the research we’ve provided, you have managed to find the perfect makeshift home and have concerns when it comes to making your new temporary pad your own. There is only so much one can do in a temporary rental, right? Don’t worry; we have some tips to help you feel right at home.
- Photos! Take framed photos of your loved ones along with you, and strategically place them throughout your residence. This provides feeling of comfort and personalization. You can also bring with a digital photo frame and a memory card to cut down on luggage.
- Live plants- flowers and plants brighten up any room and offer a sense of warmth. Look for plants that don’t require a lot of care if you’ll be very busy with your position.
- Temporary Wallpaper-peel and stick wall paper is a great way to spruce up the place with an artistic touch of your own, especially if you’ll be in one location for several months. Choose from several designs and cover one wall, or a just part of it. Check out Swag Paper and Temper Paper Designs for inspiration.
- Wall decal-forget about having to put holes in the wall and spackle them later. With thousands of removable stickers to choose from, decals provide temporary artwork in the time it takes to snap your fingers.
- Simple purchases like pillows to decorate the furnished couches already provided, or new window treatments are additional ways to add flare to your new place.
- Many temporary housing providers allow residents to customize their new residences at least a little bit – choose a furniture rental package that speaks to your design preferences.
With a little research and shopping, relocating temporarily can provide a new experience with opportunity to think outside of the box. Have fun with it and happy hunting!
Make 2013 the year of the emerald
At the start of the new year, many families and individuals strive to be more green, or eco-friendly, but don’t always know how to get started. Pantone has selected emerald as the official Color of the Year for 2013, and with this in mind we think some green focused, eco-friendly tips are in order. Now that we’ve welcomed 2013 fresh out of the box, here are some ways you can reduce your carbon footprint at home and on the road, and make your life more environmentally friendly.
Go Green At Home
- Set up a recycling bin: If you haven’t already done this, it’s the easiest way to be more Earth friendly. A separate trash can right next to the original one makes it easy to remember to toss cans, bottles and glass separately. If you already have a recycling container, take it one step further by separating the plastic from the metals and glass.
- Invest in energy efficient appliances: You don’t have to go out and spend several thousand dollars on brand new appliances to be eco-friendly. When your next appliance wears out shop for a replacement with the Energy Star logo and ask the retailer about recycling your old appliance. If no recycling is available, try to sell or give away the appliance to someone willing to fix and reuse it. This can also be applied to things like windows and doors: when it’s time for a replacement, look into energy efficient options.
- Buy with purpose: If going green is a resolution, you might also have the resolution to save more money. Try to buy things you know for sure that you will use, rather than buying just because it’s on sale, or just because it’s convenient. For example, you can re-purpose old hand towels into reusable napkins rather than throwing out the towels and buying disposable napkins. It’s easy to buy cart fulls at giant retail stores, but keeping your buy with purpose mantra in mind can reduce your spending and help keep you eco-friendly.
- Reduce energy use at home: Washing your laundry in cold water rather than hot water saves loads (get it??) of energy and helps keep your clothes in like-new condition longer, reducing the frequency you need to buy new clothes. Also remember to turn off the lights when you’re not using them, close windows before turning on the heat or AC, and
- Rent furniture!: Discarded furniture takes up a significant portion of our landfills, and too often homeowners don’t believe others will want their discarded furniture and they don’t try to sell or donate perfectly good pieces. If this has happened to you, consider renting your furniture. You can change your mind any time you want, there’s no worrying about picking up heavy pieces, and if you really like something you always have the option of buying it.
Go Green On The Road
- Get a hotel near your destination: This may seem like an obvious one, but getting a hotel that’s within walking distance of where you’ll be spending the majority of your time will eliminate the need for transportation. San Diego has plenty of lovely hotels in our Gaslamp District, making it easy to find a room right by where you’ll be. There are also short-term apartments available which feel more like home than a hotel, and are better for saving energy in the long run.
- Find a hotel that uses eco-friendly practices: Most hotels have policies in place to reduce their energy dependence. For example, you can hang your towels up to reuse them and refuse daily sheet changing to save energy and water. You can also leave the little soaps and shampoos untouched so they can be reused, or if you use them take them home to finish the bottle. Eating in the hotel restaurant is another way to save resources.
- Take advantage of shuttle services: While it’s well known that flying is the most energy intensive form of traveling, no one expects you to give up your seat for one on a Greyhound. However, most airports have a shuttle service that make it possible to commute to your hotel. This is especially true if you’re traveling for a conference and many other people will be going to the same location.
- Telecommute: Unless absolutely necessary, try to telecommute and host meetings online. Technology makes being in the office in person far less necessary than ever before, especially if that means a plane flight and a car rental. You and your company can save money with online meeting software, and if you have a long commute in a new location ask about telecommuting and saving the gas.
- Bring reusable bags: Reusable bags fold up into tiny, lightweight packets that can clip anywhere, and having one on you at all times eliminates your need for disposable plastic bags. These bags can also be used to pad fragile items during travel.
Ease the Stress of Holiday Traveling
This year, estimates predicted that almost 24 million people would fly somewhere to celebrate Thanksgiving. That’s 150,000 up from the numbers in 2011, and those people sometimes aren’t moving quickly! Travel strategically this year to reduce your chances of being stranded at the airport and check out our travel tips for the holidays.
Everyone should do the usual to prepare for flying: stay hydrated and have snacks on hand, arrive early (especially if you’re travelling during a peak travel time) and stay up to date on the status of your flight(s).
Traveling with Family
If you’re travelling with your family, it might seem like a daunting task to herd your whole brood onto the plane without re-enacting a scene from Home Alone and losing someone in the airport. Some tips to help you survive the chaos of holiday travel:
- Pack unwrapped presents in your checked baggage. Unfortunately, presents will likely need to be unwrapped and scrutinized at security. Not only will you have wasted wrapping paper, you’ll have delayed the entire security line as someone unwraps your perfectly benign package of socks.
- Talk to the family members you’re travelling with and have a backup plan in case there are significant airport delays. Pack enough medication for a couple of days in the bag you’ll have with you, and agree about where you’ll be staying if you’re stuck waiting for a flight overnight. Know what the airline has the right to do, and what your rights as a passenger are.
- Encourage everyone in your party to pack light- and strategically. Bring as little with you as you can, and think about where you’re packing it. It’s a great idea to bring an extra outfit in your personal bag or carry-on item in case your luggage gets lost. Most “lost luggage” will end up returned to you within a few days, but it’s nice to have something clean to wear while they look for it!
Corporate Traveling During the Holidays
If you’re travelling for work this holiday season, there are some crucial corporate travel tips to make sure that you don’t get bogged down by all of the families in the airport who are travelling for pleasure (or forced family fun time):
- The earlier in the day you fly, the less likely you are to run into delayed flights or congestion within the airport, making your trip much quicker.
- If you fly on Christmas Day as opposed to Christmas Eve, not only will tickets be cheaper, you’ll probably manage to avoid most of the holiday crowds. And perhaps you’ll be upgraded to business class!
- Smart practices like checking in online and printing your boarding pass in advance are even more important with holiday sized lines. See if your airline will let you pay for your checked bag in advance- that’s a good way to minimize your time in line and get a discount.
Remember to Relax
No matter what your travel situation is – taking the clan to grandma and grandpas or getting bumped from business class on a long international flight – understand that the holidays are a time when more people will be traveling and there will be more chances for things to go wrong. So leave a little earlier than normal, take a few moments to grab a cup of coffee and a new book or magazine, and spend some time people watching while you wait to hear if you’ll be on the next flight or spending another night toughing it out. A little perspective and zen thinking can get you through it all.
Image courtesy of USA Today.
Many people are on the road during the holidays, but not always for the typical reasons of visiting family or enjoying a yearly vacation. Some are stuck far from home in an unfamiliar city during the holidays because of a work contract while others spend much of their time traveling between multiple locations regularly for work or school. But just because a person is away from their main home during Christmas or Hanukkah doesn’t mean they can’t decorate and get into the holiday spirit!
Easy holiday decorating tips for a temporary home
While you may not want or be able to put up a full Christmas tree and string thousands of lights you can still get the feeling of real Christmas decor in your temporary home. Any one of these apartment-friendly Christmas tree alternatives can give the feeling of the season without the hassle and commitment that a live tree requires. One simple string of LED lights, a few well placed electric or scented candles, and some garland or tinsel can make any space feel all decked out. You can also buy a fresh wreath for the door or wall, which takes up very little space, requires no maintenance and can be used with existing hooks or temporary hooks. A menorah is another great decoration for a temporary home as it requires no holes in the wall and very little space; add a few more candles in nearby nooks for a cozy feeling.
Subtle holiday decorating ideas
Don’t forget about the non-visual decorations that you can do almost anywhere. Christmas music on your iPod can make your temporary house feel like home for the holidays, as can the smell of cookies baking in the kitchen. Placing some live greenery around your place, like a pine branch in a vase or leaves in a bowl, can bring the smell of the holidays to a small space. If you have a fireplace find some fragrant branches to burn, like lavender, pine and cinnamon scented pinecones. Rent (or bring with) a classic holiday movie to watch and make a traditional meal to fill your temporary home with warmth, memories and great smells.
We know a lot of you who use Signature for furniture rental are only in San Diego for a short time, especially our traveling nurses, corporate housing guests and military service members. That’s why we want to share our fantastic city with you and help you enjoy every part of San Diego before you leave. And what better epitomizes this city than beer!?
This September 21st in Downtown San Diego on Columbia and B Street, the 18th Annual San Diego Festival of Beer will take place with over 60 breweries strutting their best brews. Many local breweries will be in attendance with 2 or 3 of their signature beers on tap and attendees will get 4 oz tasters to try them with. Tickets are $40 and get you a 4 oz tasting glass to roam with, but that’s not the best part. All proceeds go to cancer research through the San Diego Professionals Against Cancer non-profit organization.
Even though your stay in San Diego may be short, you can be sure to enjoy every minute of it by heading outdoors and soaking up our beautiful weather with good beer and good deeds. To learn more, visit the San Diego Festival of Beer website.