The Plight of the Corporate Traveller

by Anton Gillis
“Working Nine to Five…”

Dolly Parton’s famous 1980 hit rings angrily in my ears whenever I think about wasted corporate travel budgets. The unnecessary frills of the extravagant hotel industry impact the guest negatively and limit the financial freedom and enjoyment of their stay. 

A modern trend has emerged. Employees are given free rein to spend their travel budget as they please, no longer reliant on bureaucratic HR to organise their trips. With the shackles broken, a savvy businessman or woman can now have their choice of accommodation, restaurant, shuttle service and accompanying travellers. 

The door is open for executives to have more say in how their travel budget is divided and spent. With this new power comes more responsibility. Take entertainment, for example, the traveller now has more options available to him. What about a few rounds of drinks at the 19th hole? No longer dictated to by corporate protocol a thrifty traveller can ditch the cramped, expensive hotel room in favour of a more comfortable and satisfying experience. 

Serviced apartments are the new “home away from home” within corporate travel. Serviced apartments first win when compared to cramped hotel rooms is the space - there actually is some. More than extra space, the home away from home is easier to mimic. Avoid the overpriced Scotch and stale peanuts at the hotel bar and rather invite a few colleagues over for drinks in the comfort of your own space. No need for stark conference rooms with overpowering air-conditioning, rather enjoy the added privacy of hosting meetings in your own apartment. 

Returning after dinner and a few drinks, you stumble through the hotel reception under the watchful eye of the maître d' making you question if you’ve broken any rules. You successfully avoid interrogation making your way to your room, only to discover you’re staying next to a room full of kids on school holiday. Staying awake through tomorrow’s 8 am meeting is going to be a challenge. What you’d pay right now for a good night’s sleep… 

Being in your own setting, a homely serviced apartment affords you privacy and a quieter, better night’s sleep. 

Having your room made up and cleaned every day is a luxury you will still enjoy. The extra space the apartment provides means no more hotel room clutter when hanging up your clothes after your shower.  

Time for a quick bite for breakfast before you start your day? Rushing downstairs to make it there by 9.29 am only to find the smallest, microscopic juice glasses invented by Middle Earth pixies. What if all you really want is a croissant and coffee, and you want it at 11.15 and not have to fork out the “optional” (or starve to death) $25 for their standard breakfast plan? That $25 will be better invested in a fine bottle of red at dinner tonight. 

Nothing leaves a lasting memory quite like paying crazy prices for parking as you leave the hotel carpark in your rental car back to the airport. If your stay requires more than a couple trips in an Uber, rest assured, you won’t be wasting your Thai foot massage budget on unnecessary parking fees. 

Serviced apartments allow you to take control of your travel budget. Here’s how the tailored solutions can help you can cut down: 

Self-catering possibilities reduce cash spent on hotel restaurantsOrder food delivery and eat off real plates, not out of cartons. How civilized!Avoiding exorbitant nightly hotel fees which include unnecessary services and features you never use.But, you still get the essentials, like...Free parkingDaily housekeeping at a time when it suits youSwimming pool, gym, sauna, Jacuzzi just like a hotel - includedOutdoor barbecue area to entertain friends at the poolOf course: Wifi, Cable TV, etc.

Success will be measured on repeat business not on a one-night stand because serviced apartments happened to be priced right in a competitive market.

Ending off with that song again, take charge and let that travel budget work for you from nine to five, not you for it! Stop letting hoteliers dictate what you get. You deserve the little extras you want, making your work trips feel that you are working from home.