Are you claiming all the VAT you’re entitled to?

Once your colleagues and contractors have returned from their business stay, one of the first things to do is collect their receipts. However, they may have misplaced a few, spilt coffee on them or the accommodation provider hasn’t included the right information. Perhaps the receipts don’t have a printed VAT number, or maybe the business isn’t actually VAT registered at all…

A company who spends £500 on accommodation per week could easily lose out on almost £4,500 of VAT each year!

We understand how frustrating this can be, which is why there are some things to look out for from the agencies that book your business stays.

It’s all in the invoicing

We provide carefully-crafted invoicing as a part of our accommodation booking service – to ensure that all the necessary information you need is included in one easy-to-process document. Each invoice will be formatted with the correct address, company and contact details, as well as the right VAT rates and totals so you can claim back every penny that you’re entitled to.

As you’re researching booking agents, you may come across some that are not based in the UK. You should be aware that if you use their services and pay online, you cannot claim the VAT. While making sure all expenses are claimed is essential, it’s just as important not to misclaim.

Here to help

Managing expenses is a valued part of our service. We know this as one of our largest clients began working with us for this reason; we’ve helped them to save thousands of pounds in VAT that was otherwise being lost! If you have any questions about our accommodation service and how we help to streamline your post-business stay admin, get in touch. Our Accommodation Advisors are ready, waiting and more than happy to help.

Five Things to Remember for Business Travel

It happens to all of us. You’re making your journey, you arrive at your accommodation and realise that there’s something you’ve forgotten. When it comes to business travel, you can be so busy getting to and from shifts, or concentrating on your all-important meetings that you miss the details that can make your stay – and post-trip admin – much easier.

In the five years we’ve been helping companies to manage their accommodation, we’ve found there are some common things that business travellers forget.

Here are five things to remember when travelling for business.

Research local amenities

Once you’ve made your journey to your accommodation, you’ll want to get inside, unpack and relax. However, if there’s something that you’ve forgotten to bring with you, or if the kitchen cupboards need stocking, you’ll need to nip back out again and find the nearest shop.

Before your journey, take a look at the supermarkets closest to your accommodation so you can stop by for any essentials on your way in.

Check travel routes

With Sat Nav systems, it’s so easy to get in the car, set your destination and go! But, we all know how essential it is to check your route before setting off to your accommodation. Look for any unexpected roadworks, tolls and diversions – anything that can cause a delay or be an added expense. And don’t forget about your route to and from site, too!

Save all of your receipts

Receipts are easily thrown away, or hidden deep within pockets or bags and forgotten about. By the time you find them again, you’ve already filed your expenses for your work trip and so, you’ve missed out! But by collecting them and keeping them safe, you can claim back all the expenses and VAT that you’re entitled to. Each little coffee, lunch, or car park ticket adds up.

Keep your contact number handy

When we work with you to book places to stay for business travel, we’ll give you a contact number that’s available 24/7. This way, you can reach us for help with any problems you may have – we’ve even directed clients to their destination over the phone! Add the phone number to your contacts, and keep a copy with your booking paperwork. Just in case…

Make the most of your stay

When you have downtime, make the most of the facilities in and around your property. Whether it’s relaxing in the hot tub on the patio after a long shift, or exploring the town centre on your day off, taking a break can really make your business stay feel like a home-away-from-home.

If you have any questions about business travel and booking accommodation, get in touch. We’re always happy to help!

Why Use Self-Catering Accommodation?

Sometimes, there’s more to business stays than simply checking into a hotel room. Shift work may mean you need to arrive before the designated time, or that you won’t be around when the kitchen’s open. That’s why more and more business travellers have been turning to self-catering accommodation.

We’ve rounded up five reasons to choose self-catering for your business stay.

Flexibility

Self-catering means you have the flexibility to come and go as you please, arriving and departing at times that are best for you. Therefore, you won’t have to pay any additional fees for late check-out after a post-night shift sleep.

Budget

You’ll find that, with the right research and booking negotiation, self-catering accommodation is fantastic value for money. You receive a lot more space than just a room for sleeping, no matter where you book. While small cottages and contemporary apartments are always a favourite, you may find manor houses and luxury lodges within your budget, too.

Equipment

Self-catering accommodation is like a home away from home, so you’ll find that your place to stay will have a variety of facilities needed for every day such as your own oven and washing machine. Some places may even provide luxuries like gym equipment or a hot tub – and it will be private to you, too.

Dining

Having your very own kitchen means you can store and prepare your own food and snacks, and have them readily available whenever you need them – even at 2am after a late shift! You can be sure that the food you have meets your dietary requirements, and you’ll save money on dining in the long run. Of course, if you did want to explore the area, your host will be able to recommend the best local restaurants, cafes and bars.

Space

Self-catering properties will provide travellers with more space, which is very useful for colleagues travelling in groups. As well as private bedrooms, you’ll find communal areas – whether a living room, dining room or private patio, where the group can relax and socialise before turning in for the night.

 

How we can help

If you need accommodation now, not a problem email us at info@rapidaccommodation.com or call us on 0330 0904142. Our Advisors are ready to help!

How We Save You Time and Money

When there are so many accommodation booking websites available to us, each with hundreds – if not thousands – of properties listed, sourcing places to stay for contractors and workers may seem like a doddle.

However, it’s that availability which can make the task more difficult than you anticipate. Finding business accommodation that is close to site with all the necessary facilities and personal preferences, accepts your preferred payment method and has flexible cancellation policies takes time.

Then, there is costing! During your search, you may find the same room listed on multiple sites with a different price. There’s also the risk of booking a property only to find it cheaper soon after.

This is where Rapid Accommodation comes in. It’s our job to provide you with a highly-effective, managed service that incorporates all aspects of business travel – not just location and budget. And it all starts with saving you both time and money.

 

Save Time

Through our personal, friendly relationships with our clients, we’ve learned that those who are booking business accommodation for employees and contractors haven’t been hired to do so. It’s just another job to add to a long list of tasks.

If we source and book your business travel for you, it leaves you to be more productive, making your time much more efficient. To give you a bit of an idea of how much valuable time you could gain back, we’ve saved some of our clients hundreds of hours!

 

Save Money

Making sure we find accommodation at the best possible price is key to our 100% success rate. Last year, our average nightly rate was 6% lower than JIB’s Lodging Allowance! It’s a statistic we’re extremely proud of.

So, how do we secure such great prices?

Because our business is based on strong, loyal relationships with both clients and providers, our Accommodation Advisors have access to exclusive discounted rates. And, they’re specially trained negotiators, meaning as well as lower prices for your rooms, they’ll be able to secure the best possible late check-in and check-out times, cancellation policies and refunds. All of this helps you to save on costing should a last-minute change of plan occur.

When it comes to payment, we are able to offer credit accounts to our clients, meaning we can boost your cashflow instantly! What could you do with extra cashflow and time to spend elsewhere?

The whole Rapid Accommodation process has been established and carefully curated over the past five years to make booking business travel as easy as possible for you.

If you’d like to find out more, we’re always on hand for a chat. Get in touch and we’ll arrange a coffee.

10 Accommodation Nightmares…

Preventing and overcoming accommodation nightmares – those problems you don’t think to ask about at the time of booking and unexpected surprises when you arrive at the property – is our expertise.

To help you with your own business travel bookings, we’ve shared 10 of the most common accommodation nightmares and our top tips on how to avoid them!

1. Cold Showers

Not something you think about at the time of booking, but something to always double check with your accommodation provider!

2. Long Travel Time

You don’t want a long drive back to your accommodation after a busy shift. Also be sure to check the distance to avoid additional costs.

3. Tolls & Bridge Roads

A quick internet search will prepare you for any tolls and bridge roads – and make sure you have plenty of change ready!

4. Incompatible Travellers

Make your own booking so you can retire to your own quiet, cosy room, with your own facilities, after a long day with ‘challenging’ colleagues.

5. No Wifi

Make sure that the accommodation not only has WiFi access, but it has a strong coverage. Also, look at phone signal strength too.

6. No Late Check In

Sometimes, when you have a long journey to make and shifts at various times, late check-in is a must! Always ask before booking.

7. Nowhere to Park?

You don’t want to arrive at your accommodation and find there isn’t ample parking for your work vehicle. Enquire about the options available.

8. Overcharging

The ultimate accommodation nightmare! Make sure you have your booking confirmation and what is included in your stay with you.

9. Make sure it actually exists!

Unbelievably, this happens.
Do your research, look up reviews and use trusted providers to make sure you’re not caught out.

10. Bad reviews

Reviews, good and bad, are imperative to your decision. The responses from the accommodation will give a great insight, too!

Or, we can do it all for you!

Trust us, there isn’t a nightmare we’ve faced that we haven’t overcome – that’s how we’ve achieved a 100% success rate! Get in touch to see how we can help you with your business stays.

Ideas for Places to Stay

When it comes to booking short term accommodation for your business stays, for a home away from home when you’re working on site, self-catering is an ideal option. You have the flexibility and freedom to come and go when needed for your shifts, and the peace and quiet of your own place to enjoy.

We’ve come across incredible self-catering accommodation during searches for our clients, from seaside apartments to secluded cottages in the countryside. In this blog post, we’ve rounded up just a few ideas for places to stay close to the sites of some of the UK’s offshore wind farms.

 

Places to Stay in Lowestoft, Great Yarmouth & The Greater Gabbard

 

Self-catering lodges in Lowestoft available to rent for the offshore wind industry.

Crews working in renewables use these modern, open plan lodges, which are just a short journey away from Lowestoft and the base for The Greater Gabbard offshore wind farm. If you travel just seven miles in the other direction, you’ll find Great Yarmouth.

Distance to site: 3.7 miles

Time to site: 9 minutes

Price range: £

 

Self-catering accommodation for the offshore wind industry in Lowestoft

For those working in Lowestoft, these two luxury self-catering barn conversions located on a family farm maybe the ideal place to stay. They have been completely renovated, sleep four to seven people, and hold a Visit England Gold award.

Distance to site: 4.2 miles

Time to site: 14 minutes

Price range: ££

 

 

Accommodation Near Grimsby Docks & Lincs Offshore Wind Farm

 

Self-catering accommodation in Grimsby for the offshore wind and renewables industry.Just a short drive away from the Port of Grimsby is a series of luxury log cabins and self-catering cottages sat on the edge of a private lake – perfect for keen anglers on an unexpected Weather Day! And, these properties even have their own hot tub.

Distance to site: 8.8 miles

Time to site: 24 minutes

Price range: ££

 

Self-catering accommodation in Grimsby for the offshore wind industryThis 18th-century barn in the Lincolnshire countryside has been converted into six cottages, available to offshore wind and renewables crews on a self-catering basis. There is a pub with a carvery just half a mile away, with the Port of Grimsby less than 20 minutes away.

Distance to site: 7.2 miles

Time to site: 19 minutes

Price range: ££

 

Mostyn & Walney, Robin Rigg Offshore Wind Farms

 

Self-catering cottage in Trelogan, Mostyn.The reviews for this cottage in the village of Trelogan, Flintshire say “Amazing scenery, restful location…”. With an open fire and its own garden and patio, this self-catering accommodation is just nine minutes away from the port of Mostyn.

Distance to site: 3.7 miles

Time to site: 9 minutes

Price range: TBC

 

 

Luxury Manor House available as self-catering accommodation in Holywell, Wales.

For the ultimate in luxury, book this Grade II Listed Manor House for your business stay. Sleeping up to 12 people, this Hall not only has a hot tub and is close to the seaside, but it’s just a five-minute drive away from the Port of Mostyn.

Distance to site: 1.7 miles

Time to site: 5 minutes

Price range: £££

 

 

Places near Ramsgate & London Array

 

Self-catering accommodation ideas in Ramsgate for the offshore wind industry.

This is one of the places available to those staying in Ramsgate, a favourite of our Siemens clients – and it’s easy to see why! It’s less than a mile away from site and is so close to the seaside.

Distance to site: 0.9 miles

Time to site: 4 minutes

Price range: ££

 

 

Self-catering accommodation ideas in Ramgate for the offshore wind industry.

You could book a stay at this one-bedroom, detached, self-catering cottage, with its own patio in the shared garden of the Main House. It even boasts a Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor and 4 Stars from Visit England.

Distance to site: 1.4 miles

Time to site: 7 minutes

Price range: £

 

Booking Short Term Accommodation

 

Whatever your requirements, personal preferences and budget, the Rapid Accommodation team are on hand to help you find a place to stay. You can read all about it in our Guide to Booking Accommodation for the Offshore Wind Industry. If you’d like to find out more, give us a call to arrange a meeting – the coffee is on us!

How we simplify your accommodation admin

Once your business accommodation has been booked and you’ve had a relaxing, comfortable stay, there is a matter of invoicing and claiming back expenses. When you’re managing this yourself, it can potentially take up a lot of your time, but yet making sure you receive invoices quickly with all the correct details is imperative.

When it comes to the Rapid Accommodation service, we don’t just stop at sourcing places to stay for your business travel. We take care of all the necessary admin too, including payment and invoicing. We do this because we know we can save you a lot of time and energy.

This is how Rapid Accommodation simplifies your accommodation administration…

Your invoices are personal

We generate your invoices, not your supplier, and we do this on the same day that the booking and payment are made. They are created with your accounting department in mind, meaning we include all the details you need, such as the correct invoicing address, the accommodation location, and arrival and departure dates and times. This information is then stored within our system, making any future invoicing even quicker!

You only need to speak to us

Every accommodation provider will have their own systems for drawing up invoices, each with varying invoicing dates and formats. So, if you book with the hotel, B&B or self-catering accommodation, you could spend time going back and forth chasing up your invoice. When booking with us, you will always deal directly with your Accommodation Advisor.

Don’t worry if you use American Express – we accept it, even if your chosen property doesn’t! Should you need credit facilities, we can help (subject to approval). You can find out more in our blog post ‘Using AmEx for Accommodation in the UK‘.

This is all part of the Rapid Accommodation service – you can read all about it right here. We’re always free for a chat and a coffee too, so give us a call with any queries.

Five Reasons to Book Accommodation with Rapid

Just a few weeks ago Rapid Accommodation celebrated its fifth birthday, which means we’ve been working with you to find business accommodation in the UK for five whole years! In that time, we’ve established a pretty efficient and cost-effective booking system. Our process focuses on five key areas, and the result is a 100% success rate!

Here’s our five reasons to book your business stay travel with Rapid Accommodation.

 

Bespoke Accommodation Service

Before any hotel, B&B or self-catering rooms are booked, our Accommodation Advisors will discuss any personal preferences you might have. Whether it’s ensuring there is adequate space for work vehicles (whatever the size), having specific on-site facilities or allowing early check-in, we’ll find a place to stay that meets your requirements – and for the best price too.

 

Discounted Business Rates

Because our team has worked closely and built long-lasting relationships with business accommodation partners all across the UK, we have instant access to discounted rates. And, we’re able to negotiate the best possible prices and cancellation policies, meaning we can secure a great deal for you.

 

Credit Facilities

We understand that from time to time your cashflow may need a boost, so we have credit facilities available for our clients – subject to approval, of course. Also, we’re more than happy to accept payments via American Express, even if your preferred UK accommodation doesn’t accept it! You can read all about this on our post on using AmEx for accommodation in the UK.

 

Flexibility

Should you ever need to cancel your reservation last minute, or need to end your stay early, we can help. Our team will be on hand to work with the accommodation provider to get a refund or achieve the best possible outcome, and that’s 24/7 too.

 

24/7 Support

You can call us any time of day or night, seven days a week should you encounter any problems. We’ll always do our best to help you – we’ve even been known to give travel directions in the early hours of the morning! When you book with us, we’ll give you a dedicated number to call when you need us.

 

100% Success Rate

We’re so proud to say that we have never failed to find suitable accommodation for our clients! If you have any questions about our sourcing services for business travel, take a look at our guide to booking accommodation and get in touch.

Guide to Booking Accommodation for the Offshore Wind Industry

After a busy day working offshore, and for those weather days when you aren’t able to get to site, you will want to relax in accommodation that is clean, convenient and comfortable. Finding a place to stay that is not only within budget and a close distance to your site, but also has all of your preferred facilities can take time. This is why we believe we are the right people for the job! We’ve put together the Rapid Accommodation essential guide to booking accommodation for the offshore wind and renewables industry.

Travelling Distance

We understand how important it is for employees, technicians and contractors to be close to site, so checking travelling distance is a must. A key part in this is monitoring any nearby roadworks that may affect your journey, as well as any tolls. This helps to reduce the chances of any nasty surprises as you travel to work.

WiFi

As a worker in the offshore wind sector, WiFi is a necessity. Accommodation will need to have WiFi access so you can check your emails and shift patterns, as well as keep in touch with your family and friends while you are away. Not to mention streaming your favourite box sets and scrolling through Facebook to keep you entertained during any downtime!

Personal Preferences

Every worker has their own personal preferences and may have their own specific facilities or localities in mind. For example, a Siemens engineer that is working at Lincs Wind Farm and staying near the Operations and Maintenance base in Grimsby may want to be close to a modern, 24-hour gym and the town centre for evening entertainment. An essential part of a quality accommodation finding service is taking the time to source available rooms that are close to preferred amenities with an easy travelling distance to site and are within budget.

Budget

This is where our expertise comes in, knowing where to look for accommodation that meets all your requirements and your costings. Having to review and compare the options sent to you takes time in itself, which is why an essential part of the service is ensuring you only receive the most suitable options.

Cancellation

In the offshore wind and renewables industry, we understand that weather days and last minute moves to other sites may mean your accommodation needs to be cancelled, which can be a hassle. When this happens, our team are ready to cancel the rest of your stay and to work with the accommodation provider get a refund or achieve the best possible outcome due to your immediate departure.

For more information about Rapid Accommodation’s services for the offshore wind and renewables industry, give us a call on 0330 090 41 42.