In the Know, Q&A Blog

Bleisure – what is it?

Of all the latest business travel buzzwords, bleisure, a portmanteau of business and leisure, has certainly captured our attention. As millennials continue to infiltrate the workforce, so do their business habits, wants and needs, and bleisure travel—mixing a business trip with a leisure one—is clearly one of them. While the practice has been around for ages, the term just recently emerged on the corporate travel scene. So, what is so important about bleisure? First, let’s fully understand what it is. According to Click Travel, bleisure is the practice of combing business travel and leisure travel into one trip. On average, a business professional makes at least 12 trips per year, each trip requiring four nights of being away from home. That’s 12 potential opportunities to make an adventure out of a work-related trip. You may be wondering, how does one turn a work trip into a bleisure vacation? Spend anywhere from few extra days to a week in a city. Whether you arrive a couple days in advance or take a week’s worth of PTO afterward, there are plenty of opportunities to extend your trip. Once you’ve prolonged your trip, invite friends or family along. Why travel alone when a friend or loved one can piggyback on your excursion? If your company is paying for your flight, meals and accommodations, your companion solely needs to purchase their airfare and pay for a few meals. It’s budget travel without the compromise. For extended bleisure trips, consider furnished housing. Depending on the length of your stay, temporary housing or aparthotels are a great solution. Q&A Residential Hotel, located in Downtown Manhattan,...

Is my flight ticket refundable?

Travel plans can change. Whether it’s weather-related or for personal reasons, sometimes a flight needs to be cancelled. There is always the option to change your flight, but airlines often charge $150 to $500 in change fees plus the cost difference between both tickets. Is it ever possible to receive a full refund on your airline voucher? Unfortunately the answer is neither yes nor no, it’s “it depends.” There are a number of factors to consider. For example, if you miss your flight and would like to hop on the next one, you may be charged an additional fee if the cost of the new flight is more than the original. You’ll also be placed on the standby list. There’s no guarantee you’ll get to your final destination for the same price as your original ticket. According the U.S. Department of Transportation, every airline must hold or refund tickets within 24 hours, as long as the ticket was purchased seven or more days before your travel date. While not everyone’s plans change within that 24-hour window, this rule provides some relief if a mistake is made. In the event of a medical emergency or death in the family, airlines can be flexible with refunds or changing your travel dates. Depending on the airline, you may need to present medical bills, a doctor’s note or a death certificate. Otherwise, considering the recent negative press surrounding customer service and airlines, customers now have better leverage when it comes to getting a refund. At the end of the day, travel insurance may be your best option to ensure getting your money back...

5 Carry-On Essentials for Your Next Flight

Traveling can be stressful, and packing for a trip can be equally as stressful. You may have your itinerary laid out, hotels booked and flights purchased, but you’ve saved the most tedious step for last. While packing clothes, toiletries, shoes and work-related items is important, you may forget to fill your carry-on with crucial items you’ll want to have access to during your flight. In the face of long flights, layovers and potential delays, we suggest packing these five carry-on essentials to get you through your next trip safely and happily. Cellphone Charger Now that many airports and airplanes are outfitted with USB charging ports, make sure you have a charging cord handy in your carry-on and that it’s accessible to you during your flight. You may want to contact the airline or check their website ahead of time to see if your flight offers this amenity. If not, or you’re unsure, a portable power bank provides a foolproof backup. Headphones It’s no secret that airline-provided headphones are the worst. You can barely hear anything over the engine noise, and depending on the airline, you may incur a fee to use their one-time-only headphones. Even if you’re not planning on watching a movie or listening to music, noise-cancelling headphones will help you achieve some peace and quiet during the flight. ID/Passport This may be a no-brainer, but bringing your ID and/or passport is an absolute essential when flying. Make sure your form of identification is valid and not expired. If you’re traveling close to its expiration date, call your airline carrier to determine if it’s safe to travel. Also,...

Business Tips: How to Beat Jet Lag

Jet lag is for the birds! Whether you’re traveling domestic or international, if there’s even the slightest time differentiation, you’re guaranteed to be exhausted. Traveling itself already has its own side effects. You don’t want to add sleep deprivation and extreme fatigue to the list. Fortunately, there are a few ways to beat jet lag: First, try to jumpstart your new sleep schedule by changing your current sleep cycle. Sleep as if you were in the time zone you’re traveling to. Also, try going to bed a few hours earlier and waking up earlier, which may help with your energy level. Try your best to sleep during the flight. Pack an eye mask, ear plugs (or noise cancelling headphones) and comfortable clothes. Taking sleep medication can also help you achieve a restful flight.  If you don’t have a prescription, an alternative is natural supplements such as Melatonin. Skip dinner and a movie. Depending on the airline, generally the in-flight meal contains preservatives and is high in sodium which can cause bloating and ultimately discomfort. Eat a well-balanced, light dinner before boarding and kindly request to skip the meal service. According to sleep.org, the blue light emitted by screens actually suppresses the production of melatonin which helps you sleep. Therefore it’s best to choose a light read over a movie during your flight. A glass or three of wine will NOT do the trick. Avoid alcohol all together. Since alcohol dehydrates the body and acts a depressant, it can actually lead to the exact opposite of what you intended—a good night’s rest. At the end of the day, if you’re...

3 Tips to keep up with fitness goals when traveling

It’s hard to find exercise time when scrambling to and from business meetings or hitting every major landmark in a city when traveling. You’re also constantly going out to eat, not paying attention to what you’re ordering and just living in the moment. Trying to stay focused on your 2017 fitness goals becomes an after-thought and sooner or later you’re right where you began on December 31, 2016. Here are three tips to stay on track with your 2017 exercise regimen while on the road: Calendar time to work out We’re so consumed by meetings, calendar invites, networking events, etc. that if we don’t designate 30 – 45 minutes in our calendars to work out, we’ll completely forget.  Set a calendar event either early in the morning or at the end of your day to exercise. Having a 15 minute reminder pop up on your phone will signal when your workout is about to begin. In-room workout gurus The internet is chock full of at-home workout videos. Just because you’re traveling and can’t find a local gym to utilize, doesn’t mean you can’t have a high intensity workout in your room. Search through hundreds of videos and vlogs to find the best virtual coach to guide you through your fitness challenges. If you need a recommendation, follow Troy Brooks on his Facebook or Instagram Booking your stay with a gym While there are many factors to consider when booking your hotel, try to find one with a gym. This way you don’t have an excuse not work out as there is already a fitness center right in your building. Packing...

Business Tips: 6 Apps to Pass Time When Traveling for Business

Planes, trains and automobiles – we all use them to move from point A to point B, especially when traveling for business. While mass transportation has evolved and is highly efficient, delays are inevitable. Why spend countless hours waiting in and airport staring off into space when you can utilize your time effectively and resourcefully? Here’s a list of the best 6 apps to help you pass time when traveling for business: TED TED, short for Technology, Entertainment and Design, began in 1984 as a conference to cover important topics from business to science to global issues. As a nonprofit dedicated to educate all viewers who are passionate about learning and engaging, it’s now become an influential database with over 23,000 powerful talks. TED is a great way to spend hours at the airport productively learning about new topics to stir your curiosity. Paper by FiftyThree Do you have a lot of time on your hands while traveling for business? Or are you pressed for time trying to find a moment to clear your head and take notes? Regardless, Paper by FiftyThree allows you to sketch, diagram and take notes on the go. It’s the perfect way to jot down last minute ideas or draw out endless streams of conscious. Dots Everyone loves dots! A simple game at best, Dots’ minimalist approach allows gamers to reach a meditative state while still exercising cognitive skills. It’s a great way to pass time while in route, waiting for transportation or in between meetings. Audio Books Rather than jamming out to mindless tunes, download Audiobooks from Audible. Membership costs about $15 a month...

Business Tips: How to host a successful business event

It’s a little known fact that event planners have one of the top 5 most stressful jobs in the world. But don’t let this tidbit cause you gut-wrenching anxiety! As a party aficionado and moderate control freak, I’ve hosted a number of successful, and a few unsuccessful, business events. Through trial and error, I’ve come up with a humble plan to help guide you through your next business event and earn “hostess with the mostest”. Know your audience. First things first, who are you inviting? Do they work in the same industry? What’s the demographic? These are a few important questions to consider when starting the planning process. If you’re inviting a group of day traders, make sure to set the event time shortly after the markets close. If your intended audience belongs to professional associations, consider partnering with one of the associations or a-like business to share the cost/responsibilities. Objective, theme & location. What do you hope to gain from hosting this event? Once that’s determined, come up with a theme. Don’t forget about your audience when deciding your theme. Next, choose a location that is close by and convenient for your guests. Also, one that’s inviting and can manage whatever type of event you’re going to host. Send the invite. If your event is local, and doesn’t fall around any major holidays, your best bet is to send an invite 3 – 4 weeks in advance. This allows people enough time to plan accordingly. If your guests have to travel far distances, send invitations anywhere from 6 – 8 months out so they’re able to make appropriate...

Business Tips: How to Network…the right way

“It’s not what you know. It’s who you know.” While this is valid business advice, it’s not always about exchanging business cards; it’s also about presenting yourself with confidence, knowledge and finesse.  Networking can be uncomfortable but it doesn’t have to be. Here are a few tips to guide you through your next networking happy hour or to prepare for an interview. The first and most important thing to remember is that you are not alone. Everyone is either in your shoes or was once in your position. Take comfort knowing you’re not pioneering through unchartered territory. Relax, take a deep breath, and remember—you already know the most vital information, which is about yourself! Next, start off small. Go to an event that only has a few attendees (less than 30) to prevent becoming overwhelmed. Try to attend the event by yourself. While tagging along with coworkers may seem more comfortable, push yourself outside of your boundaries and interact with multiple people. Before attending any networking event, always be prepared. Draft out a plan about what you want to talk about, how you may be able to help other people, and what your true talents and strengths are. Consider your audience. Are they potential business partners, future bosses or peers with valuable business knowledge? Again, relax, and take a deep breath. Lastly, disregard your personal agenda and never dismiss someone as unimportant. You never know who you may be talking to, and, title doesn’t always carry more significance. That person may be able to introduce you to someone who can significantly benefit your career. By ditching your personal agenda...

Business Tips: 3 Best Credit Cards to Receive Travel Benefits

Choosing the right credit card is like choosing the right suitor. There are a few non-negotiable qualities one must consider before investing in a long-term relationship. For example, is this person willing to make compromises? This is similar to: does this credit card offer flexibility (more opportunities for redemptions – no blackout dates, multiple partners, etc.)? Or, does this person have good qualities that outweigh the bad qualities? This resembles: are the annual fees justified by the rewards and benefits? All are important points to keep top-of-mind when choosing your next credit card. Here are our top credit cards to receive travel benefits: Chase Sapphire Preferred One of the most alluring benefits for signing up with Chase is if you spend $4,000 within the first 3 months of opening an account, you will earn 50,000 bonus points. Another attractive benefit for travelers is there are no foreign transaction fees. There is a $95 annual fee associated with the card after the first year; however, when you calculate all the money saved using bonus points, the fee doesn’t alter your bottom line. Capital One VentureOne Rewards The first advantage for using the Capital One VentureOne Rewards card is there are no annual fees.  Next, you’re not limited to redeeming with one airline or hotel brand. Also, there are no foreign transaction fees and most importantly, you earn 1.25 miles per every dollar spent on any purchase! Depending on your credit, APR averages from 12.24%-22.24%, which kicks in 12 months after opening an account. Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard Aside from the most important benefit, no foreign transaction fees, Barclaycard...

Business Tips: 3 Tips for Choosing the Best Restaurant for your Work Meeting

Sometimes our failsafe restaurant has no available reservations or its location is too far for your lunch meeting. Other times, you’re on business travel and not sure what restaurant to recommend. With these possibilities in mind, we’ve picked our three top tips to help you choose a restaurant for a work lunch: Who are you meeting? Get to know your intended audience before inviting them to lunch. If they’re the adventurous type, try the new Cambodian restaurant down the block where everyone sits on 2ft tall stools. If you’re meeting with a more reserved group, pick a place that isn’t too crowded, mid-price range and offers American cuisine. Most importantly, find out if this person or persons have any specific food allergies or diet restrictions because the last place you’d want to meet is a Brazilian Steak House when your client or colleague is vegetarian.  Call their assistant if you’re too embarrassed to ask or send a few recommendations which include a vegan or vegetarian option. Research, Reviews and Ratings. Do your research. If the place was shut down two months ago for an E.coli outbreak, it might be best to choose an alternative location. Also, read the reviews. If people cannot stop raving about the restaurant and every major publication is raving about it, go on your personal time to avoid crowds. Lastly, if the restaurant was recently awarded 5 Michelin-stars, perhaps you should hold off. You may come off as too pompous and if your associate intends on covering the bill, you will inconvenience them in many ways. Location, location, location. If you intend on meeting someone...

Business Tips: What to Wear to Work for Summer Commuting

Some rejoice for the warmer weather and longer summer days, while many of us are counting down the minutes until cooler, fall temperatures arrive. Whether you’re sitting in your air-conditioned car or rushing through the subways, commuting to work while looking professional can be brutal. We’ve selected four dress tips to alleviate uncomfortable travel to the office: Dress light. Although black is classic, it is not your best friend during the summer as it will absorb the sun’s heat. Wear lighter, natural-toned colors in light fabrics. Cotton and linen are your new fabric best friends! Take it off. If your office thermostat rests at a cool 65 degrees and it’s about 80 degrees before 8am, it may be a bit difficult to plan for both. Hence, we have layers. If you’re melting in that custom fitted suit jacket, take it off. Don’t suffer another minute longer. For ladies, keep a basic, single-color sweater at the office. Long live the sneaker. Our feet naturally expand as our surroundings get warmer. Your leather wingtips or patent leather pumps are not ideal footwear during your daily commute. Now that athleisure is an actual style, go out and buy yourself a new pair of commuter sneakers. If you’re worried about looking unstylish, choose one that has a wilder color to make a statement or opt for the basic black with a modern fit. Pack your outfit. There is no rule that says you have to wear your work outfit on your way to the office. Why suffer commuting in a dress shirt and blazer when you can change at work? If you’re worried...

What is an Aparthotel?

Question: What is an Aparthotel or Apartment Hotel? Answer: Well, it is exactly as it sounds: an apartment that uses a hotel-style booking system and has the great amenities you’ll find at a hotel. Instead of staying in a 325 square foot room with a bed, a desk and (if you’re lucky) a kitchenette, you’re staying in a fully equipped apartment. We understand in New York City some may try to sell you a closet and call it an apartment; however this is not always the case. At Q&A Residential Hotel, we’re offering much more. Here are some of the advantages you will find when you stay at an aparthotel like Q&A: Aparthotel Advantages Size: Aparthotel suites are much larger than hotel rooms, offering more room to live rather than just sleep. For example, at Q&A Hotel, residences start at 500 square feet and expand up to 1,400 square feet in studio, one or two bedroom configurations. To put that in perspective, most suites are around three times the size of a typical Manhattan hotel room.  Every apartment is also equipped with a full sized kitchen that is stocked with all the necessary cookware and utensils you would find in your home. Stay: A guest can stay anywhere from 1 to 29 nights. Unlike typical apartments or corporate housing, there is no need to fill out any contracts or leases while booking. An aparthotel has the exact same booking system as a hotel available for all last minute reservations or requests. Amenities: Amenities at an aparthotel are the same as a hotel. Guests can take advantage of concierge services,...

Business Tips: 5 Tips to Travel Light

What is the weather like? Will I be walking long-distances? Should I wear a suit or can I wear casual attire? We’ve all been there and we’ve all stressed about packing. Whether our trip is for business or for pleasure, packing can be a burden for many. Here we list five essential tips to help ease the packing process in preparation for your next trip. Tip 1. Do your research. There is nothing worse than packing for the wrong type of weather or underdressing for the occasion. Check the local weather report for the dates which you’ll be traveling and if the region is known for certain weather patterns during that time year. Check in with a colleague or administrator for the dress-code of the office. With knowledge about the weather and surrounding environment, you will avoid over packing and underpreparing. Tip 2. Pack toiletries in a small, flat case that is leak proof. By using a hanging toiletries bag that can lay flat in your suitcase, you’re able to utilize more room and take up less space for other items. Also, spend the money on travel size toiletry products. This will decrease unnecessary weight and space in your bag. Tip 3. Wear the bulkiest items on the plane. For business travelers, bring your suit jacket on the plane. For vacationers, wear your sneakers or hiking boots on the flight. Tip 4. Pack clothes that can be used in multiple outfits. If your favorite shirt wrinkles after one use, do not bring it. Also, avoid heavy patterns – black is your friend. Neutral colors are also a perfect match...

Five Myths and Tips for Purchasing Cheap Flights

Myths and Tips for Purchasing Cheap Flights We’ve heard them all: the cheapest flights are sold on Tuesdays; the best time to buy a flight is at the last minute; clearing your browser’s cookies results in cheaper fares. Unfortunately, these myths are all FALSE. There is no specific day of the week to purchase a flight and airlines aren’t desperate to fill empty seats. Here are a few tips to help you find the best, most affordable flights for your next business trip or vacation at Q&A Residential Hotel in New York City. Tip 1: If it seems like a great deal, it is! Do not wait to purchase the flight because chances are the price will increase as time goes on. Tip 2: Book far in advance. Researchers discovered that on average a flight ticket will cost $200 more when booking within seven days of departure. The more time you allow between the date you purchase your flight to the date of your departure, the cheaper the tickets will be. Tip 3: Check other airline prices. Don’t be afraid to shop around as you may find a less expensive flight through another carrier. Skyscanner is a user-friendly, flight comparison website (for domestic and international travel) that won’t plague your computer with five pop-up windows. Tip 4: Flexibility is key. If you live in an area with multiple airports near you, research the cost of flying to your desired destination from each local airport. Or if you’re flexible on which dates to travel, choose a timeframe and browse various flights within those dates. Remember though, if you’re planning on flying to Florida...

Hotel Living in a New Era

Q&A Hotel App As the travel industry moves further into the technology arena, Q&A Residential Hotel is staying ahead of the game with new and innovative tools to advance your experience visiting our hotel. While staying at Q&A, guests are encouraged to download the Q&A Hotel App (free and available for all iOS and Android devices) to access all hotel and stay related information. Improve your stay at Q&A with these cool app features: Access to Hotel and Stay Related Information As a part of our green initiatives, the information normally found in a guest room binder or folder is now contained in the app. Whether you need to find out the check-out time or pet policy, simply open the app, click “The Hotel” and instantly gain access to all hotel and facility information. Since Q&A is an aparthotel with a full kitchen, the app provides step by step instructions on how to operate and troubleshoot any issues with the appliances in your suite. If you’re still experiencing difficulties, you can call the front desk from inside the app and speak with someone directly. Submit Requests When visiting Lower Manhattan for work or pleasure, it’s likely you’ll be on the go. By utilizing the Q&A app, you can submit a housekeeping or maintenance request in less than one minute. Q&A also provides expert concierge service available through your mobile device at a touch of a button. Submit a request or call instantly through your phone to speak to a live person. Transportation New York City is a big place and easy to get lost in. By using the app,...

Top 5 Tips for Holiday Travel

Don’t lose your holiday cheer when traveling this season. Everyone knows holiday travel is stressful. Instead of getting anxious about an upcoming flight or worrying about what to pack for your time off, here are 5 tips that will make travel this season easier than ever. Prep! Check all of your travel lists–what time your flight leaves, from what airport, where your terminal is and so forth. Waiting until the last minute to check these things wastes time and is a disaster waiting to happen! A packing list is also helpful. Start one and keep it for all of your future trips. You’ll thank yourself later! Streamline Your Packing. If it’s possible, avoid checking a bag. Not only does it get you in and out of the airport quicker, but there’s also no possibility of losing luggage when you’re flying. Packing Presents. If you’re flying this season and bringing presents onboard with you, wait to wrap presents until after you arrive at your destination. TSA may need to check inside a wrapped present, so bring flat sheets of wrapping paper for a luggage-friendly solution. Bring Essentials. Prepare for the worst when traveling. Charge your phone before heading to the airport and bring backup power in case of any delays. Bringing snacks is also smart. This way you won’t have to pay for overpriced airline food. Video Streaming. Start your holiday TV binge watching early. Amazon Prime Video allows you to download free streaming shows to your smartphone or tablet for offline viewing, which really helps pass the time when you have a long flight. Staying in NYC for the...