Extended stays in London – be prepared!

It’s not only Boy Scouts who need to ‘Be Prepared’, but corporate executives must also take heed and plan ahead if they intend to spend a few months on an extended-stay in London.

There is no doubt that partners (especially female ones who, if we are being honest, tend to be more organised and practical than their male counterparts!) will help with packing the essentials before leaving home.  And at the London end, companies such as Clarendon Serviced Apartments will fully take care of the extended stay accommodation, general utilities and services in advance for you.

However, in a large and sometimes impersonal city such as London, extended-stay living has to be a little more planned and thought through than just accepting the keys when you get there, unpacking your suitcase and sitting down in the lounge to see what the satellite television has on offer!

And to put it rather bluntly, if you’re used to everything being done for you at home, this doesn’t happen on an extended stay!

Although your apartment will be regularly and thoroughly cleaned from top to bottom by a team of experts, you will need to fill your own fridge and make your own entertainment. But having just mentioned entertainment, regardless of how you spend your extended stay, you will always have weekends to fill. And companies have a duty of care to ensure you don’t fill those weekends by working!

The first thing you should do when you have unpacked and settled into your apartment is to explore your local area.

See what shops are near your apartment – you’ll always find one of the main supermarket chains, be it a large standalone store, or one of the new popular high street metro shops nearby. They’ll have all the basic necessities you’d normally need or want at home. You’ll also easily find fresh produce and ethnic foods available in a number of shops on a nearby high street. Don’t forget, all cooking equipment – from utensils to crockery and cutlery – will be supplied and available in the apartment.

You may care to join a gym for relaxation after work, but before you do, check that the serviced apartment complex you are living in hasn’t special resident access to a particular gym nearby, or even its own gym and swimming pool within the complex, similar to Clarendon’s Discovery Dock East in Canary Wharf.

When you settle into work, check with colleagues for places of social interest – you will be surprised how easy it will be to find someone who might be in the same situation as yourself and keen to have company to go to the theatre, a concert, film or local public house. It is quite likely you won’t be the only extended-stay executive in the building, so don’t be afraid to embrace the social scene at work – check out the company’s bulletin boards and their intranet.

Having your own base in an extended-stay apartment means that if you have family and friends in the locale – or even elsewhere in the UK – you can easily, and indeed, should, invite them to visit you. With two-plus bedroomed apartments, you can invite them to stay at nil extra cost to all parties (except for their transport), something you certainly wouldn’t be able to do if you spent your extended stay in a hotel.

As mentioned briefly before, it is vitally important to take quality time out and relax, unwind and get out and about when you are not working. The old proverb (dating back to the seventeenth Century!)  “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” certainly rings true.

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