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FAQs

Who do I call in case of emergency?

If it is a health or safety emergency call the local emergency number (in the UK, 999; in the USA, 911).

If it relates to the apartment, we’ll give you an emergency contact number prior to your arrival.

How can I get to the property to and from the airport or train station?

We can arrange for our driver to wait for you in the arrivals area. Just let us know, soon after you have booked, the city destination, name of the property, property code, your dates, and specific requests and we will let you know what we can do.  We will, of course, require the exact flight or train information to give to the driver.

Can you provide flowers, groceries, etc. on arrival for me?

Is there something specific you would like in the apartment on arrival? Are you celebrating an anniversary? Just let us know the destination, name of the property, property code, your dates, and specific requests and we will let you know what we can do.

What amenities are in the apartment?

Apartments do vary but they all provide basic comforts – the things you expect, and usually more. If you have a specific apartment in mind I can let you know exactly what is included. Or if you require something special, I can have our city expert contact you with your various options. If you visit the particular property page on our website, you’ll be able to read a detailed description and further down, a list of amenities. If there is a ‘must have’ amenity that you do not see listed, let us know and we’ll check if it exists in that particular property, and if not, we will come up with alternative properties for you to suit your specific requirements.

Will there be food in the apartment?

We stock every apartment with some basic supplies but unless we specifically indicate that there is food, then you should plan on going to a nearby market to stock up. Generally, there will be a market close to you. This is actually one of the fun things about staying in an apartment – you get to experience what it is like to live there. If you would like special arrangements let us know and we’ll see what we can do.

Is my neighborhood safe?

All Scertified apartments are in neighborhoods that are known to be safe. However, like in any big city, use your common sense when out and about, stay in public areas and be aware of your surroundings at all times.

What if I arrive and can’t get in?

This is something that should never happen, but if there are any problems, you’ll have an emergency contact number and we’ll get it solved without delay.

What if something breaks or doesn’t work (e.g. hot water, lights)?

Just let us know and we’ll have our repair person there as quickly as possible to get it fixed. Either call us on the UK or USA local phone no. shown at the top of the website, or contact us by email on info@scertified.com and put ‘REPAIR REQUIRED’ in the subject matter.

Do I need a power converter?

We recommend that you bring at least one along and don’t forget the charging plugs and cables for your mobile devices, electric shaver, toothbrush, etc.

If I arrive late will I be able to get into the apartment?

Yes, we have arrangements if you are delayed. We will send you all the details and contact information with your booking. Always let the agent know the planned arrival time at least 24-hours before your arrival.

What should I pack?

We always recommend that you travel as lightly as possible because carrying heavy suitcases simply isn’t fun and we all tend to pack much more than we need. But we’ll be happy to email you some specific information about what to pack for your destination – simply contact us and ask the question. Let us know your Name, City Destination and Travel Dates and send an email to info@scertified.com and our City Expert will get back to you with some suggestions.

Are there any additional fees?

We try to include everything in your final quote. Everything is normally in the total, including city tax and cleaning fees, if applicable. However, sometimes the city tax is collected at the end of your stay. The invoice will state if city tax has been included. If you need to find out before you book, contact us at reservations@scertified.com and state your destination, property name and property code and dates of arrival & departure.

 

Risk-free cancellations

We recommend visiting www.gocompare.com/travel-insurance/uk-cover/ to find suitable travel insurance. Make sure it includes cancellation insurance. You can cover not just your apartment cost but all kinds of things such as non-refundable airfare, lost luggage, etc. and it is relatively inexpensive. While you are purchasing travel insurance, do not forget to ensure you have medical cover too.

Does it cost me more to book through Scertified?

Our costs are similar to other sites but it may cost you a lot more if you don’t because of our customer service and Scertification process.

How long have you been in business?

Our sister company, European Vacation Experience Inc., offered its first apartment in 2003. But our Founders have many decades of experience in the travel industry.

Are utilities included in the bill?

Yes indeed – there will be no additional fees charged.

Can I receive a receipt for my stay?

Of course!  If you do not receive a receipt by email, please contact us.

At what times can we check-in and out?

Most apartments check-in at 3pm and out by 10am or 11am. Please check your confirmation email and our website for the exact check-in/out times for that particular apartment.

It may be possible to arrange early/late check-ins/outs, but that may incur a charge so check with the agent to see how we can accommodate your request. There is more information in the Terms & Conditions on the property page.

Why would the security deposit be withheld?

The security deposit may be withheld if, over & above usual wear & tear:

  • The furniture is damaged or broken
  • The kitchen appliances are damaged or broken
  • The music centre or television equipment is damaged or broken
  • Walls, floors, curtains, blinds or upholstery are stained or damaged
  • Dishes, windows, mirrors, glassware are broken or missing
  • Damaged or missing accessories
  • Flooding or fire caused by neglect
  • Smoking or vaping fumes in the apartment
  • Any malicious or neglect that causes damage.

If there are any problems or issues that arise during your stay, please contact the agent without delay.

How many sets of keys will I get?

Upon arrival, you will be given one set of keys.  Larger apartments (3+ bedrooms) may receive an additional set.  Some apartments have digital door code access.

Are there any house rules

All of the apartments are non-smoking and a cleaning fee will be added to your bill to remove the odour should this house rule not be obeyed.

Most apartments have a no-pet policy (if you have an allergy to pets, make sure you check if the apartment allows them!). If you want to bring your pet, please talk to us. There is typically a daily charge for pets and we will need to ensure that the apartment chosen allows pets.

Most apartments have a strict no parties rule.

General rules will be sent to you after booking the apartment, in your confirmation email.  Please read these carefully. You may also wish to browse the Terms & Conditions on the particular property page.

Security deposit

A security deposit will be required when you book the apartment and refunded within 3-7 business days after check-out. The lead guest will need to provide ID and credit card information in order to set up the security deposit. Please note lead guests must be over 21 years of age.

Do we need to have ID?

Absolutely!  Please ensure you have photo ID in the form of a driver’s licence or passport of the lead guest.  The agent will take a photo of it when you arrive to check-in.  Please make sure you let the agent know your time of arrival. Please note: The lead guest must be 21 years of age or older.

What will I find in the apartment?

All apartments contain:

  • Fresh towels
  • Fresh bed linen
  • Shampoo & shower gel
  • Cleaning products
  • Wifi
  • Fully equipped kitchen, crockery & utensils

Most contain:

  • Washing machine
  • Iron & ironing board
  • Hairdryer

Check the description of the apartment before you book and if you have any questions, contact us.

Who is my point of contact?

Once booked, you will receive an email with all the local contact information and they will be able to answer your questions and requests before and during your stay.

Can I use my credit card overseas?

Always a good idea to check with your credit card issuer the following:

a) Can it be used overseas

b) What will it cost

c) Can you take out cash from an ATM

d) Do you need to let them know in advance where and when you plan to travel.

In general, if it has a chip in the card, you should be able to use it – but remember your pin number!

Does your card have the contactless icon on it?  If not, you may want to acquire one of these as they are very hand when using the underground in London – you won’t need to get a separate Oyster card.  Again, pay attention as to where you are placing your card once you have used it to get into the Tube system, and watch where you put your wallet (see our advice in ‘Security when out and about’)!

Most banks require Europeans travelling outside of the EU, to inform their banks of their travel destination and travel dates. Note the phone no. to call from overseas in case your card is lost, stolen or misplaced, or blocked for use. Even if you have informed your bank that you will be overseas, glitches can happen and the card may get blocked. Be prepared for this situation.

Security when you are out & about

Unfortunately, tourists can be targeted, especially in capitals and large cities, and especially when you are tired or travelling.  Keep your wits about you.  There are small groups of young girls working the Metro in Paris and other underground trains in the other capitals.  They may innocently ask you the time, distract you in some way, while one of the other girls will be pilfering your pockets or purse.  Typically they will separate you from your travel mate or other people on the train, so they work unseen.  Just before the doors are about to close they jump off the train and by the time you figure out that your wallet has been stolen, you are at the very least one station away from where it happened.

It’s not a good idea to where a ‘bum bag’ round your waist – that will tell the thieves where your valuables are.  They are adept at unzipping these bags and stealing the wallet, without you being able to feel a thing.  It will brand you as a ‘tourist’ and therefore as a ‘target’.

Other vulnerable places are hotel lobbies, tourist attractions, markets and restaurants (here they will sit next to your table and work in pairs.  Keep your handbag/purse on your lap or the straps around your ankles so you would feel if anyone tugged at it.  Whatever you do, do not place anything of value on the floor next to your table, that you would be upset about if it disappeared).  In hotel lobbies, you may have places your bags on a chair while dealing with the check-in or check-out process.  While you are distracted, they may be doing a disappearing act.

To read about other tricks and scams, see links below:

https://www.ricksteves.com/travel-tips/theft-scams/tourist-scams

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/lists/40-tourist-scams-to-avoid/

Where should I exchange money?

It is always a good idea to have enough foreign currency for your first day of travel and transportation from the airport.  After that you can use the ATM machine as it will accept your US debit card anywhere in Europe, however do check with your bank regarding their fee structure. If you are traveling in the UK and want to change cash, the cheapest way is to go to any of Marks & Spencers department stores ‘Bureau de Change’ counters or to a post office as you will get the best rates.  It will always be cheaper than banks and airports.

Before using an ATM be wary of who is standing next to you or behind you and shield your pin number with your other hand (there may be hidden cameras).  If anything looks suspicious about the ATM, do not use it.  If the bank is open, always prefer their indoor ATMs rather than those on the street, but either way, shield your pin input.

 

What do I do if problems occur?

The agent will provide you with a local emergency phone number either by email or at check-in.

If, for whatever reason, you cannot reach the agent, please contact us:

USA: +1 860 222 0001

UK: +44 (0)20 8123 0009

Travel insurance for over 50’s

There are a number of providers for over 50’s medical travel insurance – make sure you cover all pre-existing medical issues that could pose a problem when you travel.  Alternatively, if you want to get cheaper travel insurance and are not interested in covering the pre-existing problems, you can ask for insurance that does not include these issues.

Here are some providers you may wish to get quotes from:

Age UK Travel Insurance 

StaySure Travel Insurance 

Saga Travel Insurance

Or compare quotes from several providers here:

AllClear

Cancellations

The cancellation policies change from city to city and sometimes from apartment to apartment so you need to read the fine print BEFORE you book.  In general, the policies are quite strict so if you are unsure, or require risk-free cancellations, please contact us and we will recommend a solution.

Am I allowed to smoke in the apartments?

All of our apartments are non-smoking and have sensitive smoke alarms installed so please abide by this rule to avoid any unpleasantness during and at the end of your stay.  A fee will be have to be imposed to cover the cost of odour removal if this rule is broken.  Thank you in advance for your understanding and compliance.