Frequently Asked Questions

General

Do I need to be a member to take part in the activities?

Up until August 2015 it is not necessary to be an official member on our website. You can simply join us for any event without registering on our website. Of course when you are joining one of our events, you must leave your personal details so we know who is coming. After August 2015 we will steadily introduce official membership with special benefits for members.

How can I best reach Expat Club?

Just send us an email at info@xrosswpetest.wpengine.com. You can also call 0495-345144 during the day, including weekends. If you would like to reach you at night an email would be better, but in urgent situations (e.g. because you want to join a trip last-minute) you can send a text message first

Is Expat Club a company or a nonprofit?

Expat Club is a professional service provided by the Xross Global Group BVBA, a company that is officially registered in Brussels, Belgium (BTW/TVA # BE 0501.838.210). Although we often organise free events, we want to be transparent about who we are, what we do and how we do it.

Is Expat Club linked to any foreign companies or organisations?

No, we are only based in Belgium and comply with all the local laws.

What is Expat Club?

It is a network for international people in Brussels, including local global minds, who enjoy meeting like-minded persons during informal events and trips.

What makes Expat Club different from all the other expat networks?

Expat Club is Brussels’ premier expat community. Our events are all professionally organised, guaranteeing you great and unique locations, well though-out programs for daytrips and often private visits at museums. Our activities, events and trips are focused on offering you the opportunity to meet with other international open-minded people in a relaxed way while discovering or doing something new. In other words, you can leave your suit and sales pitch at home and just enjoy your time.

Why do you have a .org website?

Getting the perfect URL these days is harder than becoming an astronaut. While a .org extension suggests we are a nonprofit (in the eyes of many at least), there is no actual rule about this. However, Expat Club is a network organisation, so the .org extension does make sense from that perspective.

Membership & Invitations

How can I invite friends to Expat Club?

There are several ways of inviting your friends. The simplest way is to forward them the URL of this website (www.xrosswpetest.wpengine.com) and ask them to submit their email address or become a member immediately.

How many friends can I invite?

The more, the merrier. There is no limit to the number of people you can invite.  However, we do screen each new person carefully. In case someone invites people who do not meet our criteria or who do not use our website for what it is originally intended, he or she will be banned.

I would like to invite friends who are (not yet) a member. Can I register them for events?

You can invite your friends for our events if they are expats or local international minds. But it may actually better to simply ask them to register themselves by submitting their email address on our homepage (see above).

Who is welcome? Singles? Couples? Groups of friends or colleagues?

Everyone is welcome. There are many singles at our future events, but also many couples and smaller groups of friends or colleagues. Most of our members are in the thirties and forties, but those in their twenties and fifties or older are more than welcome if they share our vision.

About our events

Can I choose a seat on the bus?

It is not possible for everyone to choose his/her preferred seat. It’s not always clear what bus is we get, so the configuration and number of seats may differ from what was planned. However, we do want to accommodate the wish of passengers who suffer from car sickness. They can request a front seat. Please do not abuse this, because nobody likes it when someone gets car sick because the first row wasn’t available anymore.

Did you actually leave people behind in the past?

Unfortunately we did. A few times people were too late in the morning upon departure. In some of those cases they could travel on their own to the first destination, but most often this is not possible because it is just too far or too costly to get there. In another case we left 2 people behind in Hautvillers, the village where we have lunch during the Champagne trip, because they were basically lying about where they were. While everybody was on time, they were still tasting Champagne, and said time and time again they were now walking. After 20 minutes we had to leave to ensure the group wouldn’t miss a great tour at Taittinger Champagne in Reims. And we also left some people behind during a kayaking trip, because it was taking them much longer to get to the finish than all the others. In that case we simply had to leave due to the aforementioned rules about maximum driving times for the bus driver. Needless to say we really don’t want to leave anyone behind, and in case there is a good explanation we do everything possible to get you on board. At the same time we do consider the waiting time of other people and your own responsibility to plan ahead. See it as a flight or a train, the bus should leave at some point too.

Do you offer travel insurance for events in other countries?

We currently do not offer travel insurance, simply because nearly all of our members are insured for foreign trips.  Please ensure that you have insurance on your own.

I don’t live in Brussels.  Can I still join your events?

If you live in or close to Brussels you can become a member of Expat Club and join our events.  However, some of our members live farther away but still would like to enjoy the company of our expat community.  Of course they are also welcome to join!

I have my own (company) car.  Am I obliged to travel with your means of transportation?

Expat Club’s philosophy is that participants should attend the entire event, which includes the travelling together.  This is an essential part of creating shared experiences.  Only in rare exceptions we allow members to travel on their own.  For instance, if you happen to live close to a destination for a daytrip.

What happens if I am late for the bus in another country?

As said above, you are responsible for being on time during the entire day. In case you miss the bus you should find alternative transportation and eventually also accommodation.

What happens if I am late for the event?

You are personally responsible for showing up on time for the start of the event or the time of departure back to Brussels, as well as for all departures during the day. If possible we will look for solutions, e.g. wait some time before departing, but we cannot guarantee this. Especially for our bus trips we need to follow our schedule strictly as delays have immediate consequences for the permissible driving times of the coach driver.

What kind of transportation do you offer?

For our daytrips we mostly use of luxurious 4* coaches. We have over 20 years experience in bus trips and work exclusively with firms that offer modern, safe and comfortable coaches. Safety is our #1 priority. Therefore we respect regulations on driving-times of the coach drivers, always, no exceptions.

What makes the events of Expat Club so special?

The events of Expat Club are different from events of other expat organizations.  We consistently organize interesting and memorable events. We strive for high quality standards when it comes to reliability, information & communication, price-quality ratio, safety, and program content. We truly believe that if you join our events (paid or free events) you should feel it was worth your time, money and effort.

Why are you so strict about being on time?

There are various reasons. First, our program is very precisely organised to ensure we can see and do as much as possible. If you are late, even if it is just for 5-10 minutes, it may mean that we cannot make a certain stop or stay somewhere too short to enjoy it. Also, when you are late everybody else has to wait. Suppose you are 5 minutes late, with a group of 50 people this means we are waiting 50 x 5 minutes, just because you wanted to smoke a last cigarette or wanted to chat a bit more while the rest was already heading to the bus. A quick calculation shows that the total waiting time is over 4 hours, which is a waste. Finally, many of our trips try to get the maximum out of the available time of the bus driver. There are strict rules in the European Union about this and we never want to go over this. Being on time is therefore essential.

Why don’t you just travel with cars of participants?

Travelling by cars involves many problems, including people who don’t show up, finding parking spots, safety, and simply not being with a group but with many smaller groups. Also finding each other can be a real issue. Our bustrips are unique because they are safe, reliable, comfortable, fun and create an amazing atmosphere.

Finances

How can I pay for a trip or another paid event?

You can pay with Sofort Banking, Credit Card, PayPal, and a regular bank transfer. For more information it would be best to check out the details on this page.

Why are some tickets more expensive with Expat Club?

All our events are professionally organised. This means we put a lot of time and effort into putting together great programs. Also, we pursue a fiscally transparent model. All our revenues are subject to Belgian VAT and we pay our social security contributions and company taxes in Belgium.

Meetup

Are all Expat Club events posted on the Meetup group page?

Most of them are indeed posted on our Meetup page. However, for most of our paid events you will be linked to this website for further registration.

Do I need to become a Meetup member to be active in Expat Club?

Absolutely not. All events are posted on this website and some events may not even be posted on our Meetup group.

Help, I just registered and paid for an event/trip but I cannot see my name appear among the participants’ list on the Meetup group!

Don’t worry, your name is on the most important list, namely the actual event or trip list. As long as your registration was confirmed (eventually also by email), there is nothing to worry about. We are currently working on a system that allows us to also change your RSVP on the Meetup platform when you make a booking on this website.

Help, my name was on the Meetup participants’ list and now it is gone! What happened?

In case we open the Meetup RSVP list before the actual sales start for the event (see above), there are often members on the event list who in the end cannot join. We normally send 2 or 3 (general and member-specific) reminders that the official registration has opened and that we are waiting for your reaction. In case we do not get any response, we may take your name off the list. Please don’t take this personal. We still would love to welcome you at our event, but we would also like to show realistic RSVP numbers.

How can I register for an event on Meetup?

You can’t! On the event page on Meetup you should click on the link to the event page on this website and click on the [Book now] button. You will be taken through the booking process.

I can RSVP on the Meetup page for a paid event. Does this mean I am registered?

Be aware that sometimes we open up the RSVP on Meetup before the actual reservation system is open on this website. This is to gauge the interest in an event and for you to show that you want to join. However, this does not mean you are actually registered, because you can only do so on this page with a payment. Also, we sometimes would like to thank the members who “pre-registered” with a small discount code that can be used on this website.

Is there anything I can do to put my name on the Meetup list?

As said above, being on the Meetup list for a specific event is not necessary to be registered for that event. Our participants’ list is leading. However, if you would like to have your name there, and if it is your first time to join, you can provide us with your unique Meetup ID code, which you can find in the URL on your profile page. Just copy/paste that number in the “notes” section on the checkout page together with your Meetup name.

What is Meetup.com?

This is an online platform that helps groups of people with shared interests plan events and facilitates off line group meetings in various localities around the world. Groups can be established around literally any topic, from star-gazing to yoga, from photography to business start-ups, and from travel to chess. You can be a member of various groups.

What is the relationship between the Expat Club on www.meetup.com and this website?

Expat Club originally started as the Expat Club Brussels group on the Meetup platform. After time and growth we realised that Meetup alone would not be sufficient to deliver the services and value for our members. Expat Club is still on Meetup and we will be there for years to come as the largest and most active group in Belgium.

Why can I not register for some events on the Meetup page of Expat Club?

Meetup is a great platform, but it has its limitation unfortunately. For legal, fiscal and organizational reasons we need to collect more data from our members than the Meetup platform provides. For instance, meetup does not provide us with your actual name or email address and that is a problem since we often organise advanced events that require this date. Also we need you to accept our terms & conditions. Finally, on Meetup you can only pay with PayPal, whereas on this site you can also pay by credit card, Sofort Banking and a regular bank transfer.