Beach Blues: 4 Pitfalls to Avoid on Holiday

While we all love to travel to new destinations, preferably the warm and sunny ones, to experience the world, it’s way too easy to be a naive tourist. Or just a very unlucky one – they also exist, you know. When you’ve done your share of traveling, you start to realize that there actually are ways to safeguard yourself and the rest of your travel team against those unfortunate situations.

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You know which ones I’m talking about; having all of your belongings stolen before you’ve even reached the hotel, losing your passport while you’re busy with something else, or spending most of your much-needed holiday on the toilet.


It doesn’t have to be like this and, by preparing yourself both before and while traveling, you’ll be able to return just as tanned and happy as you wanted to. Here is a quick guide to the four most common pitfalls for tourists so that you can pride yourself on having avoided all of them.


#1 Wanting to do too much


I think most of us would be able to admit to having done this at least one time on holiday. We get over-excited and overestimate our own abilities and energy levels while traveling.


It may mean that you’ve planned a strict schedule for the whole family that everyone needs to follow; there will be trips to the islands the first day, scuba-diving the second day, mountain climbing on the third, etc. You know by the looks on their faces that nobody really wanted to do anything else but stay on the beach.


Another version of this one, which is particularly relevant for all those backpackers out there, is to try to visit too many cities or countries. You’ll spend so much time on the trains, hardly finding enough time to do everything you wanted in the individual cities before you’re off to the next one – you know, to stay there for a few hours before you rush off again.


Do yourself and your family a favor and make it a rule that you try to plan things ad-hoc. Sure, everyone has something they’d like to do, and everyone should be allowed to pick one thing that they can do as well – but that’s it. If you’d like to stay for a day or two longer in a specific city, or if you’d just like to stay at the beach the whole week, that should be fine.


You’ll feel much more energized and content by the time you’re back home, and you’ll be able to enjoy each others’ company as well.


#2 Not buying insurance


When you want to safeguard yourself against problems while traveling, the first thing you should do is undoubtedly to buy insurance. It’s such a quick-fix against all of the sorrows you’d experience if someone stole your stuff – or if something were to happen at home, and you need to get back in a hurry.

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Plus, you never know if there is a medical emergency while you’re abroad. While we never really think that this will happen to us, it definitely might – and if you don’t have that insurance in place, you don’t have any protection against that medical bill either. Just saying.


While you could always take up a personal loan, and there are many great ones such as the ones Marcus loans offer, a travel insurance will give you some peace of mind. Many of them are not even that expensive anymore, so make sure that you have a proper look around the web before you yet off without any insurance at all.


Remember to read through each offer first, though, to ensure that it suits your needs. If you’re bringing multiple laptops, cameras, and smartphones, it might be a good idea to find one that covers this extensively.


#3 Overpacking


Another one that most of us can and should admit to having done at least once. When we’re used to relying on our stuff the whole time, it can be difficult to just leave it behind. Plus, what if the weather changes – can you really survive with just a couple of sweaters?


A good rule of thumb is to only pack what you know you’re going to need and use. Leave all of your what-ifs at home, pack the essentials, and tell yourself that as long as you have your phone, wallet, and passport you’ll be fine.


It really is that easy, and you’ll find that you still won’t use all of the stuff you brought even if you pack just the essentials. The next time you pack for a trip, you’ll pack even less – and the next time a bit less than that again, and so on. Before you know it, you’re heading off with nothing but your passport and a toothbrush.


#4 Not backing up pictures


Losing your beloved photos is such a sad thing to experience. You really don’t want all of those holiday photos to disappear because someone snatched your phone or camera – or even if a virus decided to target your computer, so remember to back them up.


This is really simple these days; you can simply register an account with a cloud, and make sure that you sync it when you’re connected to WiFi at the hotel, for example. That way, you know that your photos and precious memories are safe no matter what happens.


There you have it; the four most common mistakes and pitfalls for tourists. If you’re planning on making a quick trip somewhere before the summer is over for good, you’ll at least know that you’re a bit more street smart than the rest of those tourists.


And, even if you’re not, you’ll still have those photos safely stored in a cloud somewhere in case someone should steal everything.

Your New Workplace: Other People’s Homes

If you asked the people where they want to work, you’d find that most people say “home.” Actually, working from their own home can be inappropriate for some people. If they like being up, active, and meeting new people, it’s not the right place! But that doesn’t mean ‘working at home’ has to be the wrong answer. It could just be that other people’s homes is a better option. If you’re looking for a new venture, you might want to think about setting up a company that solves the problems people have in their homes. Work will always be good so long as people live in houses!



Home Improvement


Are you handy at DIY? Then you might want to look at setting up a home improvement company. You can paint the walls, redesign rooms, work with wood, or anything else that improves the look of the house. You’ll have to be good, of course, and make sure you’re using the best materials, but it can be a good option. The other option is to fix things. No-one hesitates when they have a leak: they call the plumber. If you know how to fix anything in the house, you can create an indispensable business.


Appliance Repairs


You don’t need to have such a dramatic impact on a person’s home. Giving it a new look or coming to the rescue is good, but not everyone wants that pressure! If you like playing around with things, then look at setting up an appliance repair business. More and more people are taking the time to see if they can have their appliance fixed rather than just buying a new one straight away. It’s fun work, trying to get something to get going again, and you’ll be doing your bit for the planet too.


Getting Rid Of Pests


Not afraid of creepy crawlies or animals? Then pest control might be the way to go. To begin, you’ll need to have a thorough understanding of the pests that commonly invade homes, the damage they can do, and how to get rid of them. You’ll also want to work with a company that offers pest control leads; it’ll make finding clients much more straightforward. Like plumbing, pests are one of those things that people will always call an expert for – and that expert could be you!


In the Garden


Like the more beautiful side of life? If you’re a keen gardener, it might be time to step up from ‘amateur’ to ‘professional’ and become a landscaper. You’ll be spending your days outside, taking care of the grass and plants, and improving a person’s outdoor space. A nice job!


Home Care


Finally, if you’re a people-person, then you might want to think about offering home care services. Baby boomers are entering their twilight years, and the demand for people who can offer help around the home – such as cooking and some health care – is going to soar in coming years. Complete a course, get certified, and begin helping others.


I Gotta Go Swim, But Baby It’s Cold Outside

Garden pools bring all manner of benefits. With one of these babies, you can host killer pool parties and teach your kids to swim without having to pay for the privilege. And, you can make the most of your outdoor space on the hottest days imaginable. Heck, having your own pool is like lounging on a hotel patio for free whenever you fancy.



As summer draws to a close, the chances are that you’re making the most of every moment you and your pool can spend together. The kids are probably out there whenever the sun shines. You may even have one more party left before the weather turns for good. Then, you likely plan to shut up your pool, never to be seen again. Well, not until spring rolls around.

Not using an outdoor pool during the colder months is by no means out of the ordinary. Most pool owners take this tack when frosty mornings creep in. But, we’re here to tell you that you might want to think twice this year. In fact, we think you should cross closing your pool off your end of summer checklist altogether.


We know what you’re thinking. We must be mad, right? Think about it; you spent a small fortune to install that pool. You likely spend near enough that much again on maintenance. When you consider that, the idea of only using the thing for a few months annually seems criminal, doesn’t it?

Hence why you might want to consider extending that use through winter. There’s no denying that it’s a difficult habit to get into. You’ll likely come up with a whole load of reasons why you can’t swim through snow. But, we’re one step ahead of you. Read on to find out how to jump over any obstacle you put in your winter swimming way.

Baby, it’s cold outside

Weather is, obviously, the first thing you’re going to question. How on earth can you swim when the water is icy cold? But, there are a few solutions to this cold water dilemma. For one, consider that cold plunges have helped with health and well being for centuries. Admittedly, you don’t want to hang around for long in icy water. But, a once-a-day cold plunge can help with everything from circulation to rheumatism. So, you may want to keep your pool in use for this alone.

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If you don’t fancy the cold plunge of doom, it is possible to ensure that water isn’t so cold after all. All you need to do is install a pool heater. This may sound expensive, but it’s possible to get pretty decent options for less than $200. With one of these in place, you can stop your pool from freezing. You can also ensure it’ll be a toasty temperature when you fancy a dip. Imagine how good it would feel to swim in warm water with snow built up all around you.


Failing all the above, you could always consider what time of day you swim. It doesn’t take a genius that hopping the pool first thing could sting a little. But, even in the winter months, the sun brings more heat than you might expect. As such, an evening swim is sure to serve you much better.

It’s always blowing a gale

Cold temperatures aren’t the only weather issue we have to contend with during winter. Wind also causes its fair share of problems. When it comes to pools, in fact, wind can cause all manner of trouble. A few months into fall, you can bet that a whole load of leaves will fall into your pool. Or, more precisely, get swept there. Either way, swimming in a pile of twigs and leaves is hardly the ideal option. But, all hope is not lost here, either. In fact, if you invest in a pool cover like those reviewed on, there’s no reason this needs to be an issue at all. That way, you can uncover a completely clear pool every time you fancy a swim. Don’t think this has to be hard work, either. There are plenty of reel covers which are easy as pie to remove and replace. It’s also worth noting that this, too, could help with temperature issues. A cover in itself can work miracles when it comes to keeping cold weather at bay. On top of which, it is possible to buy solar and insulated covers which could take care of temp control for you. In cold climates, these would actually be preferable as they don’t rely on machinery. As such, you won’t need to worry about those mechanics seizing up in the frost.

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But, you have to get out at some stage

So, that’s the pool itself taken care of. But, nothing we’ve discussed so far changes the fact you need to step out into the cold. While the idea of hot swimming in snowy weather is idyllic, it sounds more like a death wish when you consider the temperature difference. And, there’s no denying that extreme changes like these will put a strain on your body. Which is why you need to think about warmth when you get out, too. We know what you’re thinking; you can’t control the weather. But, you can create firepits using guides like this one on Then, all you would need to do is light it ahead of time and leave your towels nearby to get toasty. Not too near, of course. You don’t want a fire, after all.

If you don’t fancy fire, you could always invest in some budget patio heaters for the same benefit. You can keep these right up close, and run to their warmth the moment you step out of the water. And, again, you should keep your towels nearby. The main thing to bear in mind here is that you need to get warm as fast as possible. It might even be worth investing in heatable slippers for walking home when you’re finished.

Entertaining Essentials: How To Make Your Events Even Better


When you’re someone that loves to entertain, you probably want to make sure that you’re able to do really well with all of your events that you host. You never want to have to put on a dirty party or an afternoon gathering and wonder if it’s going to go okay. Because then the anxiety of the situation is going to spoil it for you. So, in order to make sure that every time you entertain, it’s going to be great, you need to have all of the essentials in line. Whether you’re throwing a summer party soon or you just want to make sure that you’re ready for the next events coming up, then you’re going to want to take note of these five points.


  1. Get Your Servingware Together


So first of all, you’re going to want to make sure that you have all of the servingware that you need. Because there’s nothing like planning a party and then having to rush out and add to your supplies. So don’t wait until you have to do it – because then you may be limited on what’s actually available. You may want to think about getting out to your favorite stores and seeing which plates or cutlery or other items you can add to your collection ready for when you next entertain.


  1. Set The Atmosphere Well


Next up, you’re going to want to nail the atmosphere. Because every even needs to have the right atmosphere going on around it. So, here, you could take a look at the best indoor outdoor thermometer to help you see if you need to make adjustments. Then you’re also going to want to make sure that you have the right candles or lighting to help you adjust things as the day or evening goes on.


  1. Get Centerpiece Inspiration


Then, you’re going to want to figure out what kind of centerpieces that you can go for whenever you’re doing a dinner party. Again, you don’t want to feel rushed all of the time. So collate images on Pinterest or clip cuttings to help you feel really inspired for your next event.


  1. Mix Up Your Recipes & Refreshments


When it comes to what you’re serving, you should then look to mix up the recipes that you try out for parties too. Why not enjoy making different meals and trying out refreshments throughout the week and then saving your favorites to your entertaining roster.


  1. Choose The Entertainment Wisely


And the last thing that you may want to think about, is the entertainment. Now, not everyone will want to go with any entertainment, but even the kind of music that you’re playing can really add to the event or dinner. But if you do want to go with the full service and choose entertainment that suits your theme, then look into new dinner party game ideas, or other different ideas for fun, such as live acts. As we all know that this can take things up a notch!


Welcome Home: Making Your Property as Inviting as Possible

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Home is the best place in the world- going out and having adventures is great, but there’s nothing quite like coming home and getting into your own bed at the end of it. If you’ve had a rough day at work or something in life isn’t going your way, home is a place to rest, relax and recuperate and it should always feel like the safest and cosiest place in the world. If your home isn’t up to scratch or you dread coming back because it’s in need of work doing, don’t put this off. We all deserve a place where we feel truly happy and comfortable, and by investing in your home you’re investing in yourself. Here are some of the ways you can make it more inviting, both for guests and for yourself!


Know where to spend money

Kitting out a home from scratch can be costly, and so buying everything brand new and high end won’t be an option for everyone. There are plenty of places you can make savings- wooden furniture can often be found for cheap or free and be recycled to your own specifications. There are lots of bargains on places like ebay, and you can buy homewares in supermarkets and even pound shops without spending much at all. However it’s worth knowing where to spend the money. Your sofa and mattress are both big purchases where you should consider spending more- these will stand the test of time and stay comfier for longer. A good dining table is another investment, as is things like high quality lined curtains. These will look sumptuous while keeping out light and draughts- something cheaper curtains will struggle to do. If you make savings in some areas and splash out in others you can create a home that fits within your budget and works for you.


Make it light, airy and spacious

We might not all live in enormous homes, but we can make the most of the space we have to make it feel light and pleasant. Get as much light in as possible coming in, you could look into replacement window ideas or just switch up the curtains or blinds you currently have up. Strip off fussy, patterned wallpaper and get rid of bold colours- and paint your walls in a light neutral instead. This will bounce the light around, and create a perfect blank canvas for everything else you have in your rooms. You could always add colour and personality with your furnishings and accessories, but by keeping the walls plain and light you make any space look classy as well as giving the appearance that it’s more spacious than it is. This works for large and small rooms, and for any room in the home.


Find the right storage

Clutter and mess can quickly bring down the look of a home. It’s easy to accumulate, at the end of the day we don’t live in show homes and our properties are a place for us to come and go, take things, leave things and over the week it can start looking untidy. One way to combat this is to find the right storage, systems that work so that everything has a place. From coat hooks and shoe racks in your downstairs cupboard to toy storage in the living room. Ottomans work well for this, not only do they look and function like a regular piece of furniture but the hollow inside makes a great place to stash away toys that kids leave strewn in the living room. In the bedroom, make sure you have a drawer or cupboard for everything that needs to be put away, things like drawer dividers, storage bins and baskets all work well for keeping smaller items separate and organised.


Make it personal

The trick to making a home personal is to find the balance. You want to go with quality over quantity, choose pieces that are meaningful and reflect you without adding lots of clutter. Some framed photos, candles, a vase of flowers, living plants and decorative ornaments from your travels are all examples of things you could add. It makes the place look homely, welcoming and inviting but without adding lots of fussy clutter. One tip is to only display items that are bigger than a grapefruit since other things can look messy and lost. You could also group similar items together or a tray and display this on a sideboard or coffee table.


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