We all deserve a break each year and it doesn’t have to involve a very expensive holiday. You and the family can enjoy a break from the tumbles of day-to-day life, and on a budget that brings an unforgettable holiday for everyone.
It is important to head off for the sun and recharge your batteries once a year at least. Going on holiday has been proven to be good for your health, as it lowers your blood pressure and helps to relieve stress.
Some forward planning will ensure that even during the tight squeeze that we are all feeling right now, a perfect holiday for the family can be managed on a budget.
So, here are 5 ways to ensure that you plan your costs carefully.
Young children in the family
If your children are currently of a pre-school age, then a good idea is to delay booking your holiday. Wait until around September to book out-of-season holiday bargains for the following summer.
Self-catering instead of hotel menus
The rising costs of air taxes are putting pressure on the family budget, so many are opting for a self-catering holiday instead. Eating out for a family-of-four or more can become very expensive, so this option suits a lot of families. And you can make whatever you want, so the kids can still enjoy their favourite meals.
Try a holiday home
A lodge catering for several people tends to be no more expensive than just the one for a smaller group. There is also the advantage of a shared holiday home between families. Vacations in holiday homes around Lake Windermere and Lancashire are becoming very popular nowadays, because they are so cost-effective .
Visit a country on less costs
So many little extras can make a holiday package into a cost heavy trip. Many all-inclusive deals may be cheaper in countries like Croatia or Turkey, rather than within the Eurozone.
Reduce your travelling costs
Do you need to pay extra money for another piece of luggage, or can you take a carry-on instead? There are various ways that you can cut your traveling costs.
Find off-site parking offers at airports and book in advance, or face the high fees. Maybe a friend can drive you to the airport. Heathrow and Gatwick ticket prices on the express can be very expensive for families. Before leaving for the airport, take packed lunches with you to avoid the high costs of plane lunches.
Or better still, do you have to fly? Can you drive to the destination instead, take a coach, or alternatively, can you take a ferry?
Finally, buy your currency before arriving at the airport to avoid the higher fees. You can often get the best rates online, or at your local Post Office.
This article is a guestpost by Southlakeland Holidays. At South Lakeland Holidays we offer so much more than just a wonderful place to stay, with superb static caravan accommodation and lodge holiday accommodation close to areas of outstanding beauty in the Lake District, Morecambe Bay and Ribble Valley. To book your budget-friendly trip in 2013, visit http://www.slholidays.co.uk.
Regular TOTR readers will know that each month we round up our favourite beauty products of the past four weeks for you to lust over and add to your wishlist. This month, assuming everybody is wanting to shop more and find lovely new things because the weather is so cold (I certainly do), we’re going beauty mad. We’ll be counting down a total of 12 selections we just can’t get enough of, in two special posts. Here are the first six…
The Latest Range from Oriflame
Oriflame is, without any shadow of a doubt, one of our favourite brands here at TOTR. Today I’d like to showcase their gorgeous ‘Sparkle in Paris’ range consisting of body lotion, roll-on deodorant, shower creme and a delectable perfume. They even come in the prettiest of packaging – coloured pink, black and gold. Also pictures above is the Amber Elixir Night perfume (also delicious smelling) and the new Volume Build Mascara and the ‘Dare to Be Bold’ redder than red lipstick from the More by Demi Oriflame collection. Seriously amazing cosmetics. Right now Oriflame are inviting new people to become consultants via their websites, meaning anybody who’s interested can take advantage of a massive 20% off when ordering from the site. Find out more here. Buy any and all of the above from here.
Makeup from Superdry
Next up is a familiar brand with a new spin…everybody loves a bit of Superdry. A couple of my guy friends are constantly decked out in jackets, shirts, jumpers, hoodies, jeans and more from the Superdry collection. Excitingly though, the brand has now released a set of gloriously gorgeous makeup. My favourite offering is the kohl eye pencil (pictured above) which is the best I’ve come across in a good long while – it’s easy to use and brings out the natural, smokey beauty of eyes perfectly. For more information about Superdry’s new range, go here. To buy your own Superdry cosmetics, go here.
Bee Strong from Herbal Essences
The buzz of the bees is surely one of the symbols of spring and summertime. We might not be able to hear them flitting about yet, but Herbal Essences are already getting into the groove with their latest ‘Bee Strong’ range. Containing the so-good-you-could-eat-them extracts of honey and apricot, the scent of this latest range is absolutely divine, and it’s set to give you shiny, strong and glossy hair. I’m a big fan of Herbal Essences, and this new range is everything I’ve come to expect from the brand: total loveliness! Find out more here and buy here.
Lush Cosmetics…in general
Where do I start when it comes to Lush Cosmetics? I’ve been meaning to feature them here on TOTR for absolutely ages as they’re by far one of my favourite brands in the world. I’ve always loved their ethical stance against animal testing before it was necessarily that widely popularised, and I have so early memories of walking past the Lush shop with my mum and taking a long whiff of the heavenly smells that emanated. Pictured above are two fantastic shower gels, a big chunk of soap (I use soap in the shower and in my wardrobe and drawers to keep things smelling, well, lush – I recommend you do the same) and an Argan skin conditioner. Soooo good! More info here, buy stuff here. Expect much more talk of the wonderful Lush in the weeks to come.
Natural Luxuries from The Littlecote Soap Co.
I’ll admit up front that I enjoy a gin and tonic or two on a summer’s day, and a huge part of its appeal is that incredibly fresh and satisfying smell and then taste. The Littlecote Soap Co. have captured something of this very effectively in their new G&T products – I can’t get enough of the delicious lip balm (pictured above). And, of course, once I get interested in a brand and a collection, I can never stop at just one product…also pictured above is the amazing shower gel, body lotion and soap from the G&T collection. Love, love love. Find out more info here and grab your own cosmetics here.
You all know by now how I love sampling these anti- ageing and renewal products. It’s such fun and I swear I’m getting to look younger every day! I think the most novel idea about the Active Night Plus from Pomegranate has to be the roller ball applicator; it means no greasy fingers. The serum smells lovely and goes a long way. I did find it a little greasy but it made my skin neck and décolletage feel really good and look sensational. I really loved the cute little bottle too – easy handbag pack away size. This one’s a winner – find out about it here and try it out for yourself by ordering from here.
Whether you’re looking to sell your home or simply want to provide your property with a facelift this spring, a home makeover is a relatively easy way of sprucing things up.
However, with so many areas to tackle and so many rooms to combat, how can you put your time and budget to best use?
To help you out, we’ve compiled some of our top tips for home makeovers that are sure to help you cut spending and use resources effectively.
Like Pinky and the Brain, you should think out your project in detail before getting underway. Organising your schedule will help you get to grips with the space you’ll be tackling, as well as providing motivation for the upcoming project.
You’ll only waste your time and money by delving in, head first, without proper planning. If you are considering revamping the furniture, make sure you measure the room sizes before ordering anything.
Cast out clutter
As life goes on, it’s all too easy to acquire more and more stuff – but managing your mess is one of the best ways to spruce up your home without breaking the bank. This step will call for some tough decisions, but these will be worth it when you come face to face with your revamped space.
When tackling the wardrobe space, as yourself; when was the last time I wore this? If it was more than a year ago, throw it out or donate it to a charity shop.
Also take into account that you can buy space-saving furniture, like nest of tables.
Think style, not sterile
While clearing clutter is a great step in giving your home a makeover – you don’t want to make your space too minimalist. As such, you should aim to include at least a few items that speak your personality.
Some good starting options include throw pillows, textiles, rugs and runners. Why don’t you can simply with the paint and décor, but bold with the carpet? The possibilities are limitless.
A lick of paint
Colour is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways for you to breathe new life into your home. Even subtle changes can work wonders for a revamp – so don’t be afraid to experiment. Similarly, using a varied pallet and a mix of dark colour can help to provide a contrast – instantly adding class to your property.
Don’t neglect the ceiling
Things we don’t encounter regularly can quickly become invisible to us and the ceiling of most homes serves as a prime example of this. When planning your makeover, don’t forget to look up and think about innovative ways to tackle this often neglected feature.
One easy way of personalising your home is with some favourite pieces of art. Whether these are produced by family members, bought or simply framed photographs – by grouping pictures together, you can really make a statement.
Bring a little nature into your home with plants and flowers. This is a cheap way of bringing a new lease of life to a home, and can even serve a useful purpose if you opt to grow herbs or other edible flora.
Shine a light
A change in lighting can be a great way to revamp a room without going overboard on spending. LED (light emitting diode) lighting is a popular and cost-effective choice for those looking to present a space in a new way.
Mirror mirror, on the wall
If you’re dealing with a small room, one often-used trick to make the space appear bigger is the simple addition of a mirror.
Flooring needn’t be boring
Another easy way to change the feel of a room is with a change of flooring. Wood and laminate are ever-popular options but don’t be afraid to branch out into carpet or even linoleum.
A home makeover can quickly become a complex project, but by reining in your ambition and focusing your efforts on making pragmatic and effective changes – you’ll find the process goes smoothly – if not straightforwardly.
This article was brought to you by AHF Furniture, a quality furniture retailer that offers something to suit every space. If you are planning to give your home an overhaul this season, visit the site today.
When it comes to holiday destinations, the UK has it all; from glistening beaches to lofty mountain tops. Holidaying in the UK has been growing in popularity in recent years, as Brits wake-up to the wealth of wonders on their doorstep.
This is a guide to the 3 best UK breaks, for all to enjoy.
For young and old, the seaside resort of Blackpool still shines. Blackpool Tower has been revamped to offer a Dungeons experience and modern observation platform, while the regenerated seafront, tramway and Winter Gardens show the town like never before.
For a quieter break away, Tenby, Pembrokeshire, combines stunning views with remote tranquillity. Whether it’s sunbathing in a quiet nook, or a ferry across to the Cistercian abbey of Caldey Island, Tenby guarantees a relaxing time.
From top-brand shops to high-culture museums, cities never cease to amaze. Edinburgh is not only vibrant but beautiful, framed by the surrounds of the impressive hill, Arthur’s Seat, as well as Edinburgh castle. The city holds the Edinburgh Festival and Edinburgh Fringe throughout summer, which sees renowned and fledgling comedians perform together on one bill.
For cultural wonders, Shakespeare’s hometown of Stratford upon Avon offers a taste of Tudor Britain. A daytime visit to Shakespeare’s birthplace is complemented by a walk to the Holy Trinity Church, the Bard’s final resting place. In the evening, stroll along the river to one of Stratford’s many gastro pubs, followed by a performance from the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Choosing a holiday in the UK isn’t easy with so much to see. Yet, increasing numbers of Brits are opting to take a break on their doorsteps- finding it more affordable and less stressful. Why don’t you discover just how much the UK has to offer!
This article was written by Shearings, the UK’s number one coach holiday tour operator. For a short break or a lengthy stay, plan your holiday today at http://www.shearings.com.
The UK is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world and with good reason. It is a nation literally steeped in history and provides an accessible glimpse into European culture for English speakers across the planet.
Britain is packed to the rafters with things to see and do, so to help you decide how to spend your time – we’ve picked some highlights of UK attractions and sights.
Stonehenge in Wiltshire is one of the world’s most famous sights and possibly the oldest man-made structure in the UK- which is quite the achievement given that Britain is a country characterised by its collection of archaic structures. This Bronze Age monument’s beginnings are shrouded in mystery and it has captured the imagination of travellers for hundreds and hundreds of years.
It is thought to have been put together more than three millennia ago, and has been a site of religious and spiritual significance since its creation. During the summer solstice, modern-day Wiccans and Pagans descend on the site; making it a great time to visit.
One of the UK’s most historically-significant cities, Canterbury in Kent has played a key role in the country’s past and remains one of Britain’s jewels to this day. It has existed as a settlement since before the Roman era and has been named an UNESCO World Heritage Site.
As well as being home to England’s oldest school, The King’s School, Canterbury stands as the home of the Anglican Church, with the Archbishop of Canterbury residing here. It is a vibrant place to stay and is easily accessible for a day trip from Faversham (home to Britain’s oldest brewer), and popular seaside resorts on the Kent coastline such as Whitstable and Ramsgate.
History enthusiasts will want to add Bath to their to-visit lists. Characterised by its wealth of Georgian architecture and remnants of Roman habitation, this is one of the UK’s premier attractions. Situated in Somerset, the entire city has been deemed a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and some of its highlights include the Roman baths – after which it gets its name – the Jane Austen Centre, the Victoria Art Gallery and the Fashion Museum.
Cornwall needs little introduction with its breath-taking coastal and countryside scenery, but the Eden Project has put it firmly on the map being one of the UK’s most popular attractions. Described by some as the ‘eighth wonder of the world’, the fascinating inflated plastic domes create an impressive tropical garden providing an insight into the world of plants as you have never seen them before.
Cumbria’s largest attraction, Lake Windermere sits within the Lake District National Park and is England’s largest natural lake. Dotted with boats, Lake Windermere is a water lover’s paradise and provides unrivalled natural beauty.
We’ve barely scratched the surface of the UK’s many attractions and it’s well worth planning your timetable before embarking on a trip. But even if you’re only on a flying visit – rest assured, the UK has plenty to offer visitors of every persuasion.
This article was brought to you by Sarah Jarvis of Independent Cottages, an independent directory, listing holiday cottages to let around the UK.
To celebrate the beginning of March (with perhaps even some warmer weather on the horizon…), rising folk star Jess Morgan shares with us some tips for easy DIY printmaking. So hit play on the Soundcloud player below to have a listen to Jess’s music as she teaches you a seriously nifty new craft skill. Over to you, Jess…
If you’re not already in the habit of allowing yourself a bit of a foodie splurge now and again, then please forgive me for this. You don’t have to be a serious artist to give this a go, in fact, the great thing about print-making is that you can produce great looking images with really only a few marks and a few simple techniques. So here’s one more reason to let the ditch the diet for just one night, load up on grease and carbs folks because after all… calories don’t count if you’re being creative!
First things first – you’ll need to get hold of a sheet of foam to be your first tile. This can be any size. You could cut out the middle of a foam picnic plate, the top and bottom squares of a take-away burger box or as I did, use the foam disk that comes underneath a frozen pizza. You will need to eat the pizza first of course.
Then you’ll need something to draw your picture and make your marks with – a biro or a sharp-ish (but not totally sharp) pencil will do. You can use printing ink or acrylic paint in just about any colour you like and you need to get hold of some sort of a roller to apply the colour – I’ve used an ink roller but have had great results in the past with a cheap and cheerful sponge roller. If all else fails a humble sponge brush will do the trick.
Use your biro or pencil (or any tools you can adapt) to press down a design onto your foam. I’ve had fun with simple abstract patterns as well as drawings of things and people.
If you manage to collect up enough foam you could also try making multiple tiles to make a panel print or a comic strip.
Now you’re ready to ink-up. Different types of foam will soak up different amounts of ink – so will need more inking than others in order to get a strong bold print. Practise with different amounts on some scrap paper.
Acrylic paint won’t give you as bold a print as printing ink (such as Speedball) but it’ll be easy to touch up in photoshop!
When the tile is covered in ink or paint simply turn it butter-side-down and press it onto your paper. Ordinary printer paper is fine but you can have even better results with very thin paper or newsprint if you can get it. Give it a good press and try not to wiggle the tile as this may skew the image. Then just peel the tile away from the paper carefully. If you do opt for thinner paper you may be best to print paper over instead of tile over paper.
I made a very simple set of 4 images – its meant to be a baby sneezing! Its not too bad for a first draft but I might need to eat another pizza and have another go before it goes on my fridge.
If you really enjoy this kind of print-making you might choose to get yourself a few tools and have a crack at a lino cut or a wood cut. This is how I’ve made all my album covers and bits of merchandise so far.
Find out more about Jess Morgan on her own website here.
This week I’m working in Avignon, a small city of just 80,000 people in the South of France. As I did in Italy last summer, I’m teaching English at a school for the week and going native by living with a host family here. I’m staying with them at their beautiful house in an idyllic outlying village. Although they speak French and are based here permanently, they’re originally Italian which is making for a lovely cultural mix.
After a twelve hour train journey split between Greater Anglia, Eurostar and TGV, I arrived yesterday evening and will be here until Saturday morning. It was a nice surprise to travel standard premier on the Eurostar segment of our journey and experience the cutest little French lunch ever, including a lush miniature bottle of vin rouge (photo to follow – I forgot my camera cable but there are some iPhone snaps below).
Today I headed out into the city to meet up with my teacher colleagues Matt and Johnny. We got together for some lunch and a bit of lesson planning at a cosy little place called Ginette and Marcel which specialises in delicious tartines. I went for the mozzarella, tomato and pesto option and it was lush.
Afterwards, we had a wander around the brilliantly French and notably narrow city streets before exploring the Palais des Papes. The former fortress is one of Avignon’s main attractions and is a stunning yet rather imposing Medieval structure.
Then it was back to the house in time for a brief rest before dinner. Surprisingly, despite the busy atmosphere of a French-Italian home with three children under the age of 12, I’ve already managed to get a little work done on my dissertation – the final feat in my undergraduate adventures at university. I may have used my only chances up, however, as three curious little people becoming increasingly fascinated by everything I do. Oh, the inquisitiveness of children…
Wish me luck for the first day at school tomorrow! Updates soon.
A few people have been in touch recently asking if I would do a post about organising events, specifically on the music side of things, so I thought I’d share some top tips on arranging your own gig, event or launch party. This is advice aimed specifically at music promoters and musicians looking to promote their own shows.
Do something different
Anyone can hire a venue in London and put together a music event, but if you want to be put on a night that’s special and a roaring success, it helps to do something a bit different. This can be anything from selling homemade baked goods from the merch stand to getting your funny mate to compere in between the acts during the evening. The important thing is to stand out in a way that will appeal to your audience, making your show an experience rather than just another evening’s activity.
Know your audience
In order to appeal to your audience in the way I’ve described above, you’ll need to have a good idea of what makes them tick. If you’re trying to put on a night of delicate folk and acoustic music, you don’t want your branding or the songs played as people come in to appeal to metal heads or rap fans. Before you start advertising your night, think carefully about what kind of people you’re trying to attract and what they might look for. Again, you want to draw them in to enjoy the experience and hopefully come back to your next show.
Focus on quality, not numbers
There are so many promoters and bands out there on the UK scene who’ll book in three or four bands of totally different genres that have a good number of fans (or will sell tickets to their mates) to pack out the room, but there are numerous problems with this approach to putting a lineup together. Firstly, there’s no consistency between the bands or the people who are there to see them, so the audience isn’t a listening audience – they’re just there because somebody told them to be. Secondly and perhaps more importantly, some bands who have a lot of fans or friends are just plain bad. You’re much better off having fewer people and quality music that people will be talking about for ages afterwards than a full room with no atmosphere.
Build a fanbase
And that brings me onto my final point, which is that you should think in the longterm when you’re promoting shows. If your first night or two are of high quality musically but a little quiet in terms of audience, that’s OK; you should look at establishing a regular night that people can recognise and enjoy. Have faith that word will spread!
With London being hit by a flurry of snow over the weekend, you wouldn’t think that it’s getting nearer springtime. Nevertheless, it certainly is! And if there’s one thing springtime calls for, it’s a new jacket. Putting away those big winter coats and heading out to buy yourself a shiny new jacket-sized treat is an important step in the process of ushering in the year’s sunshine.
Some of my favourite contenders in the new jackets competition this year come from New Look. It would be really great if somebody could help me choose between the following…
Innocence Mink Embellished Jacket, £24.99 from New Look here
To make matters even worse, during my browsing I realised that New Look are having a ridiculous sale at the moment. They have everything from beautiful lingerie to flowery print dresses available for a fraction of their original price.
Which are your spring jacket contenders? Share them in the comments section below!
We’re huge fans of ACHICA here at Take on the Road, and spend many hours more than we should browsing their website for gorgeous home and kitchen offerings. The members-only luxury lifestyle store has some particularly lovely things at the moment, so we thought we’d share them with you. Here’s our wish list…