Summer Holiday: Home or Abroad?

This is not a post about how to navigate holidays during the pandemic but more about choosing holidays in general!

One of the most difficult decisions you have to make by the time each summer rolls around is where to actually go for your family holiday. Whether it’s a staycation or whether or not (if you’re lucky enough) to go abroad! There are advantages and drawbacks to either choice, so here’s what you should consider.

Weather and Climate

It probably goes without saying that the UK is not the best place to choose if your top priority is guaranteed sun! If you are a real sun worshipper and can’t bear the thought of not being able to catch some rays and return home with a golden tan at the end of the trip, jetting off to somewhere in the Mediterranean or even further is going to be your best bet. However, we do have plenty of hot sunny days in the UK, especially if you go further south to places like Devon or Cornwall.

Also, if you can’t deal with too much heat, the UK is probably a good choice, or you could even travel somewhere colder like Iceland or Canada, if that’s your thing!


What kind of culture you would like to experience on your holiday is usually dependent on what kind of holiday you are looking to have. If you are looking for pure relaxation and comfort, a country with a similar culture, ideally an English-speaking country, may be the best option. That may mean staying in the UK or visiting holiday resorts in places like Spain and Ibiza where there are many British tourists and attractions designed for them.

If you are interested in being more adventurous, experiencing new cuisine and events, visiting a foreign culture can be interesting, enlightening, and provide a change from the same culture that we experience every day back at home.


Budget is a concern for most families when choosing a holiday destination. Generally speaking, staying in the UK is likely to greatly reduce travel costs (however, sometimes international flights can actually be cheaper than train journeys to other parts of the UK or petrol costs!). There are other costs to consider too. For example, you may need or want to pay for travel insurance if you visit a foreign country. Exchange rates are also worth taking into consideration.

There are a number of factors that can make both UK and foreign holidays vary in cost. The type of accommodation will have a huge effect on the cost of your holiday. In some cases, holiday let mortgages that enable you to buy your own holiday home to visit every year can be less costly than paying expensive accommodation fees for hotels year after year and can be a great investment.

Final thoughts

Ultimately, deciding whether to stay in the UK or to travel abroad for a holiday is highly dependent on the personal preferences and intentions of you and your family. The specific destination is usually less important than how you choose to spend your time there, and your mindset. Adopting a “holiday mindset” of relaxation, exploration, and enjoying your time with your family can mean that you make magical memories wherever you are! This can make any holiday, even a stay-at-home holiday or “staycation”, a wonderful family experience.

Understanding the Nitty-Gritty of Reverse Mortgages

In theory, everyone loves the sound of retirement. But practically speaking, this period comes with several challenges, especially for those without financial support or multiple income streams. Money is one primary instrument that can help you live an ideal post-retirement lifestyle. Most retirees opt for traditional home loans. These mortgages have huge downsides, one of which includes the risk of losing your home if you fail to meet up with payment deadlines. However, a reverse mortgage may be that financial safety net you have been longing for, as it puts money in your pocket without you losing your residence. But before you apply for one, you need to know how it works.

Repaying a Reverse Mortgage

Unlike a traditional loan that requires you to pay back immediately in specific amounts, a reverse mortgage allows paying back whenever you desire. However, here is the catch: you will pay more in interest than you would with a standard loan. The reason for this outcome is that a reverse mortgage is a long-term loan, which remains valid for your duration of residence. In other words, if you decide to live in your apartment for 15 years, that will be the duration of your loan. You can only pay back when you choose to relocate or put the house up for sale.

Remember the Basics that Come with a Reverse Mortgage

While a reverse mortgage gives you the freedom to make payments when desired, you have to meet up with other requirements, such as continually paying your property taxes, home insurance, and home maintenance cost. Failure to do so may cause your lender to terminate the loan deal and put up the house for sale to cover the cost.

Hence, you have to be sure that the loan is essential. If you have the financial ability to cater to your needs, then you do not have to apply for this loan. Additionally, it is vital to factor in the equity of your home. If the value of your home is less than the amount you intend to borrow, then you should think of other alternatives. Your lender will evaluate your eligibility using a reverse mortgage calculator, including the age of your home, location, and your creditworthiness.

How to Access Your Reverse Mortgage Funds

Once you are eligible for a reverse mortgage, you can set up your payment option, using any of these three options: set it as a line of credit, receiving it as a lump sum, or receiving it as a monthly payment. Importantly, monitor your loan payments to prevent unexpected occurrences or misunderstandings between you and your lender. With the lump sum option, you can sort out immediate expenses beyond your current financial capacity. On the other hand, a credit line helps you access your fund when needed. This option works like a credit card. You can also receive your funds as recurring payments – liken it to your monthly paychecks. This option helps you to meet up with monthly expenses.

*Collaborative post

Starting a Home Repair Business? 4 Questions to Ask Yourself First

Are you thinking of starting a home repair business? If so, it is a good way to begin your career as an entrepreneur. You can enjoy a substantial profit as a one-woman operation, setting your own hours so you can still be a Mum who spends quality time with her family.

If you enjoy working with your hands and can help people with issues they’re having around the home, then this type of business is likely right for you. But before starting out, make sure you’re ready by making a comprehensive plan. Ask yourself these four questions first.

Are You a Self-starter?

Being good at going out and generating connections that could turn into sales leads is a great start! On the other hand, some people need direction, and to be advised on what their next step will be to grow the business.

By identifying this part of your personality, you can start to understand what will work well for your home repair business. If you need encouragement, then you might want to work for someone else to start with and then, over time, create your own biz. This way, you can start to get an idea of what is needed, if it will be a good fit for you, and some of the logical steps to take in the future.

What Services Will You Provide?

Another key question to ask is what services will you offer to customers. If you are skilled at gardening and landscaping, then why not focus on what you offer around gardens and lawn care?

Or, you might be better at fixing furniture. Maybe furniture repair is what you excel at, instead. Depending on what you are going to provide, choose suppliers that specialise in the trade products you need, such as Tradefix Direct. They offer a vast range of fasteners and fixings available online with fast next-day delivery.

What Type of Customer Will You Target?

Next, think about what type of customer you will target for home repairs. Look for someone who needs and is willing to pay for home repair. Also, consider who you want to work with; that way, you will enjoy doing the work week after week.

This will be your target audience. Take the time to understand them so that you can target your advertisements effectively to them.

How Will You Set Up Your Work Space?

Now it is time to set up your work area within the home. Try to create a distinct space separate from the house so that you can still enjoy your Mum time without having your home repair business interrupting every minute. Maintaining a clear distinction between pleasure and professional activities is vital to your entrepreneurial success.

Among the setup tasks are creating a business name and choosing a logo design. Next, get business cards printed, open a business bank account, and create a business plan.

Conclusions on Starting a Home Repair Business

Now you have the essentials to start your entrepreneurial journey. Get ready to spread the word to friends and family to help you get the home repair business off the ground. Look forward to the sales to come and the income your endeavour will provide your family.

How to Save Money on Energy Bills

UK households spend an exceptional amount of money on energy each year. With many households racking up £1,000+ on bills annually, reducing costs in this area could substantially improve the financial wellbeing of families.

Knowing how to cut costs, though, can be tricky as many people aren’t aware of how to reduce their energy usage, other than through obvious means like turning down the heat. Below we outline a few key areas that could potentially reduce the cost of your energy bills.

Install Smart Thermostats

Smart technology is finding its way into many modern homes. Whether it’s Alexa or Google Nest, many homes are incorporating smart tech, which can regulate everything from lighting, temperature, electronics, or smoke alarms. Smart thermostats provide a great benefit as they can regulate the temperature and only heat the rooms that you are using, rather than the entire home.

Invest in Energy Efficient Appliances

Appliances can be enormous energy wasters, particularly when it comes to washing machines, dishwashers, and refrigerators. estimate that an energy-efficient fridge-freezer, for example, could save you £50 per year. To assess whether your appliance is energy-efficient or not, check its energy-efficient rating, which can range from A (most efficient) to D (least efficient).

Eliminate Draughts

One of the more obvious ways of cutting energy costs is to reduce the draughts in your house so that you’re not turning up the thermostat every 10 minutes. Reducing draughts can be done in a number of ways, such as sealing cracks, putting draught stoppers at the base of your doors, or closing up any noticeable gaps that allow outdoor air into the home.

Windows are also a notorious source of draughts. If you haven’t already invested in double glazing, check out Mainstream Windows for cost-effective options.

Turn Off Appliances & Technology

Appliances or technology such as computers can also silently eat up energy if they’re left on standby. When not in use, ensure that you switch plug sockets off and turn all appliances and technology off. You might be surprised by how much money you end up saving over the course of the year.

Wash Clothes & Dishes at Lower Temperatures

You may not be aware of it, but washing your clothes at 30C instead of 40C could save many pounds off your annual bill. Many modern dishwashers also come with an eco-function, which means you can wash your dishes at a lower temperature.

Install Insulation

Insulating your roof or your inner walls can go a long way towards making your home warmer and more energy efficient. While the cost of laying the insulation can be high, it is worth it in the long run as it can potentially shave off your energy bills while keeping you warmer in the process.

If you haven’t implemented any of the above, it may be worth considering, especially if you are aiming to reduce your annual energy bills. Not only will it be beneficial to your bank account, but it will also help the environment, too.

Harnessing the internet as a driving force for your business

Despite 2020 being thrown into complete chaos, there is still a way to maintain the great business you have been operating for so long.

Many business owners do not have the time or the extended technical skill to run a website and operate their business efficiently, so it’s easy to lose track of what a website requires to get you the best results.

Which boxes do you have to tick to make your website presence worthwhile?

Keep things flowing

Problems with internet speed is something we’ve all been victim to, especially when shopping or trying to find information quickly online. This leads to visitors closing the web page in frustration and beginning the hunt again, leading to an entirely different website.

On a website performance basis, your audience is clearly dissatisfied with the speed at which your content is operating, and it has driven them away. To prevent this, you’ll want to ensure that you spend time looking for a web hosting provider that offers the optimum speed and not one you were inclined to pick for the small price tag.

Regular updates

Multitasking is a challenge and one that you must rise to if you want your website to succeed and keep your audience intrigued. Relevant content can be anything from contact details to new products and services, which is paramount to show that your business is progressive and adaptable. If your website doesn’t do this, then your consumers will be deterred and continue their search for one that is.

Communication is just as important. Even if you don’t have new products to promote frequently, you need your audience to understand your businesses value with transparent language that they can comprehend easily, otherwise this poses another threat that your audience will be baffled by the industry jargon you’re accustomed to.

Create your online identity

To truly make a lasting impression online you must leave no stone unturned, or rather, no platform without your presence on it. Start promoting through social media and increase your chances of an extra viewership and a higher potential to make sales. Curate content which is striking and can hook the right type of customer. Online networks function like a domino effect, whereby one user will engage with your post and that will leave an impression on multiple other users within their network. Each social media user has their own network of people online and this can be a resourceful and cost-free way to infiltrate additional target audiences.

Hire a professional for perfect performance

Ultimately, the success of your online presence will entirely depend on the amount of time you’re willing to put into maintaining your performance, content, and updates. If time isn’t on your side as is often the case with a business owner, then hiring a digital marketing agency could be the best decision you ever make. Responsive web design is an online business tool like no other. A website which looks professional makes your brand/company look professional.

Stockport website design companies can plan, create, and manage your website and social media, adding in a strategic approach to make sure you website is showing up at the top of the Google Search Results, and your social media platforms are reaching the far corners of your online network.

Treat Yourself with Fresh Steps

vinyl flooring uk

With the recent prolonged periods of being stuck at home, it has had positive effects on home renovation.

How Luxury Vinyl Flooring is Your Reliable Future investment

After staring at the same walls, ceilings and floors for months on end people are wanting to spruce the place up and give it a fresh feel for the years ahead. Knowing what is reliable and will not need a regular amount of repairs and touch ups over time is a prime focus for those wanting value in their relaxing places, so it’s no surprise that luxury vinyl flooring has reaped the benefits for those looking for a change of scenery.

Low Maintenance Lifestyle

Indeed, when it comes to enjoying your home you need to feel like you can sit and enjoy the time without constant worry of needing to clean up.

One of the main reasons people go for vinyl is the ability to switch off from worrying about your floor. The many properties vinyl provides include anti scratch and anti slip functions, so no matter if you have kids or animals running through your room you can be sure that the floor has the durability to withstand any potential accidents.

With added durability and extra cushioned texture, vinyl can withstand a lot more than other household flooring options which adds for further peace of mind.

Inexpensive Options

Lets face it, you want to know that what you will spend on your flooring is worth the money.

It’s no secret that vinyl flooring is a much cheaper option over carpet, laminate or wood/stone featured flooring. What you also can take into consideration is the relative savings on a number of areas.

Should an individual piece of flooring need to be replaced, it can be done without disrupting your floor by taking out the offending piece and replacing with another. With the individual pieces being very cheap to buy it does not leave you out of pocket. Also, consider the saving on not requiring a professional to fit the flooring due to relative ease to be achieved as a DIY project for that person in the house who likes to dabble.

Easy Clean

Gone are those embarrassing situations where you may need to hide sections of your floor due to spillages or hard to clean stains from dirt or sauces.

Instead of paying out for any and every kind of chemical to clean up blotches on your floor, vinyl offers a simple solution; warm soapy water on a sponge or a mop. There are other ways people have taken to cleaning their vinyl with ease to retain its original gloss, and with the benefit of anti moisture properties you are ensured that there is no leaking to the underfloor and ruining the consistency of your floor.

This makes vinyl perfect for a kitchen where heavy activity requires a floor that can take the heat.

Styles, Profiles and Suppliers

With vinyl the imagination is key to having a dream home the way you want it, so to help find that voice there are suppliers with decades of experience in finding the right tone and fixture for you.

Amtico is a leading favourite for professional luxury vinyl to give your home a sophisticated and contemporary feel with ranges such as Artisan Embossed Woods and Contemporary Ceramics. Luvanto is an extremely popular supplier who bring a stylish and creative energy to the spaces they supply with selections such as Ebony Parquet Flooring and Bleached Larch. Both suppliers bring top quality professional looks and feels to the home with quality unmatched in flooring. Invictus brings stylish, durable flooring to any room in your home with their natural element based oak styled flooring.

When feeling fresh requires a new home outlook, start from the bottom to give everything above a touch of class.

Preparing Your Home for a Baby

How to make sure your home is a safe environment for your newborn

Whether you’re expecting your first child or not, as a mother, there will be a million things running through your mind in preparation for your new arrival. One of these concerns will be how to make sure your home is a safe environment for your newborn. Keeping your home clean and tidy is beneficial for numerous reasons, but here are some ways you can make sure your home is ready for your new baby and to set your mind at ease.

Clean Carpets

Even if you hoover your carpets regularly, there will only be so much that a vacuum cleaner will do. To make sure your carpet is free from dirt and bacteria, it’s worth hiring a professional carpet cleaning service to do this. A great example of these services is like these experts in carpet cleaning South London. Professional cleaners will have the best equipment and safe, anti-bacterial cleaning solutions to make sure your carpet is as clean as possible and safe for a baby.

Store Cleaning Products Safely

For many people, storing household cleaning products and chemicals in places such as under the sink or low cabinets is normal. However, even though your new-born might not be able to move around independently at first, don’t underestimate how easily they could come into contact with these dangerous chemicals. Make sure you have these stored in places that children can’t access, such as on top of kitchen units or in locked cupboards. At the very least, this will be one less thing you need to worry about when they do start crawling.

Check All Smoke Alarms and Gas Detectors

You should always check these alarms for your safety at home anyway, but remind yourself to check them regularly once your baby arrives. Although you might not think a fire or gas leak is likely to happen, don’t tempt fate by ignoring these essential devices. For the sake of your life and your baby’s, remember to test your smoke alarms and gas detectors once a week.

Get Rid of Clutter

Babies are naturally curious, especially once they can start moving around on their own. It’s easy for them to pull things over or get into spaces they shouldn’t be. To help reduce the risk of accidents, get rid of any unnecessary clutter in your home. Another benefit to this will be that reducing the clutter in your living space should make it easier to clean, too.

Baby Proofing

Further baby proofing with items such as stair-gates, socket covers, and cabinet locks will all be essentials needed in your home. You might not feel as though these things are required immediately, but it’s better to get these things installed sooner rather than later to make your life easier later on down the line.

Welcoming a new-born into your home is a wonderful experience that brings so much joy to a family. As a mother, you will have a lot of things to worry about and organise for the arrival of your child, but these are some excellent ways to prepare your home for a baby.

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