Simple Ways To make Your Home Teenager-Hangout Friendly

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The moment your kid dips a toe into teenagehood, the parenting game changes. Completely. Their once infectious happiness has turned into adolescent angst and that once gorgeous wooden floor in your kitchen has become eggshells and you’ve been left feeling totally lost, reading through all the parenting survival guides you can, cursing up at the skies as you fall short in your quest for a tonic.


That’s where we come in. You see, the secret to navigating teenage angst and all that stuff is to unleash your inner James Dean and become the genuinely cool parents their friends will feel comfortable around, and the best way of doing this is to make sure your home is the go-to house when it comes to cool hangouts. You want to have the one home they all flock to after school and go to chat, gossip, play Playstation and flick through magazines.


Of course, if the idea of a mob of teenagers flock to your house every day is your idea of hell, simply do the exact opposite of everything we suggest below. That should keep them away.


  1. Time For A Bedroom Makeover

Don’t ask us why, but when teenagers get together, they tend to hang out in bedrooms. It’s bizarre. They arrive at your home, murmur the words “Hello Mrs. Jones,” walk through your perfectly amazing living room and go straight upstairs to the messiest room in the home. Anyway, with this being the case, it’s probably time to give your teenager’s bedroom a makeover. Replace that babyish duvet cover, the childish curtains, rhyming books and Peppa Pig poster with bits and bobs that ooze sophistication and style. Hang cool bits of artwork, frame the art they’ve produced, pop some retro cool furnishings about and take them shopping to select the sort of things that will get them excited by this little hangout space.


  1. Somewhere They Can All Slouch

Once upon a time, your kid’s bedroom was a place they went to sleep and play. But these days have gone. They are teenagers now and that means they’re going to use their room for all sorts of word hybrids you don’t understand fully, such as chillaxing. What this means is: they need plenty of seating options. It could be a stash of bean bags under their bed, a sofa below their window, a daybed they can use in whichever way they see fit, or a sofa bed that transforms at the click of their fingers (go, Dad). Basically, the aim of the game is to create a few different spots for a crowd of teenagers to sit and lie and slouch in total comfort.


  1. Let Them Connect With The World

The simplest way to make a group of teenagers leave a place is to cut off the internet connection. Sure, they might have a sweet data plan, but the amount of Instagramming and Facebooking and Snapchatting teenagers do they will eat through 10gb of data faster than Pacman chomped his way through levels. The point is: you need to offer up sufficient internet speeds, the sort that will allow you to keep working from home, your daughter and her friends to Instagram their lives and your son and his pal to keep winning world wars on whatever console he has a mild addiction too. You will see a max exodus if there is any compromise on this.


  1. Give Them Something To Do

Even with a mobile phone sat in their hands, teenagers get bored easily. They need an activity of some kind they can enjoy half-heartedly as they gossip and laugh. It could be a pool table, table tennis, air hockey, pinball, anything like that. The reason this will work is that it is something out of the norm, something that doesn’t require a screen, and thus a magnet that most bored teenagers won’t be able to resist, especially when those long summer holidays come around and they’re looking for free ways to entertain themselves. Just make sure you pop your entertainment factor in a dedicated part of the home so that they can chat freely – away from the prying ears of parents. That’s how to ensure they love it even more.


  1. Fill Your Cupboards Appropriately

There will be a time in their lives when they start making kale and strawberry smoothies for breakfast and heading out on coffee dates to munch on avocado and sourdough bread. But they haven’t got there yet. Not at all. When a teenager feels hungry, all they want to snack on is unhealthy foods. That’s what entices them. But that doesn’t mean you have to agree and fill your cupboards with junk food. Not at all. Things like freshly baked cookies, homemade pizzas, veggie sausage rolls you made yourself and that sort of stuff will all go down a treat. Of course, you’re not going to do this every time, so make sure there are some healthy popcorn snacks lying about, chips and dips and plenty of nachos too.


  1. Give Them A Proper Hideaway

Whatever your home allows, find a way to give them their own little hideaway of some kind. It could be a corner of your garden they can use as their outdoor escape zone, complete with exotic plants to make it feel secluded and a few mattresses topped pallets for extra comfort (and cool factor). Or, if you have a garage or shed or granny annex or something, try converting this into a sweet, self-contained hangout. Not only will this make your home utterly badass when they are teens, it will stop your kid fleeing the nest the moment they turn 18. They can have it as their place of privacy, their party place or just somewhere they can enjoy when they have a sleepover with their mates. Come on, what teenager wouldn’t go crazy for this kind of escape.


Other than that, what you need to do is play it cool. Don’t try too hard or they will see straight through you. Just seem unfazed by their presence and they’ll love staying at your place.

This entry was posted in Family.

A Pup Really Could Be Your Entire Family’s Best Friend!

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Chances are that if you’re reading this post, you have some sort of interest in introducing a canine companion to your family unit. This could be one of the best decisions that you have ever made. Dogs make perfect pals and can also benefit your children greatly too. Kids with pups tend to be much kinder, healthier, calm, and comfortable. So, if you think that a four-legged friend could well be the perfect addition to your family, here’s absolutely everything that you need to know in order to meet their wants and needs!




Dog food is widely available and tends to be sold in almost any supermarket or corner shop. This isn’t all too surprising considering so many of us have canine companions. But not all dog foods are created equal and believe it or not, some will prove a whole lot better for your pet than others. Seeing as your dog is entirely dependent on you when it comes to eating a healthy and balanced diet that meets all of their nutritional needs, it’s extremely important that you don’t just throw down the cheapest or most convenient feed in their bowl each morning or night. You need to do your research to find what’s best! Another thing to bear in mind is that every breed requires different portions of food. A Yorkshire Terrier, for example, will require different portions to a cockapoo. So, do a little research regarding your dog’s breed and how much they should be eating. If you’re ever in doubt, consult your vet. They will be able to tell you whether your pooch is a healthy weight or not and will be able to recommend exact portion sizes for them as a unique individual.




All dogs have different coat types. However, generally speaking, there are six main coat types that you should familiarise yourself with – smooth, double, silky, wool, wire, and combination. The type of grooming that your pooch will require, as well as the length of their hair, will ultimately determine what grooming regime you will have to carry out for them. Most shorthaired molting breeds will only require an occasional bath at home. This is relatively simple to carry out yourself, as long as you are particularly careful around their eyes, and try to avoid letting the water running into their ears or mouth. Your vet can then clip their nails and take care of their anal glands. Long haired or non-molting dogs are likely to be a little more tricky, as their fur doesn’t shed, so will grow and need trimming. Curly haired dogs’ fur is also more prone to matting and will need to be brushed out. For these kinds of dogs, a trip to a professional groomer is preferable. These specially trained individuals will know how to wash, brush, and cut their fur into shape.


These are just two responsibilities that you will need to take on in order to keep your pooch happy and healthy! So, keep them in mind and ensure that you can cater to the breed you’re interested in before taking a new family member on!

This entry was posted in Family.

What’s Holding Your Home Business Back?

More and more people are choosing to take the plunge and set up a home-based business. Running a company from home can give you a better work-life balance, but there’s no doubt that it’s hard work to beat the odds and stay above water. If you have grand plans for your venture, but things aren’t quite panning out as you hoped, here are some reasons why your business may not be flying, and some tips to help you reach the top.

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You’re not targeting the right audience

You could have the most fantastic products or services in the world, but if you’re targeting the wrong crowd, there’s every chance that your business will fall flat. Every business owner should be aware of what the target market looks like. It’s so beneficial to get to know your customer and to try and understand how they shop, what they want, what kinds of promotions appeal to them, and how much they’re likely to spend. Conduct market research, and work out the best ways to get in touch and interact with that audience. Your marketing campaign should be focused on promoting your brand to people who have a genuine interest in what you sell. If you have a property portfolio, for example, following up timeshare owner leads could be a lucrative move. If you’ve got an online fashion store that is aimed at young women, using sites like Instagram to advertise outfits is likely to be more effective than posting flyers through doors. Streamline your strategy to include techniques that target your ideal customer.


You’ve lost focus

Working from home has its perks, but it’s not always easy. Some people struggle to maintain motivation levels and focus when they’re at home. If you’ve got kids or pets, it can be difficult to devote the amount of time and attention a new business requires. If you’ve taken your eye off the ball, it’s time to reassess the situation, pinpoint areas where you’re falling down, and set some new goals and objectives. Think about where you want to get to and work out how you’re going to get there. If you’re struggling, you may benefit from an outsider’s perspective, and it may be helpful to meet with a business consultant.


You can’t cope with demand

If your home business has taken off, this is great news unless you’re struggling to cope with the demand. If you’re turning customers away, or you haven’t got enough stock to go around, consider hiring employees or thinking about ways to finance growth and expansion. You want to be able to strike while the iron is hot to avoid losing customers to competitors. If you can’t manage on your own, you may benefit from another pair of hands, and it may be a good idea to think about how you’re going to take advantage of interest in your business going forward.

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If you run a home business, and you’re not quite where you want to be in terms of profits and orders, it’s critical to work out what’s going wrong, and how you can get back on track.

These Tips Will Keep You Fit As You Age – And Your Parents Too

As you get older, your body starts to deteriorate. Many things can become more difficult, from going for a run to just staying upright. Keeping fit becomes even more crucial as you get older, helping to improve your overall health and wellbeing. But as you enter middle-age and then your later years, maintaining your fitness can become harder. As well as feeling like your body is capable of less, you can also feel like you’re too busy with other commitments to work on your fitness. However, staying fit is important, and once you enter retirement age, you have much more time to do it. Even if you’re not getting old just yet, it’s useful to know how you can help older relatives to stay fit.


Start As Early as Possible


If you want to have an easier time staying fit when you’re older, it’s a good idea to work on your fitness before you reach your later years. If you enter your 50s, 60s or 70s as an already physically fit person, it will be easier to maintain a good level of fitness. Being a mostly sedentary person all your life and then trying to get fit when you’re older will make things more difficult. Of course, that doesn’t mean that it’s too late to get fit if you haven’t been particularly active before. You just might need to start with more gentle exercise, like going for walks.


From Pixabay


Pick a Sport You Love


One of the best things to do may be to choose a sport to dedicate yourself to. A study that followed 3,400 men over 20 years found that those who participated in sports for longer periods were more likely to remain active when they were older. This includes both team sports and anything you might do on your own, such as hiking, cycling or swimming. While the study looked at men, it can’t be applied to women, but there’s a very real chance that the findings are true for women too. Dedicating yourself to sport doesn’t have to mean sticking to one sport, although you might find one that you’re particularly fond of. If you’re not particularly active, look at for recommendations for beginners.


Make Staying Fit a Social Activity


For many people, the idea of getting fit can seem dull and lonely. Sitting in a gym on your own is certainly not a good idea of fun for a lot of people. However, staying fit doesn’t have to be a solo activity. In fact, you can benefit from making it more social and participating in activities with other people. When you exercise with other, you can motivate each other and turn your physical activities into something more. For many, going for a walk with a friend is much better than walking on a treadmill. It’s also an excellent way to stay social and avoid isolation when you’re older. You can often find walking groups and other social groups just for older people. Loneliness is a big problem for older adults, so anything that helps to prevent it is a good idea.


From Pxhere


Choose the Right Residence and Care


As you get older, you might find that you need some help with day-to-day activities or you might want the reassurance of some extra support. Even if you’re not at that stage yet, it might be something that you’re thinking about for your parents. Selecting the right place to live and the right care if you need any can make a big difference to how well you keep up your fitness. If you’re looking at places for elderly relatives or even yourself, check out what they offer in terms of activities and support for maintaining health and fitness. You can look at websites like, where they describe how they maintain their residents’ quality of life. Many assisted living communities, retirement communities and nursing homes offer a range of activities for residents to enjoy.


Find Activities to Work on Key Areas


There are certain aspects of fitness that are important to work on as you get older. Your balance and flexibility can be affected by aging. Less elastic skin, tendons and ligaments can make your joints stiffer. You can also lose muscle mass, and your aerobic fitness might not be as good as you get older. Choosing exercise that helps you to work on these areas is a great idea, and there are plenty of different activities to choose from. Walking offers a gentle way to improve strength, balance and aerobic fitness. Swimming and water-based exercises can help with strength and cardio while being easy on the joints. Many people also recommend weightlifting or bodyweight exercises, including Pilates and yoga, which can help with strength and flexibility.


From Pixabay


Switch to Activities with Less Impact As You Get Older


You might already be an active person, but perhaps you’re worried about having to live a sedentary lifestyle as you age. Fortunately, you don’t have to stop moving completely when you’re older. However, it is a good idea to start thinking about transitioning to activities that have less impact, which is especially helpful for your joints. Instead of running, you might take up hiking or cycling. Rather than playing contact sports, you might want to start playing tennis or trying an activity like swimming.


Look at Diet Too


Physical activities are important for staying fit, but it’s also a good idea to think about your diet. Eating well helps to prevent illnesses such as type 2 diabetes, as well as giving you the energy you need to stay fit and healthy. As you get older, cooking healthy food can sometimes get a bit more difficult. Even though you might have more time, you might not have the ability or the motivation to cook for yourself all the time. It can help to cook in bulk and freeze meals or to order meals that you can either eat right away or conveniently store and reheat when you want them.


You might not be feeling the years just yet, but everyone gets older. You can also take these tips to help your older relatives.

This entry was posted in Family.

3 Essentials to Consider if You Want to Start a Family

3 Essentials to Consider if You Want to Start a Family


Starting a family is a big step these days, and you will need some kind of planning if you’re to get it right. This is not something to undertake lightly, and you have to make sure you know what you’re letting yourself in for. There is a lot to think about when it comes to starting a family for the first time, and it might seem a little overwhelming on occasions as well.



But, this is an exciting step in the process, and you will want to be looking forward to it as early as possible. There are so many considerations to make when you plan on starting a family, and it is best to keep the essentials in mind first. These are 3 of the most important things you have to think about if you are planning to start a family.


  1. How is This Going to Affect Your Life?


There are a lot of ways in which your life is going to change once you take the plunge and start a family. It can be very daunting facing the unknown, and you need to get some idea of just how much your life is likely to change as a result. So, the best approach to take is to visit FPA and speak to their team about what you can expect once you have kids and start raising a family. There is nothing wrong with getting a bit of guidance from the right sorts of people.


  1. Do You Need to Move?


It is important to consider whether or not your home is designed for raising a family. It might actually be the case that you need to think about moving and getting a larger or more family-friendly home. Well, finding a new family home doesn’t have to be a struggle as long as you are clear about what you want to get out of the move. Choosing the right home is all about choosing the right area to live in. You want to make sure you pick somewhere that has a good amount of green space, is safe, clean, has good schools, and is the kind of place you’d like to raise a family.


  1. Money is Going to be Tighter


One of the biggest changes, when you start to raise a family, is the financial change. Money is going to be a lot tighter, and you are going to need to make lifestyle changes in order to accommodate this. There are a lot of things to think about when it comes to providing for your family, and money is one of the biggest. It might be a shock to the system moving forward, but there a lot of things that can be done to ensure that your money goes that little bit further.



These are three major concerns that you need to think about before you start a family. This is something many people want to do, but they don’t always think about how this is going to affect them moving forward. So, you have to make sure you bear these things in mind so you can put your best foot forward when it comes to raising your family.


3 Simple Ways To Kick Your Vices To The Curb This Summer

As the full onslaught of summer approaches alongside its balmy weather, hazy days and chilled out vibes, you might begin to consider how you can get fit for summer. While for some this might mean shedding a few pounds, for others it isn’t quite so simple. You might need to reassess your lifestyle and the impact it is having on both your physical and mental health. Embarking on a quest to head to the gym three times a week is admirable to get that summer body but is it really achievable? Your motivation may wane and it’s summer for goodness sake, so why not head outside instead rather than be cooped up with a group of well-toned abs laden goddesses? Take a look at those little vices that you may have acquired over the years and discover how you can banish them for good.

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A Cluttered Home


If your vice is a penchant for hoarding, then you might want to consider decluttering for the summer months ahead. A clutter free home should translate into a clutter-free mind, so shipping in with the bin liners and saying goodbye to some of the junk you’ve acquired over the past decade or more could have a positive impact on your mental health. While you can still head out to the thrift shops and vintage stores, only purchase something that you know you will find a use for. If after three months you’ve done nothing with that 1970s fondue set, it’s time to dispose of it.


Cigarettes And Alcohol


A vice that encroaches on many of our lives are the dreaded sticks of nicotine and a few too many beers on a Saturday night. Why not try a teetotal summer and check out Portable Hookahs to try healthier e-cigarettes instead. Yes, you might be the designated driver, but you’ll also be the one who isn’t waking up with a hangover or suffering from the after-effects of a drunken faux pas or two. Cleaner living means you can be up earlier at the weekend, enjoy the outdoors more and feel physically healthier. Being outdoors lends itself to being more active so you may find yourself becoming leaner and fitter in the process. If you struggle to kick the habits yourself, rope in a pal and banish the vices together.

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Spending Money


If you enjoy dining out at the finest eateries, purchasing the latest clothes to stay on trend and flashing the cash on evenings out with friends, it’s time to be a little kinder on your wallet. Don’t allow yourself to slip into debt simply because you cannot control your spending habits. Cut back a little. Eat at more modest restaurants, go out a little less and stick with a capsule wardrobe. Summer is a time for barbecues with mates, picnics with family and seeking out free activities outdoors. You don’t have to be spending wads of cash to have a good time.


Although you may not be used to living a healthy, modest and clutter-free lifestyle, it’s time you gave it a go. By banishing your vices for good this summer, you can see a huge shift in your lifestyle enabling you to become fitter, healthier and happier.


Caring For Your Elderly Relatives: What’s Your Best Option?

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When choosing the best form of care for your elderly relatives there are many factors to consider. Some options can be expensive whilst others may take up a lot of your time. Here are the three main options to consider and how you can make the best choice for you.


Investing in care home facilities


Care home facilities are ideal for providing professional around-the-clock care and can be the best option for those with serious deteriorative conditions. There are however large costs to consider. These can often be too much for many people on a moderate income – although it’s possible to have multiple people chip in. Rates vary from care home to care home, so it may be possible to find one within your budget, however, the cost isn’t everything. Many people want a care home in the right location so that they can easily visit or in a location that has personal meaning to their aging relative. The reputation is also important for many people. Online reviews and rankings guides are worth reading to help find the best senior living facilities. All care homes offer tours so that you can see the facilities for yourself in operation – it’s worth visiting multiple care homes to see which one appeals to you. Care homes can also be used for temporary respite – if you’re looking after your aging relative yourself and need a break, it’s possible to book a week or two for your aging relative when you need it. For senior relatives that are physically disabled but still able to make their own decisions, make sure that they have the final word in the decision process – they will most likely want to tour care homes for themselves and see which has the best services for them.


Hiring an at-home carer


Another option could be to hire an at-home carer. This way, your aging relative still gets to live in their home whilst receiving professional care. There are fees to consider, but these are less costly than a care home unless your relative needs 24-hour care, in which case a care home is likely to be more affordable than hiring multiple carers. All in all, at-home carers allow you to get on with your responsibilities without the high fees of a care home, although are often best suited to elderly relatives that can manage without full care. Many people hire a carer for the mornings and evenings for tasks such as getting your senior relative washed and dressed. As with care home facilities, reputation is an important factor and you should look into reviews and get recommendations from other people when choosing a carer. There are many private carers and caring staff companies to choose from and it’s worth interviewing multiple people to find the carer who you trust and get along with the most.


Becoming a full-time carer yourself


The final option is to care for your aging relative yourself. By taking on this role, you don’t have to put your trust in someone else or pay care fees. It does, however, mean giving up a lot of your time and freedom for their benefit – they may have to move in with you and you may have to quit your job or take on reduced hours in order to provide the care they need. If you’ve got a partner or kids who still live with you, you may have to talk to them before jumping into this decision as it could impact their lives too. There are several government benefits and grants that you can claim as a full-time carer, helping you to financially support yourself and you’re elderly loved one. If they move in with you, it’s possible that you may have to make various modifications to your home such as installing a stair lift or grab bars, but these shouldn’t cost you too much out of your own pocket as they are usually funded by the government. If your senior relative is only physically affected and is still able to make decisions for themselves, make sure that you also respect their wishes – they may not want to be dragged out of your home to come live with you, even if it does seem like the most sensible option. There are many counseling services that can help you and your senior relative come to the best decision – financially neither of you may be able to afford any other kind of care.

Knowing What To Look For In A Vacation Home

If you have kids, you know that any moment you get to relax and enjoy your surroundings is precious. Childless readers will forever take for granted those moments of quiet solitude where they get to curl up on the sofa with a good book, enjoy a morning coffee alone in the kitchen or to sip a glass of red wine in the bath. We love our kids and we love being parents but we also understand that parenting is a full-time job and that our kids (while wonderful) can sometimes demand more of us than we have to give. That’s why every family needs and deserves at least one vacation a year. It’s a time when Mom and Dad can relax and unwind in the son while the kids immerse themselves in an unfamiliar location with a different culture, different cuisine and (if you’re vacationing abroad) a whole other language. Kids are at their best when stimulated and while they vacation their senses are piqued by a range of different sights, sounds tastes and smells to broaden their minds and keep them occupied.

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Thus, if you’re a parent you likely already know the value of a vacation in giving you a much-needed opportunity to recharge your batteries so that you can navigate the responsibilities of parenting alongside working a full-time job and possibly even managing a side hustle in your free time. If, however, you’re serious about growing your money you’ve likely become frustrated by the pathetic interest rates offered by most high street savings accounts (let’s face it, 0.06% is never going to grow your money meaningfully). So where do you turn to grow your money? Well, you could opt for an online savings account which will be able to offer you a better rate. Online lenders have fewer overheads than high street banks and as such may be positioned to give you a more favorable rate. The money smart, however, know that the best way of growing your money is by supplementing your savings with some shrewd investments. But investment can be a capricious horse to hitch your wagon to in an unpredictable economy. Even the safest investment is a gamble and in an era where Bitcoin’s value is fluctuating with increasing wildness, stocks can tank practically overnight and Forex can be every bit as baffling and dangerous as trading stocks, those looking for the surest possible investment inevitably turn to property. Make no mistake folks, despite the unfortunate events of 2007-2008, a property is still the safest place to put your money. But if the prospect of being a landlady or landlord doesn’t necessarily appeal to you, perhaps you would get more out of buying a vacation home.  


Remember, a vacation home is more than just an investment


Sure, a vacation home is an investment opportunity and one which, depending on where you buy, may be able to generate a steady stream of revenue for you all year round. But it’s so much more than that. It’s also a home away from home. It’s a place where you can enjoy all the pleasures and gratifications of a vacation with the added sense of security, comfort, and familiarity with home. Let’s face it, even the most travel thirsty for us gets homesick on vacation every now and then. We miss the little things and the sense of ownership that we have of our living space. As nice as it can be to stay in a hotel room, inevitably the novelty wears off after a while. Soon we begin to miss that feeling of being in a place that’s well and truly ours. Thus, a vacation home can give you the best of both worlds. Plus, there are significant tax advantages to buying a vacation home over buying a place on a buy-to-lease basis. And remember, every cent you spend on your property, its management, and its upkeep is tax deductible.


If you’re buying overseas, a vacation home could be even more advantageous. Many overseas properties represent a significantly smaller upfront investment yet offer great opportunities for higher capital gains and high yield rental incomes. Just look at some of these luxury properties in Indonesia which are going for a song when compared to similar domestic properties; If you’re buying abroad, however, be sure to recruit an English speaking lawyer in your chosen province. They will help you to negotiate the esoteric legalities of your chosen nation and ensure that you don’t face any hidden extra charges like land registry fees or legal fees.


A vacation home is not the same kind of investment as a buy to lease property. While you should look for a property with an appeal which will cater for a variety of different tenants’ tastes, it’s also somewhere you should enjoy spending time and look forward to seeing again when you leave. Thus, it’s not quite the same as shopping for a rental property or a home of your own. Here are some hints to help you with finding the perfect vacation home…


Getting to know the area

Before you even consider buying in an area, you will have done your homework and taken a look at rental properties in the area and taken a look at the kinds of rents they command from tenants. However, online research can only take you so far. It’s vitally important that you spend as much time as possible in the area yourself and rent one (or better yet more) property in the area so that you can see what it’s like from a tenant’s perspective. This will help to inform the buying process and give you an idea what you should be looking for. Try and rent for longer stays (at least two weeks if you can) to ensure that tenants will be able to stay for longer periods without getting bored. It’s also worth visiting in different seasons to get a feel for weather and crowd patterns. You wouldn’t want to pay top dollar for an apartment in a busy area only to find that it’s dead outside of peak season yet so busy during peak times that it’s an annoyance and an inconvenience for tenants.


Get the property choice just right


Even when you’re unshakably settled on an area, this is no reason to be cavalier when it comes to choosing the property itself. You should look for a property that’s under budget, especially when buying overseas. This will help you to account for unexpected costs and any fluctuations in currency exchange which could diminish your all-important profits. As important as it is for you to fall in love with the property, it’s also important not to fall for anything that’s too esoteric in design or surplus to requirements. Even if you have the capital to invest in a huge duplex apartment, this may alienate thrifty vacationers. If you want to keep the property occupied for as much of the year as possible, you’ll need to find something with broad appeal. If you box clever and choose a property that’s under budget if all goes well you should be able to upgrade to something a little bigger in a couple of years.


Calculating the costs


Setting up your homeowner loan/mortgage will likely be complicated especially if you’re buying overseas. Nonetheless, it’s also important to factor in the myriad extra costs in maintaining your vacation home. Some of these will be unavoidable, some you will be able to mitigate or even avoid altogether. If you expect to turn a profit or even break even you must calculate all of the costs incurred in the running of your property from property managers’ fees to utilities to property taxes and replacing or repairing wear and tear items around the properties that inevitably become worn or damaged through regular use.

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Avoid the temptation to build from scratch


If a property doesn’t come along that ticks all of your boxes it may be tempting to simply buy a plot of land and build your dream vacation home from scratch. While this is undoubtedly an appealing and romantic notion, it can quickly become unsustainably expensive and infuriatingly prohibitive. Getting to the build site regularly enough to keep a watchful eye on the project will be inevitably problematic and building in resort areas can be notoriously prohibitive. You’ll likely have to deal with coastal authorities and local building restrictions as well as unwelcoming local homeowners associations who won’t take kindly to an out of towner or foreigner making money on ‘their’ territory. You may also have to work with unreliable contractors and not be able to enforce any quality control over the project. Some coastal commissions are so controlling that they define which plants you can grow and some homeowners associations won’t even let you carry out rudimentary renovations on your home without a contractor approved by them.


If you know exactly what to look for and are prepared to play the long game in choosing the perfect property and location, you can benefit from not only a second home but a lucrative revenue stream.


How To Make Your Home Child-Friendly

It’s not easy maintaining any sort of home; it gets even more difficult when you have to think about the needs of the other people in the house, some of whom are significantly smaller than you are. If you have children, then you’ve probably come to expect that your home is going to be something of a mess at all times, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Indeed, it’s more than possible to create a home that is both tidy and suitable for your child, too. Take a read below to see our useful tips.



Assign a Games Room


Your child will play anywhere and everywhere, given the opportunity. While this might be nice for them, it’s a nightmare for you, as you’re the one who’s always picking up the mess they’ve made. And after time, you might find yourself saying “stop playing” to your kid, just because you don’t want to clean up after them! As such, why not consider setting up a games room in the house? This will be a space that’s specially reserved for fun and playing, so you can let your kids play until they’re tired out safe in the knowledge that all the mess is contained.


Focus on their Bedroom


A child’s home can be functional, but it should also be fun! After all, which youngster wants to spend the nights in an uninspiring, boring bedroom? None! To liven things up, look at getting a unique bed from Cuckooland. You can select a teepee bed, treehouse bunk bed, or a London red bus bed – any of these are sure to make your child more excited for bedtime. You should also look at making the walls as bright and colorful as possible; nothing inspires the mind – and play time – like being surrounded by funky, art inspired walls.


Storage Space for Toys


You’ll feel much saner – and your children will be safer, and better to enjoy their playtime – if you have ample storage space for your child’s toys. Look at adding smart storage options around your home, and you – nor they – will have to stand on a forgotten lego piece again.


Outdoor Spaces


In the autumn and winter, your child will happily spend long evenings curled up on the couch with you, watching film after film. But in spring and summer? They’ll want to be in the outdoors, just like everybody is! But the question is, how child-friendly is your garden? If it’s looking a bit uninspired at the moment, then get to work on upping the fun levels. It’s not too complicated to have a swing set on your property; you can buy one, or even make it yourself. And for the really hot days, you can’t look past a small paddling pool to really bring joy to your child’s face.


For Learning


Children want to learn! Add a cozy reading nook, or install a big map of the world, and they’ll be able to learn on their own time. Every parent’s dream!


4 Holiday Ideas Around The USA Without The Kids

Going on holiday with your children is always special. You get to see them all excited about going away, and it’s a great time to create memories and be together as a family. However, there are times where you need a bit of space away from your kids and want to go on a holiday as a couple – free from all the stress that family travel brings. For some parents, they have family members that can look after their kids, allowing them to go away on their own quite regularly. For others, these holidays are only possible once your children are grown up and have families of their own.


Either way, there are loads of great holiday ideas out there, and I believe the US hosts many great destinations for a kid-free travel experience. There are so many unique things you can do here, and loads of great cities waiting to be explored. Plus, going on holiday in the same country that you live in means you can go for short weekend breaks if you still have kids at home to look after when you return. Keeping all this in mind, here are some of my top holiday ideas around the US without your kids:

The Las Vegas strip. Credit

Stroll Down The Las Vegas Strip

Now, Las Vegas is what I call a bucket list destination. It’s somewhere that people from all four corners of the globe aspire to travel to. As far as iconic and legendary places go, few cities can compete with Las Vegas.


The problem most parents have is that it’s hardly the most child or family friendly holiday destination. It’s very much somewhere you go as a couple, or with a group of friends. So, when you’re thinking about holidays away from your children, this will be near the top of the list. There’s almost too much to enjoy in Las Vegas with a whole host of casinos and entertainment venues right by your side as you walk down the strip.


I have one big piece of advice; make sure you do your research before booking a hotel. There are some areas of the city that aren’t safe, so you don’t want to be walking back there at the dead of night. If you have a look here, you’ll find a list of some of the safest places to stay in the city. The great thing about Las Vegas is that, if you live close to it, then you can just enjoy a weekend away and save some money. Or, because there’s so much to do, it’s a good week-long holiday option as well.


Visit The Missouri River

A great holiday idea is taking a trip to see the largest river in North America. The Missouri River is iconic, but that’s not the main reason this is a great holiday idea. If you’re looking for a great weekend getaway that puts you out in nature, then this is the one for you. There are loads of nature trails you can go on by the river that takes you past lots of gorgeous sites and scenes.


Obviously, the main draw is the river itself and how gorgeous it looks as it flows on by. Seeing as the rive is so big, it passes through or by loads of cities in the state. So, where’s the best place to go? For me, I suggest staying in Hermann, which is a nice little city in the River Valley. There are a couple of reasons I suggest this is your base camp, the first of which is that it offers great views of the river from the city – and the outskirts. But, as you can see here, it’s also home to some gorgeous wineries and vineyards. As a consequence, you now have more things to do during your trip as you can go to one of these and enjoy wine tasting and all the extras that come with it. All in all, your weekend getaway to the Missouri River will be relaxing, fun, and full of fresh air.


This is one of those trips you probably would never be able to go on with kids as it’s more of a cultured holiday. So, if you have the chance, try and go on it!

Falls Park in South Dakota. Source

Witness The Waterfalls In Sioux Falls

Over in South Dakota, you’ll find the well-named city of Sioux Falls. As the name suggests, your main port of call here will be some lovely waterfalls. However, what I like about this is that it’s not just one large waterfall in a random location on the side of a cliff. Instead, you go to a place called Falls Park, which houses lots of little waterfalls, rivers, sculptures, and plenty of places for a picnic. As it mentions here, it’s the main attraction in Sioux Falls, so you simply have to go there!


I think it’s a great place to go without children as you can really take in the natural beauty of the place without anyone complaining that they’re bored. Plus, the city itself is very much a place for mature people. There are some great bistro’s for you to dine in, sampling some of the finest food in South Dakota. It’s a great city to take long walks as well, the city itself can be covered by foot in just a day or two. As if this wasn’t enough to get you excited, it’s also home to one of the top bakeries in the whole country. This reason alone is enough to get plenty of you off your seats and booking flights right away.


Speaking about booking flights and other things, you’ll find Sioux Falls is a very cheap place to visit. Again, this just adds to it being one of the best holiday ideas in the US right now. Whether you want a couple of days away, or a whole week to yourselves; there’s enough here to keep you satisfied without tearing a hole through your finances.


Oh, and one last point; perhaps you should avoid going there during the colder months of the year. The climate can get very cold and uncomfortable, which makes it hard to enjoy some of the big things here like the park. Instead, summer is your best bet as the weather gets much warmer – but it’s not unbearably hot like in some places.


Visit Florida Without Going To Disney World

I’m confident when I say that there are people reading this who’ve been to Florida before. Most likely, you’ll have been with your kids. Also most likely, you’ll have gone to the likes of Disney World of the Universal adventure park place. While neither of these places is particularly bad, it just feels as though you’re always forced to go there if Florida is ever brought up around your children.


As a result, you miss out on so many amazing things that are literally close to these theme parks. So, now’s the time to fulfill your dreams and actually visit Florida without having to go to the kid-friendly places that you usually spent all your time at. Orlando itself is home to many of these theme parks, but there are also other things to enjoy there too. In fact, why don’t you get as far away from the parks as possible by taking a hot-air balloon ride up into the sky?! This is one of the coolest things you can do in Orlando as it gives you an amazing view of the city that you can’t really get anywhere other than from a plane window. From here, you can see the little tiny people as specks walking through Disney World, and you’ll know that they probably wish they could be up there with you instead!


Obviously, that’s not all there is to enjoy here, and Orlando is also home to some amazing shopping malls that will definitely help occupy a lot of your time. What’s more, there are a host of extravagant villas and hotels with luxury spas that offer loads of different treatments too. This is a great idea if you want to relax and truly de-stress on your holiday.


Also, don’t forget that Orlando is just one of the many places you can visit in Florida. Why don’t you go somewhere different like the Everglades National Park? This is something you simply need to witness as it’s full of amazing natural beauty. You’ll notice that enjoy more nature-filled holidays is a bit of a running theme here, and that’s because kids are less likely to enjoy this, and family holidays are more about going somewhere and being entertained as a unit.


Don’t get me wrong, family holidays are great, and there are so many different family holiday ideas out there as well. However, sometimes you just need a bit of a break and want to travel somewhere without your kids. These four ideas are great ways you can go exploring all over the US and take in some truly magnificent experiences you may not get to enjoy on a family holiday.


This entry was posted in Family.