Wellbeing || Narciso Rodriguez L'Absolu For Her


It's nearing the end of 2017 and I realise I've not blogged much over 2017 about specific products or added many reviews. So, to kick off the start of me returning to my older bloggy ways I wanted to show you my favourite perfume. 

I'Absolu For Her by Narciso Rodriguez isn't a new perfume by any means, it actually launched in 2015 after the success of its predecessor Narciso Rodriguez For Her which launched in 2003. Unlike the original I'Absolu was marketed as being more sophisticated, feminine and graceful - that alone was a head turner for me as many perfumes are aimed quite young, there doesn't seem to be any middle ground in my opinion. 

Looking more into this scent I was absolutely over the moon to find it was blended with some of my ultimate and favourite notes - amber, patchouli and musk. 

While it was made with these notes that didn't guarantee that it would fulfil its sophisticated promise. Many female scents with these notes are not full bodied enough for the wearer to really smell them until the dry down and even then they are packed with white florals so the dry down results in a long-lasting talc scent. While I ''like'' those scents, they're not my favourite and have led me on a long road to finding the perfect scent. 


When I wear a perfume, I definitely see it as an extension of my own wardrobe and personality. When I feel girlie and feminine I'll wear a perfume that is equally the same in an olfactory sense. When I want to feel strong I'll wear more of a unisex scent with resins and wooded notes and when I want to feel like a girl boss, I opt for scents such as I'Absolu. 

These notes make me feel sophisticated, strong, womanly and confident. That's important for me as typically I don't feel like that, I can regress quite easily and internalise things and scent for me helps to stop that. It reminds me ''hell you got this'' 

Notes include: Top: Tuberose, jasmine - Middle: Musk - Bottom: Amber, patchouli, sandalwood

Unlike the other scents that are sandwiched between white florals, this isn't one of them. You initially get hit with the strong musk and patchouli, the dry down comes with the tuberose and jasmine although they're built up with the amber which gives this a powerful and sexy dry down that is super long lasting (a little goes a really long way) and far-reaching sillage. 

Not only does it smell great, but it looks great too. I am proud to have this out on my beauty shelves, it's made from a solid deep purple glass with a cubic shape. Nothing overly glitzy, fancy or crazy but it is solid, its beautiful in colour and very sophisticated. Much like the scent it houses. 

So if you're looking for something a bit more unisex, sexier, and long lasting then I fully recommend L'Absolu. You can currently pick this up from Feel Unique, Superdrug and Fragrance Direct. This wasn't a PR Sample or a collaboration, this was genuinely a product I purchased and wanted to show you. I plan to show you more of my faves (and hates) from non-pr products guys so if you want me to cover a specific type of product just let me know. 


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Winter Wanderlusting | End of Year Travel Wish List


There is no more ‘Winter is Coming’ it’s finally hit and it’s here for a long while yet. I don’t know about you but I’m someone who can’t handle the cold, and I can’t handle the heat. Somewhere intermediate is my ideal and living in Scotland pretty much fits my ideal. Connor, on the other hand, adores the Winter snow, although he will complain about it being cold.

Needless to say, we both have plenty of countries and areas that we want to visit in our future together. When the icy coldness hits (like today for example) I can’t stop myself from dreaming about travelling. To get out of the icy coldness and mundane routine and head towards somewhere new and exciting. Somewhere that you can fully devour and enjoy. We both absolutely love heritage sites, medieval villages and quaint little towns, regardless of what country they’re located in. We both travel for food and drink – for the scenery and architecture and I suppose, if I had to go somewhere icy cold to enjoy that – I would.

Our current wish list consists of:

⭕️  Rothenberg, Germany | This reminds us of a larger York and we both adore York! There’s also the food, the architecture (believe it or not) and the wall, just to walk along the wall and see the sights is enough for us.

⭕️  Giglio Islands, Tyrrhenian Sea | Tasting authentic Panficato is a must – you can only get it on this island and its said to be a medieval based sweet treat. Because this is a medieval island, I think this would be a walking holiday, simply taking in the sights, the architecture, the old town and eating great food while taking in everything around us.

⭕️  Osaka, Japan | The food, the night markets and the beautiful (and super clean looking) streets. We both love the idea of the little hideaway food places which are located just off the main streets.

⭕️  Ponza, Pontine Islands, Archipelago | Not only does Ponza look breathtakingly beautiful but we love the idea of taking boat trips around the older parts of the island.

⭕️  Budapest, Hungary |I am ¼ Magyar. My grandad was from Budapest so its only natural that this place holds dear to my heart. Not only does it boast great scenery but the food is to die for. If you dislike paprika, it may not be the place for you.

⭕️  Pantelleria, Sicily | Again this will be ideal for us due to the location, the gorgeous scenery and the food tours. The food looks so fresh and inviting and I’ve never craved a tomato and cheese salad as much as I do when looking at the foods from Pantelleria.

⭕️  Reykjavik, Iceland | The city of Iceland although cold, is one place we both want to go to as its suppose to be breath-taking and the people are supposed to be some of the nicest in the world. The Blue Lagoon would definitely be on the cards and we’d love to go during the Viking Festival or Winter Lights festival – those would be really memorable I think.

⭕️  Prague, Czech Republic | Don’t judge us but we really want to do the whole tourist thing, so visiting the old landmarks, especially the astronomical clock, we also want to spend a bit of time in the Old Square taking in the culture.

⭕️  Split, Croatia | Day trips are a must, visiting the old Roman ruins in Solin, taking a course to cook like a Dalmatian – I especially want to book Brujet which is a spicy fish stew, and again there’s the option of Old Town.

⭕️  Normandy & Dunkirk, South of France | Breton cooking, Joan of Arc and wonderful views and historical scenery. Dunkirk is a biggie for Connor who adores everything relating to the war although we do think it would be a great place to visit but it will be really emotional.

So after New Year has been and gone, I think we’re going to have to look into booking somewhere and getting started on our ever-growing wanderlust list. For the Mediterranean locations, we will probably go via https://www.ok-ferry.com/ as they specialise in Mediterranean ferry crossings.

For the others, I think there are so many bargains to be had we’d probably just go via Quidco and use one of the Europe based flight and hotel booking websites – I think that’s the best way of tackling this ever-growing wander-list.  

What places do you have on your dream travel list? Do you also dream of places further afield when the weather or season turns? Let us know in the comments below.

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Cheese Posties | #21 Smokehouse


There are so many companies these days jumping on the subscription box and post box products and while some are absolutely awesome, some fall flat.

See it takes more than just shoving products inside a letterbox friendly box and hoping for the best. The best subscriptions come from brands who are creative, think out of the box and offer us, the consumer, something different. See I don't know about you but I tend to throw my money at things I could never think of or buy or do myself.

Well, Cheese Posties is one of those things.


Inside each box you get bread (obviously), and the ingredients needed to re-create the recipe on the card. I love how they've styled the recipe cards like Top Trumps cards. The recipe I received was the Smokehouse recipe which suits me just fine because I LOVE barbeque.


Inside the box was Kerrygold butter (real butter), barbeque sauce, smoked cheese, white bread and bacon bits. And not just fake bacon bits - I mean these were genuine bacon bits, I take my bacon very seriously, can you tell?

Cooking up the recipe was a doddle, you simply butter the bread (as normal) and place each item on the bread. When you're arranged all of the goodies onto the bread you pop the whole thing into the toaster bag that comes provided. Stick it into the toaster and wait...

Now, I like my toast well done - as you can see from the image, but you can choose to have your toast lighter. Or, you can grill it, toastie machine it or fry it. You can really choose your own cooking method.

I took one half up to Connor who normally isn't a toast fan or a barbeque fan and he loved it! (see I secretly know him better than he knows himself). The savoury cheese with the salty bacon coupled with the oozing barbeque sauce was absolutely perfect and, left me craving way more Cheese Posties.

Having a look on their website they have lots of recipes but the following ones are what tickle-my-fancy:

* The Canadian | Cheddar, bacon bits and maple syrup.  
* Apple Pie | Red Leicester, apple sauce and cinnamon.
* Blueberry Smoothie | Cream cheese, blueberry jam and mint.
* S'Mores | Mascarpone, chocolate and marshmallows.
* The Number 25 | Monterey Jack, teriyaki sauce and wasabi.

Do any of them stand out to you? I bet your mouth is watering or, you maybe on the other side of the fence feeling utterly horrified at the sweet and cheesy options but I'll just say two things - chocolate croissants and cheesecake.

You can check out the company and what they offer on the Cheese Posties website.

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Resolutions | Stop Wasting Money and Get Smart


You’d be surprised how much money we waste every year. Research shows that, on average, people squander nearly £3000 on non-essential items that do nothing but burn holes in our bank accounts.

What must happen is that we start getting smart about where our money is going. Every generation has wasted money in the past; it is just a natural thing that comes with the slightest hint of financial independence. Not focusing on where the money is going and using poor budgeting skills has the potential to leave you in the lurch, should something unexpected occur.

So what are the areas where you can start thinking a little harder about saving money? You might be surprised that it is pretty much everything. While there’s no need to go all-in on frugality, being more sensible with your spending can open up opportunities for you to do and buy whatever you want.

If you love gaming, a little bit saved here and there will help you buy a new console; if you love to travel, then putting the pennies aside each week will allow you to save up for your dream globetrotting odyssey.

FOOD

Food, glorious food. We spend a lot of money on food that will inevitably go to waste. There are many reasons for this, such as poor preparation, forgetting about it, or merely laziness; it’s always much easier to order in (or eat out) than it is to prepare some culinary masterpiece, especially when you are just not feeling it.

But we waste so much food every year. In the UK, this is estimated at £13 billion altogether. This applies to households but also supermarkets, which elect to throw out expired or close-to-expired produce. Countries such as France have recently passed a law to ban supermarkets throwing food that is still viable and instead encourage them to donate the food to the homeless.

But it’s not just household waste, spending money on takeaways or eating out also burns holes in the wallet. And, as much as these places claim to provide healthy options, the healthiest option - for both body and bank account - is to eat in, despite how tiresome it can sometimes be.

DEBT AND INTEREST

Sometimes, you don’t have the money in your bank account to buy something that you either desperately want or legitimately need, like a new appliance following a breakdown, or a purchase that arises just before payday. In times like these, people often choose to put these items on their credit card, with the intention of paying it off once they get their bill.

But this can frequently snowball, and you become so reliant on your credit card that it becomes a bit of a commerce spree. However, being frivolous with these payments and not staying on top of them leads to interest rates, where you are spending even more even though you are not buying anything. Furthermore, failing to pay off credit card debt promptly causes problems for your credit score, which can interfere with any substantial purchases - like a car or home - in the future.

CLOTHES

Everyone loves the feeling of buying new clothes. People enjoy going out, trying new things, reinventing their wardrobe but despite the plethora of options hung inside the wardrobe how often do people look and think ‘I have nothing to wear!’

Obsessing over the latest trends, following designer labels religiously, or merely buying a new outfit that you will wear once or twice and then forget about, is doing your bank account no favours.

Furthermore, on the other end of the scale, people worry about spending too much and end up buying things such as the same shoes three times a year because they are poor quality. There is an old saying that the rich are rich because they spend less money. It seems obvious, but these rich people will spend lots of money on their clothes, but these clothes will last a lifetime, instead of updating them every six months due to wear and tear.

Also, doing high-street shopping, where prices are inflated due to demand, causes similar problems for your bank account. Opting to explore second-hand and vintage shops will allow you to find bargains and most of the time, they will be unique to you.

GADGETS AND ELECTRONICS

A lot of us always want to get the newest gadgets and electronics. A new phone, a new TV, a new games console, and more are all places where we throw money away because of this desperate need to have the latest tech on the market.

Typically, this occurs when a new model or version is released, but that can often be just out of beta and so is still riddled with bugs. Often, consumers are unhappy with the product and wish they hadn’t bothered.

Furthermore, if you work in an office or do a lot of printing, then ink cartridges, a product that is said to be more expensive than gold, is costing you or your business a fortune. Instead, consider researching cheap printer cartridges as opposed to buying directly from the manufacturer, and save your money on this bizarre luxury item.

DRINK

Raise your hand if you nip into Starbucks or Costa every morning before work for your coffee. Yeah, thought so. These little treats you give yourself are expensive though. While it may not seem like much at the time, it soon adds up.

Instead of visiting these coffee shops, consider investing in a thermos and a coffee machine which allows you to make similar-standard coffee for a fraction of the price. Additionally, bottled water, a beer or two after work, and fizzy drinks are all areas where people spend too much. Consider carrying your own water bottle around with you to fill up at work, and cutting out drinks that contain too much sugar. Soon, you won’t even be thinking about them, as long as you have your water.

IMPULSE

Impulse buys are the type of purchases you do when not expecting to buy anything, but are so enamoured by the product (or the marketing), that you feel you must have this thing now! We are all guilty of impulse buys at some point in our lives, and often the reality of taking it home and out the box sometimes leaves us with a sense of buyers’ remorse.

Curbing these impulses will save you a whole load of money in the long run. Typically, these buys are on the higher end of the expensive scale. They are purchases that we think ‘Well, I’ve got the money for it, so why not?’ And so you grab it, take it to the counter and then perhaps a week later or so, you look at your bank account and wonder where all the money went. You may have even forgotten you bought anything in the first place.

BAD HABITS

Whether it be smoking or drinking or anything else that could be considered a bad habit (and, really, indulging in anything to the point of excess could be considered bad), you are doing nothing more than wasting money. The idea of addiction runs parallel with a sense of security. You may not consider yourself to have an addiction, like smoking two packs a day, but the positive feelings associated with things like smoking in times of stress can lead towards a slippery slope.

Furthermore, these bad habits will not only negatively affect your bank account but your health, also. Therefore, it is essential that cutting down - if not entirely quitting - these habits will benefit you in more than one way in the future.

BILLS

Bills are the bane of our lives, but still a necessary evil. We want all the hot water and heat and electricity we can, but that sort of luxury costs money, and so if we want to maintain our comfortable lifestyle, then we are going to have to pay bills. But there are still places in which we can save money on our heating and water bills, even if it means a slight discomfort for an hour or two.

Electing to take cold showers saves money on hot water, wrapping up warm, instead of whacking the heating on, will save money on energy bills. Furthermore, phone bills that provide you with everything for some extortionate price aren’t always necessary. If you can figure out exactly how much data or call-time you need and find a suitable plan that will provide you with this, then you will save a lot of money in the long run.

GET SMART

If you are used to a particular type of frivolous lifestyle, then it can be a difficult transition at first to change your spending habits. This sort of thing is all about discipline, and so as long as you focus on your spending goals, and avoid any temptation to splurge your savings on something you may later regret, then you will soon be reaping the rewards.

Smart spending is essential if you want to feel even more secure in your finances. Once you have got this under control, then you will have developed a nice little buffer of cash, allowing you to spend money on what you really want to do.
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It's Thyme! | Our Review Of Thyme Home Cooked Meals


Hello Fresh, Graze and Simply Cook all offer us consumers a quick way to eat well and, having tried each of them I can't fault any of them. But, there is one issue that they have is that you are required to cook (or just Graze).

Now I love to cook don't get me wrong, but sometimes, when the day has been long, you feel ill, tired or simply worn out its far easier to pick up a takeaway or put in something that's already made and can heat and eat quickly.

And that's where Thyme comes in. Yes it's another box aimed at foodies but this time its cooked food that's frozen and ready to simply be warmed up. I absolutely love these types of boxes, especially the ones that are filled with amazing home cooked meals, and let me tell you, the Thyme box is one of them! The problem with ready meals these days is that they look unappetising and are mostly filled with salt and are generally unhealthy. However, when you get your Thyme box, you will quickly see that not all ready meals have to follow this trend.

So what did we get?


Beef Stew and Dumplings

The Thyme website describes this dish as a "locally sourced British beef, slow cooked in a velvety chocolate stout to ensure a full bodied, rich flavour that's hard to beat" and I agree fully! The beef is very tender, as expected from a slow cooked meat, and the portion is very generous. I'm not a huge fan of dumplings, however, coupled with this beautiful stout based sauce they were very tasty!

Ingredients: Herefordshire beef, water, carrots, chocolate stout, barley, dumplings, onions. 

Macaroni Cheese with Kale & Pancetta

This is not your regular Macaroni, and if you aren't very hungry then you will most likely be saving some for later as it is very filling! Unlike standard mac & cheese, this has a really luxurious feel to it and is a bit posh mostly due to the kale (super food of 2016) and pancetta. I really love the combination of the Kale & Pancetta because it gives what would be an overly savoury dish, some freshness and moorishness.

Ingredients: Semi-skimmed milk, macaroni, cream cheese, Smokey bacon lardons, spinach, butter, flour, cheddar cheese, kale.

Beef Moussaka

Thinly cut potatoes, tomato sauce, aubergine, cheddar cheese and British beef - what's not to love. It's a warming dish and perfect for this icy cold weather. Nothing better than wearing your cosy PJ's and having a home cooked, filling meal to end your weekend.

Ingredients: British beef, potato, aubergines, tomato, onion, cheddar cheese, beef bouillon.

Beef and Mushroom Pie

These are suitable for one person so you'll have to fight over who gets what pie. Connor got this one, and thoroughly enjoyed the beef inside which you'll find is substantial given the size of the pie. The one disagreement we both had with this though is that it doesn't have pastry on the bottom - I believe a pie should have pastry on the top and the bottom, Connor was neither here or there and just enjoyed the dish.

Ingredients: Herefordshire beef, flour, onion, mushrooms, butter, tomatoes, beef bouillon, tomato puree.

Creamy Chicken Pie

Again much like the beef and mushroom version, this is a one person pie. It has chunks of real chicken in a creamy sauce with peas and carrots. It really is perfect and tastes home made. I love a good chicken pie, but find many frozen options contain very little chicken or filling inside. This one however is small but mighty and will keep you filled up for hours.

Ingredients: Free Range British chicken, water, milk, butter, flour, carrot, peas, chicken bouillon, seasoning

Roasted Vegetable Lasagne

Rich lasagne filled with vegetables. The pasta tastes fresh (even though its clearly frozen) the vegetables and sauce also taste as though they were just made. I'm not big on tomato based pasta dishes but this was absolutely amazing, Connor also enjoyed this and he thinks meat should be in every dish.

Ingredients: Tomatoes, milk, lasagne, aubergine, courgette, red, yellow and green peppers, mushrooms, flour, butter, cheddar cheese, tomato puree. 

Which of the above meals would you choose first? Overall we were both really surprised at the quality and how tasty each meal was. The company promotes themselves as being more natural as they don't use preservatives and other nasties and they thoroughly proved that fact to us with these meals. If you want to check out what they offer you can do so over on the Its Thyme website. 



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5 Signs Your Spending Is Spiralling South


Your head is pounding and you have shiny beads of sweat dripping cautiously down your brow. It’s the moment you’re opening your credit card bills and you can’t quite believe how you got to this point. Now is the time you’re starting to realise that your spending habits are spinning out of control. If you haven’t experienced that enlightening moment yet, here’s a few things to look out for. Get your finances under control and recognise the alarm bells when you hear them.

You Have Lost Track Of Your Spending

You know your bank balance is continuing to get lower, but you have no idea how it has got to this point. You live your life without really thinking about the value of your hard-earned cash. There is no way for you to keep a record of what you’re spending your money on other than your empty pockets.

Solution: Start a diary to help you log each penny coming out of your purse.

Your Debt Is Higher Than You Thought

If you have finally got round to assessing your bills you may need to consider using a debt consolidation calculator. This will help you to measure variables with your personal finances so you can arrange a plan to combat the debt in manageable amounts. You may need to chat with an expert if you’re unsure how to approach paying off any debts that have built up.

Solution: Seek help from a professional and reputable company and choose the right option for you.

You Can’t Afford The Basics

You may finally have reached the lowest point when you can no longer fork out for a sandwich at lunchtime. You have found yourself scrambling for spare changes in your pockets so you can get to work in the morning. These are things you should need to think twice about, so you really need to take action if you are struggling to afford everyday necessities.

Solution: Set aside a monthly budget so you don’t have to go without your daily essentials.

You Ignore Your Money Problems

Often ignorance is bliss. It is until you have no way of paying back the money you have spent over the years and then you’re in big trouble. You may forget briefly about money trouble you’ve got yourself into, but you can’t push it to the side forever. Soon it will come blaring out in front of you so loudly that you won’t be able to escape it.

Solution: Take ownership of the debt you have built up and be honest with yourself.

You Have Stopped Caring

You are no longer mindful when you reach for your credit card and you’ve started allowing yourself to be reckless. Not only are you ignoring your financial issues, but you’re now enabling them to get worse and worse. You need to take a step back and re-evaluate what you are actually doing. You are setting yourself up for a lifetime of upset and impossibilities.

Solution: Start to care and plan for your future. As soon as reality hits you, it will become easier to be aware.

You are not alone when it comes to money problems, so don’t feel embarrassed about getting help or advice. Face your problems head on and you will come out stronger in the end.
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How To Keep Your Travels Going Strong


If you are someone who likes travelling as much as possible, you are probably also keen for your travels to keep going strong for as long as possible too. Many travellers actually fail in being able to keep their travels going. It might be that the issue of money stops them from achieving what they want. Or maybe not carrying out enough research about their destinations affects the trip. It could even be a case of not planning the transport well enough. Whatever it is, it is a real shame when travel plans don’t fall in line. In this post, we are going to take a look at some of the major concerns that you might want to pay attention to in order to keep your travels going strong.

Money
It’s no secret that you need to spend money in order to travel as well as possible. However, it is often overestimated how much money you really need. If you know what you are doing, you should be able to travel the world pretty extensively without breaking the bank. Don’t go thinking that you will need to rely on credit or loans to make it work either. The truth is, you can travel for cheap and still have a great time, so long as you plan ahead and take the time to get acquainted with your options.

For a start, it’s worth making a list of what your major expenditures will be. There is the transport, of course, and the accommodation as well. These are your two main expenses, but they can be cheaper than you might think. Even the rent hdb price can be much lower than you might assume, and let’s not forget the option of staying in hostels too. If you don’t mind having the full luxury, you can stay and sleep in most places in the world pretty cheaply. Yo just need to spend some time looking around in order to do so. As for the transportation, the main thing is to book far enough ahead that you can get the cheaper rates and to avoid peak season as much as you can too.

Another main expense will be food, but here too you can save some money by being a little clever about it. Try to limit the amount that you go out to eat, as you will find that this soon adds up. Instead, consider buying food from the supermarkets or local markets and cooking meals yourself. If you do this enough, you will be amazed at what a difference it can make to the amount of money you can save.

All in all, it’s not too hard to keep your money in a good position while travelling, as long as you think ahead. And the more that you keep your money, the longer you will be able to stretch out your travels - which is great if you are hoping to travel the world as extensively as possible.

Excitement
You might think that travelling will always be exciting no matter what. But the truth is that there will be times when it is less so when you are missing home or bored and tired and you just want to rest. There is a challenge in any trip to try and keep it as fun as possible, and it is often a shock when this is not all that easy to do. However, as long as you keep your wits about you and stay focused on the journey, you will be able to keep the excitement in the trip as best as possible.

If you are starting to feel that the trip is getting a little stale, you might have been in one place for too long. Perhaps it is time to move to your next destination, even if it means shifting around your plans and pre-booked accommodation a little. Or it might just be that you have not really spent any time exploring the local area and engaging in enjoyable activities. Sometimes it is necessary to lay low for a while; after all, on a long trip, you can’t expect to be active all the time. But if you are feeling bored, it is a sign that you should try and change something.

As long as you are doing everything you can to stay busy and enjoy yourself as best as possible, you should be able to enjoy the trip for much longer. Long trips can have their downtime, but there is always a way to get it back up again if you really try.

Time
In travelling, as in many other aspects of life, timing is everything. You need to think carefully about where you are going and when, as there will often be political or geographical reasons not to visit a place at a certain time. The last thing you want is to be trapped in a country during a time of political upset, so try your hardest to get the timing right. Pay attention to the world news, and carry out research on any country before visiting. You might find that it is sometimes necessary to wait before travelling to a particular place, and you will be glad that you found that out before you went.

Another aspect to time is ensuring that you travel for the right length of time. It can be hard to know what this is before you are actually doing it, but if you give it a little thought beforehand you should be able to work it out. You don't want to be on the road for too long, as you might become bored or even run out of money. But if you are travelling for too short a time, that could be even worse. Try to imagine how long you would like in each place you are visiting; the best way to do this is to work out some kind of an itinerary, and from there consider how long your whole trip is likely to be.

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Road Trip Ready - Planning The Perfect Adventure


Planes and trains may well get you where you need to go fastest, yet the allure of the open road is a big draw for many of us, topping many a wanderers wishlist. Embarking on a road trip can be a terrific way to travel and see more of the city or even country you are visiting. However, road trips can also be utterly exhausting. Whether for a week or 6 months, before you jump in the car and hit the road, alone or with friends, you’ll need to do a little planning first.

Great Expectations
Before you set off on the open road with your friends, make sure you discuss what everyone expects, so there are no shocks along the way. Remember - being in a car together puts you all at very close quarters so planning ahead will be well worth it in the end. It’s best to have an idea of what everyone expects so that no one will be frustrated and so that compromises can be made if need be. It’s so much easier to talk about these things beforehand than to assume everyone is on the same page.

All Mapped Out
Sure, we are in the ‘digital age’, but there is nothing wrong with having hard copies of maps or brochures of the places you are visiting as a backup. Mobile phones and technology aren’t always reliable, so having these on-hand throughout your trip is still handy in the event of an emergency.

Don’t drive TYRED.
Even if you have a reliable car, it’s beneficial to have a licensed mechanic give your car a once over so that you can be sure there are no problems. It is better to deal with any difficulties beforehand than on the side of the road during your journey. If you are unsure of your current cars ability to handle the road trip, you could consider trading in or trade up. Visiting sites such as Mitsubishi New & Used Cars can offer information on a vehicle more suited to your dream tour.

Roadside Rangers
Many people think the AA and suchlike only offer roadside assistance, which is essential when planning this type of adventure, but they are also an excellent resource for travellers. These automobile companies, and there are many to choose from depending on your needs and where you intend to go, can help you plan your trip, help you with routes and general planning. It’s worth checking out a comparison site to find the one that fits your requirements.

No Reservations on Reservations
Although there is nothing wrong with being spontaneous, it may be a good idea to have a hotel en route so that you know you will have someplace to stay within your comfort level.

Perfect Playlists
With today's audio technology, iPods, your music choices should never dry up, but don’t overlook a good old fashioned play list. In the event you lose reception on the road, you can have your favourites all ready to go. That way, no time is wasted, or arguments started when trying to figure out which CD to play.

Take Your Time
There is nothing worse than being rushed when you are trying to enjoy yourself. Driving gives you the flexibility to take your time, as well as experience the sites and attractions that you would like to see, after all, that’s probably what attracted you to do it in the first place right? Whatever your day consists of, give yourself enough time so that you can enjoy what makes you happy.
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