Although the festive season might feel like a long way off, if you want to get away with your family over Christmas, you need to plan. These types of holidays are always popular, especially for those who might not enjoy the idyllic festive backdrop of snow-covered mountains or rolling hills. It’s easy to see why, as being in the heart of somewhere that encapsulates a wintery, festive wonderland will certainly help to get you into the Christmas spirit and will be a fun experience all the family can enjoy. If this sounds like something you’d love to do with your nearest and dearest this year, here are a few tips to help you start planning for it:

Work Out Your Budget and Start Saving

The first thing you need to do is decide how much you can afford to spend on a winter holiday like this. Getting away over the Christmas season can be expensive because it is such a popular time for people to go on holiday, so be prepared for this. When you have figured out how much you can and are willing to spend on your winter wonderland escape, you should start putting money away for it as soon as possible. If you have a separate savings account that you use for things like family holidays, that’s great. If you don’t, you might want to consider opening one for this purpose, as it will help you to keep track of your money much easier.

Pick Your Destination

There are so many great destinations to choose from for this kind of holiday, but some of the best ones are in Europe. The Alps go through France, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, Liechtenstein, Germany, Monaco and Slovenia – any of these destinations would make excellent festive escapes, most of which provide the quintessential settings for this time of year. For a more cost-effective European destination, however, you might want to consider Bulgaria. This is a fantastic destination for skiing holidays but sometimes gets overlooked, which it certainly shouldn’t. Take a look at these ski chalets in Bansko to get an example of why this is such a brilliant winter holiday destination, and perhaps make this the number one destination on your list.

Find Deals on Flights

While flights are likely to be most costly during this time of year, that doesn’t mean you can’t still find great deals. It’s always worth looking at different deals for holiday flights, and there are various websites dedicated to this to make it easy for you. You might need to be flexible when it comes to times, as the cheapest flights tend to be late at night or in the early hours of the morning. This might not be ideal for families with young children, but take the time to scope out a few different options to get the best-priced flights that are suitable to your family’s needs.

Consider Weight Limitations on Baggage

When booking your flights, you should also factor in the weight limitations on the baggage with that particular airline. Even if your family is going away for just a few days, if you’re going to be away over Christmas, you’ll need to think about how much the gifts are going to add to your luggage. It might be worth paying the extra for your hold luggage rather than just taking carry-on baggage to accommodate these extra items, as well as any souvenirs that you might want to bring home with you as well. Always weigh your suitcases and other luggage before you leave to make sure you haven’t gone over the limit; otherwise, you might face additional charges.

Book Activities

While staying in a gorgeous chalet is all part of the charm, you’ll still need to find ways to keep everyone entertained during your stay. If you are going to a ski resort, then having some fun on the slopes is a must – but consider what other activities are available in the local area, too. Whether it’s visiting a traditional Christmas market, hiking along a trail, or something festive that is happening at the resort or the local town, it might be worth booking ahead so you don’t miss out.

Plan Ahead for Meals

Finally, if you are going away over Christmas, shops and restaurants are likely to be closed on the day itself. Some resorts offer catered chalets so your meals will be prepared for you, but if you are choosing a self-catering option, remember to get enough food in from the local shops before Christmas Eve. If you want to book a meal out at a restaurant, book well in advance to make sure you get a table, as locals and tourists alike will probably plan to go out with their families and friends in the run-up to the festivities too.

If you think your family would enjoy a fun winter wonderland escape this year, use the tips above to help you plan the perfect trip.

 

Remote work is becoming the norm and more employees are working from home than ever before. There has also been a huge increase in the number of freelancers in the UK. Remote working offers several advantages including flexible schedules, lower overhead costs, and higher productivity.

That said, remote workers face unique challenges such as loneliness and issues with time management. Many of these obstacles can be overcome with simple changes to your work habits and routines. Here are five tips for remote working success:

1. Create a home workspace

Most remote workers choose to complete their work tasks from home as it offers the greatest flexibility. Working from home has its perks, but you must create a productive home workspace and set clear boundaries between your work and family life.

If you’re lucky enough to have a spare bedroom or an unused shed, then this could make the ideal home space. Finding a designated work area can be more difficult if your house is small, but you should be able to find somewhere suitable with a bit of organisation and creativity.

According to edithomeanddesign.co.uk, you should start by de-cluttering and giving your house a good clear out. This will allow you to see what space could be utilised for your new home office. The office equipment you need will depend on your job role and requirements. Most remote workers need a quality desk, a chair, stationary, and tech like a laptop or PC monitor as a minimum.

2. Invest in reliable tech

If you are planning on working from home long-term, then you will need to invest in reliable tech like high-speed Wi-Fi. The last thing you want is to have your connection dropping in and out during important video calls or a slow internet speed when you’re doing research online. Investing in fast, reliable Wi-Fi is one of the most important ways to ensure remote working success.

You might also decide to invest in tech like noise-cancelling headphones so you can work efficiently from anywhere. This is particularly important if you are planning on working in a co-working space or a local cafe, for example.

3. Join a co-working space

The 2020 State of Remote Work Report revealed that 20% of remote workers are struggling with feelings of loneliness. Working from home can lead to feelings of isolation and many people miss the social interaction and relationships with colleagues that you get when working in an office.

Joining a co-working space is a great way to overcome feelings of loneliness. You will be surrounded by other remote workers and join a supportive community. Going to a co-working space will also help you get into a productive work routine and keep your work and family life separate.

There are lots of reasons to choose a co-working space in a popular city location. For instance, an office space in Cardiff will give you access to a huge variety of restaurants, shops, bars, and other fun activities that will improve your remote working lifestyle.

4. Follow a regular work schedule

One of the perks of remote working is that you will have more flexibility and control over your work schedule. However, you should avoid getting into the habit of following an erratic schedule and working at random times of the day. The best approach to remote working is to follow a regular schedule.

You may decide to start working early in the morning so that you can finish before you pick the kids up from school, or you might find that you work more productivity in the evenings. Think carefully about your preferred working style and make your work schedule work for your family and lifestyle.

5. Know when to log off

Learning to “log off” from work at the end of the day is one of the biggest challenges that remote workers face, especially for those that choose to work from home. It is easy for your work and family life to become blurred and you need to establish strict boundaries. Avoid reading work emails or responding to messages once you have logged off for the day and remember to schedule downtime for self-care.

Conclusion

Remote working gives you the freedom to enjoy a flexible work schedule and maintain a healthy work-life balance. Despite the perks, many remote workers struggle with issues like loneliness or finding the motivation to complete tasks productively from home. These tips will help you stay focused and work successfully from anywhere.

One of the hardiest floors that you will want to provide around your home or work premises is a garage floor. This is because it must withstand many activities, temperatures, and chemicals spilling on it. A solution might be to choose a floor that withstands most things in the first place or to consider a floor finisher such as epoxy floor coatings for garage surfaces.

Epoxy as a Floor Coating

Epoxy can be used to protect many surfaces of flooring including concrete, brick, wood, ceramics, and metal. There are some plastics that epoxy will bond with as well. They are generally ones affected by acetone. Epoxy will also bond well with cured polyester fibreglass.

By applying heat, the cure time for epoxy can be speeded up. It is quick and easy to apply and so will not see your activities disrupted for too long. This is particularly important for a business situation when the lost time will mean lost money. It is, though, well worth the time and money spent to apply this kind of surface.

Epoxy has two main advantages. It creates a hard-wearing surface that is durable enough to withstand continuous and heavy traffic, and it has a shiny-gloss look to it that will brighten up any interior. For a garage situation, the first option will be just what you are looking to achieve.

From a protection point of view, epoxy can withstand a lot of contacts and is both chemical-proof and fire-resistant. It is worth checking with suppliers just what epoxy will protect the surface of your floor from. It is an investment in the fact that it will mean that your existing or new floor will last longer.

Heavy-Duty Interlocking Tiles

Some people with garages will opt for heavy-duty interlocking tiles. They are easy to install and maintain and built to last. They come in a choice of colours and have some chemical resistance. They provide a solution where you wish to go to the trouble of installing a completely new floor. Epoxy, however, has the advantage of being able to tackle the solution of protecting your existing floor without the need to install a new one. So, everything has its purpose. It depends whether you want to go to the expense of a completely new floor or not when you are perfectly happy with your old one or the one you planned to install, just wanted some means of looking after and protecting it more.

Vinyl

If your garage does not see all that much action, you could go for vinyl flooring. In a commercial situation, though, you would need something more hard-wearing such as an epoxy coating over your surface, which is more likely to be something like concrete in the first instance.

Carpet Tiles

There is nothing to say that you cannot use carpet tiles. As in an office, if you spill a drink on one tile, you can replace just that tile. In a garage, if you spilled oil on one or two of the tiles, you could replace just those tiles and not have the expense of replacing the whole carpet. Carpet would, however, seem more appropriate in a showroom where they finalise selling a car, than inside the garage itself. At home, maybe it is best reserved for the living room, too.

Considering all the options, there are many materials that we could have our garage floor made from, whether it is for our home garage or a work premises that will see a lot more use. Whatever material we decide on as a basis for our floor, there is always the option of protecting it further. A popular coating that is applied these days is epoxy because it is extremely protective when it comes to commercial flooring and any flooring that must withstand working on.

When it comes to our kitchen, we all want the best kitchen cabinets that we can find. Our search should lead us to ones that are pleasing to look at, well made, and functional. It is, after all, the room in the house where we most need to save space, as it is where many of our appliances and gadgets reside.

We shall consider below the main reasons why kitchen cabinets are bought, replaced, and improved upon.

Save Space

The number one reason why we have cabinets in our kitchen will be for storage. By fitting them closely together, less space is wasted. They will also be placed in convenient places so that we can access the cooking utensils and foodstuffs that we need. To accommodate enough cabinets, they will often be above as opposed to below or to the side. 

The strategic way that shelving is placed within a kitchen cabinet and the use of hooks can make effective use of their storage space. You will be able to have different-sized cabinets depending on the size of the items that you want to store. For instance, the cabinet will need to be able to accommodate the height of a cereal packet if you want those to hand in your kitchen ready for breakfast. It is the meal that we all tend to eat in a rush, so as not to be late starting work.

For items that do not need to be stored out of sight or kept so clean, you can use tops and windowsills, and pelmets. It is only really, though, the aesthetic pleasers or gadgets such as juicers that should be on show. For example, antique copper jelly moulds make a nice aesthetic pleaser. For safety’s sake, it is also a good idea to keep knives inside the drawers. It always makes me cringe seeing them in a rack on a work surface. With the drawers of kitchen cabinets, they can be hidden away from curious role-playing children.

Convenience

When we are cooking, we want everything to hand. All the utensils that we need should be gathered in one area so that we do not waste time looking for them. It can rather take the fun away from cooking if we have to hunt around too much for them. 

In terms of their positioning, you will normally find that the knobs on the high kitchen cabinets are placed on the opposite side of the hinges and between 2.5 and 3 inches from the bottom corner of the door. With base cabinets, the knobs will be the same distance from the upper corner. Where drawers are 24 inches, very often a second knob will be fitted. You do not have to worry about any of this, though, because when you order kitchen cabinets, they can come with the knobs that you select as your preferred choice. They do add a nice finishing touch to kitchen cabinets. They need to be as practical as they are pleasing to look at because they will be used frequently to open the cupboards. Particularly with the high cabinets, you will want them to be easy to open and not have to struggle with their catch.

Hygiene

It is hygienic to house inside a cupboard the utensils that are going to be preparing food so that they are stored away from dust and germs.

When cleaning out cupboards, vinegar makes a good natural cleaner that you can use. If you mix a 50/50 solution of warm water and vinegar, you can pour it into a spray bottle to use. You can then mist it onto cabinets, let it settle for a minute, and then wipe away the grease that has accumulated over time with just a soft cloth.

We could include the aesthetic appearance of kitchen cabinets here, too, but that would not be the reason why we had them in the first place. They are needed for storage. Just to say something about it, though, they do add appeal to a kitchen when natural woods and superior grain looks are used. There is nothing like a matching set of handles to show that your kitchen means business and has been decorated to a high standard. Also, there are add-ons you can buy to enhance your kitchen cabinets.

To sum up, kitchen cabinets will provide us storage places, make sure items are always to hand, and be a hygienic way of accommodating many of the items that are housed in our kitchen.

Some people no longer rely on their primary job alone for income. They also take on another one. Since online jobs are in demand, people with appropriate skills consider them. If you believe you will do well with online tasks, start submitting your applications now. 

You can't continue living from pay check to pay check

It doesn't matter how much you earn from your main job. If it's not enough to meet your needs and have savings, you should earn more. Otherwise, you can't prepare for the rainy days. Imagine suddenly losing your main income. You can't keep going in that direction. When faced with emergencies, you will take out whatever loan is available, even if the terms are unfavourable. 

If you don’t want to live this way, consider getting independent financial advice in Kent. You need a local expert's advice on how to manage your finances. It's even better if you receive help from someone in the area for a swifter transaction, instead of working with someone who isn’t close by. 

You can use your existing skills

Working online allows you to use your existing skills. There's no need to continue a postgraduate degree or study for several months before you qualify. For instance, if you already have experience in photo editing, there are jobs available for you. Once you apply and pass the test, you're good to go. 

You don't waste your free time

You hesitate to work online because you're busy. The truth is that you spend hours browsing your social media or playing video games. Instead of wasting your time doing them, it's better to work online. You can make money out of your free time and manage your time well. These jobs are flexible. Whether you choose to be an online writer or a graphic designer, the job doesn't require you to spend hours. As long as you get tasks done on time, you can satisfy your employer. 

There's an opportunity to earn more

Another reason for doing online jobs is that you get paid per project. If you do more, you will earn more. If your priority is to make more money, you can work harder. Take unnecessary activities out of your daily schedule to be more productive.  If you focus on the projects, you will do more in a day.

You can improve yourself

When you worked on the same day job for a long time, you become complacent. You don't strive for improvement anymore. You believe that you can do the job even with closed eyes. As a result, you don't grow professionally. However, if you consider getting an online job, you work on a new skill. You also work on different projects at a time. It allows you to learn something new in every project. 

Given these reasons, it's time to consider working online now. Look at the available jobs and see if they're suitable for you. Start small and assess how comfortable you are with the job. You can consider more projects later if you can do them.

Image: https://unsplash.com/photos/

Pages