Top Five Tips for Securing Your House While on Holiday

Don’t let the anticipation of a much deserved holiday blind you to the risks of your home being unprotected while you’re gone. A lot of people go away of course but there are certain things you need to remember to do before you go otherwise you could be coming home to a burgled property. Having your house given a once over by yourselves, a security company that install alarms and even double glazing Tonbridge are the best things you can do before you travel. It’s always better to be safe than sorry and a little extra vigilance will help keep your belongings safer while you’re not there. We’ve put together some tips for you to keep vigilant!

  • House sitters: consider hiring a house or even a pet sitter if you need one to stay at your house while you’re gone. You may well have had the best double glazing in Tonbridge install your windows but the best protection for your home is to have someone living in it. They’ll be pretty conscientious and water the plants, feed the pets and make sure you have fresh milk in for when you arrive home.
  • Lights! Make your home look lived in by setting timers on the inside and outside house lights. Having them come on at night will let people know someone is home – well, at least give the illusion there is someone home. If you have someone staying at the house you won’t need to worry about it but it’s still a good to have!
  • Locks! Have you bolted your back gates? Have you locked the front doors up properly? And how about the windows? I know it sounds daft but the excitement of going on holiday can actually make you forget the basic of things! Investing in a proper windows in Tonbridge means your double glazed windows will have that extra protection for your piece of mind. Locking the house and even the cat flap can make it less attractive to unsavoury characters lurking around the house.
  • Social Media! Don’t broadcast your holiday on social media. It is one thing sharing it with your friends on Facebook but if you start posting public photos on Instagram or twitter you’re effectively hanging a sign over the house stating it’s empty and ready to be robbed. Don’t be too careful with what you put on the internet.
  • Not just from social media, but the plugs around the house. Turn off the boilers and plugs to appliances that don’t require it like the fridge or freezer. Everything else can be switched off and this would mean that you save money on your energy bills while away. Your house will be looked after and secure and you can be happy knowing you’ve just saved the electric bill a little.

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Cruise VS Holiday Resort

If you’ve been abroad on a fabulous holiday abroad at a great resort or on a cruise sailing across the Mediterranean, you’ll know the absolute joy and peace time away can bring. Choosing a holiday however, can actually be stressful! Booking a holiday is now something of a difficulty given the sheer choice available now so we’ve divided it down between the two most popular holiday choices, a cruise or a holiday resort.

Holiday resorts have a distinct advantage in that they give you the choice from self-catering to all-inclusive and everything is in one place. If you’re looking to stay in one place and explore one region then a holiday resort holiday can be easier. Travelling with small children is also a consideration as after a flight the last thing most want to do is then travel even further than their destination. Are you interested in a geographic range of choices? Then a cruise is likely the best option for you as it’s practically a floating holiday resort given the sheer size of the ship and what it has to offer. Travelling across different areas of the world full board and with many activities on board you get to have your entire holiday and everything you could want right at your fingertips.

The sheer design of holiday resorts today mean that hotels and apartments are far more attractive than they used to be. Being able to have the choice of a suite versus a room on a resort can mean the difference as to whether you have a balcony or not with your room. While wrought iron railings along balconies are a feature in old hotels and country manors, most holiday resorts have upgraded themselves to glass balconies and balustrades. Unparalleled when it comes to style and chicness, glass balconies offer an uninterrupted view. Companies like capitalinteriors.co.uk offer anti-scratch glass or decorative glass designs and planners who use these on hotel or cruise ship balconies can quite clearly see the market that they are designing for.

When sailing on a cruise ships, the outdoor cabins and suites generally have balconies with sheer glass to allow for an excellent view and is strong enough to resist impact and stresses and is highly aesthetic. A lot of older hotels and resorts are complimented by the standard wrought iron railing balconies but people tend to prefer the cleaner, more modern look of glass and the structural glass offers a frameless look.

When choosing a holiday, people are attracted by the ‘packaging’ in the same way Marks and Spencer package differently to other supermarkets to be more aesthetically pleasing. Most holiday makers are looking for hotels or cruise ships that look attractive. No one wants to pay for a holiday with no decent windows or painted bright pink with purple spots. Companies online supply toughened glass and this is used and designed on things like frameless balconies to withstand the weather and the play of toddlers.


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Things To Consider Before Moving Abroad

Last year around 320,000 people left the UK to live abroad, according to the Office of National Statistics, with Spain, the US, France and Australia among the expat hot spots. If you’re thinking of working or retiring overseas, there are a number of practical considerations to take into account before you go for an international property finder online.

Visa

British citizens don’t need a visa to move to a country in the European Union but getting the right paperwork can be difficult if you’re going further afield, for instance to America or Australia. For those going for work, you often need to be sponsored by your workplace or have a skill which is needed. Outside the EU, those looking to retire abroad usually have to prove that they are wealthy enough to support themselves or be sponsored by a local resident and finding overseas property deals online is a good place to get an idea of what you can afford.

Health

While a warmer climate may be better for your health, the cost of health care can be significant, especially in North America. In the European Union, you will need to apply for a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) to receive emergency treatment at a reduced cost or sometimes for free. In Australia, Medicare is the publicly funded scheme which exists alongside a private health system.

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Having health insurance is often a condition of being granted a visa. It also pays to be aware of the rules and regulations for individual countries – for example, tough new regulations in Spain mean that some expats taking early retirement there have been blocked from free medical treatment.

Property taxes

When buying a new home overseas, check the cost of tax and legal fees which can often add 6-10 per cent to the purchase price. There are also ongoing taxes which vary depending on the region.

The tax may differ for residents too. For example, taking Italian residency means you’ll pay 3 per cent purchase tax and lower ongoing property taxes, but second home owners pay 9 per cent when buying and higher ongoing taxes. 

Foreign exchange

Not only will you need to change a lump sum into your new local currency, but you may need to transfer money regularly between the two countries, perhaps for education fees or a pension. Foreign currency brokers charge lower fees and offer better exchange rates than using your UK bank

Cost of living

Look into the living costs before deciding which country to settle in. Although property prices abroad are often cheaper than in the UK, day-to-day living may be the same or more expensive. Check out the cost of food, petrol, entertainment and energy. Remember that living in a tourist area will be pricier than less popular areas. And don’t assume the exchange rate will stay the same. The pound has risen strongly against the South African rand and the US dollar in the last year. You can protect yourself against currency fluctuations by fixing the rate you’ll receive with a forward contract for up to 24 months ahead.


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Packing Tips When Moving House

Not many people like the slog of packing. It’s all about throwing most of it out and packing as little as possible really, but the worst part is actually packing everything into the right boxes and packing only as much as each box needs.The process of packing up your house when moving can sometimes be a nightmare. Finding the time to prepare your house for sale in between work and possibly looking after children can be stressful and very difficult. Packing at an earlier stage can make your house more desirable for potential buyers and certainly can help reduce stress levels.

It is common for packing to be left until the last minute as most people just really can’t find the time to pack around their existing commitments. Granbury Moving Company can actually offer a packing service with their moving services but if you haven’t got the budget to pay another person to pack for you, then here are some packing tips for you to be able to do it yourself with as little stress as possible.

Don’t leave it until the last minute if you can absolutely help it. Life can get in the way but your move should be a good priority of yours. Sounds like an obvious tip but if you are looking at a relocation company, you should find that they will say to start packing before your For Sale sign goes up and throw out belongings that you no longer need. You could also consider selling or donating your items that may still have some value to charity. Getting rid of things you won’t be taking with you will make unpacking easier and making more space available for buyers to see. If you start with rooms you use the least, you should be able to get a good idea of how much you don’t actually use and therefore don’t need. These days a lot of homes don’t have an external garage for storage therefore once you have cleared out a room this can then be the best place to store items out of the way. There are moving companies that can give you excellent advice on packing and how to filter your things out with car boot sales.

Handle with care. Set aside the fragile items in your home for extra bubble wrap and make sure you mark boxes that need to be handled carefully. It’s worth remembering that not everyone who will be moving your boxes will know of the precious contents inside. Don’t overload those boxes. You are going to be doing an awful lot of carrying therefore it is important to use smaller boxes for heavier items and larger boxes for lighter items. Label carefully. Ensuring you label correctly with the contents and room destination can save a lot of time and effort when unpacking, especially if you use a moving company. Documentation. Make sure all documentation doesn’t get lost. This can be prevented by keeping all paperwork together and separate so that when you arrive it can be put in a safe place.

If you have young children it is worth packing a box with essential items such as toys and bedding so that you can keep them occupied as quickly as possible when moving home. It’s an unsettling time for children as much as the grownups coordinating everything. They can feel overlooked and so ensuring they settle properly requires their own things around them.


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Should You Rent Your Carpet Cleaning Machine?

Having your carpets cleaned usually falls in the same category as spring cleaning; a very boring necessity. When you choose to clean your carpets it’s a choice between hiring a machine out to do it yourself, or hire a professional company for Carpet cleaning in Aberdeen. Doing the job yourself may be a little more cost effective of course, but it may not do the best job. You sometimes need to go the extra mile and hire a cleaning machine to do the carpets for you. There is a difference between using a professional company and cleaning it yourself with a carpet steamer.

Hiring a steam cleaning machine definitely don’t compare with those used by professional carpet cleaning companies as they are generally nowhere near as powerful and not very effective. The chemicals that come with the machines are rather cheap and your carpets can be left wet or discoloured. The machines don’t effectively suck the water back out of the carpet fibres and therefore can leave mildew smells coming from the carpet pad. When it comes to hiring in a professional company, you can be assured that the carpet cleaning company will have paid thousands of pounds for the proper equipment and will employ and train their staff to use the machines competently. This way, you know you’ve paid for a high quality service and a high quality job will be done. A good company will carry out an inspection of your carpets before thoroughly cleaning them. They can check the type of carpet you have and make a choice on how to clean that particular material.

In areas of heavy traffic, a special pre-conditioning agent is applied to help break down heavy soiling. Any individual stains are treated with the correct chemicals to ensure that they are removed completely and you can really see the difference in the carpet straight away. Your carpets will be steam-cleaned using a top-spec, super-powerful carpet cleaning machine. This machine removes all the dirt, allergens and stains from your carpets, whilst simultaneously sucking out any moisture, thus avoiding over-wetting and totally avoiding mildew stenches. Home steamers can leave the carpet too damp for too long!

A professional cleaning will always be the more expensive option but when you think about it, hiring a steam cleaning machine to do the job several times if it leaves your carpet stained, will cost you less in the short term but you’ll have to repeat the job over and over. If you pay once or twice for a professional that job will last a lot longer and you’ll be able to enjoy cleaner carpets for longer. If you do decide to go ahead and do your own make sure you run the machine outside first with some water just to enjoy the pipes and the tanks are clean. Using a proper company to do the carpet for you can really make all the difference to your home or office.


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Beach Safety Tips

As a child, quicksand was the bits of the carpet in between the furniture that we had to dodge while leaping from couch to couch. It was always something that seemed like a far bigger deal as a child than as an adult but quicksand is real and is a very real danger. It’s not something that is thought about much, but if you are a hiker and you’re in the wilderness alone, it’s something you should prepare yourself for coming across. While quicksand isn’t nearly as dangerous as the films show it, it is a real thing and just about any silt can temporarily become quicksand if it has enough water saturation.

There have been reports of quicksand in the dunes at Camber Sands in East Sussex so if you are a hiker and staying at a local B&B’s Rye you should make sure you are aware of your surroundings before you find yourself one of those having a bit of a sinking feeling! If you step into quicksand by accident, and you are wearing anything on your back like a rucksack drop it immediately. Your body is much less dense than quicksand and you cannot fully sink unless you panic and struggle too much or you are weighed down. If you can, try and get out of your shoes because flat shoes make a suction as you try and pull them out of the quicksand.

If you do get a bit stuck, move horizontally. Take a quick couple of steps backward before the quicksand takes hold of you as it usually takes a minute or two to liquefy which means the best method to unstick yourself is not getting stuck in the first place! Try not to take massive steps because lifting your leg to stride can push the other further in. Don’t panic. As best you can, don’t panic when you get stuck. Frantic movements will only suck you down further and rapid movements make the ground turn from otherwise firm to quicksand. Quicksand can act unpredictably to your movements.

Relaxing and laying back if you get stuck in quicksand is actually the best way of getting out. Floating on your back while you extract your legs will enable you to ‘swim’ yourself to the edge of the quicksand pool. When you’re walking, make sure that you have a long stick with you so you can check the ground for ripples. If you see unnatural looking ripples in the texture of the ground, use the stick to check for stability before you walk on it. If you are walking with fellow hikers, bring rope with you if there’s a chance you may encounter quicksand as that way if one person falls in the other can stand safely on firm ground and pull the other out. Relax as much as you can and don’t fight the suction but just be gentle with your movements.


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