Pack Smart – Relocating Done Right

You’ve prepared for money problems, health problems, and any other life problems you can think of, but now you’re sitting in the middle of your new living room surrounded by boxes and you don’t know where to start. Relocating can be stressful, and when all is said and done, you don’t want to have to worry about finding an outfit to wear the next day because you don’t know where anything is. I provide you with some good tips and advice to give you a boost!

First, it is important to decide what you need to bring. Moving is an opportunity to sort through some f the clutter you have accumulated. I recommend a three-pronged approach: Give, Throw, Pack. Sort your items based on what you can/should give away, throw away, and pack up for you new life. Not everything has to be saved and you can often capture the memories of the item without having to keep it by taking a picture of it. Photos, especially digital, take up a lot less room than your favorite sweater from college that you will never wear again; there may be someone out there who could really use that sweater and by giving it away, you are giving it new life. If you have kids, try to work with them on this same process. They may not need every toy they have and not every adorable outfit that they’ve ever worn to be kept.

Now that everything is sorted, manage your time well so that you don’t end up packing half of your stuff in random boxes just to get it done; a box labeled miscellaneous never helped anyone. Give yourself a time limit for packing a box then double it. Set aside a certain amount of time each day for packing and make it your priority. Don’t check your email, phone, and delegate to ensure no other distractions pop up. Figure out how many boxes you can pack in that allocated amount of time, then plan the number of days it will take to accomplish packing all your belongings. Also, make a list of the things you cannot live without during this process and make sure to pack those items last; do the same for any other family members that may be a part of the move.

If your relocation is not permanent and you won’t be taking all of your belongs with you or you know you won’t have access to all of your belongings until a few days or weeks into the move, it is important to know what to pack so you don’t end up having to buy everything you need, wasting time and money. Recently, I spoke with an attendant on a private jet about what she brings with her for each short-term relocation. This information is valuable to anyone travelling by plane and can be applied to numerous relocation scenarios. Bring only three bags, your Carry-on, your personal luggage, and your checked item.

The carry-on should contain all the things necessary to your day-to-day life: three to seven days’ worth of medication, valuables, important documents, one clean out fit (or at the very least, clean socks and underwear), two to four meals worth of non-perishable food items, any electronic devices, and chargers and universal adapters needed for your electronics. If you carry a purse, try to pack it into your carry-on or reorganize your purse so it can be your carry-on.

Your personal luggage should include the important yet non critical items that will last you for a couple weeks such as your clothes, toiletries, shoes, grooming appliances, concentrated laundry detergent, a traveler’s laundry line and ten pegs (you may not have access to a washer and dryer), an any other item that will fit within the size limit you deem necessary.

The final bag is not mandatory (especially if you don’t want to pay to check something), but it can make the difference between the type of experience you have those first few days in the new location. The checked bag should include items that will help you feel more at home in your new place. You can pack a set of linens, your favorite cereal bowl, or some books and games, anything that will help you feel like you are not too far from your home.

If you pack wisely you will be able to enjoy getting settled into your new place and won’t have to deal with the unwanted stress of putting your home together. So pack smart and enjoy the rewards!

Staycation Guide: 5 Places In The UK That Will Make You Feel You Are Abroad

Staycations are again on the rise more, and more Brits are deciding to stay home for their holidays. But where in the UK should you go if you have never had a staycation before or fancy trying something new? Here is my staycation guide is here to help.

The UK is a dynamic place full of history, natural beauty, dramatic coastlines and historical cities. Every corner has such an individual identity that no two places are alike. Some UK destinations might even give you a little taste of Europe! Here is how:

Love The Algarve? Try Devon

Branded “the English Riviera”, Devon is fantastic for families and beach holidays. It is also home to five areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, UNESCO Sites and Natural Parks.

For a cultural city break, try Plymouth or Exeter, both rich in Roman history. It it’s the relaxed coastal life you want, try South Devon. For surfing, go for North Devon and Exmoor. And for the true Riviera experience, try Torquay, Paignton, and Brixham. There are also many smaller towns and villages worth exploring if you fancy going for a drive.

Love Tuscany? Try Lancashire, Yorkshire And Cumbria

North West England and the region of Tuscany in Italy share two things in common: beautiful green panoramic views and maxing food.

Famous for its artisan food, locally sourced produce and niche eateries, the counties of Lancashire, Yorkshire and Cumbria, will entice any foodie traveler with their food festivals and farm shops galore. To work up an appetite, you can visit the castles, museums, theatres or seafront towns or you can go hiking and take in scenery so beautiful that Queen Elizabeth is reported to have said she would like to retire here.

For more active travelers, highlights are the Yorkshire Dales, the Pennines and the Lake District, where you can try all sorts of sports from golfing to sailing and paragliding. For those wanting a peaceful hideaway, try smaller market towns such as Kirby Lansdale, Hebden Bridge or Clitheroe. And if it’s a sea you seek, try Whitby, Scarborough or Lytham St Annes.

Love Switzerland? Try Scotland

If you a partial to mountain ranges, lakes and a pair of skis, then Scotland is the perfect staycation for you. With beautiful scenery, imposing castles and interesting cities thrown in for good measure, both Switzerland and Scotland will give you jaw-dropping views. Switzerland has some of the most famous ski resorts in the world, Scotland has the best ski resorts in the UK. The Swiss have the alphorn and Schnapps; the Scots have the bagpipe and their world-famous Scotch whisky. Hell, the Scottish accent might even make you feel you’re abroad!

Jokes aside, Scotland is indeed a beautiful country, with intriguing and grand history, beautiful landscape and stunning natural reserves. Even Her Majesty has a residence here, Balmoral Castle. For a city break, both Glasgow and Edinburgh are famous for their nightlife and culture. And if you like to drive, we would highly recommend the drive from Glasgow to Dundee. The views are to die for.

Love Rome? Try York

The Italian city of Rome is one of the most famous destinations in Europe, known worldwide for its rich history and vibrant culture. In the UK we have our little version thanks to the Romans themselves.

Although York existed as a settlement before the Roman invasion, it was during that period that it was declared a city of importance. Constantine the Great was proclaimed a Roman Emperor here. Even going out for a pint will yield a history lesson in pubs that used to be churches or monasteries. In recent years, York has become famous for its retail and nightlife as well as its history, and although it’s much smaller than Rome, you will have plenty to do and see.

Love Berlin? Try Liverpool

Berlin and Liverpool share many commonalities. Both have witnessed their fair share of political and social change, but are today UNESCO Heritage Sites and European Capitals of Culture.

In the UK, Liverpool is the city with the most galleries and national museums outside of London. The birthplace of the Beatles, it also boasts a very strong art scene. On a more outrageous note, it has been said that the Liverpudlian velvet tracksuit is as infamous as the German beach thong! Liverpool is a vibrant and dynamic city, ideal for any art, fashion or music lover.

Hotel Staycation

There are vacations where you temporarily visit another city, state or country and take in all these new places have to offer and then there are staycations where you stay in your own city and act like a tourist. Both are great ideas for something fun to do, and both have their advantages and disadvantages but if you choose a staycation for this year’s holiday, what about still going to a hotel?

Usually staycations mean you use your house as your home base and you take trips out daily to things in and around your city. It may be that museum you have always wanted to go to but never got around to it, it could be a new water park that just opened, it could be a trip to a nearby park to do things like canoeing that you always wanted to try. At the end of the day, you go home to sleep and do something fun the next day till the staycation is over. What if, instead of going home you checked into a hotel, right in your own city? It’s like a vacation and a staycation all in one and while it may be more expensive than just going home, it adds some excitement to your holiday.

Staying in a hotel is always fun. There are different beds, different layouts, things like the pool and gym to check out, and they usually have a bar or restaurant attached for easy snacks, meals and unwinding times too. Staying in a hotel offers you something different from the same old routine. It gets you up and out in the morning and offers you a warm and comforting atmosphere when you return. You don’t have to make the beds or pick up the towels and yet you come back to a perfect room at day’s end.

Hotels these days have WiFi and other amenities to make it just like home while having a little adventure and you don’t have to stay long, just a night or two will up the fun factor of a staycation and give you different memories that you can share. They also always have plenty of information about nearby places and events that you may have missed. So play tourist in your own town, it’s fun and you’ll learn a lot about where you live, and while it’s always nice to go home again, check into a hotel, if only for a night. You’ll be glad you did!

Staycations: A DIY Getaway

If you’re like most people, the end of January is just the time of the year when you get a little stir crazy. The seemingly endless snowstorms, extreme temperatures, and let’s face it, the post-holiday slump, combine to create an overwhelming gloomy mood. It’s the perfect time to change the mood in your home with an easy, cost effective vacation. Unlike typical getaways, this one requires little to no traveling. With a little creativity, you and your loved ones will soon see those frowns turned upside down!

See the Sights

Are you guilty of living in an area rich with history and culture that you’ve never explored? We’re constantly traveling here, there, everywhere to visit famous museums, restaurants and cities, neglecting those in our own backyards! It’s a no-brainer, but try to check out the local offerings near or within your town. Do a little bit of research and compile a list of must-sees, including both family-friendly and adult-centered activities. This is your chance to finally check out that to-die-for steakhouse or let your inner child play at the local rock climbing wall or pottery class.

Go ‘Au Natural’

We don’t mean give up deodorant and shampoos, but we do mean take some time to appreciate the scenery around you. Are there nearby parks that your family can easily get to? The lush landscape not only provides stunning vistas, but also guarantees a belly full of laughs while you each try rolling down the hill. Or, check out a park or farm that offers guided trail rides. If you’re lucky and plan ahead, you might even get to check out the sunset while on horseback! For out-of-this world fun, bring a telescope, blankets and apple cider in thermoses and go star-gazing. Check the weather beforehand to pick the clearest night; prepare to be amazed!

Beat Boredom

If the weather is a bit less than pleasant, don’t fret! There are plenty of activities to do indoors without going anywhere. Dig out the family’s favorite board games. Sound too dull for teens? Try mixing up the classic card games into an ultimate game where scores are carried over from day to day; the weekend-long champ gets to pick his or her favorite meal for dinner the following week!

Attend an In-Home Premier

You don’t have to be an A-list celebrity to make this event! Turn your family room into an intimate home theater! Rent the movies you’ve been meaning to see and create a double feature everyone will enjoy. Re-arrange furniture so that there are two rows of couches or chairs for everyone to sit. Be sure to get plenty of popcorn, candy and sodas ready!

Make Scents

Did you know that certain aromas affect your mood? So even if you can’t change your location or participate in a staycation, you can change your mood. Let’s face it, even the thought of a rotting banana makes you wrinkle your nose! Try your hand at aromatherapy to instantly give your family a boost. To de-stress a room, try scents like citrus, ylang ylang, sandalwood and rose. To awaken and invigorate the senses, eucalyptus, ginger and peppermint work wonders. Finally, to sooth someone into a deep, peaceful sleep, try lavender, vanilla and chamomile. A few drops on a pillow case or tissue will suffice. Or for a constant fresh smell, pour the essential oil into a diffuser. Take a deep breath and relax!