Tips save money travel UK

Tips for saving money when travelling in the UK

When you’re looking to travel, you’ll often notice it seems to be cheaper to travel abroad than it is to travel in the UK.

However, thankfully there are lots of great ways to save money when travelling around the country. So, whether you’re looking to stay local, or you’re looking to travel a little further afield in the UK, here you’ll discover some of the best tips to help you save money.

Tips for saving money when travelling in the UK

Take advantage of off-peak travel

You can save potentially a lot of money on UK travel if you choose to travel off peak. This is especially true if you plan on taking the train. You’ll find that off peak tickets come at a much lower price, and there’s even the possibility you could benefit from super-off peak prices.

Another great tip with public transportation is to book in advance. If you already know what dates you’ll be travelling, booking well in advance can save you a lot of money on the cost of the journey compared to booking on the day.

 

Head to cheaper regions

Did you know that some parts of the country are cheaper to travel to than others? Obviously, areas close to home are going to be cheaper than those far away, but when it comes to the overall travel experience including the cost of accommodation and entertainment, there’s some regions which are much cheaper than others.

These cheaper regions include the north of England, Wales, Devon and Scotland (providing it’s outside of Edinburgh). Take time to research the different locations before deciding which one would be right for you.

 

Consider buying sightseeing passes

If you’ll be heading to any of the major attractions in the UK, you could save money by investing in sightseeing passes. Theme Parks and major cities offer sightseeing passes which allow you free entry or free admission onto the rides. You can even buy Heritage passes, which allow you entry into some of the UK’s top heritage attractions. You can buy a Heritage Pass from the National Trust.

Travelling around the UK can be expensive, but with the clever tips above you could save potentially a lot of money. Don’t forget to check out the free attractions in the area you’ll be visiting too. These can save you a small fortune on the cost of your little getaway.  

Disclaimer: this is a collaborative post

Change specs when you lose weight

Why changing your specs should be part of your weight loss plan

Weight loss isn’t easy, but it’s rewarding once you see all of your hard work finally pay off. Those seemingly endless hours in the gym don’t go to waste, as you generally get out what you put in. When you feel better about yourself, you’ll find you radiate confidence and others even start to perceive you differently. So where do specs come in?

Well, have you ever realised your glasses no longer fit or compliment your style after losing weight? And why exactly is this? Whether you chose to lose weight for health reasons or simply to feel better about yourself, chances are your face will have shed lots of extra weight, and with this often comes a brand new, slimmer build to your face shape.

If this sounds like you, have you considered how new glasses and how they could become part of your new weight loss plan? Discover below how weight loss impacts your face shape, and how you can find the perfect pair of frames to suit your fresh-look face.

Why changing your specs should be part of your weight loss plan

How weight loss changes your face shape

More often than not, particularly if you’ve lost a significant amount of weight, your face shape can completely change. In fact, you’ll find most people notice you’ve lost weight by looking at your face alone! With your newfound weight loss might come the need for a new pair of glasses, particularly if they no longer suit your face.

Each face shape is different and unique, but they can typically be categorised in to similar shapes, from square or rectangular to round or oval face shapes. It’s time to grab a mirror and take a good look at your facial lines!

People gain and lose weight differently, and where you see results from weight loss could be completely different to someone else. This same principal can be applied to weight loss on your face. Many people often find that their jawline becomes much more defined after losing weight, similarly to how people that gain weight might see their jawline slowly disappear somewhat. Your cheeks might also become slimmer and your cheekbones are likely to become more prominent after losing weight.

How to find your face shape

Each face shape is different and unique, but they can typically be categorised in to similar shapes, from square or rectangular to round or oval face shapes. Which face shape category do you fall into?

The first step to finding your face shape is to simply look in the mirror. What do you see? A round face with a similar height and width, or perhaps a rectangular face with a deep forehead and strong jawline? If you’re unsure, you could even ask family or friends for their input.

Find the perfect pair of glasses for your face shape

Once you’ve identified your new, unique face shape after losing weight, check out the Arlo Wolf face shapes guide. They’ve even broken down what style of glasses suit each individual face shape the most. From angular glasses for round face shapes, to sturdy solid frames for rectangular face shapes, you can now grab the perfect pair of stylish spectacles to compliment your new look!

Disclaimer: this is a sponsored post

Living Arrows

Living Arrows 2019 – 3/52

I seem to have started a bit of a tradition that I really love.

Around this time last year, and the year before, I took photos of Nerys having her hair dried after a bath for my Living Arrows posts.

I happened to read last year’s post the other day and at the end of the post I wrote:


“If I remember I’ll try and take some more photos then!”

So when Steve was drying her hair after a bath that evening I grabbed the camera and took these photos.

Living Arrows
Living Arrows
Living Arrows

I just can’t get over how much her hair has grown in the last year, and how much older she looks!

What I really love though is that I mentioned in last year’s post that she was busy singing ‘let it go’ at the top of her lungs while her hair was being dried.

This year, the facial expressions are thanks to ‘this is me’ from The Greatest Showman. I wonder if we’ll still be doing this next January, and if so what the song of choice will be!


If you’re wondering how much she has changed and grown, here are the photos from 2017 and 2018:

Living Arrows 2017
Living Arrows 2018

For so long Nerys didn’t have much hair at all, it does make me smile now seeing quite how long it is.  I’m really not sure how I’ll feel if and when she decides she wants to cut it all off.

Who knows, maybe next January I’ll be sharing photos of her having her hair blow dried into a neat little bob!

 

Living Arrows
Siblings Jan 2019

Siblings project – January 2019

This is the third year now that I’m taking part in the siblings project, and I still absolutely love it as a way to make sure I get a few photos of the children together each month.

Our photos for January were taken on a cold winter walk on the beach.

We’d been in a bit of a Christmas bubble and a blast of fresh sea air was the perfect way to blow away the cobwebs.

The tide was only just on its way out when we got there and there was so much left behind on the tideline, it was really interesting to search through it as we walked.

We found all sorts of driftwood, shells, and mermaids purses. And then plenty of stones to throw in the sea and try to skim.

Siblings project Jan 2019
Siblings project Jan 2019


Quite often when we go to the beach in the winter months it’s quite quiet, but it was actually pretty busy that day.

I think everyone was out doing the same as us, sort of emerging back into the real world after a few days of Christmas hibernation.

Siblings project Jan 2019


I did actually get another photo of Rhys and Nerys together this month, which I really want to share as well.

Siblings project Jan 2019

It was taken on a walk through campus after swimming last weekend, where we found a really lovely little garden area perfect for a little sit down. I just really love the two of them together with their matching furry hoods up!

Here’s to another year of seaside walks and siblings photos.

Glorious imperfections how to take tips from our kids

Glorious imperfections: Or how to take tips from our kids

Kids are carefree. They play like there’s no tomorrow. They don’t care if people judge them because they don’t even know what judgement is.

They are content to be in their own little world without stress, releasing them from the chains of inferiority or feeling like they’re not good enough.

Glorious imperfections how to take tips from our kids

When kids get up every morning, they put on their hand-me-down clothes, last season’s coat, and mismatched shoes, and storm out the door without looking back. They don’t know that stripes don’t match polka dots or that you don’t wear your socks on the outside of your pants.

But here’s the truth: they’re right. None of that matters if you feel good on the inside.

Kids do what makes them feel good, and that’s why they’re so cute. They are compassionate and fun-loving. They don’t make a fuss about navigating social situations with grace or tact.

While we spend every hour worrying about being a great parent or what others think of us, we should be thinking about being kind and doing what makes others feel good. We know we should have eaten fruit instead of cookies, but we need to forget about the weight loss.

Forget about fashion, forget about diet, and forget what your co-worker said about you when she was frustrated for a second. Think about why your kids love you. It’s not because you have cool shoes or the most gorgeous hair or the thinnest body.

Chances are, that’s not why anyone loves you. And if it is, they shouldn’t be your friend. These are things we learned in primary school, but they often don’t sink in, even as adults. We know better.

So try spending more time treating others with kindness. That includes yourself. Wake up in the morning and be grateful for all the little things that make your life so amazing. And let the other little things go. So what if you wear your socks on the outside of your trousers for a day?

Love yourself and then love others.

Be confident in the skin you’re in. Bonds will take care of the comfort on the outside if you focus on a healthier mind and spirit.

Life is full of glorious imperfections, but we’re all in this together.

Be as carefree as your kids and cherish the love in the world.

Disclaimer: this is a collaborative post

Living Arrows

Living Arrows 2019 – 2/52

We survived the first week back at school after the complete break from normality that was the Christmas holidays.

There may have been a bit of complaining in the mornings about having to get up and go to school, but for the most part the children settled back into the routine really well.

They did seem tired though by the end of the week, so on Saturday we had a quiet day at home. Well, Rhys and Nerys had a quiet, peaceful day, while Steve and I went on a bit of a clear-out mission in their bedroom.

We’ve got a huge pile of things ready to be passed on to friends or the charity shop and their room feels so much better, with room to actually move and play.


On Sunday we were back at swimming lessons, then took the scenic route home through Singleton park and the uni campus. We wandered round a little garden area on campus that, despite going to the uni and living in Swansea for 18 years, I had never been to before.

It was a really lovely little spot to stop and take some photos for this week’s post.

Living Arrows
Living Arrows

I think we walked for a good hour and half, including a stop at the shop for bread, before we made it back home.  And apart from a few whinges now and then about just wanting to be home already the children did really well!

Especially considering they’d both put a lot of energy into their swimming lessons before the walk.

Nerys only started lessons in September and she moved up 2 groups yesterday which she was so excited about.  She has been so bold and brave with her swimming, and so determined to do well with it.  

It took Rhys quite a bit longer to get to grips with it all when he started, mainly because he was so full of energy he couldn’t seem to stay still long enough to listen and learn.

He is doing so well with it now though, and looks so comfortable in the water.  I’m not sure at what point we’ll stop his lessons; I suppose when he tells us that he’s not enjoying them any more.


Would you stop swimming lessons once your child is able to swim, or keep going with them to keep working on technique and improving their skills?

 

Living Arrows
Find long lost family online

Can you really find long lost family online?

As ancestry websites, DNA websites and long lost family TV shows become ever more popular, more and more people want to know where they have come from and if there’s more family out there, then they want to find them. It could be due to distance, time, or just growing apart, but every family has long lost relatives – and today more and more people wish to reconnect with them. It’s not even just about family; it could be people looking for their first love or their best friend from school. The fact is that anything seems possible these days and if there’s someone on your mind you want to find then you may as well go for it.

Can you really find long lost family online_

Technology and social media has made finding people so much easier and more accessible, but really how easy is it and is it possible to find someone online? Take a look at these steps if this is something you’re interested in and have started looking into as it’s definitely possible to make a start on your own and online if not find the person and do the whole thing all by yourself.

Create A List

Begin by creating a list of all the essential information that you know about the person you are trying to track down. Don’t skip this step as it’s very important and if you go straight into searching then you could likely miss something. Like anything, it’s vital to prepare, as the saying goes, ‘fail to prepare, prepare to fail’ and it is very true in this scenario. By not writing down all the information you need, not only might you miss something but it could completely derail you, put you off, mislead you completely and end in not finding them at all. You’ll need to include more than just their first and last name too. Write down information such as where they went to high school if you have any previous phone numbers and addresses and vehicles they might have owned, whatever you can think of to build a bigger picture. This kind of information can be really beneficial to your search later down the line. Also, make sure that all this information is correct, there is no point going down one route on some false information as it will waste your time and could put you off the search.

Use Search Engines

Search engines really are an excellent way to find the information you’re searching for quickly. However, don’t just rely on one. They are all different and will give you different results. Each search engine uses a separate database and search algorithm, and this will affect what information is returned. You should never rely on just one search engine – private investigators search multiple search engines to find information and obtain the best results.

Try Google, Bing, Yahoo, AOL, Duck Duck Go. Also, Metasearch engines are an excellent way to search multiple search engines at the same time. Instead of using crawlers to index the web like Google and others do, they send queries to a variety of search engines, combine the results. Here are a few examples of meta search engines that best for finding people: Dogpile, WebCrawler and Monster Crawler. If you’re not comfortable with the technology and these terms, then get someone to help you. Even if you go and use one of the computers at your local library, a librarian will likely be on hand to assist can help you find these particular search engines or websites.

Advanced Search Techniques

There are also advanced search operators which use things like Boolean logic to help you filter out the junk that isn’t related to your search. They allow you to combine words and connectors to exclude specific results, for example, if you search for “John Smith” then search engines will return results with all web data with the words ‘John’ and ‘Smith.’ It is highly unlikely that this will be what you want, so, by using ”Not” or “–“ before a term, your search will exclude web pages that contain those terms. For example, a typical search would look something like this:

“John Smith” and New Zealand or + John + Smith + New Zealand.

Have a look at Google’s extensive list of operators and other tips and tricks which will help make your searches more powerful on their advanced search page. Other search engines will have their own specific operators too, so be sure to look them up before you start using them.

Use Social Media

Lots of people have found people who they have been searching for on social media networks since they became so popular. They are the perfect place to start looking for someone online – especially family members that have fallen out of touch. Starting with Facebook, this is the most significant and most extensive search engine by far. You can search for people using names, locations, and even groups. Then there is Linkedin, another great place to look for people, especially if you know the person’s employment history or where they might currently be living. There are other websites dedicated to searching for people such as People finder UK, so it’s worth having a look on there too.

Search Genealogy Sites and Resources

These have become increasingly popular over recent years and with that are getting smarter and have more information and data each day. By doing a little bit of research into your genealogy, you might discover family members you had no idea existed which means that this research can often point you in the right direction if you’re stuck elsewhere. Take a look at Access Genealogy, which includes old letters, Native American historical records, and military documents; The Olive Tree which is a private researcher’s collection of links and other resources that are incredibly useful and in-depth; Family Tree Searcher – The Family Tree Searcher is yet another website that was created by a private researcher to educate and assist amateurs. The interactive quizzes that ensure your search is customized for your particular search are a tremendous help; Genealogy Today is a website has an impressive searchable collection of traditional and unorthodox historical records; Cyndi’s List has 332,340 genealogy links that you can access; RootsWeb is part of the Ancestry.com family, RootsWeb is a massive, community maintained database of US genealogy records searchable by first and last name, created by thousands of genealogists; and US GenWeb Project is the U.S. Genealogy Researchers website was created by a collection of history and genealogy enthusiasts to share resources and educate the public about genealogy and ancestry research.

Finally, You Could Hire a Private Investigator

If you have the money and the resource, then go for it. This is what Private Investigators do for a living. If you give an investigator all the information you have, they can conduct the entire search for you. With access to information that you won’t be able to access as a civilian such as vehicle registrations, private investigators are incredibly skilled at uncovering information and can do it quickly and efficiently.

Prepare Yourself

Whether someone has gone missing or you’re looking for someone you’ve never even met before, it can be tough. You need to prepare yourself for the fact that you may not find them, there could be great leads which draw dead ends, or sometimes people just do not want to be found. Looking for someone is a big deal and something you should consider carefully before getting into.

Take It Slowly

If you do find the person you are looking for, then it is best to take things slowly. Don’t make your first connection a rushed story about what may have been a scandal at the time it occurred. Be friendly, take your time, offer them your contact information, and let them know you would like to keep in touch.

Don’t Get Your Hopes Up

Don’t get your hopes too high about how the meeting will go, be prepared for things to go differently than you expected as it is possible that the long lost relative will not want to get to know you at all and that can hurt, especially in situations involving adoption and biological parents. They might come round, do remember that it’s likely you’re dropping a bombshell on them and they won’t be prepared. You have had time to accept the news and prepare, so allow them to have that too.

There is also the possibility that the discovery of a long lost relative could result in drama. Other relatives may become emotional, and they might refuse to accept the new person as part of their family tree. Or, they may welcome that person with open arms. Every family has its own internal structure, and a new person could shake things up.

Just be aware of all the possibilities and eventualities and take the time to prepare yourself for whatever may occur, but fingers crossed it will be a positive experience for everyone.

Disclaimer: this is a collaborative post