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Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Location: UK

Visiting the UK After Brexit

In 2016 a lot of political commentators and pundits were shocked by the decision of the UK to leave the European Union. Though the results of the referendum were pretty tight - 52% to 48%, the wheels have been turning to make the whole process a success for both the UK and the EU. While the actual amount of success that the UK can see is up for debate, there are a few things that you’ll need to consider before visiting once the split takes place.

Getting into the Country

One of the biggest sticking points of the people in the lead up to the Brexit referendum was concerned with immigration and how many people are coming into the UK both legally and illegally. With the result of the vote, it is clear the UK government has to address a problem that the public sees with the levels of immigration into the UK.

In simple terms, it means that it is likely to become more difficult for people to get into the country. From a tourism perspective, people travelling from the EU are unlikely to make it through customs at British airports with the level of ease that they currently enjoy just now. Expect to come against a more stringent process once your flight lands.

For people who are wanting to travel to the UK and work, they won’t find the process as straightforward. Migrants from the EU will be subject to a more difficult set of immigration rules. This is something to research thoroughly before you take the final decision.

The Money Question

There’s no doubting that Europeans who had UK holidays booked at the time just after the referendum took place were rubbing their hand with glee when they saw the result come in. Thanks to the drop in the value of the pound of the back of the ‘leave’ result, their money for their holidays was set to go a lot further than they had originally anticipated.

While the intervening months have allowed the Sterling currency to stabilise somewhat, but it’s still worth bearing in mind what might be ahead if you have plans to stay in the UK long term in the time after Brexit. Any savings that you do have will go further than they would back home. This is a big positive, but the new barriers to entry might cause problems.

The Current State

The Brexit process has thrown the British government into various forms of turmoil. The vote was very close, and there doesn’t appear to be a clear consensus on whether the public wants to cut all EU ties, retain some benefits, or call the whole thing off altogether. If the current sentiment of UK businesses is anything to go by, it’s looking like the country is leaning towards remain. This might push through the so-called concept of a ‘soft-Brexit’; good news for EU travellers.

The best thing you can do is keep an eye on the news and educate yourself on what the landscape will be like before you take a decision to go to the UK long-term.

Monday, 17 June 2019

Location: Scotland, UK

With the summer holidays now upon us, you might be thinking about the best way to spend your time off. Having golf as a hobby is a good thing because it gives you the opportunity to travel all over the world, trying out different courses and honing your game while still getting some time away from home. Many golfers are keen to visit the true mecca of the sport – Scotland.

Scotland’s history with the game is long-standing and deep. The modern game was invented here, and courses have been established within the landscape of centuries. If you want to take a holiday to Scotland for a golfing experience, here is some advice to help you to have an unforgettable experience.

The Home of Golf

One of the best places to start any golfing journey in Scotland is at the pretty seaside town of St Andrews. The name will be synonymous with even casual fans of the sport, as the Old Course that runs along the Scottish East coast is one of the most famous and oldest in the game.

It is well worth a visit to the town, even to walk some of the fairways. It is a town that is proud of its golfing traditions and many of the most iconic golfing moments have unfolded on the 18th green, right in front of the imposing clubhouse.

Travelling into the Country

Scotland is serviced by several international airports that can be found in its major cities. The likes of Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen allow international travellers to come into any part of the country by air.

If you are coming from further afield, you might be likely to fly into one of the London airports, then taking a smaller, domestic flight North. Scotland isn’t a particularly large country. Most areas can be reached by car within a day, so consider renting if you’re a confident driver.

Taking in the Right Courses

Thanks to its open spaces and pristine countryside, there are golf courses found all over Scotland. From the picturesque lowlands of Dumfries and Galloway to the windswept North East, and the dramatic mountains of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs, there are courses and clubs to suit every budget and player.

It’s worthwhile taking the time to find a course that carries a bit of history and has that star quality that makes Scotland feel like the home of golf. In Perthshire, the Gleneagles hotel has delighted travellers since the twenties, and its courses remain unparalleled in what they offer players who come to visit. You should use this iconic place as a benchmark of what is available to those who visit.

For years people have been coming to Scotland from all over the world to play one of the country’s most loved exports. While you could make the argument that Ireland has better quality courses, or that England has more places to play, there is a connection to the game that isn’t offered by anywhere else. With a Scottish golf trip, you will feel connected to the people who developed and refined the game through the centuries.

Thursday, 13 June 2019

Location: Scotland

Blogging is a hobby for many, and a full-time job for a few. It’s highly likely that if you enjoy blogging and have a passion for travel, you dream of turning your travel blog into your main source of income. Anyone can turn their blog into a business, you just need to find your audience. Here we will look at some of the most effective ways to turn your business from a hobby into an industry.

Why Pursue Travel Blogging?

It’s important that you know why you want to be a full-time travel blogger. It can be an uphill battle making your blog a success, taking a lot of time and perseverance. Already having a passion for writing and travel will make it easier to work through the more difficult period of establishing your blog and making a name for yourself. If you are only blogging in the hope to make money out of it, it will most likely show in your writing and make it harder to grow an interested audience. Blog because of your passion for writing, and the success will follow.

Create Niche Content

There are a lot of blogs out there – and a lot of them are about travelling. This means that you will really need to differentiate yourself in someway if you want to find a dedicated audience. Think, why would someone want to read my blog instead of someone else’s? It doesn’t matter how well you write, if the content isn’t fresh then it’ll be a struggle to grow your blog. Look at your competition and think about what works and what doesn’t and see if there is someway you can improve or if there’s a way you can take a different approach.

Share Content and Promote

Although some readers may find your blog organically – especially if you’ve optimised your blog really well for search – it’s important to promote your content in all the right places. A great, and often free, way to promote your blog is to guest post on blogs covering topics similar to yours. Reach out to other bloggers and pitch ideas you think they haven’t covered but would be interested in – you’d be surprised by the number of people who take you up on your offer. Whenever you do have the opportunity to write for another blog, make sure you include link back to your own site at the end.

Engage with Your Audience

Encourage readers and visitors of your blog to sign up to your email newsletter. This is a great way to be able to stay in touch with your readers and let them know whenever you have a new blog live. Also try to reply to as many comments in your blogs as you can – this is great way to add a personal connection to your blog for you readers and encourage engagement.

Backing Up Your Data

Your content is your business when it comes to blogging, meaning it’s hugely important to keep all your data backed up. Losing months’ worth of articles, videos and photos could spell the end of your blog, so try to keep back ups of everything you choose to upload. One of the best ways to do this is through cloud computing, making it affordable and easy to back up all your files. Once your files are on the cloud you can access them whenever you want wherever you are, as long as you have the password. With venture capital firms, like C5 Capital, investing in cloud computing, it’s only going to improve and become even more reliable for backing up your blog data.

Friday, 07 June 2019

A holiday with children can be more magical yet more stressful than most. There are lots of extra things to consider and plan for which hopefully the list below can help you prepare for.

Check the Passports

First up: passports. This is not just a reminder to pack your passports, but a reminder to check the expiry dates san out of date passport might render you unable to fly. Photographic ID is required on all domestic flights (i.e., flights not leaving the same country, only flying city to city). Children under the age of 16 do not need to show ID on domestic flights (except for Italy).

If you are travelling internationally, anyone planning to fly must have a valid passport. If you do need to renew your passport, make sure you leave enough time for a new one to be sent out as it usually takes around three weeks.

Purchase Travel insurance

If your heading abroad it’s a good idea to get travel insurance organised. This will give you peace of mind that if anything goes wrong, you and your family will be covered. A lot of travel companies offer family travel insurance, which is often better value than individual insurance.

Also, bear in mind the type of holiday you’re taking as you can get different policies for different types. For example, is your family going on a ski trip? Get winter sports and ski insurance. Are you planning on taking your little ones on a family-friendly adventure holiday? Consider adventure travel insurance.

Entertaining the Kids

Keeping children entertained on the plane can be the most difficult part of the holiday, as they are restricted to the one seat for what will seem like a lifetime. Once the novelty of being on the plane wears off, they will soon become restless, and you’ll wish you brought something to entertain them.

In this case, pack a flight bag with a few essentials for them. Surprise them with a new toy, pack some school supplies – colouring books, drawing pads, crayons & stickers etc. books are a good options to keep younger kids quiet, and if all else fails make sure you’ve downloaded some episodes of their favourite show or a movie onto a tablet and let them watch with headphones in.

Consider Vaccinations

Some foreign countries that are becoming more popular for family holidays will require vaccines before you head out. You can expect to need a vaccination for the likes of Mexico, Africa and some Asian countries. Vaccinations are there to protect you against infections such as yellow fever, typhoid and hepatitis A when travelling and can be administered by the NHS.

Again, it’s important to plan with this one as depending on the vaccine you need you may need to get it over a few weeks, or it may have some side effects. You don’t want yourself or your little ones to experience bad side effects 1-2 days before your flight/

Navigating the Airports

The flying part of travelling with kids is stressful enough, but the airports can be just as bad.

If you are travelling with a partner, friend or family member then divide and conquer – one of you go ahead to check in and secure your flight seats, and the other stay back and board with the kids at the very last minute. See if your airport (departing or arriving) has a kid’s play zone you can drop the kids at. Some airports have a ‘family lane’ system, use it!

The first thing you’ll need when you get the other side is a transfer to and from the airports. It’s also useful to research the local transport, do they do weekly family passes on the buses or trains or do you need to hire a car?

Research and Plan

If you’re going somewhere new, it can be helpful to do some research on the area before you go. To make the most of your precious holiday time, try plan out each day you have there in advance. Also, be sure to check that the places and attractions you plan to visit are family-friendly.

Look into the local attractions and activities and make a list of everything you want to do. Then make a note of what days you’re able to do these on, as some activities will only be available on certain days. Put the things that are limited into the schedule first and plan everything else around them.

You might want to plan a day at the pool in the middle of the week, as the children may be tired, and a day of rest could stop them being cranky the rest of the week. By planning in advance, you’ll be sure not to get the most out of your holiday.

It's impossible to plan for all eventualities when it comes to holidaying with children, but by following these tips, you can hopefully avoid the common pitfalls and make things a little easier on yourself.

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