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For many people, the idea of hiring a divorce attorney is motivated by the need to safeguard one’s kids’ future. The struggle is usually about securing the children’s future through sufficient child support, or custody so as to protect their wellbeing. All these are noble motivations for hiring a divorce attorney, but what about situations where there are no kids involved? Is a divorce attorney still needed? Well, considering the complexity of divorce proceedings, chances are that you might still need an attorney, even if you don’t have kids. For context, here is why hiring a divorce attorney is important if you don’t have kids. 

  1. There is more to a divorce than kids 

In terms of potential losses from a divorce, there is more to it than kids. For instance, if your marriage does not have pre-nap, then it means your assets could be up for grabs. There are also other costs such as alimony that may set you back a fortune. To ensure that you minimize potential losses, engage the services of a good attorney. An experienced lawyer who has handled lots of divorce case, has the insight to approach your case in a way that minimizes on your potential losses. If you are looking for an experienced divorce attorney practicing in NJ to handle your case, then you could get in touch with Katherine Wagner. Ms. Wagner is highly experienced in different aspects of divorce cases, including alimony and equitable distribution of assets. She can give you a much higher chance of winning the case, as compared to self-representation. View Post

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Having a boiler cover or having to insure the boiler would make sure that you would not have to worry about the hot water, the heating system and also the huge bill that comes when the boiler is supposed to be repaired.

The boiler insurance means that you would have to pay the amount that is necessary yearly or monthly as a premium and then the breaking down of the boiler is not your headache. You would get the hot water, and the central heating system of the house would always work as long as you have the insurance of your boiler and your boiler is seven years old. When the boiler is old, the circumstances start to vary.

Rather when anything happens with the boiler, the insurance company would send the best trained and knowledgeable professional at your house to assess the boiler problem and fix it for that matter. 

If the boiler is not very old that is if the boiler is under seven years old, there are chances that if the boiler cannot be fixed, because of it being insured, it would be replaced by a new boiler then.

The central heating of the house is also taken care of with the help of the boiler cover here. If the heating system is not working fine, the boiler insurance makes sure that the problem is fixed and the family has to no longer live in bad conditions then. 

The boiler cover also takes it under the policy that the plumbing and the drainage issues of the house would be under the policy, and so if there are any problems regarding them, these people come and fix them all then too. 

There is a Corgi HomePlan Boiler Cover that handles all the important points of a boiler cover and explains them well too.

Annual boiler service

When your boiler breaks down, it would leave you without a heating system in the house and also the hot water would not be available too. That would be a hard day to spend, would not it?

There is an annual boiler service too when the professionals visit the house to check if the boiler is working fine or if it needs a repair. That is to make sure that the boiler would not turn out to be expensive for them and so that if there is even a small problem, they can fix it right then and there before it builds up and costs them a lot more than the normal repair of the boiler.

Does the cost of boilers vary?

There are different kinds of the boiler, and so their costs vary according to that. If the boiler is huge and of a new model, it would cost you more obviously. And if your house is big, then you would need a good boiler, and even that would affect the amount of money that you invest on the boiler to get the services that you want. 

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Spoiler alert – I WILL give away the ending 

Toy Story has always had an uncanny way of mirroring my own life.

The first Toy Story film came out in 1995, the year Bee was born – an introduction to the world of parenting and children and toys when, let’s be honest, I was basically still a child myself. 1999 saw the release of Toy Story 2 when Bee was four years old and the prime age for imaginative play.

Then we had a break, and in 2010 Toy Story 3 swept in, just as Bee was gearing up to leave school and start college, with a film all about kids growing up and leaving home. Andy was a teenager now, moving on. He didn’t need Woody and the other toys anymore. They were being left behind, their job done, but what next for them? Who were they without Andy?

God. I saw that film THREE TIMES in the cinema and I cried every damn time.

And then Toy Story 4.

I didn’t know what to expect, and initially I was kind of disappointed.

‘I don’t buy it,’ I said dismissively to Belle as we left the cinema. ‘No way would Woody have left Bonnie and his friends, that’s just not his style.’

Nonplussed would have been a good word to describe me. I just didn’t get it. It seemed so out of character for Woody when his whole life until now had been about taking care of others. He lives for being someone’s toy. That’s his JAM.

It was only about an hour later, while I was doing the washing up and thinking about it some more, that it struck me – that was the POINT wasn’t it? Woody HAS spent his whole life looking after other people, leading people, taking care of them, and it wasn’t enough any more.

Woody has had his very own midlife unravelling.

Toy Story 4 midlife crisis

(Catch up with my own midlife unravelling here if you’ve not read it already.) View Post

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Photo by NordWood Themes on Unsplash

Before choosing a digital VAT software, it is vital to ensure that it will serve the intended purpose. First, check and ensure that the software is MTD compliant. Besides, should also be adaptable to the business’s future needs. If the right decision is made, it will help your business benefit from the software immensely. Here is how you can pick the best Digital VAT Software for your business.

  1. HMRC compliant

Depending on where you are based, it is important that you pick a software that is HMRC compliant. It should allow you to submit tax returns any time by being linked to HMRC. This way, it will be able to transmit data to HMRC in real time. To be on the safe side, it may be necessary that you request for trials before paying for the software. Also, the software should integrate seamlessly with other accounting programs you use. It should be user-friendly and allow you to find the correct data quickly.  Pick software that allow you to make quick transactions and help you to save on time when making VAT submissions.

  1. The criteria you will adopt

HMRC provides software choices. It means that you need to select software based on provided criteria. It should allow the organization to come up with a list of suitable applications. Buy software that allows for additional features. It will help you become efficient since it will be easier to adjust it to meet your needs.

  1. Support and training

Buy software from a provider with a functional help centre. Check if the provider offers email chats, FAQs or any other online support. If they offer live support, that would be fine. It could help you solve arising issues swiftly. It makes your work easier and reduces frustrations. Check out for the user training offered. This is critical in ensuring that errors are reduced. Also, check if the vendor offers webinars or seminar training. It will guide you through the software process.

  1. Add-ons and Pricing

The initial cost of the software may be low and affordable. But you need to check for the hidden cost and add-ons that may make using the software expensive in the long run. Check the basic rate and any other additional fees. Look at the software’s ability to process foreign currency. It is an important consideration when dealing with traders from different nationalities.

  1. Ability to be connected with other digital devices

A good Digital VAT Software should be cloud-based. It makes it easier to connect the software to other digital devices. It increases accessibility and functionality. If the company uses any other eternal expense programme, check if it can sync with the software. For businesses that still want to use the spreadsheet, buy software that is MTD compatible. The software should allow you to upload data into HMRC’s MTD platform stress-free.

Having said all that, it is important to remember that the best Digital VAT Software should be MTD compliant. It should make your work easier and stress-free. Consider the price and the ability to sync it with any other programs you use.  Check if the customer care desk is functional.

 

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Okay, so I’m not going to go as far as a rebrand or anything, but if you follow me on social media AT ALL then you cannot have failed to notice that one week ago today Bee gave birth to a baby boy! Does it seem ages since I teased you with the scan photo? It feels like a REALLY long time to me.

It turned out to be even more exciting than I was expecting it to be, as Bee hadn’t realised she’d be allowed two people in the delivery room, and so when she found out, she asked me to be there.

Casually, like ‘if you fancy it.’

I definitely DID fancy it.

I’ve actually always wanted to see a baby be born. It’s weird, because although I’ve done it twice obviously, you don’t get to really SEE it. You’re so involved in the searing pain, ripping of flesh etc, that you can’t exactly concentrate on watching and marvelling at the miracle of birth.

Bee was absolutely amazing, as I knew she would be. Although I know she worries a lot about things, she has this incredible way of handling stress or pain, where she just seems to focus inside herself and go all quiet and calm and powerful looking. She did it when she had her skull drilled into, and she did it again last weekend.

Bee’s partner was an absolute star too – they make an adorable couple and he couldn’t be a better daddy.

Anyway, here he is, on the day he was born:

 

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Most people rarely pay attention to their water heaters until they stop working completely. This usually happens when you least expect it i.e. when you have guests visiting over the weekend. You and your guests are forced either to shower with cold water or boil water manually on the stove, which is very time-consuming when you have a large family.

Water heaters have an average lifespan of between 10 and 15 years. Therefore, if your system served you for several years, it’s a good idea to find out how much useful years, it has left by asking your plumber to take a look at it. If the condition isn’t good, consider a hot water system replacement before it stops working or starts leaking. It’s much better to replace an inefficient water heater than to continue paying high water and electricity bills due to leaking and high energy consumption. You should be able to recoup your money in just a few years if you purchase the right water heater for your needs.

We’ve compiled several tips to help you find the best hot water system for your home, so stick with us:

Know The Types Of Water Heaters Available

A good starting point when you want to buy a new water heater is to know the various types available in the market. Here are the most common types to consider:

Solar Water Heater – This type of heater has a collector mounted on the roof with tubes inside that circulates cold water. The sun’s rays captured by the collector heat the water, and when the water is warm enough, it returns to the storage tank for use. Solar heaters provide the greatest energy savings during summer when the weather is warm and sunny.

Storage Tank Water Heater – This type of heater comes with an insulated water tank. When cold water goes through the tank, it’s heated and stored at a set temperature until the water is needed for use.

Condensing Water Heater – This type of heater captures exhaust gases that usually go to waste and blows them through the coil at the base of its storage tank. Cold water that goes into the tank gets warm by absorbing this heat.

Hybrid (Heat Pump) Water Heater – This type of heater heats water in its storage tank through the heat it captures from ambient air. It’s more energy efficient than models that use electricity to heat water.

Tankless water heater – This type of water heater doesn’t have any tank for storing water. Instead, it’s equipped with heating coils that heat cold water to a set temperature, which is then piped ready for use. It’s suitable for people who use natural gas in their homes to heat water.

Consider Costs

Before deciding which unit to buy, also compare different models in terms of their annual operating costs, installation costs and selling price. It’s always much better to invest in an efficient and durable water heater with minimum operating costs that will serve you for a longer time than a cheap one that will break down often.

Warranty

Warranty is equally important when buying a new hot water heating unit. Some models come with a two year warranty while others have as high as 12 years of warranty. It’s better to go for the one with the longest warranty you can find to help you save money on repairs.

Know The Storage Size Your Require

Buy a unit with the right storage size that can provide enough hot water for your entire family. If you have no idea what size to choose, ask your appliance dealer to help you determine the right capacity based on your family size and the amount of hot water used in your home during peak hours.

Choose The Best Energy Source

Another important factor worth considering is the type of energy source a water heater uses, the cost of the energy as well as its availability in the area where you live. The most common energy sources used in hot water systems include natural gas, electricity, solar and propane. Remember that the type of fuel you choose will dictate the size of the heating system required, the amount of energy savings, as well as the yearly operating costs.

Select Energy-efficient Units

Lastly, if you want to save more energy and money in the long run, consider going for a unit with the highest energy efficiency. The efficiency of water heaters is measured by their energy factor (EF). Units with higher EF are usually more energy efficient.

Overall, buying a new water heater for your home is a huge investment; therefore, you need to get the best unit possible. Your decision shouldn’t be based on the selling price alone. Also, consider factors such as operating costs, approximate lifespan, storage capacity, warranty and type of fuel used. Take your time and compare all these factors across different models to help you select the best one for your needs.

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save money on textbooks

A stack of new textbooks can be costly. You could end up spending between $1,200 to $1,300 on college books and supplies. Thankfully, there are some methods you can use to avoid paying the retail price. Here are some ways to save money on college books.

Don’t Buy at the Bookstore

Avoid the college bookstore for the sake of your wallet. While college bookstores sell books in all of their shiny glory, it’s the last place you want to buy textbooks. Even the used books cost more than they should. The new versions of books cost more than they do at other places.

The only exception to using the bookstore is for custom-printed packets. Some of your professors may require you to purchase a companion book or custom-printed anthology in your classes. Since these books are bounded and printed ahead of time, you won’t be able to find them anywhere else.

Wait Until Your First Class

Sometimes it’s best to wait until your first class to buy your books. Academic departments will require professors in requiring their students to purchase the most-expensive books. But they’re willing to work with students who can’t afford to purchase a single textbook. While this may not be possible in every class, most professors will admit that you will only read a few sections of the book.

They may also recommend books that are cheap or free. While not bringing books with you to the first day of class may make you uncomfortable, it’s not as bad as you may think. The first day of the class often involves looking at the course syllabus and learning the professor’s expectations. You can use this information to determine which option you want to use for saving money on books.

Buy Used Whenever Possible

Used books are getting easier to find as the market and demand grows. It makes sense to buy used books since you’ll only use them for one semester. There are various used bookstores that are located near or around your college campus. Or, you can purchase used books from online marketplaces. It’s always wise to go for used books.

Check With Your Professor

You can rely on the class syllabus to give you an idea on what to expect. Oftentimes, textbooks aren’t required for the entire class. But it’s always best to ask your professor if a less expensive of a book is available. Asking your teaching assistant or professor for an older version can help you save money on buying the newest books.

Go Price-Shopping

If you need to purchase new books because the material isn’t available for purchase or rent, then don’t buy the first book you see. It will literally pay to shop around. Most retail bookstores offer back-to-school specials, including on new books. You can always Google the title to help you find the lowest price. When you search for the cheapest price, make your purchase even cheaper by using a credit card that offers cash back.

Don’t Skip Your Library

While you can’t find most books at community or university libraries, you may be able to find the books that you need for certain classes. For example, you could borrow a particular novel for your English literature class. Most libraries these days provide online renewals, which means you can keep the book for the duration of the semester. If you have trouble finding a certain title, then ask the library if you can borrow it through an inter-library loan.

Purchase Older Editions

Another reason why textbooks are expensive is that they’re always been edited and updated. You’re not going to need the latest version of the book if your class has course content that’s relatively stable. This is an instance where out-of-date books are often cheaper.

There are times when facts, figures, and page numbers won’t match from one edition to the next, so you’ll have to be extra cautious when completing the coursework. Older editions don’t always work best for classes like math and science if your professor will require you to complete homework from the book. The problems and questions will range from edition to edition.

Rent Books Online

Online textbook rentals are increasingly becoming common. Renting books from Booksrun is another ideal way to save money on books. You may even find e-book versions of books, which is convenient since you won’t have to carry a large number of books from class to class. If you decide to go this route, make sure that they’re in perfect condition or you’ll be required to pay additional fees.

Search for an Online Exchange Group

Colleges have plenty of online communities for exchanging resources, socializing, and studying. Doing a little research will help you find a group dedicated to exchanging books for free. You’ll have to post an ad or read the posts to see if you have a book that someone else could use. Most students want to trade, while others just want to get rid of the books they own.

As a college student, it’s important to save as much money as possible. Use some or all of these methods when you decide to buy textbooks. Sometimes it’s best to comparison shop before trying any other method. If none of the other methods work, then it’s best to borrow through your college community or local library if possible.

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

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About a week ago Belle and I went for our second visit to Symonds at Redwood, a lovely restaurant on the outskirts of Bristol – Clifton side – with a focus on seasonal, locally sourced food. Symonds is a slightly unusual offering in that it’s situated within a luxury retirement complex, but don’t let this put you off – it’s open to everyone and the service, ambience and decor is top notch. You’d expect nothing less from a luxury retirement after all.

The first time we went, about a year ago now, Belle was in a grump. I can’t remember why exactly, but I know it wasn’t a great time for her generally. She had GCSE exams looming, and wasn’t what you’d really call going to school, as she was finding it all a bit much. Being made to go out for dinner with me seemed to tip her over the edge, despite having her every whim catered for, including an off-menu side of dauphinoise potatoes.

This time around though she was in much better spirits and I was feeling more optimistic about conversation levels.

Redwood near Clifton

As I had been expecting, we were greeted by friendly and attentive staff, and settled down for a look at the menu. The food changes every three months, inspired by what’s in season and available locally, and if you go now you can choose from delicious sounding things like ‘Skate wing, celeriac puree, girolle mushrooms, braised fennel and beurre noisette’ and ‘Asparagus, petit pois and basil oil risotto, pecorino crisp and wild rocket’.

(You know a menu is fancy when every ingredient is listed don’t you?) View Post

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single parenting tips

When you are the only one parenting your kids, it can be incredibly easy to devote all your time and energy to your children. To be frank, why would you not? However, it is also important to try to remember that you need to retain some aspect of yourself. Me Time (when you can grab it) is as important as anything you can do as a parent. Let’s take a look at why it is so important.

It’s a Bit of R&R

It is not good for us as human beings if we are stressed 24/7. As a single parent, you won’t have a partner to lean on like couples do and any extended family who helps out won’t be there all the time.

When major meltdowns happen, you are probably going to be the one who has to deal with the brunt of it and it can leave you feeling emotionally drained. Me Time is exactly what you need to de-stress and get ready for the new day and new challenges.

It Can Be Grabbed Whenever You Have a Moment

Me Time can take whatever shape and form you need it to be – logging onto your favourite online casino when the kids are all in bed and playing a few games; taking a long and luxuriant bath once they are all off to school. Perhaps it is even as simple as your morning cup of tea or coffee, grabbed before you wake them up for the morning routine.

You should try to grab a moment or two of Me Time whenever you feel like you have a moment. It really doesn’t have to be some big or extravagant plan. Just keep an eye out for when you have a moment to grab some free time when you can.

It Will Make You a Better Person

We rarely think about the effects stress has on us but, if we don’t address it, we may begin to see a negative impact on our health and well-being. Stress can also have a negative effect on the quality of our night’s sleep. Too poor a night’s sleep can leave you feeling drained and not in control of many different things.

Taking time for yourself can feel selfish but sometimes we have to be. Grabbing Me Time which does not impact on time with your children allows you to refresh yourself enough to be able to properly interact with them and give them your fullest attention.

While it can be easy to lose yourself in your children, it is important to remember that you are an individual and you will need to do the things which make you who you are. Your interests might end up being very different from your children’s, so grabbing a few moments to indulge in them when you can is key. Don’t be afraid to ask for some help if you need it, and be prepared to maybe not have as much Me Time as you would like. Nevertheless, be prepared to grab it when you can and get ready to see a difference in yourself!

Image: Pixabay

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easy homemade lamb burger recipe

Okay, I know, June this year hasn’t exactly begun with a barbecue vibe, but it’s only going to be a matter of time surely before the rain clears up and we all start rushing out to buy charcoal and burger buns at 4pm every Sunday?

I’m confident.

*looks doubtful*

To make sure you’re ready for the sunshine, I’ve been practising my barbecue skills by making some homemade lamb burgers. This is the latest in my series of lamb recipes to support the ‘Lamb. Try it, Love it‘ campaign, and if you haven’t already, do pop back and check out some of my other lamb posts, like a Green Eggs and Lamb breakfast recipe, (genius, if I do say so myself), and a Game of Thrones inspired rack of lamb, which I feel has to be seen to be truly appreciated.

The aim of the ‘Lamb. Try it, Love it’ campaign is to highlight the health benefits of lamb – lamb is rich in niacin and vitamin B12 and a fantastic source of protein, zinc, potassium and phosphorus – as well as show that cooking with lamb doesn’t have to be expensive or difficult.

In this vein, I’ve made what are quite possibly the easiest lamb burgers you will ever make. I came across a lot of recipes while I doing my lamb burger research that had long lists of ingredients – breadcrumbs, egg, vinegar even – but I just don’t think you need them. Lamb has a lovely flavour already, and lamb mince holds together really well, so all I’ve done is add a couple of ingredients to enhance the natural lamb flavour at the same time as keeping things super simple.

Also, who wants to be slaving away in the kitchen making breadcrumbs on a sunny day?? Not me. You want to be sat outside drinking beer and pretending that life is sunny and full of possibilities don’t you?

Quite right.

So, get the barbecue lit, crack open the beers and let’s go. View Post

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I was on the brink of joining an amateur dramatics group and auditioning for a role in the Christmas production of Aladdin when I finally concluded that I am in the midst of some kind of midlife crisis.

I’d volunteered as a Brownie leader a month or so before, which I’d let slide because I actually like making peppermint creams and hanging out with children who still find joy in life, but pantomime? No.

The trouble I’ve had is that at no specific point do I feel like I am actually IN crisis. No switches have been flipped, I’ve not lost it in Waitrose and swept a shelf of artisan artichokes onto the floor or anything, and yet… for quite a while now something has been OFF.

When I tried to explain it to a friend at the weekend it sounded kind of lame.

‘I just feel kind of BLAH,’ I said, ‘like the stuff that used to feel meaningful just doesn’t. Every day is FINE – I get on with things and I enjoy stuff on one level, but I have no idea what I want to do or where I want to go. I kind of thought by now that I would KNOW, that something would have clicked in. But what if it doesn’t? I used to feel like I had time to decide things and make stuff happen, but what if this is it? I feel like I’ve trapped myself.’

I sighed a bit.

‘I don’t know,’ I said, ‘I just don’t know. I swing from the urge, albeit brief usually, to make a grand life plan and act upon it, to just wanting to run away in a mobile library.’

It sounded kind of whingy to be honest.

Midlife unravelling

Mood courtesy of Kristopher Roller on Unsplash

Luckily it turns out that I’m not alone in feeling like this. My friend confided that she’s felt the same for a while now, like she just wants to jack everything in and move to France and write novels and not think about anything. What I found really interesting is that although we are similar ages, we are at very different life stages with our families, and so it can’t be just about children growing up.

‘Maybe I’m having a midlife crisis,’ I said.

‘It sounds,’ she said, ‘like more of a midlife unravelling.’ View Post

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Guest post from Wido

camping tips

Here at Wido, we’ll take any chance possible to go outside, breathe in that fresh air and enjoy the great outdoors. Whether we’re taking our morning coffee into our garden to enjoy, or going for a hike with the family on a weekend. Any excuse to be outside, you’d better believe that we will look for it.

When it comes to taking some time off from our busy lives when we’re in need of a break, the first thing that often comes to mind is to book a trip or vacation away. The school holidays are fast approaching so it’s best to get something booked and booked quick, but where to go?

The options for holidays are endless. You could book a long weekend at Disneyland Paris so the kids can enjoy all things princess and pirate related. Or maybe a 7-day break on the Costa-del-Sol is more up your street? You’re thinking of leaving the kids at the Kids Club so you can relax with a book around the swimming pool.

But, have you ever thought of holidaying without going abroad? That’s a thing, you know! The idea of a ‘staycation’ is nothing new, it’s essentially hopping in the car and enjoying something a little bit closer to home for a few days. A mini-break without the hassle of flying or buying a whole new wardrobe for the weather we rarely see at home.

Here is why the Wido-ers like a staycation:

1. MONEY – Those little pieces of paper that control everything. Having a staycation will often save you lots of your precious pennies as you won’t have to spend on flights, transfers, excursions and everything else that comes along with a package holiday. With the unpredictable stability of the Great British Pound and fallen strength to the likes of the Euro, you’re bound to spend less on a Staycation.

2. FAMILY – It’s possible for all of the family to come along. That’s right, even Winston the dog can hop into the car with you for this trip.. By choosing pet and child-friendly places to visit, you can really make this trip a family orientated one. There’s no reason why any man, or dog, should be left behind when you’re travelling an hour down the road! You can even take along a portable camp bed just for the dog!

camping with dogs

3. FUN – There is SO much fun to be had right on our doorstep. We certainly don’t have to fly thousands of miles to find it overseas. Packing up your car or caravan and heading down to your local (or not-so-local!) campsite can mean a whole host of activities. Whether it’s relaxing in a country pub, beer in hand or cooking up a storm on your portable BBQ surrounded by your whole family. If you’re more of an adrenaline junkie, why not try a new sport that a campsite has to offer? Maybe they offer paddleboarding or horseback riding. Perhaps you’re just happy playing good old fashioned Swingball!

4. PLANNING – It’s easier! Planning a week’s holiday to Portugal with a family of five can be stressful. You need to prepare lists upon lists of what to take with you and ensure that your chosen resort is child-friendly with lots of activities to keep the little ones occupied. All too often, it can only become more stressful once you’re there. Hang on, I thought this was supposed to be a break?! By being closer to home, it’s easier to handle the unexpected and well, you’re never too far from a supermarket if you need emergency nappies!

Staycations are definitely in. There is so much of our beautiful country to see and we’re excited to grab our sleeping bags and snooze below the stars. Are you new to camping life or in need of a kit refresh? We’ve got a whole load of Camping Gear to help you along the way.

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