Heading East: Some Essential Tips for Exploring Asia

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If you are thinking of taking a trip to Asia, you should be aware of some essential tips. This is so that you can get the most out of your visit and come back with good memories. Asia is one of the most varied continents on the planet. It has huge sprawling cities and incredible natural wonders. It has the best of modern life and some of the most interesting history around. And you will find that cultures change drastically as you hop the short distances between countries.

Safeguard Your Health

First of all, you need to think about your own health. Nothing is more important than that. Before you board your flight, you should look at the vaccine requirements of all the countries you are planning on visiting. They are all different, but you can check each nation individually online. If you find that there are some specific vaccinations that you need, book an appointment with a doctor and get them taken care of in advance of your trip. The very last thing you want is to get sick when you are trying to take a trip to another part of the world.

Don’t Confine Yourself to One Spot

The great thing about the continent of Asia is that it’s so varied. You have the specific culture of Thailand, complete with Bangkok and all the deletes it has to offer. Then you have the megacity of Tokyo in Japan; it’s a capital city like no other, and it’s easy to fall in love with. Then you have the historical wonders of China. That’s to name just a few; Asia has much more to see and explore outside of those three countries. The important thing is that you should not confine yourself to one spot. If you really want to get a feel for Asia, you have to visit as many of the counties that comprise it as possible.

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For a Unique Experience, Volunteer

If you want to do and experience something completely unique in Asia, you could do some volunteer work there. This is a good way to do something positive while you travel and come out of your trip having learnt from the local people too. There are many ways in which you can volunteer in Thailand. Many people teach English to local children on a volunteer basis. And other people help to conserve local wildlife. There are many options, so why not explore them before you leave?

Try to Travel Light and Plan Less

Traveling light is key when you’re planning on moving between lots of different countries. You will find that your plans will be much more open to flexibility and exploration if you travel as light as possible. Whereas you’ll be more likely to end up rooted to one spot when you have a lot of luggage that you’re going to be dragging around with you. You should also keep your plans loose. There are a lot of sights to see, but you don’t want to spend every hour of the day walking around them. Go off the beaten track a little too.

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Tips and Tricks For a Healthy, Happy Hound

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When you get a dog, you make a commitment to love and care for it for its entire life. Dogs are hardy creatures and in most cases don’t suffer from too many issues during their lifetimes, however, sometimes things can go wrong. Preventing what you can and getting the right treatment is crucial for a happy pooch. Here are just three of the ways you can ensure good health for your dog.

Socialize Them Well as a Puppy
Puppies that are well socialized grow up to be happy, balanced dogs. They’re not fearful or aggressive and don’t display unwanted behaviors such as chewing or destruction. Get your pup used to the bath, the vacuum cleaner, the door being knocked. Take them on public transport and in the car. Let them meet children, adults, dogs, cats and other animals. When they’re puppies, they are very adaptable and will grow up without fear or aggression over these things as they will be so used to them. If you already have a dog who has problems, then it’s too late to take advantage of this, but do what you can. Introduce them to new situations gradually and allow them to feel safe and relaxed. If your dog is showing signs of phobias or isn’t responding well, get the advice of a professional dog trainer.

Feed Them Good Quality Food and Treats
Many dog foods contain grains, which dogs don’t get along with. It can cause itchy skin, infected ears and general discomfort, this is because grain and wheat can lead to yeast overgrowths. The benefits of a raw diet have been well documented. However it can be time-consuming to get right and not to mention expensive. If you don’t have the time or inclination, opt for a good quality dog food. It should contain meats and vegetables, no cereals, ash or other fillers which bulk it up without adding any goodness to your dog’s diet. You can find advice on feeding and other aspects of pet care on sites like YourFamilyPets.com.

Look After Their Teeth
Dogs can suffer from dental problems just like us. They often occur in older dogs after years of accumulated plaque causes damage. You can reduce this from happening by brushing your dog’s teeth, it doesn’t have to be every night but on a regular basis will help to keep the bacteria down in their mouth (use a toothpaste designed for dogs- regular mint will taste very strong to them!). Getting your dog used to this as a puppy is ideal, some older dogs will completely refuse it, and so it might not be an option for everyone. Other ways you can ensure your dog’s teeth stay at their best is by making sure they don’t eat things containing sugar. Sugar is bad for dogs weight and can cause diabetes and other health issues as well as problems with teeth. Most human food contains some form of sugar so be wary when feeding table scraps. Giving them raw bones and dental treats to enjoy will also help to clean their teeth naturally without the stress of using a toothbrush. If you’re noticing very bad breath or them struggling to eat, they might need extractions and their teeth cleaning at the vet. This has to be done under anesthetic which can be risky in some cases, so trying to avoid getting to this stage is always best.

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Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves With DIY Beauty

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Visiting a beauty salon is a lovely treat that many of us enjoy regularly as a reward for all the stresses and strains we have to deal with every day. However, it’s not always possible to make it to the salon, especially if you are lacking in time or money. The good news is that you can enjoy all the benefits of visiting a spa at home – it just takes a little planning. Here’s what to do to create a DIY salon experience that you can enjoy whenever it suits you…

Set the scene by choosing a room in your house that you can use undisturbed for your pampering sessions. Invest in some candles that are infused with scents like lavender, lemon and jasmine to create a relaxing haven for your treatments. Choose soothing music that will help to calm and restore, such as classical tracks or sounds that are specifically designed to help you to let go of stress and even meditate for a clearer mind. No salon experience is complete without a soft robe and fluffy towels, so invest in the best you can afford to make your DIY efforts feel like the real deal.

Tailor your treatments to suit your own needs. If your face is looking a little tired and dehydrated, choose a facial treatment essence via online shopping for an easy way to restore and refresh. If your tootsies aren’t looking too pretty, invest in a pumice stone to get rid of dead skin and a good moisturiser to make them super soft. Slather your feet in lotion and pop on a pair of comfortable cotton socks for a few hours while you relax and you’ll be dying for summer to come so you can show off with a great pair of sandals. If you suffer from knots and tension in your back and shoulders, ask a friend or partner to give you a massage with your favourite body oil or lotion to get that deliciously decadent ‘aaah’ feeling for next to no cost. Find out how to do DIY massage by watching this video.

Make some beauty treatments of your own with basic ingredients that are already lurking in your kitchen. You can find out how to make your own body scrub here, and this is a guide on creating your own face mask. There are also lots of ways to mix up your own intensive hair treatments, so that you can achieve lustrous locks without having to spend much or even leave the house.

Creating your own beauty salon experience at home is easy and fun, and can be a great excuse for inviting some friends over to join in over a glass of wine or two. A DIY salon is also a fun take on a kids’ party: young girls and teenagers will love getting together to pamper and preen, and you can teach them how to look after their skin at the same time. Find out more about how to look your best by reading this page. So, the next time you can’t make it to the salon, create your own in the comfort of home – it’s the perfect way to treat yourself without spending a fortune.

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Ways To Bring Wildlife To Your Garden

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A garden is a private escape into nature. For animal lovers, it can be a chance to watch wildlife grow and flourish. However, fail to treat your garden properly and it may not attract any animals at all. If you want to lure more wildlife onto your lawn, here are some tricks to turn your home into a scene from Snow White.   

Build a pond

A pond is the perfect way to introduce wildlife into your garden. Fish are easy to get hold of – you can even buy koi carp online depending on the size of the fish you’re after. Pretty soon your pond will start to attract insects such as pond skaters and dragonflies. From here, you may then start to attract other pond-life such as frogs and toads. It’s important to regularly maintain your pond – not only will any fish need feeding, you’ll have to keep the pond clean of algae and weeds that may overgrow. That said it’s healthy to have some pond foliage – this will stop the pondwater getting too clear (birds could pinch your fish) as well as providing nutrient to the wildlife within.

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Buy a bird feeder

There are many ways to attract birds to the garden. The most effective method is to buy a bird feeder. These can be hung or placed on a pole. Bird boxes are also an option but make sure that these are suitable for all the birds in your area. If there is a tree in your garden and you want to encourage birds to nest in it, try hanging a bird box from one of its branches (but do note that some birds may not nest in particular trees despite all efforts).

Start a log pile

Log piles are an excellent way of attracting biodiversity to your garden, encouraging small mammals such as hedgehogs and amphibians such as frogs. Insects also love log piles – which in turn attract birds and other wildlife wanting a tasty snack. Because of this you should be careful burning log piles that have been sitting around for a while as they have become someone else’s home. Keep firewood stored away or burn it as soon you buy it.

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Grow nectar rich plants

Plants such as salvia, redbeckia, lavender and nepeta are all high in pollen. If you want to attract pretty insects such as bumblebees and butterflies, these kind of plants are sure to do the job. You can grow such plants in a flower bed or grow them against walls and fences. Remember to keep them pruned and regularly watered in the summer.

Cut down on digging

If you’re a keen gardener who is constantly planting new shrubs, your incessant digging may be driving wildlife away. Soil is constantly disturbed can ward off worms, bugs and beetles. These are healthy for the soil, dying and providing nutrients for plants. They also provide a tasty food source for other wildlife such as birds and hedgehogs.

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Planning Your German Holiday? Here’s Where To Go And What To Do!

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As the beating heart of Europe’s economy and the center of World War II history, Germany may seem like an austere and serious place to visit. But once you’re there you’ll quickly realise that this somber aura is a total misconception. Germany is home to some of Europe’s most beautiful architecture, romantic fairytale castles, stunning landscapes, and vibrant city nightlife.

Let’s explore some of the most ‘wunderbar’ highlights!

1. Berlin

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We’ll begin, obviously, with the country’s capital. Berlin has a dramatic and torrid World War II and Cold War history, which it has bravely made no effort to water down or hide from tourists. Portions of the infamous Berlin Wall are still there to see near Reichstag and Checkpoint Charlie, the latter of which also has a charmingly tiny museum that is absolutely bursting with Cold War history. For World War II history, the Jewish Museum and Holocaust Memorial are incredibly moving and humbling places to experience. The flipside to Berlin’s historical sites is its healthy club scene after the sun goes down, fostered by an eclectic and bohemian culture that started to emerge post-Cold War as the city became a hub for diversity and creativity. Make sure you visit www.etias.com to take advantage of visa waiving before travelling, too.
2. Neuschwanstein Castle

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In complete opposition to Berlin, Neuschwanstein Castle – one of the most photographed buildings in Germany – is a dreamy glimpse into the country’s romantic past. Sitting against the backdrop of the Bavarian Alps, it was built purely as a holiday-home for King Ludwig II of Bavaria (Germany’s previous name) rather than for military use like most castles, which is why it looks so picturesque. (Fun fact: it was Walt Disney’s inspiration for the Magic Kingdom castle!)

3. Cologne

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Almost as popular as Berlin for urban culture, Cologne sits right on the Rhine River and is a haven for beautiful art, fun nightlife and a landscape populated by a mixture of buildings whose designs mesh the old and new together. It’s also particularly well-known for its gothic and medieval architecture, with its Twelve Romanesque churches and the striking Cologne Cathedral standing at its center, also serving as the city’s unofficial logo.

4. Rhine Gorge

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Between the cities of Bingen and Bonn, the Rhine passes through a stunning gorge. In late summer when the water is sky-blue, the trees are green and gold and the whitewashed buildings gleam in the sun, it’s really something magical to behold. Adding to this majesty are the forty (yes, forty) medieval castles, lush vineyards and quaint little towns that line its edges. The most famous attraction, however, is ‘Lorelei’ – a beautiful but deadly rock formation in the deepest part of the river. Hop on a boat to explore it properly…but watch out for Lorelei!

5. Rugen Island

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Rugen Island is the largest in Germany, connected to the rest of the country by the Rugen Causeway and Bridge from where it sits in the Balkan Sea. With its pretty beaches, lighthouses, Eastern European castle ruins, fishing, and National Park, it’s another stellar example of Germany at its most romantically scenic.   

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Considerations To Factor In Before You Decide To Get a Pet

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Alongside wedding days and children being born, a lot of people class bringing their pet home as one of those special days. It can be a pretty momentous occasion. Pets are wonderful to have and can really become part of the family. But what do you need to think about before you go out and buy a pet? Here are some things that you should think about.

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The Commitment

Getting a pet is a big deal and a big commitment. The lifespan of a lot of pets is quite long. So it is a commitment for the rest of their life. There is also the commitment of what it takes to care for them. Will you be able to walk your dog a couple of times a day, or get out to muck out your horse’s stable in the early hours of the morning? Don’t get me wrong; the rewards are great with a pet. But you do need to be realistic to decide if a pet is really something that you would be able to manage.

Your Lifestyle

Your lifestyle is another consideration to think about before getting a pet. As, like with a child, a pet can’t be left alone to start with. After a bit of time, you can increase the time length of you being away from home. But they shouldn’t be left for too long of a time. Do you travel a lot with work? Do you take a lot of vacations? Are you barely at home? If the answer to all of this kind of thing is yes, then you might need to rethink. Pets could travel with you, but obviously, not all of the time. Or is there someone reliable that could help out on occasions like this? These are just things that you need to think about, and that often get forgotten about.

The Cost

The cost of buying a pet in the first place can be enough to put some people off. A lot of people choose to adopt a pet instead. But it does mean that there are other costs once your pet has been brought home. You might have to look for horse stables for sale if you wanted to get horses, for example. You might have to pay out for pet insurance or for your pet to have surgery and vaccinations. Then there are things like food costs and bedding, toys, and accessories. Having a pet is really worthwhile. It just means that you need to make sure that you can budget to accommodate for the needs of your pet.

Your Home

When you bring a pet home, you need to check that it is a pet-friendly environment. Certain flowers can be bad for cats and dogs to be around, for example. So things like that should be avoided. Do you have an area for a cage or litter tray to go? Do you have carpets or wooden flooring? Are there long curtain cords that a cat could get stuck in. It is almost like baby-proofing a home when you get a pet!

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Visiting London: Your Guide To Experiencing British Culture

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When you plan a city break, you’re completely spoilt for choice. Not only does the world have some incredible cities, all of which should be on your travel bucket list, but the UK has it’s fair share too. If you’re thinking about visiting England for the first time, then your first stop has to be London. Not only can you forget about being beach body ready, but you can soak up the incredible cultures that make up British life. If you’d love to see the city through the eyes of a local, these simple planning points should help you.
Plan Your Sights
After booking your flights, the first thing you’re going to want to do is work out the sights you’re dying to see. London has some incredible architecture, history and attractions, and you might want to work your way around them all. There’s Big Ben and Buckingham Palace of course, but you might also want to stop off at Madame Tussauds to see the waxworks and even catch a glimpse of the impressive MI6 building. Either way, work out your route and then you’ll know where to stay.
Stay In Style
Booking your stay in London can be tricky. You might be torn between locations, hotel brands and even the type of accommodation you want to stay in. Regardless of your final choice, make sure you stay in style. Hotels, like Dorsett Hotels Sheperds Bush, can make or break your stay. Make sure to find one that will be comfortable and make you feel at home. You might even want to stay slightly out of town so that you can truly experience life like a Londoner.
Do As They Do
Next, we need to talk transport. London is relatively small, and you can get around the central area on foot, but, it can be tiring. So, Londoners tend to jump on the tube or flag down a black cab. If you use Uber already, you might even want to book yourself a taxi to get from place to place, either way, you’ll feel like a local by getting to know the route and working your way around.
Eat Out
London has some incredible cuisine. You really are spoilt for choice when you come to stay. Not only do you get to pick from amazing places to eat, but you also get to experience the food fusion of the many cultures found in London. And, when you’re in town, make sure to save room for some fish and chips, a traditional Sunday lunch and a spot of high tea.
Shop Until You Drop
As one of the few fashion capitals of the world, you have to shop when you come to London. With Oxford Street, Bond Street, Selfridges and Harrods, among others, you’re in for a treat. Even if you’re not the biggest fan of shopping, you’ll be in awe just wandering around and taking it all in. Plus, with it being your first time on British soil, it would be rude not to pick up a souvenir, wouldn’t it?

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