Monday, November 28, 2016

Packing For Your Caribbean Vacation: The Ultimate Packing List

If you’re heading out to the Caribbean this year, make sure you pack accordingly. Whether you’re staying in a luxe island hotel or a budget resort, don’t forget those essential items.

1. Documentation
This is stating the obvious, though you’d be surprised just how many people forget their passports each year. Go through a quick checklist before you leave the house. Make sure your passport and tickets are easily accessible.

2. Carry On
Pack your carry on carefully to ensure it contains everything you’ll need for the next 24 hours. There’s always the possibility of luggage delays, so better safe than sorry. Make sure your case contains toiletries, medication, a change of clothing and anything else you might need.

The frequent flyer will know to protect their luggage with a TSA luggage lock or similar. TSA agents will be able to check your luggage without having to cut your locks. Locks also prevent tampering at the airport and in waiting rooms.

3. Clothing
It’s always warm in the Caribbean, so pack for a summer, beach vacation. Whether you’re staying at one of the St. Vincent island hotels or a budget hotel in Jamaica, you’ll need lots of lightweight clothing. Avoid anything too revealing. Opt for shorts, t-shirts, loose flowing dresses, and skirt to allow the air to circulate. Tight or clingy clothing will make you feel warmer and sweat more. And pack plenty of swimwear and wraps. Make sure you have a few outfits for the evening. It’s a good idea to take a couple of formal pieces as some of the restaurants have dress codes.

If you intend to spend the majority of time on the beach, sandals and flip-flops will be fine. However, make sure you have shoes for the ocean and formal shoes for the evening. If you intend to walk around, you’ll be glad you made an effort to pack some comfortable sneakers or walking shoes.

An umbrella will also be useful as you should expect some rain. If you’re traveling in the winter months, take a light jacket or cardigan for the evenings.

One word of caution; camouflage clothing is prohibited in the Caribbean. So make sure you leave that at home.

4. Sunblock
One thing you can be sure of during your holiday is the sun. So make sure you pack plenty of suncream. If you’re taking part in one of the many activities, you’ll need to keep topping up. So you’re going to need quite a lot. After-sun is also useful in case you burn during the day. And don’t forget sunglasses with SPF protection. A wide-brimmed hat is also useful to keep the sun off your face.

5. Sports Gear
This will depend on what you’re planning to do. The Caribbean is a playground for outdoor pursuits. Activities include hiking, sailing, scuba diving, snorkeling, swimming, etc. In most cases, equipment will be provided, but you may prefer your own snorkel gear. Hiking boots will also be useful if you intend hiking through mountains and volcanoes.

6. Chargers
As a minimum, most people tend to travel with their cell phone and camera. Make sure you have adequate chargers for all your tech, along with a travel plug. So you won’t have to scrabble around trying to borrow or buy them at the resort.

Your resort will also be able to advise exactly what is provided. This will help you to pack accordingly. As a rule of thumb, pack for a summer beach holiday. Take plenty of sunscreen and after sun cream. However, include a light umbrella in your suitcase for the odd shower. Add a cardigan or light jacket for the evenings when temperatures are a little cooler.

Planning A Trip To Australia? Amazing Things Which Need To Be On Your To-Do List

When planning where in the world to travel to, it’s not surprising that Australia makes the top of people’s lists. After all, the country is a haven for travelers from around the world. There is so much to see and do in the many beautiful cities and towns. However, when people are planning a trip to Australia, they don’t know where to start. After all, there are so many brilliant things to see while in Aussie land. Here are a few amazing things which need to be on your to-do list when planning a trip to Australia.

You need to head to the amazing tower in Sydney
If you think of Australia, the city of Sydney is bound to spring to mind. With the iconic opera house and stunning beaches, it’s often a popular place for travelers to head to when they are visiting Australia. But a lot of people don’t realize that the Sydney Tower should also be on their to-do list. One of the best things about going up the tower is seeing the fantastic views of the city and beyond. And if you are brave enough, you should try the Skywalk, which is the tower’s outdoor platform. You get to see breathtaking 360-degree views of the popular city! While you are in the tower, you should also check out the 4D cinema experience which was the first of its kind in Australia! And there is even a buffet restaurant where you can dine while looking out at the extraordinary views.

You need to visit Cable Beach in Broome
A lot of people might be left perplexed if you mention Broome. After all, they might not have heard of the beach resort town in the Kimberley region. But it’s got one main reason for visiting; its 22 km-long Cable Beach! The amazing white sanded beach is often on the list of the top beaches in Australia. It’s idyllic for some sunbathing, or you can even enjoy some sunset camel rides. And with its gentle waves, it’s perfect for some swimming or surfing! And after spending some time on the beach, you could even arrange a trip to Kimberley; you can find great Kimberley tours from Broome online. With its stunning wilderness and epic waterways, it offers a great adventure for travelers!

You need to go to Fraser Island to do some whale watching
The world’s largest sand island, Fraser Island should be added to your to-do list. With amazing cliffs offering panoramic viewpoints, you are bound to get some fantastic pictures. And it’s also perfect for swimming at the lakes such as Lake McKenzie. A lot of people also head to the island to do some whale watching. In fact, Hervey Bay is often known as the whale watching capital of the world! Therefore, head on a boat tour to see close-up views of the amazing creatures. You can watch videos online of tourists enjoying whale watching on the island!

And if you need some help planning your trip, check out our previous blog for things to consider to ensure you have a fantastic time!

This is a contributed post.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

The Ultimate Skin Care Routine

We all know the drill, we are meant to take out makeup off every night before we get into bed. But how many of us do it? Even if we do, how many of us actually do it properly? I'm not talking just using a face wipe and hoping for the best here. The cleanse, tone and moisturize routine was developed for a reason, and that reason is that it works! It might seem like you are saving time and hassle by neglecting it. But all you are really doing is saving up problems for your skin for later on. Read on to find out why these steps are so important, and how to do them properly.


Ok, so first things first. Most people think that there are just three stages, but in fact, there are four that you should be doing. Before you even get to the cleansing step, you should be washing your face.

You need to do this, because no matter how good your cleansing milk is it's unlikely that is will full clean off a full face of makeup. You will also agitate your face a lot by trying to clean everything off with a cotton wool pad. That is why you should wash the face first and leave the cleansing step to get the stubborn things off things, like waterproof mascara.

Washing your face should be a gentle experience. No harsh soaps or scrubbing. Use a special face wash or a moisturizing soap. But be careful as soap is known to alter the PH balance of the skin and dry it out.


Or, you could try using beauty products like a warm bamboo cloth or a rotating cleansing brush depending on your needs.

So now you face is mostly clean, it is time to apply that cleanser to get the remainder of the makeup and dirt off. Most people apply cleanser to their cotton wool pads and then drag it over the face. Be careful if you are doing this as you can further break down the collagen that gives your skin its spring.

It is a better idea to apply the cleanser directly to your face. Wait a minute to let it do its work and then remove gently with a cotton pad with upward movement. Then you're not assisting gravity in doing its work, by dragging your skin down.


Of course, cleansing is designed to open the pores on the face and clean them out. Once you have done this you will need to close them up again. This is done by using a toner or treatment lotion.

There are different treatment lotions available depending on your skin type. You can shop treatment lotion for face online. Just make sure to get one that is suited to your complexion.

Again when applying the toner, remember to use upward strokes to help counter the pull of gravity that you face has been fighting to all day.


Lastly, once you have completed the other steps it is time to apply your moisturizer.

In the morning you may choose a lighter consistency of cream so you can apply your makeup over the top. Or you can get BB creams which include a moisturizer and a light foundation.

In the evening it best to use a heavier cream. This is because you skin repairs itself at night and can better access the nutrients in a heavy cream during this time.

This is a contributed post.

Monday, November 21, 2016

The Most Common Hair Health Problems & How To Alleviate Them!

We focus a lot on our skin and how healthy it is, even going as far as to put daily skin care routines in place, but what about our hair? For some reason, we’re willing to put in the time and effort when it comes to our skin care, but when it comes to our hair health, we’re not so bothered. It's important to remember, that just like our skin needs care to stay healthy, so does our hair.

With that in mind, below are some of the most common hair problems and tips for dealing with them. Take these on board, improve your hair’s health, and you’ll look and feel better for it.

hair health.jpg

Split ends
At one point or another, most of us will develop split ends. The cause tends to be a lack of hair care. Depending on how split your ends are, the best thing to do is get a haircut. Obviously, if your hair is really split, all the damaged hair may not be able to be removed, but hopefully, most of it can be. To prevent split ends getting worse, it’s important to take better care of your hair. To do this, use a rich conditioner to the ends of your hair each time you wash it. You could also consider applying coconut oil or argan oil to your hair on a daily basis. This will help to nourish it and should prevent your split ends from getting any worse.

Thinning hair
Thinning hair in women is much more common than we think, studies have shown that as many as 21 million women suffer from hair thinning. Although more common in older women, that’s not to say that hair loss and thinning can’t happen in our 20’s and 30’s, because the truth is it can. Sometimes this is down to genetic factors, other times it’s down to stress. Whatever the cause of hair thinning, the important thing is to know what you can do to improve the health of your hair. A lot of specialists recommend taking vitamins, as hair vitamins provide health benefits for hair. Another way to build up your hair health is to swap to using all natural products and eating a clean diet, free from any junk.

Grease-prone hair
Are you someone who suffers from grease-prone hair? If the answer is yes, the chances are you’re stuck in a cycle of washing your hair every day, because it’s greasy incredibly quickly. However, by doing this, you’re only making the problem worse. It might not be nice to have greasy hair, but try and stretch to washing it every other day. On the second day, apply baby powder or dry shampoo to soak up the grease. One of the most common causes for greasy hair is applying conditioner to the roots. Instead, only apply conditioner to the ends of your hair.

Just like your skin, your hair needs (and deserves) to be well looked after. Don’t neglect your hair health. Otherwise, you could be left with dry, dull, lifeless hair. This isn't something that anyone wants, so it's important to look after your hair.

This is a contributed post.

Kick-Starting Your Metabolism: How To Beat That Weight Loss Plateau!

Have you been going to the gym and eating healthily week in, week out, and suddenly you've stopped seeing results? Or, maybe you've yet to see any results at all from your new-found health kick. This can be incredibly frustrating and disappointing, especially when you are putting your all into it. However, you don't need to panic. This kind of thing is known as a 'weight loss plateau' and is extremely common. In fact, most people who are dieting and exercising regularly will experience it - you are lucky if you don't! It happens for a number of different reasons, and these can change from person to person. But essentially, it is because human bodies are resistant to change, and also because the weight loss process slows down as you creep closer to your goal. So what exactly can be done to prevent this? Here are some top tips to help shift your weight-loss plateau.

Be vigilant
This point certainly doesn't apply to everyone. But, many people have a tendency to slightly relax their diets as soon as they notice things going well. A lot of the time this is subconscious and it is built into humans as a result of the 'reward culture'. When peole achieve something, such as losing a few pounds over two weeks, the notion of 'cheat day' allows them to treat themselves to a naughty snack. But, if you are not careful, it is easy to slip back into old habits when we have already started to lose weight. That slice of cake with your afternoon coffee won't do any harm once or twice a week - but eat it every day, and you could stall your progress. Keep a daily diary of everything you eat, especially food you consume when you're on-the-go.

Boost your metabolism
Sometimes, when you create a new habit, your metabolism starts to get used to it after time, meaning that it begins to slow down again. You will often see quick and drastic results when you first change your lifestyle due to the fact that your body was simply not expecting the change. After a while, however, the weight-loss process begins to even itself out. Whilst this is not unhealthy, there are a few ways you can help to kick-start your metabolism once again, should you wish to do so. You might find that you can achieve result through effective slimming pills, or sometimes eating spicy food can help recover your ability to burn fat. Eating more protein and drinking green tea are also said to help get your metabolism working faster again.

Change up your exercise routine
If you have flatlined when it comes to weight loss, it could be to do with your exercise routine as well as your diet. The best thing to do is to add a new dimension to your gym session and make sure you are always mixing things up. If you don't really do any cardio, try out making your workout half cardio and half weights - or vice versa. Trying something new such as suspension training or HIIT can also help to get your body back up and running again. Plus, it will keep you mentally stimulated too.

This is a contributed post.

Frustrating Work Problems And How To Fix Them

From the moment we land our first job until we retire, we grapple with a whole range of work issues. These vary widely from trivial to serious. And yet, we never feel adequately prepared. There’s no college course to help you deal with problem co-workers or unproductive meetings. It’s something you pick up along the way. Until then, here’s a list of some common problems and how to tackle them.

Legal Matters
If your work problem is of a serious nature, you should always seek advice. Some issues may require a lawyer to intervene on your behalf. For example, sexual harassment, which is prohibited under Federal employment law. Or, breaches of contract, etc.  For any legal issues, always seek legal counsel and obtain the assistance you need.

If You Make A Mistake
Mistakes happen. They are a fact of life and a sign that you are human. Most people realize this and accept it as a fact. What’s really important is how you handle it. If you attempt an elaborate cover up, you’re likely to make it worse. Instead, fess up, own it and take steps to rectify it. Graciously owning up to your mistake and taking remedial action will demonstrate your integrity.

Difficult co-workers
Every workplace has a difficult co-worker. This varies from the mildly irritating co-worker to the work bully. How you handle them will depend on the person and situation. However, there are some universal steps you can take.

If there’s an irritating person at your place of work, chances are other people have picked up on it. Avoid any temptation to moan about that person and indulge in gossip. This won’t deal with the problem, and it is likely to create an unpleasant atmosphere. Depending on the issue you have a few options:

  • Confront the person and explain the problem
  • Limit your contact with them
  • Make it about an issue rather than the person, and take steps to resolve that

If a co-worker is making it difficult for you to do your job, approach them gently. Rather than being confrontational, explain your difficulty and suggest a different approach. Bullying at work is a different matter entirely and needs a careful approach.

Demanding Boss
You pride yourself on working hard and going the extra mile. However, this is never enough for your demanding boss. They always expect more. When this oversteps your boundaries, it’s time to take action. One of the common issues reported by employees is the expectation for them to work long hours. While some overtime may be expected, there is a limit. Always check your contract first and be absolutely clear about requirements. If you feel that you are being asked to do too much, you should raise this with your boss. Try to figure out the reason for the problem first. Do you need additional training to fulfill your duties quicker? Or is it a case of too few staff to take on the amount of work?

Simple strategies for approaching the problem:

  • Be polite but firm
  • Explain what you’re comfortable with and establish boundaries
  • Be specific when determining what you’re prepared to do
  • Be consistent and stick to what is agreed

As you become more experienced, you will be better equipped to deal with issues as they arise. In the meantime, it’s useful to have a few strategies up your sleeve for dealing with those frustrating problems.

This is a contributed post.

New To Working Out? How To Keep Injuries At Bay

Are you new to working out? Are you keen to get fit? Exercise has countless benefits for mental and physical health. However, there is a risk of injury. It’s particularly important to be aware of the risks if you’re a beginner. Here are some top tips to help you steer clear of pulled muscles, strains, and sprains.

Go steady
If you’re keen to progress, it’s easy to get carried away. However, doing too much too soon can increase the risk of injury. Your body isn’t used to doing what you’re asking it to do. Go steady, and build up your strength and fitness gradually. Run for longer when you feel comfortable doing so. Increase the weight load week by week. Don’t rush into anything.

Warm up
No workout should begin without a thorough warm-up. This is a surefire way to injure your body, and put yourself out of action. The warm-up is designed to get your heart pumping and increase blood flow to your muscles. It should feature both cardio exercises and stretches. Your heart rate should be elevated, and your muscles warm before you begin. If you go straight into a session, you could easily pull or tear a muscle.

Condition your body
Conditioning is a really effective means of reducing your risk of injury. You can do this by stretching and treating yourself to a deep tissue massage once a week. Stretches increase flexibility and suppleness in the joints. They also make your muscles stronger. Massage therapy increases circulation. It also releases tension, which can develop as a result of overtraining.

Cool down
The cool down is as important as the warm-up. This should form an integral part of your workout. The cool down brings your heart rate down and accelerates the removal of waste fluids from the body. If you stop suddenly, you may feel dizzy. Without a cool down, it’s also very likely that your muscles will ache for days after the session. This is due to collections of lactic acid. A cool down should include very gentle cardio exercises combined with stretching.

Asking for advice
If you’re a beginner, you may not have perfect technique, and this can put you at risk of injury. Before you start going to the gym, for example, book some personal training sessions. This way, you can learn how to use the machines, and work to a suitable regime. If you want to learn yoga, take up dance or try spinning, look into classes in your local area. If you have any questions about what you should be doing or how to use equipment, it’s always best to seek advice.

An injury can set your training back and cause you severe pain and discomfort. If you’re keen to get in shape this winter, make sure you take these pointers on board to lower your risk of unwanted troubles. Seek advice, and make sure you warm up and cool down thoroughly. Be patient, and avoid trying to run before you can walk.

This is a contributed post.