House tips

Get your House Ready for the Winter

As the winter slowly but surely creeps upon us we know we will need to keep ourselves warm. We dig out those winter coats and hats and we consider buying warmer clothing to keep us snug during the coldest of days. However, many of us fail to prepare our houses for the winter.

You need to prepare your house for those cold winter months so it can look after you. Here’s how you can make your house a better place to be, even on the coldest of days:

Prepare the Outside of your Home

One of the first things you need to do is to prepare the outside of your home. Make sure that you clear your gutters and your bins are stored somewhere secure so they don’t get blown away. You might also want to consider moving water butts away from the house. If the water freezes, causing the water butt to expand it could cause a slight flood when the water defrosts.

Insulate your Loft

If you haven’t already done so, you’ll need to insulate your loft. When your loft is adequately insulated it will help your home to be more energy efficient. In addition to this the insulation can also reduce your energy bills. This is because less warm air will escape your home, meaning you won’t have to keep heating it for quite so long.

Keep your Floors Warm

If your floors are cold you’re going to find your house cold. Make sure you have some thick carpets or rugs to add a bit of warmth to every room. Before the weather really turns bad consider hiring a carpet cleaning company based in Pleasanton. A clean carpet or rug can make a world of difference.

Wrap Your Pipes

Wrap any cold pipes with some pipe jackets or thermal insulation. This will help to prevent them from bursting. The pipes that you will need to pay particular attention to include those that run from inside your home to outside your home. You will also need to consider wrapping pipes in your garage or any cold areas in your home.

Bleed the Radiators

Chances are that during the winter months you will need to use your radiators quite a lot. A radiator needs bleeding when it feels hot at the bottom and cold at the top. Make sure you have the right bleed key to hand and a cloth to catch any water that escapes.

Invest in Thick Curtains

If your windows let a lot of air in then you’ll need to invest in a pair of thick curtains. Curtains such as these can help to keep the warm air in. They also help to prevent cold air that leaks through your windows from making its way into your home.

It’s relatively easy to get your house ready for the winter, you just have to know how. Use the above tips to prepare your home so it’s a much nicer place to be during the cold winter months.


5 of Canada’s Most Grand Museums

Millions of people flock to Canada each year. Among those, thousands are history buffs who are intrigued by the elaborate displays in museums. Despite Canada’s relatively dry history, the country does have its fair share of interesting museums. Don’t believe us? Here are 7.

Dawson City Museum

Take a trip to the Dawson City Museum in Dawson City, Yukon for a chance to get up close and personal with ancient artifacts from Canada’s gold rush days.  Learn all about the Klondike Gold Rush, a gold rush that changed the scene of Dawson City forever. Discover who the men were who settled here and what the area was like before settlement. You can also enjoy a gold pouring demonstration and investigate a number of old locomotives that were used on the railway during the gold rush. The museum is highly educational and ideal for taking children to learn about Canada’s early history.

Royal BC Museum

Located in one of BC’s most populated areas -Victoria-,  the Royal BC Museum is home to many aspects of BC’s history. The museum houses the natural and human history of the province, as well as a real wooly mammoth, and several ceremonial masks from the local First Nations tribes.The museum prides itself on being immersive, interesting, and realistic, all while educating its guests.

Royal Ontario Museum

The Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, Ontario offers a wide selection of things to learn and discover. The museum is the biggest Canadian museum to showcase natural and historic wonders, and has multiple floors. Walking from floor to floor you’ll come across a 25m high totem pole, a variety of art pieces and historical items. This museum focuses on education, containing artifacts from all types of subjects including mineralogy, paleontology, zoology, archaeology, and any other “ology” that you can possibly conjure up.

Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

Art lovers are guaranteed to want to come back to this Montreal museum. Not only is it located in one of Quebec’s most beautiful cities, but it also contains hundreds of unique artworks that deserve appreciation. The museum hosts 41,000 exhibits that range from music to fashion, and from fine art to technical design. The museum takes hours to browse and even longer to admire, as it is chalked full of creative works. It is family friend and a great way to spend the day if you’re an artists, art enthusiast, or museum lover.

Vancouver Police Museum

North America’s oldest police museum and said to house over 20,000 artifacts, the Vancouver Police Museum is on many bucket lists. By taking a self guided tour, tourists are taken on a journey through the extensive history of Vancouver’s law enforcement and crime. The exhibits include but are not limited to a display of confiscated weapons, counterfeit money, gambling aids, and prohibited drugs. Kids can play dress up in real police uniforms and adults can marvel over old photographs and an event known as “movies in the morgue”.


6 Family-friendly Activities in Sydney

Drawing thousands of tourists towards its sandy beaches and warm weather, Sydney, Australia is on bucket lists all over the world. Most travelers think that Sydney is to be explored solo or with a group of adults, however, it’s actually a very family-friendly city to take a vacation in. In fact, there are a variety of fun family activities that can be done on a budget. Here are a few.

Get your hands on a metre long pizza.

With no shortage of great places to eat, Sydney is home to Via Napoli, which offers a pizza that is a metre long and large enough to feed a handful of hungry people. Fill up on pizza and gather the family around the table to eat at one of the many Via Napoli locations.


You’ve probably heard of escape rooms, but have you heard of the escape rooms on Sydney? Sydney has a number of locations that offer these challenging, family-friendly games that are sure to get the whole family involved. One of the most popular locations is Escapism, located on Darling Harbor. Sydney’s escape rooms offer a variety of themed rooms, from paranormal to prison break. The themes of some of the escapes are adult oriented, and discretion should be used when considering bringing children along.

A barefoot bowling experience.

Nothing is better than the connection between man and nature. Get the ultimate connection with a day of barefoot bowling on sandy beaches with a group of friends and family. Clovelly Bowling and Recreation club both offer their bowlers barbeques, an abundance of beer, and scenic views of the Pacific ocean.  Petersham Bowling Club is worth noting as well, as it offers a variety of craft beers and a fun atmosphere.

Take a stroll through the garden.

Sydney’s Royal Botanical Garden is the perfect place for taking a long walk on  warm summers day. Divided in multiple areas such as Latitude 23- a nursery full of lilies, orchids, and ferns- and a large herb garden. The garden offers a handful of restaurants and cafes which serve unique, homemade food such as the gardens signature Botanic Garden Cafe picnic boxes.

Thrill yourself at Luna Park.

With an entrance that makes for a fun photograph, Luna Park is worth a visit. Packed full of classic amusement parks rides such as rollercoasters, a house of mirrors, and a ferris wheel. The park isn’t all just fun and games, though, as it also has a fine dining restaurant that s excellent for first dates and making memories. If you go on Sundays, you have the option to enjoy a high-class meal while in a basket on the ferris wheel.

Spot the animals.

Only a short ferry ride away from Sydney’s minc enter is the Taronga Zoo Home to a variety of animals and focused on wildlife conservation, public education, and sustainability, the zoo is perfect for both children and adults alike. The zoo offers the opportunity to go on a  guided tour, and the chance to stay the night at the zoo in a designated area where visitors sleep in safari-style tents.


6 of The Most Elegant Beachside Hotels in Greece

Location is key- a fact that is true when it comes to the overall location of your vacation, as well as the location of your hotel. If you’re taking a trip to Greece, you’ll probably want to stay close to the beach, as Greece is known for its mesmerizing waves and friendly beaches. To cut down on the time you’ll spend searching for the best beachside hotel, here are 6 of the most elegant beachside hotels in Greece.

Lindos Blu

Adult orientated and located in Rhodes, this towering hotel has its own private beach. The hotel is classic and simple with minimal outside decor and a minimalist approach. The hotel is modest in size, featuring only 74 rooms, but makes up for the small size by its variety of facilities which include spas, outdoor pools, indoor pools, rooftop lounging, and hot tubs.

Delfinia Hotel

Located in Corfu, this hotel is ideal for beach lovers. It features three stories, a pebble beach, and sprawling gardens full of mulberry, palms, and cypress. The hotel offers a variety of amenities to its guests, including a playground and games room for a children.  Adults can enjoy tennis courts and water sports while their children are cared for by the professionals who work for the hotel’s supervised pool and activity program.

Skiathos Princes

Opening out onto the yellow sands of the Paraskevi beach, the Skiathos Princess is a beach lover’s dream come true. To keep guests entertained, the hotel features a modern bar and pool, a variety of restaurants, and rooms that have been designed to reflect those of a beach house. The many rooms of the hotel are decorated with fine daybeds, silk cushions, and statement ornaments.

Domes Noruz

Belonging to Marriott’s Autograph Collection, this adult-only hotel is located on its very own beach in Chania. The hotel is stylish and has been designed on the domes of the nearby Chania’s Venetian shipyard. It has amenities such as large pools and a spa. One pool has a swim-up bar and both feature beautiful views of the sea below.

Domes of Elounda

This luxurious, family-orientated hotel is located in  Crete and sits on a large hillside that overlooks Spinalonga. The hotel has excellent customer service, fine dining restaurants, a sandy beach, and a spa. It also has a handful of adult-only areas where small children are not permitted to enter, giving parents a place to relax after a long day. This hotel s the second of the two Marriott Autograph Collection facilities in Greece.

Athina Luxury Suites 

Fira is home to Athina Luxury Suites- a hotel that boasts a beautiful beach and a romantic, small-town atmosphere. The hotel has free wifi, a pool, and a handful of local restaurants within its walls. Its rooms are decorated with comfortable beds and unique light fixtures, and also include beautiful views of the sea. The establishment only has 14 rooms, giving it a laid-back feeling.


6 U.S National Parks You Need To Visit

The United States is a country full of unique landscape, diversified culture, and beautiful parks. For foreign travelers and American travelers alike, the U.S proves to be a great place to get in touch with nature through a day spent at a national park. To help you decide which park to visit on your next trip, here are a few U.S national parks that you need to visit.

Glacier National Park

Spanning three mountain ranges and home of over 700 lakes, Montana’s Glacier National Park is a park for the bucket list. The park sits on the border between Canada and the United States and is the ideal place for hikers, as it offers a variety of hiking trails that cater to all skill levels. Glacier National Park is also home to an abundance of wildlife and features a spattering of waterfalls.

Grand Canyon

A popular tourist attraction, Grand Canyon is the perfect spot for taking scenic photographs and making fun memories. Officially a UNESCO World Heritage site, the park offers a variety of great opportunities for hiking, as well as the chance to raft on the Colorado River. Grand Canyon is also home to Havasu Falls, which by itself draws in plenty of eager tourists each year.

Arches National Park

Opened in 1929, Arches National Park was originally a lot smaller than it is today. However, during the past years the park has grown to be about 77,000 acres in size. It features large sandstone formations and arches and a number of hiking trails that range from 20-minutes long to hours long. Additionally, the park is known to be a good place to see the Milky Way.

Hot Springs National Park

The smallest national park in the country,  Hot Springs National Park is proof that good things come in small packages. The park gets its name from its healing hot water springs, which makes the park ideal for relaxing day trips and rest stops. In addition to the hot springs, the park also features a handful of winding roads and spectacular mountain tower that overlooks the Ouachita Mountains.

Saguaro National Park

If you’re looking for a challenge, look no further than hiking in Saguaro National Park. The park is home to dozens of protected saguaro cacti and some of the shortest, most difficult hikes you’ll come across, as they take you to high altitudes and through miles of hot desert terrain. If the heat isn’t appealing, however, tourists are able to drive through the park in air conditioned vehicles in order to enjoy the beauty of the cacti.

Yosemite National Park

Featuring waterfalls, ancient trees, and granite cliffs, Yosemite National Park appeals to nature lovers from across the world. Alongside the natural wonders, the park is teaming with wildlife such as black bears.In the summer, tourists can raft down Merced River and experienced rock climbers have the opportunity to climb a giant granite slab in Camp 4.

Travel in the US

Hitting the Open Road on a Great American Roadtrip

There’s a lot of appeal in getting behind the wheel and hitting the open road.  You can travel at your own pace with no itinerary but your own, travel with your spouse or a friend or two and take in all that America has to offer.  But even a road trip like that takes a bit of planning.  You need to know what you want to see, how much traveling you want to do each day.  Fortunately cross country road trips aren’t new and the US has some great ones.  Hitting the road on a great American roadtrip is an amazing way to see the country, here are some excellent routes to take.

Route 66

This trip has had songs dedicated to it, it has been romanticized in film and it’s an absolutely amazing way to see the country.  You start out in Chicago and it will take you all the way through to Southern California.  It is the most well-known road trip in the world and you should add it to your bucket list.  Here are some things to see on Route 66.

The Pacific Coast

At over 1,500 miles the west coast offers up a vast array of scenery as you cross through Washington, Oregon and California.  If you start in the north you can head out form Olympia in Washington and make your way down to the bottom of California to San Ysidro you can check out prehistoric forests and modern high tech cities.  On the other side of the road you will find the most incredible coastline.

The Oregon Trail

This trip is not for someone looking to get away for a couple of days.  The Oregon Trail passes through 11 states and stretches more than 3,000 miles.  It follows the trail of the pioneers who first explored the country.  If you start on the east coast you can head out from Cape Cod and you can see the diversity of the country.  This trip can take roughly three weeks along US route 20.  Along the way you can stop into Niagara Falls and Yellowstone National Park.

America is a beautiful country with plenty of  sight to see along the way.  There are plenty roadtrips that you can plan to see the country.  Heading down either coast or from New York to Los Angeles, you can see everything from small town America to the glitter and glamor of the big cities.  Take your time and enjoy the route along the way.

Travel in the US

Where to Go in the Wintertime

Winter is such a great time to travel, especially in the USA! Depending on your interests, there are lots of unique places to visit. It doesn’t matter if you love the cold or don’t want to be anywhere but the beach, there is something for everyone in the United States in the winter months. Here are just a couple of examples of the best winter places to visit in the USA:

1. New York City, New York

There is so much to do in New York in the winter! The Rockefeller Center is home to an 80 foot tree as well as a large ice skating rink nearby. New York City features fantastic shopping opportunities all year long, but in the winter months it is that much more exciting and festive because of the holiday decor adorning every street corner and department store. Sight seeing will be more interesting than usual with must see spots like the Empire State Building or Times Square covered in snow.

2. Clearwater, Florida

Perhaps you do not enjoy cold winter weather. If that’s the case, Florida is the answer for you. The Clearwater area has mild temperatures all year long. Even if it’s too cold to swim, you can comfortably enjoy a walk along the beach with just a light sweater. Additionally, you will be just a short drive away from large amusement parks like Busch Gardens and Disney World. It is never too cold for an exciting roller coaster ride in Florida!

3. Grapevine, Texas

The saying goes that “everything is bigger in Texas” and that saying is true for fun things to do in the winter! Grapevine is known as the “Christmas capitol of Texas.” All winter long you can enjoy train rides throughout the city. There are large and elaborate displays, namely the ICE Exhibit at the Gaylord Texan Resort. Purchasing tickets to ICE will enable you to experience snow tubing, larger than life ice sculptures and more- all from the comfort of the inside of the hotel. Speaking of indoor comfort, you can spend a night at Great Wolf Lodge. Regardless of the weather, you can enjoy a full day of water play in their 84 degree indoor water park.

4. Vail, Colorado

If the winter season bring to mind traditional cold weather activities, then a trip to Vail may be the best option for you. At Vail Mountain Resort you can enjoy some of the country’s best skiing opportunities. If you have no experience, that’s okay! There are ski and snowboard lessons available for you to practice your craft. While in Colorado you’ll want to take the time to hike some trails and experience the beautiful wildlife and nature reserves unique to the area. After a full day of outdoor fun, you can pamper yourself at one of the area day spas to warm up and relax.

No matter what your idea of fun may be, there are plenty of opportunities throughout the US. Whether walking the beach of skiing on slopes, we know you’ll be pleased with a winter visit to the United States.