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Tips to keep pets calm on Firework Night

Tips to keep pets calm on Firework Night

by ben

fireworks

Guy Fawkes night is coming up on November 5. For most people, this is merely an occasion to look forward to as there will be many exciting firework events about. However, for some, this will be an anxious and nerve-wracking event that pet-owners may dread.

horses_fireworks.png

Farm animals – horses and cattle
If you’re planning on letting fireworks off in rural areas, make sure you warn the neighbours first so that they can take precautions with their livestock because large animals create large vet bills! 

Imagine 600kg horses galloping blindly around muddy fields in pure terror as fireworks are going off on neighbouring land. Scared horses bump off of the wire fences, slip and slide, pant heavily and drip in sweat. But arguably, it’s even more petrifying for their owners!

  • Do not enter the paddock! You will get knocked down and you will get injured. (I learnt this the hard way!)
  • Do speak softly to your horses and other farm animals from behind the field’s gate
  • Do feed them before nightfall and leave hay out for them
  • Don’t go away on holiday, and stay close-by around Guy Fawkes night
  • Check the fencing beforehand and graze them in the flattest paddock you have
  • If you know a large amount of fireworks will be going off, consider moving your animals elsewhere.
  • When scared, horses like to be able to run. So keeping them enclosed isn’t always the safest option.
  • If your animals are near firework events, be aware that there are horrible people who like to scare or harm animals with fireworks. So try and supervise your pets as much as you can.

cats_dogs_fireworks.jpg

Cat and dogs 
Ensure your cats and dogs can come indoors, because when panicked they could run away or find unsafe hiding places. There will also be more traffic on the roads, so make sure they don’t feel the need to go wandering.

  • Set up a nest of your cats’ and dogs’ favourite blankets in their favourite place
  • Bring them in before nightfall
  • Take dogs for an extra walk, and play with cats until they tire
  • Feed them before nightfall too – soldiers fight better on a full stomach!
  • Leave healthy treats about later on in the evening
  • Put the radio or TV on to mask the bangs a bit
  • Speak softly, walk slowly and stay relaxed around your pets; they’ll pick up on your energy

hedgehog-wildlife-fireworks-.jpegWildlife
If you want to be extra diligent, make your garden a safe haven for scared wildlife such as hedgehogs.

  • If you’re planning on having a bonfire, be sure to triple-check there’s nothing hiding, roosting or nesting in there.
  • Fence it off
  • Create hutches or boxes filled with dry, fresh straw and keep it in a sheltered area for scared animals to hide in
  • Do not feed hedgehogs milk or bread! Leave out water and cat food instead. (Although, in my humble experience, this can attract rats…)

Other than that, we hope you, your family and your fur-babies have a pleasant and safe Guy Fawkes night!

 

 

 

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Did you know… Daylight saving facts

Did you know… Daylight saving facts

by ben

daylight savings uk

Daylight Saving Time is close to ending. In the UK, it’ll come to an end on October 29, which will cause the clocks to be pushed back by an hour.

Handy tip: Can’t remember if clocks are going forward or back? Here’s an easy way to remember: Spring = Forward, Fall = Back.

In 1784 American politician and inventor, Benjamin Franklin first suggested that if people got up earlier when it was lighter outside, then with would save on candles.

British builder William Willett campaigned for daylight savings throughout 1907 and 1908, but it wasn’t implemented in the UK until 1916 – one year after Willett’s death.

OMG moment: William Willett was Coldplay’s frontman Chris Martin’s great-great-grandfather.

Today, there is still much debate over whether daylight savings is beneficial. There are arguments over whether or not it really saves on energy by taking advantage of the sunlight. There is also discussion over whether darker evenings are more dangerous for children walking home from school.

However, for most people the only real bone of contention is the lack of lay-ins when the clocks go forward. ??

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Packing for the weekend getaway

Packing for the weekend getaway

by ben

Packing for the weekend getaway

If you’re waiting until the kids go back to school for your holiday for a little more room on the beaches, then you’ll like these tips to help keep a little more room in your luggage too. Packing the essentials in the most efficient way is important for a stress-free trip – particularly if you’re going overseas and need to stick to the 7kg hand luggage limit!

Tip 1.
Pack one light jacket that goes with everything and covers you for all weathers. Roll the sleeves up or down, pop the collar or accessorise it to shake things up a bit.

Tip 2.
Comfy shoes are a must! Never underestimate the amount of walking you’re going to be doing while away. Be sure to stuff socks, knickers and small items into your shoes to save space.

Tip 3.
Layer-up and wear your heavy clothes and shoes on the plane. Your profusely sweaty forehead in the airport may cause a few precautionary checks and pat-downs from security, but at least your big jumper and favourite leather boots aren’t going to weigh your bag down.

Tip 4.
Find the lightest suitcase you can. You don’t need 2kg wasted on the receptacle itself.

Tip 5. 
You will find a hairdryer, shampoo, conditioner and soap so leave them all at home! I would opt for wet wipes and deodorant wipes – they don’t take up much room and they’re convenient to have on the plane.

Thankfully, Postsnap won’t take up any room in your bag – just a little on your phone. So you can easily make and send your postcards while away.

 

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Travel Tuesday: Creative ways to remember your journey

To travel is to live

Don’t just take happy snaps while you’re on holiday or travelling – get creative! Capture your experiences in every city/country/town by having a signature look, style or theme. For example, the roaming gnome who was photographed at every location.
Here are five ideas:

1. A selfie in every city
A selfie in front of the Eiffel Tower, a selfie by the Golden Gate Bridge… Get classy and treat yourself to a selfie-stick before you go!
Selfie on the beach


2. Take a photograph of a dog in every city

I personally tried to find a horse in every city – which was surprisingly easy to do across Europe! If I couldn’t find one, a photo of a horse statue sufficed. 
Dogs in the city


3. Try a *
enter your favourite food here
* in every town
I went through a stage of trying an iced chocolate at every cafe we went to. I even went as far as taking photos of each one and rating it in a pocket notebook. Perfect idea for foodies who don’t have a large baggage allowance for heavy souvenirs.  
Food in other countries

4. Visit a film location in every country
Obsessed with movies? Find out where your favourite film was shot here.
Going away? Check what was filmed there and devise a travel itinerary to match.
I went to Bruges and marvelled at the tower where the movie In Bruges was filmed. It was a strange feeling.
In Bruges


5. Same pose in every place

This is a classic one shown below. Or, do a jig at every location – do you remember that YouTube guy who got famous by dancing poorly at every destination?
Pose while travelling

Get your holiday pics printed on postcards while travelling, and have them delivered to your home. When you get back, display your photo postcards around your bedroom mirror or in an album. ? (Download the free Postsnap app here.)

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#SelfieDay: How to discover your best selfie

selfie day with postsnap postcards

Today isn’t just June 21, 2017. It’s selfie day! National Selfie Day was established by a DJ in 2014. I know every day is selfie day (#fabulous #instagramthat #bestside) but today means a selfie is a must!

 

What do I need in order to get my selfie game on point?

  • Selfie day 2017 selfie stick goals#Phone
    (this is compulsory)
  • #Selfiestick
    (optional, and generally frowned upon by the public)
  • #Socialmedia
    (if a selfie isn’t posted and shared… Did it even happen?)
  • #Postsnap
    (to send your #selfieday selfie on a postcard to Granny who isn’t on FB or Insta.)

 

So many angles! So many options!
Here are some ideas to try for your best #selfieday selfie:

  1. #creativeselfie: Mirror-reflection selfie 
    Selfie day 2017 in the mirror
  2. #idc: ‘I don’t even care’/’bored’ selfie 
    Selfie day 2017 too cool to care
  3. #superserious: Intense selfie 
    Selfie day 2017 serious
  4. #waterproofcamera: Underwater selfie 
    Selfie day 2017 under water
  5. #bff: Couples/group selfie 
    Selfie day 2017 couples
  6. #oldschool #postsnap: Postcard selfie! 
    selfie day nan

Let us know what your best selfie is on Facebook! Get your selfie stick out and have Happy Selfie Day!

 

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Say thanks on Father’s Day for these 3 things…
Happy father's day 2017 funny personalised cardShow Dad that you’re his best creation by making him the best personalised Father’s Day card. Say thank you for his humour, advice and wisdom, such as that time when…
  • He unveiled his dad-jokes:
     “Two peanuts were walking down the street. One was a salted.”
    (Or the time when you asked him for his best joke, and his reply was “you”.)
  • He offered his best advice:
    “Make sure you eat before you go; a soldier fights better on a full stomach.”
  • He gave you his best nugget of wisdom:
    “It’s being a bit scared that makes an adventure. Otherwise it’s just a pleasant day out.”
Father’s Day is June 18, 2017. ?
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Fun websites for the bored traveller

Bored at the airport

Stuck at the airport waiting for your flight?
Tapping your nails on the desk until your next holiday?
Imagining what life is like on the other side of the world?

Well, be bored no more! For here are the five most addictive, interesting and entertaining websites across time and space for you to draw travel inspiration from (or just waste your time on):

 

geoguesser - where in the world am I?Where in the world am I?
The website plonks you on a street somewhere in the world via Google Maps, and you have to pin-point your location on the adjacent world map. It is actually incredibly fun for someone who loves travelling. You could see every corner of the earth within your five rounds. The closer your location is to where you think you are, the more points you get! Play Geoguessr here.


Dark Sky app - bring the weather with youTake the weather with you.

Experience the weather anywhere in the world with Dark Sky. It is an incredibly accurate weather forecaster, and shows you the weather anywhere in the world – future or past.

Radiooooo - sound of a time goneWhere we’re going, we don’t need roads…
Pick a place and pick an era – we are going back in time with Radiooooo! It’s a super cool concept where you can listen to songs that were hits on the radio in the country and time of your choice.

Letters of note - reading interesting historic postcardsGet inspired by reading historic postcards.
Read letters, postcards, memos and notes, from famous artists, writers, musicians and politicians from decades past. Some are inspirational, some are funny and some are shocking… Find them at Letters of Note.
(Make history by creating your own postcard with Postsnap!)

Little Alchemy - create the world around youCreate the world around you.
Travellers are adventurous by nature. Speaking of nature… Use the four elements of water, air, fire and earth to see what you can create on this website Little Alchemy! It’s incredibly addictive. Simply drag the elements and drop them on top of each other to combine them. You can mix and experiment for hours and you can create pretty much anything your creativity and scientific knowledge allows.

 

I hope these keep you occupied before you next go jet-setting. When you get there, be sure to send back some postcards. ?

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Melbourne should be on your bucket list

Having visited Melbourne recently, staying on the industrial South Bank, I have fond memories of the lively and colourful South coast city. It is truly the arty heart of Australia.Southbank Melbourne

Coffee culture
The coffee-drinking and brunch-eating culture is an important part of life here. You can’t go far without feeling the need to grab a medium trim latte with gluten-free, sour-dough bread topped with crushed avocado and cherry tomatoes with a side of a super grain salad.

Melbourne graffiti artistArtistic hub
On every corner you’ll find a vinyl store, while down every alley you’ll find murals and graffiti art, and along the bricked streets you’ll find jazz musicians and street performers of every kind.

Craft beer brewers are boasted at pubs, married up with their homegrown, organic skewered burgers. It’s like a bohemian, creative hub that attracts street artists of every nature – whether it be food, drink, painting or music.

Markets
It won’t take long before you stumble across a market filled with tent after tent of clothes and food and coffee stands, all tucked between and around fire-breathing magicians, Mexican bands, 1920s-style musicians, and exotic pet shops (selling snakes and spiders).

QuirksChimney in Melbourne's shopping mall
Back in central Melbourne, you’ll find the major shopping mall has a 50-metre-tall brick tower growing beneath the mall’s glass ceiling, which is known as Coop’s Shot Tower built in the 1880s.

With the likes of Port Phillip Bay in St Kilda, a beautiful beach, you will find Luna Park. Luna Park is a theme park that sports a wooden rollercoaster that celebrated its 100th year in 2012. It’s these quirks that makes Melbourne’s famous white-sand beaches so special.

Health and well-being
Possibly linked to the healthy brunch habits of ‘Melburnians’, I couldn’t help but notice their active lifestyle. I saw more people taking their dogs for a run along the beach than I did sun-worshippers. On every corner was a gym, and 100% fruit and veggie smoothies were available on tap.

Send a postcard from or to Melbourne, using the Postsnap App. ??

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Six tips for your coach-tour trip

Six tips for your coach-tour trip

by ben

Last summer, I spent 10 days on the road travelling through Europe via coach. I would highly recommend it – particularly if you have limited time and money, or if you’re travelling solo. It’s great if you’re nervous about travelling, because you’re in a big group and everything has already been organised for you.

There are many coach-tour companies to go with, but I happened to go with TopDeck.

If you do choose to go on a coach tour, here are a few tips to ensure you make the most of your time away from home:

Don’t pack your whole wardrobe
Over-packing and over-spending on your travelsI can’t stress this enough. Sometimes the hostels you stay in have awkward spiral-staircases (I’m referring to castle accommodation we had in Germany’s Rhine Valley). Light, small suitcases will be ideal for the few outfits you’d need –  especially since there are usually laundry facilities at the hostels.

My rule of thumb: Pack one clothing option for every weather possibility, and one formal outfit. Everything else needs to be comfy, conservative clothes for walking in – we walked 15 kilometres in Paris including the 600+ stairs up the Eiffel Tower, to give you an idea.

Look out the window, not at the mirror
Travelling to Paris eiffel tower on a coach tourPlease don’t be concerned by how you look. Be natural and don’t spend two hours in your room stressing over what to wear for dinner. Get going – there’s food downstairs, people to talk to and a fantastic country you’ve never been to outside your door!

What’s a ‘comfort zone’? Try everything – go for bike tours in Amsterdam, climb to the top of the Eiffel Tower, hike through the mountains of  the Swiss Alps, stroke the horses in Bruges who trip-trop through the city, eat that Italian pizza and pasta, eat those French garlic snails! This is not the time to watch your waistline.

Above all, send your postcards
Take your selfies for sending postcards while travellingMost hostels and some coaches have WiFi, so instead of saving up your photos to upload to Facebook, send them back to friends and family with Postsnap. Upload your selfie from Venice, write a message and send! We have printers all over the world, so no matter where your recipient is they’ll receive your postcard within days. They make great keep-sakes and souvenirs that you don’t have to carry around with you – they’ll be waiting on your doorstep upon your return home, ready for reminiscing.

Shower in the evenings, not in the mornings
Go on an adventure while travellingMornings can be hectic! So have your shower in the evening without worrying about the line of impatient, sleepy people outside. You’ll have more privacy and less stress in the evenings, but more importantly, a lie-in during the morning.

Early birds: Going on a coach tour means a strict schedule needs to be stuck to, and this usually includes early-morning departures. It can be fast-paced – one day we had breakfast in Italy, lunch in Austria, and dinner in Germany!

Hangovers are not fun when on a the road
Drinking while travellingAfter our night in Italy, I remember looking around at my fellow travellers on the coach the next morning and not feeling the slightest tinge of regret in staying [more-or-less] sober the night before. “Sleeping it off on the coach” is not as practical as it sounds, and motion-sickness appears to be much worse when hung-over.

Top tip: Spend your money on experiences, not alcohol. I’m sure you’ve already experienced the feeling of drinking too much, so spend your time staying alert and experience Paris at sunset or early mornings in Switzerland instead!

‘Hello, let’s be friends. Best friends.’
Finding best friends on your travelsOn my trip, there were more than 40 people from every corner of the world, including a woman who lived literally around the corner from me back home! (What!?) You’ll make life-long friends, and you’ll have plenty of offers for free accommodation for future trips to Australia, Canada, Mexico, USA…

Everyone is in the same boat as you, everyone wants to have fun and be kind, so don’t be shy – book your epic road trip and remember it with personalised Postsnap postcards. ?

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Travel destinations that need to be on your bucket list

If you’re starting to think about all the amazing and wonderful places you’d love to visit and send postcards from, make sure you include these top five places!

1. Send a postcard from Iceland

Iceland should be on your bucket list of places to visit

Icelandic ponies

If you enjoy the great outdoors, epic scenery, hotdogs, peace, quiet and horses, then a road trip around Iceland has to be on your bucket list! You can’t ever predict the weather in Iceland – a tiny island in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean is prone to serious cold snaps and rather windy weather.

But as a guide, if you go in the summer you will miss the snow and be confronted with lush fields between the mountains where wild horses graze, but beware of the midges at this time of year. If winter looks too cold for you, I suggest autumn (Aug-Oct). The crisp, cool air can still sting but you may just be lucky to catch the northern lights providing the clouds stay away.

Top tip: The best way to see Iceland is by van as you will likely get bored (and broke) staying in the city. Happy Campers are a great van rental company to use.

2. Send a postcard from New Zealand

Hobbiton in New Zealand should be on your bucket list

Hobbiton (Lord of the Rings movie set), Matamata

But the big question is: North Island or South Island?
North Island is full of tourist hot spots like the hot water beaches of the Coromandel, the luge in Rotorua, 90 Mile Beach, and Hobbiton (Lord of the Rings set). You also have the two major cities of Auckland and Wellington, if you fancy a spot of shopping.

Whereas in the South Island you have about a million people spread out on an island the size of England and Wales combined!* Vast open roads that link pleasant rural and skiing towns such as Arrowtown, Queenstown and the Edinburgh-esk city of Dunedin. If you love the countryside, mountains, lakes and a place to ski (or walk in the summer), then rent a camper van and get going!

*England and Wales is populated by about 56 million people on 151,040km² of land, and the South Island is populated by one million on 151,215 km² of land!

3. Send a postcard from Dorset

Dorset should be on your travel bucket list

Durdle Door, Dorset

If you’re coming to England, I suggest skipping London and coming straight to Dorset! Home of the Jurassic Coast, and the cliffs made famous by Broadchurch. Plus, the beautiful beaches of the Purbecks, the shopping district of Bournemouth and the grand New Forest. There is so much to do here! Just be aware that Dorset is far from being an undiscovered holiday destination, so it may be best to come outside of the school holidays to avoid enjoying the view from inside a stationary vehicle on a gridlocked road.

4. Send a postcard from Paris

Moulin Rouge in Paris should be on your travel bucket list

The famous Moulin Rouge, Paris

Stereotypical, I know, but Paris is a place of expression and stunning sites. Parisians are as brusque and confident as they are elegant and indulgent. Guilt from eating good food doesn’t seem to be common place here as it is in the UK, and quite frankly, I loved this attitude! Eat good food, get inspired by the architecture and art, wear elegant clothes, walk, talk and express yourself confidently. If you go to Paris, get ready to immerse yourself into the culture of simply enjoying life at a slower pace without the guilt.

5. Send a postcard from Melbourne

Graffiti lane in Melbourne should be on your travel bucket list

Hosier Lane (AKA Graffiti Lane), Melbourne

The arty heart of Australia found on the Southern coastline. A broad city of trams and cafes, with streets populated by painters, graffiti artists, performers and musicians. Melbourne is colourful, vibrant and youthful with a distinct character fuelled by independent companies that sell vinyl records and skewered burgers. The coffee-drinking and brunch-eating culture is an important part of life here – a perfect place to shop or to sit in a brick-walled, back-alley cafe and write that zombie romance novel you always meant to.

 

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