Holiday Accommodation: Exploring My Options
Sep23

Holiday Accommodation: Exploring My Options

A trip to Australia is very exciting. There are so many things to do in Australia, it is certainly wise to create a list of the places you’d like to see and the activities that tickle your fancy! When you are planning a holiday, one of the first items on the agenda is accommodation.  There are a few different types of places to stay depending on the individual’s budget. Hostels When traveling to Australia, there are so many things to do. When a person is planning a vacation on a budget, they do not want to blow their whole budget on accommodation. They would rather spend the money on activities. When a person is traveling on a budget, a hostel is a great place to stay. They are also known as backpack hostels. A hostel often consists of a bed, typically a bunk bed, in a dormitory. Hostels have shared bathrooms, lounges, and some hostels have a shared kitchen. When it comes to the rooming situation, travelers can find a hostel with single sex, mixed sex, or private rooms. The hostel that they choose depends on their specific rooming needs. Typically, the staff at a hostel lives on the premises. Many of the employees at hostels live there for free in exchange for doing work at the front desk or for housekeeping. image courtesy http://www.hotelmanagement.com.au/ Serviced Apartments Serviced apartments in Melbourne are fully furnished apartments available for travelers. They often include soft furnishings and cooking utensils so that guests do not need to worry about packing these things themselves. Serviced apartments in Melbourne are great for people who are planning a long stay, as they are much cheaper than most hotels. Families traveling together can also benefit from staying in serviced apartments. There is more privacy in this type of lodging and guests have a kitchen to cook meals in. This can save a great deal of money because they do not need to eat out everyday like they would in a hotel. Serviced apartments in Melbourne offer many of the amenities that hotels offer, such as housekeeping, front office, and parking. image courtesy http://www.exploreaustralia.net.au/ Hotel A hotel is a great place to stay on a trip if the traveler has the money to spend. If they are only planning a short visit, a hotel is feasible on a moderate budget. If they are planning a long trip, a hotel stay can become very expensive. When planning a trip which includes a stay in a hotel, travelers should consider the cost of meals in either the hotel restaurant or nearby restaurants. This can become quite pricey, making a hotel an expensive option. image...

Read More
Top Tips For Reducing Energy Consumption
Sep22

Top Tips For Reducing Energy Consumption

Cold weather reminds everyone that energy consumption is about to go up. Stay warm, comfortable and be able to enjoy a reduction in your electricity bills by taking a few precautions before the season arrives. Once this goal is met, an incentive for reducing your total energy output year round will seem much easier. Keep Records Write down the energy consumption for the past year, by month. This will provide a comparison to your present usage. List the KWH (Kilowatt hours) in addition to the actual monthly cost. Seeing a difference in savings will trigger old habits to change. A Large Energy Guzzler Families tend to use clothes dryers more frequently during the winter months. Clothes get wet from rain and snow and a quick throw in the dryer seems the best method for bringing them back to a dry state. However, the clothes dryer is one of the main appliances that has not been addressed sufficiently for energy efficiency and can shoot up your electric or gas bill. Find an area in your home where clothes can be hung to air dry or close to energy efficient heaters. Also, pay attention to the amount of clothes packed in the dryer. More clothes mean longer drying time. Furnace Maintenance It can be easy to forget about a heating system until it is time to use it. Chances are, this piece of equipment  has been sitting and collecting dust for the past 4 to 5 months and is in need of a good cleaning. Turning on a furnace that has to fight to run, takes more energy and will continue to struggle throughout the heating season. Also, keep a supply of air filters on hand to change monthly. When filters are close by, there is no reason for procrastination. Spot Heating Most homes have an area that never seems to be as warm as the rest of the house. This could be due to the ducts being far away from the furnace, facing the west or north, or poor insulation. Portable energy efficient heaters can solve this problem nicely, but only if they do not use a large amount of electricity. Space heaters have changed dramatically over the past decade. New designs and features, such as timers and thermostats, help to control the amount of energy and time used. Check the manufacturer’s specs for energy ratings before purchasing. Window Film Window film not only keeps the sun’s glare from invading your living space but is also is energy efficient by using a heat transfer method. No one will be running to the thermostat to control the temperature during different times of...

Read More
5 Perfect Additions To Your Alfresco Area
Sep22

5 Perfect Additions To Your Alfresco Area

An alfresco area has the ability to bring comfort and beauty to any home. It serves to be much more than just a patio with a grill.  When designed properly, there are five major components to make an outdoor dining area absolutely perfect. The focal point of the alfresco area will be the patio furniture, it is the congregation point.  The most important part of choosing materials is deciding which ones suit the needs best.  Aluminum is a very light weight material, that resists corrosion, and an aluminum patio set is easy to clean, making it a low maintenance cost option.  The down side of aluminum is that it isn’t very strong, and won’t stand up to heavy usage. Steel is heavier than aluminum and much stronger so if it is maintained well, it can last a very long time.  Because steel will rust, it becomes very important to purchase stainless or galvanized steel. If you choose a painted steel, it is imperative to keep up with repainting to make sure the set doesn’t rust away.  Cast iron patio furniture is the heaviest and most durable of the three types of metal furniture but falls into the same rust issues as steel with regards to maintenance.  Wood and plastic furniture are also available, but for longevity over maintenance purposes, metal is the way to go. The next major addition will be the barbecue.  There are many different types and styles, ranging from small charcoal grills to full built-in outdoor kitchens.  The type, style and fuel choice become more of a preferential decision, but there are so many choices that there is guaranteed to be something to match the furniture styles; the only restriction becomes space available and price. One addition that will make your alfresco area absolutely perfect, and will extend the outdoor season, are gas or electric outdoor patio heaters.  Unobtrusive and for the most part unnoticed, these heaters will keep you warm on cool nights, and depending on how cold the winter is, the use of outdoor patio heaters can even extend the outdoor season all year long.  Because of their low energy consumption, they won’t hike up your electricity bills.  If the lines are already in place for a natural gas grill, it is an easy addition to blend in outdoor patio heaters to the infrastructure already in place. Lighting is a major addition to an alfresco area.  Just like grill styles, there are many different types of lighting depending on the needs of the area.  Building mounted, ground mounted, pole mounted, ambient or overhead lighting will each bring a different type of illumination, so again it is important...

Read More
Is your Backyard High-Maintenance?
Sep21

Is your Backyard High-Maintenance?

Our backyard is the place that we can go to hang out – a sanctuary away from the constraints of indoors and the place where we grow plants and enjoy nature. The backyard is a beautiful spot for any family or group of friends in a sharehouse to go and barbecue, play, sunbathe and relax, and where we’re safe. The only problem here is if your backyard has fallen into disrepair, and if you cannot be bothered to start the often-arduous and difficult task of cleaning up the backyard. If your lawn has grown long and scraggly, and if your plants and vines are threatening to overtake your entire house, then you might say that your backyard is a little too high-maintenance. If this is the case, you’ll find that instead of being a sanctuary to relax in, your backyard is a source of stress and displeasure, and is a place to avoid at all costs – lest you be reminded of the huge amount of work that needs to be done in order to make it livable. The good news is that there are some things you can do to ensure that your backyard is a low-maintenance joy and pleasure, and by following these handy tips, you’re going to ensure that your backyard is a hot-spot no matter what. Image Courtesy: https://www.facebook.com/BonitaStonePavingProducts/ Step One: Ditch the dirt and go for pavers Something a friend of mine did recently was dig up the ratty old bit of grass that he had adorning his backyard. It had been bugging him for months (if not years) and he put down some stunning pavers – I think he got them from Bonita Stone. Once he had done that, he had a new lease on his outdoor area – he was out there all the time barbecuing and enjoying the space, whereas before he was just frustrated about the fact that it was dusty and dirty out there. If you’re a low-maintenance kind of person, you’re going to love the flexibility and ease that comes with having pavers. It also makes for a cleaner look to the backyard if your space is just a bit too small to mow often. Image Courtesy: https://www.facebook.com/BonitaStonePavingProducts/ Step Two: Think about your plants Got some creepers crawling up your walls and sick to death of them? You have a choice here – either learn to love the ragged jungle look or chop the greenery away and replace them with some plants that are easier to contain. There’s probably nothing I hate more than going out and doing what I consider to be a lot of gardening work,...

Read More
The knockdown/rebuild Project Guide
Sep17

The knockdown/rebuild Project Guide

To quote a famous Australian film, “A man’s (or woman’s) home is his (or her) castle,” and while Darryl Kerrigan from The Castle was definitely house proud, he was also always trying to extend his property and to build up on his home with various extensions and add-ons. He also struggled with the fact that it was impossible to shoehorn all of the different things into the place that he wanted to. Suffice to say, Mr Kerrigan might have been better off with a complete rebuild as opposed to various renovations. It might have turned out cheaper as well. The very phrase ‘knock down’ fills some people with abundant fear as they imagine the process of getting all the works underway – never mind the question of where do you live in the meantime while the work is being completed. To address these concerns, we’ve created a list of some of the most important things to consider in this handy guide so that you can understand the knockdown rebuild process in its entirety. Image Courtesy: https://www.facebook.com/boutiquehomesvic/ Step One – Know your budget When you’re considering a complete knockdown and rebuild of your home, it’s important to know what you’re doing this for and what you hope to achieve. If you’re hoping to achieve a good return on your investment (ROI) then the budget may be more restrained than if you’re building the ultimate family home. Once you’ve established the what and why, you need to consider how long you want to hang onto your property – as the more you invest, the longer you’ll want to hold onto it for a better ROI. Step Two – Figure out the planning controls You need to figure out the planning controls on your property – as in how the property is zoned and whether there are any overlays on the property. Every property is zoned in some way – as in commercial, residential, business zones – but not every house has an overlay. A type of overlay that you’re probably familiar with is the heritage overlay. This can cover buildings, land, gardens and even trees – basically anything that is considered to have heritage importance. As a result of this, it’s vital to know the what’s what about the zoning, before you even so much as pick up the phone to call the builders. Image Courtesy: https://www.facebook.com/boutiquehomesvic/ Step Three – Designing your home You have a couple of different stages here Sketch designing your home – This is the process of determining how the home can be built (is it a north-south block, are there any landmarks blocking light etc) Designing...

Read More
10 Ideal Countries to Travel Alone
May21

10 Ideal Countries to Travel Alone

Many people like to travel alone. They say that because they can get to know the world and themselves. And besides, no need for anyone to adjust: you want the whole day lain on the beach and do not go – please, suddenly decided to go explore the ruins – but at least right now! The main thing is to make your trip just left a good impression and were safe. That is why in this collection are 10 countries with the highest rates of the Global Index of peace and international index of happiness.   Norway The best way to get acquainted with Norway – is a ride aboard one of the ships that sail along the coast of the country, passing through some of the most beautiful fjords and stopping in dozens of seaports along the way. Or go on a multi-day hike along the fjords, stopping at hotels and mountain huts. Northern Lights is a bonus. source: inthesky Switzerland Arm yourself with good hiking boots and head out to explore the vastness of Switzerland. Fortunately, it is very well developed transport structure, so to every interesting place is the tram, train or boat. Visit Zurich and then go south to the shores of Lake Geneva, Montreux and Lausanne, where you will find plenty of entertainment: restaurants, nightclubs and luxury hotels. source: dsb Vietnam Vietnam – a colorful city, rich markets and smiling locals. Combine a beach holiday with cognitive possible in Phan Thiet. This resort – one of the most attractive in Asia. But for the entertainment is better to go to Hanoi source: nsktur New Zealand Inspiring scenery, glaciers, rainforests, mountains – this place is just magical. Fabulous scenery though retouched in Photoshop. You go and you do not believe that all this is real. Active guests can try bungee jumping, boating and hiking on the legendary Milford Track – the most popular tour of New Zealand’s nine Great Walks. source: round-the-world Austria Small and compact, Vienna is one of the most suitable European city for a single journey. Many concert halls, dozens of museums and cafes where you should stay. Salzburg, where he once lived Wolfgang Amadeus, even less, but no less worthy of a visit. And to clean lakes and hot springs go into a charming Carinthia. source: galion-tours Japan Spend a few days in the fascinating metropolis of Tokyo, a ride on a high-speed train passing Mount Fuji and enjoy the tranquility of the old Kyoto. As for the number of attractions and museums – this is okay: Japan find something to surprise even the most experienced travelers. source: businessinsider Chile Chileans...

Read More
Top 10 City break destination
Jan20

Top 10 City break destination

When we talk about city break destinations, we talk about interesting cities, easy accessible with a train or a plane, not expensive and popular for short visits. According to the research done by “City Cost Barometer, this are the top city break destinations in Europe. Budapest, Hungary It is number one city break destination in Europe, because of the easy access and numerous low budget airlines that fly to Budapest from all over Europe, great sightseeing tours, cheap food and drinks and great nightlife. With a unique, youthful atmosphere, a world-class classical music scene as well as a pulsating night life increasingly appreciated among European youth and, last but not least, an exceptionally rich offering of natural thermal baths, Budapest is one of Europe’s most delightful and enjoyable cities. The cost: 141€ for a weekend. Not bad at all. image via aktivtours Vilnius, Lithuania Very pleasant and very beautiful, that’s what comes to one’s mind when talking about Vilnius. The city displays a variety of both architectural expression and willpower. This is perhaps due to the interesting history that rests in this attractive town, which not always has been the capital of Lithuania. However, for over five centuries, until he 18th century, Vilnius had been political and cultural center of Grand Duchy of Lithuania. The Old Town is Vilnius was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1994 just because the town “has preserved an impressive complex of Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and classical buildings as well as its medieval layout and natural setting”. 2009 Vilnius was the European Capital of Culture. The cost – 143€ for a weekend. image via lt-cn Warsaw, Poland The capital of Poland, an amazing city is full of contrasts, question marks and surprises. It will excite and inspire you. Palaces, churches and architectural clusters are interwoven with the wide open space of squares, parks and city gardens. Substantial portion of undeveloped land, with the essential need for investment, awaits the investors. These areas will play a major role in defining the character and ambience of the city in the upcoming years. The cost for a city break – 160€ for a weekend. image via wikimedia Prague, Czech Republic This magical city of bridges, cathedrals, gold-tipped towers and church domes, has been mirrored in the surface of the swan-filled Vltava River for more than ten centuries. Prague is also a modern and vibrant city full of energy, music, cultural art, fine dining and special events catering to the independent traveller’s thirst for adventure. The cost for a weekend – 165€ image via eurashe Lisbon, Portugal Lisbon is Europe’s second-oldest capital (after Athens), once home to the world’s greatest...

Read More
Amazing places to visit till you turn 30
Dec18

Amazing places to visit till you turn 30

Sometimes it is just easier to put your life on hold and just to work… But after a while you will be sad, empty because you do not have enough memories to put in your “adventure” book.So, fill the vacation request and pack your luggage…Some people are connecting traveling with majority, but you don’t have to be old to travel. Traveling is more than just a trip; it is a challenge for yourself and your knowledge. Why you need to be 30 to jump from the bridge in New Zealand, or to visit Rio de Janeiro carnival… There are amazing laces that you have to go … no time wasting… Machu Picchu When I am talking about mysterious, adventure, challenge- I am talking about Machu Picchu. image via tonyhakim Prepare yourself as you are about to embark on a virtual tour exploring one of the most intriguing destinations on the planet.   image via planetescape Machu Picchu is tangible evidence of the urban Inca Empire at the peak of its power and achievement—a citadel of cut stone fit together without mortar so tightly that its cracks still can’t be penetrated by a knife blade. The ruins lie on a high ridge, surrounded on three sides by the windy, turbulent Urubamba River some 2,000 feet (610 meters) below. Separated into three areas – agricultural, urban, and religious – the structures are arranged so that the function of the buildings matches the form of their surroundings. ’’Snow bomb’’ – Austria Young and crazy, we need fun and party! This trip is one of those for whole life… Up all night, with thousands people all over the world, music, snow… White sensation!!! image via tfhculture Snow bombing is a festival filled with fresh air, blue skies, black runs and white hot parties… A week-long whirlwind of world class DJs and bands, in the idyllic alpine setting of Mayrhofen, Austria. Days are spent skiing, boarding, enjoying music on mountain top stages or relaxing in the spa of a luxury hotel. Nights deliver cutting edge performances in unique venues, from a sky high igloo, to an enchanted forest clearing. Regarded by many as… image via standard The Greatest Show on Snow. Mystical. Musical. Without Equal… Be adventurist in Jamaica image via sandals For sure your remember the movie about the famous  Jamaican bobsled team… So, you can be next champion on that bobsled in Jamaica. There is this eco-friendly Mystic Mountain, build for adventure and great time. There is zip line, amazing swimming pool with view from Jamaica and bobsled around from the top. image via blogspot Don’t forget to take a cocktail on some of those amazing beaches there...

Read More
When size matters! Understanding the impact & process of transporting oversized loads
Oct14

When size matters! Understanding the impact & process of transporting oversized loads

If you thought size didn’t matter when it comes to travelling and transporting on the roads, the state governments and police will correct you in thinking otherwise. When it comes to the size and shape of transportation loads in Australia, this is a matter that is taken seriously. It is all for a good reason as state governments want to reduce the threat to people’s safety and environmental damage. Each year there are stories of damage and disruption caused by trucks running into bridges, bringing down power lines or causing damage to other vehicles. To minimise the risks, Membrey’s Transport and Crane hire, a haulage company with vast experience, has provided the following tips to help identify and understand the process when transporting oversized loads. The reasons why we need road safety, and how it has worked in Australia. The Australian states and territories are strict when it comes to transporting oversized loads. If you want to transport items such as farm equipment or cranes, you will need to apply for the necessary permits and process to facilitate a safe movement of specialised transport in that state’s road system. The process and system is diligent and thorough. It is an intrinsic process, but it is one that works by increasing safety and minimising the risk of damage and accidents on the roads. The process differs among the different states and territories. A link to their requirements and processes can be seen in the reference links below. Queensland New South Wales Northern Territory Western Australia South Australia ACT Tasmania Victoria What type of equipment or loads will need require permits? If you are unsure about whether or not you will need a permit for oversized goods, the checklist below will give you an idea. Farming equipment Cranes Houses Boats and yachts Forklifts What considerations need to be kept in mind when transporting oversized goods? Reversing Oversized loads reduce the visibility of the driver. Majority of deaths and damage is caused due to the lack of visibility. It is necessary that the routes that are planned for the transportation of the oversized loads minimise the need of the vehicle to reverse. Furthermore, drivers should be well trained in reversing with oversized cargo. Loading and unloading Loading and unloading the cargo can be tricky. It is important to work with a transportation partner that has access to the machinery that can safely and securely load and unload the cargo for transportation. Transport It is important to work with the right transportation vehicle that will minimise the risk of damage to the transported goods and to the trucks and trailers that are used...

Read More
5 Magical Cottages That Look Like They Have Been Taken Out of Fairy Tales!
May09

5 Magical Cottages That Look Like They Have Been Taken Out of Fairy Tales!

Usually they say home is where your heart is, but we are quite sure that the following cottages will easily get into your heart, and get you to fall in love with them and leave your current home and go there… What do you need to make a fairy tale house? First, you need a rural environment, preferably forest with wolves and witches or fairies and dwarfs hiding behind every rock and tree. Depends on how much adrenaline you prefer… Then you need the cottage itself. Some are based on historical styles while others are designed on the architect’s imagination. However, even those who have real architectural elements still stand with one foot in reality and the other in a fairy tale. Take a look of the Magical Cottages that look like they have been taken out of Fairy Tales: The Cottages of Hobbits in Wales, UK photo via simondale.net Cottage in Canada photo via jamesbirkbeckart.tumblr.com  Forest House in Holland photo via jamesbirkbeckart.tumblr.com  Rustic Hut in Minnesota photo via rusticway.com Akebono Kodomo-no-Mori in Japan photo via yui...

Read More