Home Authors Posts by Dan




New York is beautiful, isn’t it? The huge buildings, the historic landscape, the broadway shows, and the streets just teeming with tourists. If you fancy somewhere a bit more authentically American, it might be worth a visit a little further south to New Jersey. Famous for the pier, Atlantic City, the Statue of Liberty, and a vibrant Italian American community, New Jersey is New York’s secret rival.


Source: Pixabay

Start your trip with a ferry around the Statue of Liberty, and get all the tourist photos you fancy. Take in the sight which many immigrants will have been greeted with as they left war torn countries behind for the new hopes of America. Spend your afternoon on one of the many New Jersey beaches, eating at one of the many classic New Jersey restaurants along the boardwalk. The museum of art is worth a visit for a relaxing afternoon.

Source: Pixabay

If you’re lucky enough to visit during NHL season, you might be able to catch a Devils game at the Prudential centre. The Devils are currently 50/1 to win the Eastern conference, and you might just catch a surprising game from the team. The Devils play the New York Rangers in the “Battle of the Hudson River”, a derby with a longstanding rivalry, and is often the main event of the season for many fans.

If you fancy some razzle dazzle, Atlantic City is New Jersey’s answer to Las Vegas. Dotted with high rise buildings an glitzy hotels, it’s a must for anyone who enjoys a bit of the high life. Whilst Vegas is known as the epicentre for gambling and large budget shows, Atlantic City gives it a run for its money, whilst retaining the vintage chic and good hospitality that New Jersey has become renowned for. You might want to visit soon however, because it is tipped as one of one of 31 cities in the USA which are likely to be underwater in the near future. Visit in early October for the Atlantic City comedy festival, which gives a shot to new comedians and welcomes established comedians alike.


Source: Pixabay

Eating in New Jersey is about comfort food and utilising local produce. Take a trip to one of the many locally run restaurants to experience locally caught fresh swordfish, or munch on shellfish as you wander along the boardwalk. The melting pot of immigrant history in New Jersey ensures a variety of flavours and cuisines, and makes New Jersey a really special place to eat. If you’re visiting North Jersey, a hot dog is a must, and anywhere in New Jersey, you’ll want to try Tomato Pie, which unlike a traditional pizza is made with the cheese placed directly on the dough, with the toppings on top, and finally finished with the tomato sauce.

With a renowned art museum, a strong NHL tradition, lots of parks to walk in and great local food, New Jersey makes for an interesting alternative to New York, or maybe even a trip alongside. You could do a road trip around the state or visit particular places as part of your visit, and feel smug in the knowledge that you’ve visited an All American state.



    Moving abroad can be a stressful time, as you’re relocating your entire life to a foreign country. One of the biggest stresses that can come about is how to pack your belongings. One of the best tips to remember, however, is to pack as light as possible. It can often work out cheaper to buy what you need after you’ve moved, rather than spend on the shipping costs to send your belongings abroad.

    Don’t travel with your furniture

    Professional guidance on moving overseas suggests that packing up and moving with your existing furniture is likely to be very expensive. The cost of packaging and sending your furniture abroad can be costly, especially if you need to pay customs tax. You’ll be much better off using that money to buy new furniture to suit your new home. Furthermore, you could make a bit of extra cash by selling your old furniture.

    Furniture sizes can also change depending on the country you’re moving to, as general room sizes differ between countries. For example, American rooms and furniture sizes tend to be much larger than in Asian countries, so the furniture is bigger to accommodate for this. The size and shape may not fit in your new space either, so it’s best to instead buy your furniture for your new home, rather than waste time and money shipping your existing furniture.

    Be picky with the clothes you take with you

    Moving is a good time to really be picky about the clothes you have in your wardrobe. It is cheaper to pack lightly when moving in general, and even more so if you’re moving abroad. Getting rid of old clothes is one of the best ways to pack lightly, and it gives you chance to go through your entire wardrobe and get rid of anything you haven’t worn in past year — excluding any fancy outfits for special occasions. Be ruthless when going through your clothes, and only keep what you really, really need.

    When you have managed to shrink your wardrobe down to just the bare necessities, be mindful about how you throw the old clothes away. According to the 2017 State of Reuse Report, North Americans throw away around 81 pounds of textiles (clothes, towels, bedding etc) a year, per person. That equates to over 20 billion pounds of textiles going into landfills across America and Canada alone. Instead of adding to this figure, you can donate old clothes to charity. Some people may think that you can’t donate used clothes, but this isn’t true. Clothing banks and charities will accept old and worn clothes, and can use them to help the homeless or those in need.

    Alternatively, you can give old clothes to friends and family, rather than throwing them away. If you have any expensive or designer pieces that are still in good condition, you could consider selling them on websites such as eBay or Depop. This can rehome your old clothes while also raising more cash to help you when moving abroad.

    Leave electrical appliances that can be easily replaced

    Things like toasters and microwaves can be easily replaced if you’re moving abroad. On top of this, the electrical plugs may not work in the new country, leaving them useless without the correct adaptor, and taking up valuable space in your luggage. Instead, make them a priority to buy once you’ve moved, to help you settle in even quicker.

    Bigger electrical appliances, such as TVs, may be more expensive to replace, so it’s important to consider the cost of taking these with you, as well as the risks involved. For example, if you’re moving a TV with you, you want to make sure it’s being transported correctly, to minimise the risk of damage.



      Since the automotive industry has become very global in recent years, it’s hard to know just what cars are truly American. Many believe that if a car is assembled outside of the U.S. it isn’t really American. If you’re looking for an American made car and want the best, there are a few things you should know. A few factors that really put these American made cars on the map for being the best can be found below. You’ll love what each one has to offer after being assembled right in the great United States of America for your driving pleasure.


      What Makes An American Car

      There are several factors that go into determining what really makes a car truly American. Some believe it’s about where you source the parts. Others think what makes the car American depends solely on the assembly location. Of course to be American a car also might need to be contain a certain amount of domestic content, or have its engine completely sourced in the U.S. And just how many jobs in the U.S. did the manufacture of one car provide Americans?


      Check Out The American Made Index

      The American Made Index has a great assembly of criteria when it comes to deciding what cars are American and what cars aren’t all that U.S. made. The index sincerely combines all of the criteria mentioned above when determining what really makes a car a true Made in America Car. That’s why these cars are the best when it comes to American Made Cars.


      The Best American Made Cars

      According to The American Made Index there are only a few truly American Cars, of the best includes brands like Jeep, Ford, Honda, and GMC. To check out which makes and models made the American cut follow the link above. You might really love what you read!


      Traveling is fun, I mean for me personally there’s nothing more exciting than turning up to a new city or country and knowing that I will be discovering new foods, places and activities. I love it! But the truth is that there’s a few things about travel that are a little less glamorous. One of the things that I find most boring about traveling is the sheer amount of time spent in airports, especially if you have a long wait before flights. I prefer to go to the airport prepared so that time can go faster and I don’t get too bored! Here are my favourite boredom busters for long airport layovers:

      1. A Book
      I love reading, whether it’s fiction or self help books, I find myself getting lost between the pages and being carried off into my own world. It’s the perfect way to escape the hustle and bustle of an airport. I personally love paper books, but if you’re not sold, consider audiobooks or even an e-book, both of which are a little more portable than traditional books. While on holiday, according to a study by Opodo.co.uk, Brits read on average of two books! Using the boring wait time while in airports is a great way to boost your read count for your holiday.
      2. A Game
      These days games on your phone are pretty impressive, with numerous levels and challenges to keep you entertained for hours on end. Find a game that doesn’t need to be connected to wifi, as that will ensure you can play it no matter whether you have signal or not. This is a great way to ensure that the minutes fly by – just be careful you don’t miss your flight!

      3. TV Show
      Addicted to Game of Thrones? House of Cards? Whatever your kind of show, make sure you have some episodes loaded on your phone or iPad so that you can get into them while you’re waiting. Netflix now lets you download episodes, too, which makes it perfect for traveling. I personally prefer watching TV shows over movies when waiting as they’re a bit smaller and it’s easier to fit them into the wait time. If you don’t finish while you’re in the lounge, don’t worry – you can finish it off on the next flight.

      4. Colouring In Book
      Adult colouring in books have become quite trendy in the past few years. I love them because they’re relaxing. Some of them are quite large, but there’s even some cute travel sized books you can grab to take with you. It’s a cool way to pass the time as it’s distressing but also because you’re creating some beautiful art while you wait.

      Waiting in airports can be a little boring but with these simple boredom busters the time will fly by!


        If you are looking for your first finance industry position in Los Angeles, you are in for some competition. The financial sector of the city has been growing in recent years, and L.A. is now one of the top five cities nationally for finance jobs, but it’s also a large metropolitan area with a huge population base of motivated professionals. That means you will need to stand out to be competitive. Here are a couple of ways you can do that.


        Talk to Recruiters Early and Often


        If you are looking for positions and you want to have something lined up before you move, finance recruiters in Los Angeles are often the key to making that work. Beacon Resources works hard to develop candidates and places them directly into jobs in firms. Positions can be temporary or full time, and direct-hire is also possible when the market supports it.


        Many employers who interview directly want to conduct those interviews face to face, but when you work with a professional service for job placement, they are able to communicate with you more closely and to accommodate long distance job placement.


        Develop Your Professional Network Online


        If you want to have strong references in the community that can also help you understand the ins and outs of the local industry, online communities provide you with the opportunity to start making those connections. Find message boards for your particular niche and start asking and answering questions to learn more about the community.


        Keep Developing Your Skill Set


        As you work toward your first position, keep adding to your skills by taking extra classes or pursuing new accreditations. Not only will the extra credentials help to make you a more qualified applicant, the time spent developing those skills will also be time spent learning more about the local area and expanding your professional network.


        When you are ready to talk about finding a position in the finance sector in Los Angeles, Beacon Resources, a financial staffing agency can help. Call us at (844) 500-8100 to learn more.



        Few travellers look forward to the prospect of a long haul flight with any relish. Hour after hour stuck in a cramped seat is hard to make enjoyable, no matter how many movies you watch back to back.


        The older you get, the more daunting long haul travel becomes. Your body takes less and less kindly to the strain of being sat still for hours on end. And if you have a medical condition of any sort or a physical disability, things can be even tougher.


        However, that is no reason to avoid taking long trips to far off climes altogether. Whether it is to visit family living abroad, or to realise your dreams of exotic adventure, a long haul flight is a means to a much bigger end. And with a little forward planning, you can do plenty to alleviate the worst aspects.

        Talk to your airline

        When booking your flight, it is important to speak to them to explain any specific needs you have. These might include:


        • Wheelchair access: Arrangements will need to be made to check your normal wheelchair into the baggage hold and offer you a replacement for getting through security and to the boarding gate. Airport staff will then be on hand to assist with getting onto the plane.

        • Priority boarding: If mobility is an issue for you and standing on your feet in queues is difficult, you can ask for assistance to get through check-in and security quickly, and then board the plane early.

        • Extra leg room: Large jets do have seats with more leg room, which are usually reserved for passengers with young children or with mobility issues.

        • Dietary requirements: If you have a condition such as diabetes, make sure you inform your airline of any special requirements for in-house meals.

        • Medicines: Advise your airline in plenty of time of any medicines you will need to take on board with you to use during the flight. This will ensure security clearance can be arranged, and the flight crew given advance notice.

        During the flight

        As long as you have informed your airline in advance of any specific needs, the flight crew will be prepared to assist you. Members of crew are medically trained should you feel unwell during the flight.


        The rest is about making yourself as comfortable as possible. Take cushions and pillows with you – blow-up varieties are a good idea if you want to save space in your hand luggage. A blanket can also be a good idea as in-flight aircon can get chilly, especially if you try to sleep.


        Don’t forget to get up and move around at regular intervals. This applies even if you are no longer the most mobile – ask a member of the flight crew to assist you. This is essential to stop joints and muscles seizing up and causing discomfort later on, but also to protect against more serious problems like deep vein thrombosis.

        Find out more

        If you are an older traveller planning a trip abroad, or if you have a long term medical condition, make sure you get the appropriate travel insurance. Avanti Travel Insurance specialises in policies for the over-50s, and offers a range of bespoke insurance for specific medical conditions. To find out more, please visit our website.


        Would you ever hide money from your partner? If you answered yes, turns out you’re not alone. In a new study by AutoEurope.co.uk it was discovered that around 25% of people studied have a secret amount of money stashed away from their partner, which is, on average, over £4200 for men and a little more than £2700 for woman. While people are saving this secret money for a variety of reasons, I was really surprised to read that 27% of people are saving for a secret holiday – often without their partners. I personally feel that relationships are built on trust and so if these savings are really secret, it’s a very concerning sign for the relationship.

        23% of people studied said that they had money in hiding incase the relationship falls apart, in order to get life started again. While I can understand getting prepared, I really think it’s important any personal savings you have are not a secret and if you can’t share that information with your partner, it’s probably a clear sign you should consider ending the relationship.

        Almost 30% of the respondents said they felt guilty for hiding money from their significant other while in contrast 36% said they were doing it for the good of the family. Perhaps due to fears of the partner spending the money irresponsibility or for some addiction, such as alcoholism or gambling. While 57% of respondents said they would be delighted if they found their partner had a secret stash, 42% said they would be furious, which is exactly how I would feel if I found out my partner had money hidden from me.

        I personally find money to be such a sensitive topic in relationship and feel that it’s important that each partner have a certain amount of money each month which is theirs to do with what they please. This is important to maintain financial independence and to ensure that you don’t have to ask permission for every little thing you wish to buy. However, I think it’s important to be transparent about any personal savings you have and the intention you have for them. The only time I personally feel it’s appropriate to hide your savings is in the case of an addiction to drugs, alcohol or gambling, where you cannot trust your partner to take care of the money. I think secrecy with money can flow into other areas of your relationship, making lies and deceit seem normal, when it has no place in a healthy relationship.

        Would you hide money from your partner in order to plan a holiday for yourself without them? Leave your comments down below!

        Secret-savers (3)


        Road trips are one of my favourite ways to travel: you have the convenience of your own car, you’re able to go where you want when you want, and you can decide exactly where you want to go. All you need is some good quality snacks, a great sound track and good company and you’re set to go. But where? Well, the truth is you’ll be spoiled for choices within Europe. In general the road quality is great, there’s lots of scenic routes you can take, and there’s so many hot spots you’ll struggle to choose where you want to go most. Yourparkingspace have done the hard research for us and found a great selection of the best and most scenic roads in Europe, they’ve even made a cool infographic that I’ll be sure to post at the end of the post, so don’t forget to check it out.
        Without further ado, here are some of the best road trip routes in Europe:

        1. Old Military Road A93 & A939, Scotland
        Many say this is the best driving route in all of the UK, for a variety of reasons. First it’s a pretty short length of drive (around 2 hours) but is filled with a few national treasures such as Cairngorms National Park, Balmoral Castle and Lecht Ski School. You’ll have an opportunity to hopefully see some of the wildlife in the Highlights, so keep your eyes on the road. You’re likely to see deer, snow rabbits and maybe even grouse.

        2.Susten Pass, Switzerland
        Often considered one of the most scenic roads in the entire world, here you’ll see roads curving through the valleys while you edge towards the summit which is an impressive 2,224 meters. This is another short drive, only taking around an hour, but it will probably you take much longer as there’s lots of scenic places to stop along the way for a great photo opportunity.

        3. Route 500, the Black Forest Germany
        This road is particularly popular with motorcyclists, probably in part because the roads are winding and provide interesting views along the way. You’ll pass through dense forest areas, find yourself with elevated views and space to park. At times this road can be quite busy, so traveling earlier int he day can be a good way to avoid congestion. This trip takes around 53 mins, covers 31.1 miles and passes by Hornisgrinde Mountain, Geroldsau Waterfalls and Lichtenthal Abbey.

        For more inspiration, check out the cool infographic right below:

        european road trip infographic


          I feel like as time goes on, we’re becoming more aware of the effect our actions have on the planet. We want to bring our own bags to the supermarket in order to reduce plastic, many homes are now recycling and we also want to buy eco-friendly cars. In the past few years we’ve seen a huge increase in alternative fuel based cars, such as hydrogen based cars and rechargeable cars such as the Tesla line. Now even more mainstream car brands are looking to see how they can become more eco friendly and positively impact the environment.

          Here are my handy hints of 3 ways to minimise your car emissions and help ensure the health of our planet:

          1. Buy a Eco Conscious Car
          For many of us, using our car is non negotiable, it’s what we use to get to work each day and how we transport our kids to school. If there’s no way to minimise how often you use a car, you can choose a more eco friendly car and it doesn’t just have to be one of the new cars that are completely electric. The growth of sales of hybrid/electric cars has increased by 43.2% in the first quarter of 2017 when compared with 2016 – that’s almost double! This means you should be able to find a more eco friendly car option, regardless of whether you’re buying new or used.

          2. Carpool
          Maybe a new car isn’t on the cards for you, or maybe you already have a hybrid or electric car and want to figure out more ways to minimise the impact on the environment. Why not consider carpooling? This works great both for your personal work commute and also for the kid’s drop off. Maybe you can arrange with some parents to share the responsibility of school drop offs, which will reduce the environmental impact but also ensure you have a little more extra time each week for anything you need to do. It’s a win win situation for you and the other parents.

          3. Use Only When Necessary
          We can all do with cutting down our car use. If you live somewhere with great public transport, why not commit to using it a few times a week? Why not have “Walking weekends” where you avoid using the car and instead explore your neighbourhood with fresh eyes. Little adjustments each week can add up to a substantial change over the course of the year.

          Want to know more about the future of alternative fuels? Please take a moment to check out this handy infographic below:
          Motorparks - Future of Fuel (1)


            No one likes to go to visit someone in hospital, often it’s uncomfortable and sad, but the truth is it’s much worse for the person in hospital. Visiting is a small way you can show you care, that you’re thinking of them, and hoping they have a speedy recovery. There are a few tips you can keep in mind to ensure the visit goes as well as possible, that the person you’re visiting feels loved and respected. If you find yourself in hospital due to someone else’s negligence check out medical compensation solicitors Cardiff for more information about how you can proceed. Here are my 4 tips for visiting someone in hospital #HospitalHelpingHand: 

            1. Short Visits Are Best
            Unless you’re exceptionally close to the person in hospital, keep visits short and sweet. If the person admitted to hospital is in pain or recovering from surgery, it can be quite exhausting to even keep up a conversation. I would expect to spend an hour or less, even going as far to ask the patient to let you know when they need time to rest so you don’t overstay your welcome. If you’re a close family member or partner of the person in hospital, they may want you to be there as much as possible, but for less close connections it’s important not to overstay.

            2. Be Hygienic
            This is important for both you and the patient. If you’re visiting a new mother and her baby, please cancel your visit if you’re feeling unwell or recently recovering from an illness. It’s too risky to pass on an illness, no matter how small, to a baby. Likewise, do not kiss the baby as their immune systems are so poorly developed it could lead to sickness. Wash your hands before and after visiting anyone in hospital, for their health and your own. If you’re not feeling well, cancel your visit.

            3. Bring Gifts
            If you’re visiting a new mum, the types of gifts could be something for the baby, something for the mum, balloons to welcome the baby or even a home-cooked meal. If you’re not sure what to bring, feel free to ask. For someone else recovering in hospital, one of the biggest issues they’ll face is boredom, so a great book or magazines can be a well-welcomed gift. For almost any occasion flowers are a nice idea because they’ll brighten up the room and serve as a reminder that you are thinking of them.

            4. Ask First
            Either contact the patient directly or a close family member to ask to see whether they are ready for visitors. Be open to the patient saying no. If the person is suffering a lot of pain they might be uncomfortable with the idea of having visitors and that’s their right. Don’t take it personally, I’m sure when they’re feeling better they’ll be ready to see you.