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iPhone or Samsung? The Big Debate!

So, this is a question that many people ask themselves when it’s time to upgrade and change their phone contract. I’ve been there, I’ve tussled with the decision, and in the end I went for the switch.

Was I sorry?

Not at all.

I am a firm Samsung convert, from many years of being an iPhone girl.

Now, I don’t want to sway your decision, so we will discuss each important feature in turn, but if you’re at all unsure, I’d always say go for a change.

Screen size

It’s not hard to see that the Samsung Galaxy has a much bigger screen than an iPhone, and this can be both a blessing and a curse at the same time. If you’re wanting to watch films or TV on your Samsung, then you’re more than sorted; if however you want to be able to juggle it all with one hand, you’re going to be finding yourself a little unstuck. The iPhone is easier to handle without a doubt, but a smaller screen isn’t so great for viewing photos or watching TV. It’s all dependent on what you can handle, but you do get used to the size.

Battery

It’s easy to see that you can take the battery out of a Samsung and change it in the event of a problem, but you can’t with an iPhone, and you have to send it off to be fixed, which is of course costly. A point for the Samsung here.

Camera

Whilst the camera quality has come on leaps and bounds with more recent models of iPhone, the Samsung camera is infinitely better. I noticed a major difference with my photos since swapping, and the zoom feature is fantastic. I have actually sold my digital camera since I got my Samsung, and I now use my phone camera as my only one; that speaks volume.

Memory boost

When you initially buy your iPhone, you have to decide whether you want 8gb, 16gb, or 32gb, right? The price obviously differs depending on the size of memory you want. With a Samsung you don’t do this, you simply buy your phone and then you add an SD memory card of your preferred size. Does this make a difference? It could do cost-wise, but it’s splitting hairs to be honest.

Apps

Whilst Android apps are very close to Apple’s range, this is probably where the iPhone wins major points. The range of apps on the Apple Store is huge and continues to grow.

Which one wins? It really does depend on preference because there’s no major differences in terms of performance in my opinion. I wouldn’t go back to an iPhone now I’ve had my Samsung, and the one major thing that keeps me with Samsung is the camera.

Are you a Samsung girl, or are you an Apple girl?

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How to Survive a Long Haul Flight  

To get to the best destinations in the world, it’s typical that you have to sit in a big tin can for an excessive number of hours. This isn’t sod’s law, it’s simply a fact of the matter. To see wonderful things, there is a pay off, and that is the wonder of the long haul flight.

Now, surviving a long haul flight isn’t as difficult as it might seem, and you can cut out the degree of uncomfortableness, boredom, and stress if you’re a little clever.

Here’s how.

Preparation is key

At the initial booking stage, do a little research into your airline, especially the seat pitch and amount of leg room they give you on long haul flights. It is worth booking extra leg room? If you’re particularly tall then yes, it is. You can do this at the airport when you check in, if there is room available, but you’re running a risk here so it’s advisable to do it when you book your seat.

Think comfort

Don’t go to the airport in your most fashionable clothes, because by the end of the flight they’re going to be so creased and crumpled, you’ll be looking for the nearest iron. Wear comfortable, breathable clothes, and consider taking a change of clothes too. I always wear leggings to travel long haul, because I can move easily. In the past I have been known to put a pair of pyjama bottoms in my bag and some bed socks, and head to the toilet to get changed, to up my comfort level! Also wear shoes you can easily slip on and off.

You might also want to think about taking a blanket and a cushion with you. It’s easy to buy the travel sized ‘U’ shaped pillows, which fit around your neck and offer support, and when you’re trying to nod off mid-flight then this will be a godsend; laying your head against a cold, hard window is not comfortable. The blanket will come in very handy when air cons feels like sub-zero – there is nothing worse than being cold.

Sensible packing

When you’re packing your hand luggage, think carefully about what you might need. In-flight entertainment will probably be available, but it will also probably bore you after an hour or so. Charge up all your electricals, such as iPad, Kindle, phone etc, and make sure you load them up before you leave with games, music, books, films etc, and also don’t forget your earphones! This should give you hours of entertainment when the mid-flight slump sets in.

Also remember your essentials such as paracetamol for that inevitable headache, sweets for ear popping, tissues, lipbalm, a hairbrush, and maybe even an eye mask, if you’re conscious of falling asleep in public.

A word of advice …

Never, ever look at the inflight map! I did this once, I spent the entire flight from Manchester to Orlando thinking we were stuck in slow motion over Greenland, because the damn thing never seemed to move! The key to surviving a long haul flight is to stay distracted and not focus on the amount of time you’re in the air, because this will help it pass much quicker. If you’re focusing too much on something that is reminding you of how far you still have to go, you’re not going to enjoy your flight.

Let’s put it this way, once you land on tarmac at your destination, your flight will be a long-forgotten memory. Long-haul flights might not be the most enjoyable things in the world, but the destinations they lead you to, most certainly are.

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iPhone Apps You Just Can’t Live Without

There’s an app for that!

What did we do before iPhones? How did we survive without consulting an app for something or another? It’s hard to imagine!

Of course, everyone’s preference is different, and you might not have the same opinion as the next one on your favourite app, the one that you consult several times a day. Below you’ll find seven of the best and most popular apps for iPhones. These are certainly dwelling in my phone!

Facebook Messenger – Chat on the go, and it’s all free provided you have that precious wifi connection! This is probably the number one without a doubt, and it’s certainly my top app on my phone. The best way to keep in touch with your Facebook friends.

Candy Crush – If you didn’t fall into the addiction trap of Candy Crush, then you’re very lucky indeed! One of the most downloaded games, one go and you’ll be hooked without a doubt. Great for passing the time on a long journey.

WhatsApp – If you want to stay in touch whilst you’re abroad, share photos, videos, and voice recordings, then this is perfect. Again, if you have an Internet or wifi connection you’re rocking, and you simply need the person’s phone number, who also need to have the app installed. I have many friends overseas, and this is the best and cheapest way to stay in touch, without a doubt.

SoundHound – I love this app. Have you ever had a song playing in a bar or restaurant, and you really want to know what it is, so you can download it, but you have no idea what it’s called? Simply point your phone with this app at the source of the noise and you will be told categorically what said song is!

PayPal – I use this a lot, and it’s great to have it on my phone, so I can use it on the go. For financial transactions, paying for goods, or receiving money from people, this is the undisputed number one.

Instagram – Come on, who doesn’t love to Instagram a photo? Fast becoming the world’s new obsession, this iPhone app should be in everyone’s app bank, and can make even the worst landscape look top notch.

Skype – And finally we have another app that is one of the best ways to stay in touch with friends and family on the go. If you’re on holiday, travelling, or simply away, then you can send messages and have video calls for free with a wifi connection. It’s like being a home, even though you’re miles away, and having it on your phone gives you the ability to stay in touch unlimited.  

Get downloading!

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The Best Party Destinations in Europe

Party on!

Europe is full of amazing cities, resorts, and towns, all with plenty of culture to give each place an identity all of its own. Despite that, there are also fantastic cities, resorts and towns where partying with a capital P is the name of the game! Many Club 18-30 destinations sit firmly on European soil, and it’s often hard to whittle it down to which one you’ll visit.

Every major capital city has its nightlife, and a lot of the time this is vibrant, varied and seriously loud, but the good thing is that whilst nightlife has a right to be raucous, most cities also have a quieter side, meaning there is something to suit everyone.

Let’s look at five of the top party destinations on the continent – be prepared to wave your glow sticks and dance ‘til dawn!

Ibiza

No list of party destinations would be complete without a mention of the White Isle. Throughout the summer months, party-addicted people head to this Mediterranean island, with one thing on their mind – party! Super-clubs such as Space, Pasha, Eden … the list goes on, and most are centred mainly in San Antonio. You can get the party bus to take you there and back again, and you can sit and chill out at one of the sunset viewing bars before you head on out. For superstar DJs, this is your destination.

Amsterdam

This might sound like an odd one, but the city famous for tulips, canals and, erm, space cakes, is actually a clubbing dream. The home of famous DJs such as Tiesto, Amsterdam is full of bright and wild clubs and bars. You’ll find every kind of music on the scene, including techno, hip-hop and pop. On top of this, the city is a fantastic place to visit too!

Marmaris, Turkey

Whether you class this as Europe or not is debatable, but I do, so I’m including it. Marmaris is fast becoming one of the must-visit summer destinations, and to say the nightlife is seriously happening is an understatement. Long Beach and then Bar Street should be your destination, with after-parties and foam parties to throw into the mix. Oh, and it’s very sunny in the day time too!

Mykonos, Greece

This sun-drenched Greek island is seriously wild in terms of partying, and you won’t find many people on the beaches first thing in the morning, because they’re all recovering until mid-afternoon from the night before! Very liberal and borderline wild, Mykonos’ beach parties are legendary, and Paradise Beach is a must visit.

Ayia Napa, Cyprus

Second only to Ibiza, Ayia Napa is a resort on the far-eastern end of south Cyprus, and its beauty is often overlooked, basically because everyone is too hungover to appreciate it. You’ll find many a Club 18-30 hotel here, giving you respite from the partying, but if that’s what you’re wanting, then you’re perfectly placed! Very wild, very tiring, but in terms of nightlife, you’ll struggle to find better.

A holiday to any of these places will probably leave you needing another holiday to recover, but as far as crazy memories are concerned, they’ll stay with you forever.

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Best Personal Finance Blogs for Women

Making money matters fun

Let’s face it, money isn’t the most thrilling of subjects, unless it involves a lottery win or a huge windfall, so reading about it really isn’t likely to fill you with much joy. Having said that, it’s important to try and grab bits of advice wherever you can, and finance blogs are likely to be the best port of call for money matter advice.

Don’t worry, it’s not all stuffy be-suited men, preaching about the importance of saving a quarter of your wages every month, as there are some seriously hip and talented financial female bloggers out there, just like you and me, who give important tips and advice that could help you out of a money mess, or put you in a better situation.

Check out these five.

http://commonsensemillennial.com/

Kali pulls no punches with her money advice, but it’s fun and informative to read all the same. You’ll find yourself shouting ‘that’s me!’ at some of the stories you read, and you can be assured that what you’re reading is reliable and accurate.

http://financially-blonde.com/

The name itself shouts fun! Young and hip, Financially Blonde gives high quality advice on all those things you probably don’t know too much about, such as investment, savings, and general money advice. Articles on such things like how to improve your credit score will prove handy, and because the blogger in question is also a financial adviser, you know what you’re reading is top class.

http://clubthrifty.com/

If you want to read advice on how to live your life to the max without falling into common money traps, then this is the site for you. Full of practical advice you can easily adopt to your own life, this blog focuses mainly on travel and how you can get around the world without ending up in the red. Good advice for those who want to get out and about but worry about money side of things.

http://budgetandthebeach.com/

Another one that focuses on travel and life, Budget and the Beach gives advice on how to continue living whilst saving, travelling, and again not heading into the red. A particularly good post focuses on how to deal with financial setbacks, which happens to the best of us, and at the time can feel like a disaster. Blogger Tonya has been working on this blog since 2012.

http://fitnpoor.com/

This blog is great for advice from someone who has been there, done it, got the t-shirt, and come out the other end. For inspirational words of financial advice, this is a great blog. Michelle was in the same position as many of us a few years ago, when her husband lost his job and they were struggling financially, but now she is living her dream. Practical, relatable money advice for young women.

Money matters need not be boring with blogs like these!

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How to Fast Track Your Savings

Save it!

Saving sounds like such a simple thing, doesn’t it? Unfortunately the reality is rather different, because not only do temptations get in the way, but unforeseen circumstances have a habit of coming around and biting us on the backside.

It is possible to sidestep these stumbling blocks and help that savings account grow into something to be proud of, whether it’s for a rainy day, or whether you’re saving up for a specific thing, and all it takes is a bit of good old willpower and a little clever thinking.

Budgeting is the way forward

It sounds boring, and yes, it is, but it’s also necessary to help you identify where you can save, and how much you can realistically afford to save. Sit down with a pen and paper, a strong cup of coffee, and figure out how much you have coming in, and the things you have to pay out every month. Don’t forget the necessities of life, such as eating, clothes, and of course a bit of a social life. Be realistic!

Identify how much you can save

Once you’ve created a budget, you can easily see how much is possible for you to save each month. Again, be realistic and put it in a high interest savings account. It’s a good idea to set up a standing order to move this amount of money into your savings every month, usually the day after you get paid. Don’t touch it!

Extra cash

Do you have anything you can sell? If so, get it on eBay! Can you make money through other means, such as another job? If so, then go for it. Remember if you’re looking for a second income, you will have to declare this, especially if you’re doing something such as freelancing, as you’ll have to declare yourself as self-employed, and pay tax. A second job will mean more tax paid than on your first job, but it’s still extra cash in your pocket at the end of the day. Everything you earn from these extra means should go in your savings account.

Cut out the unnecessary

Do you have a gym membership that you don’t use? Get rid of it if you can. Are you guilty of eating out a lot, when you could eat in cheaper? Stop it. Do you impulse buy? Cut it out! These are all easy ways you can save, and it’s a case of changing behaviour. Everything you save from this, put it in your savings account.

Be shopping savvy

When you’re doing your grocery shopping, don’t be label fussy, and instead shop for offers. You can cut your grocery bill quite easily by doing this. Also, sign up a coupon app on your phone, and see if you can shop at the places where money offers are on. Again, save what you can.

There’s no magic wand, but it’s easy to find little ways to increase that savings account, if you think a little shrewdly.

Shop for deals and use money off offers.

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Five of the Best Sites for Buying Cheap Clothes Online

Dressing up on the cheap

When it comes to buying clothes, you can either head to the high street and buy your fashionable pieces at slightly inflated prices, or you can sit comfortably in your living room, buying your fashion pieces online much cheaper. Of course, you need to know where to go, and there is the downside of not actually seeing the item in person until it arrives, but hey, that’s half the fun, and there’s always returns policies to fall back on!

The Internet is drowning with clothes websites, but below you’ll find five of the best in terms of price and quality. I shop at all of these, so I can certainly vouch for them.

See what you think.

Boohoo.com

Great for both high fashion pieces, something a little unusual, as well as wardrobe staple pieces, Boohoo is one of my all-time favourites. The prices are low and the quality is high. It also doesn’t hurt that they have very frequent sales and you can grab serious bargains very easily. Postage costs are low, and if you spend over a certain amount there are often promotions on to get postage free.

Asos.com

Whilst some of the high fashion pieces on Asos can be costly, they do have an outlet part of their website, where you’ll find fantastically low prices on your fashion buys. Postage costs are again low, and the returns policy is fair and quick.

eBay

Bear with me on this one. I have bid and won many a great buy on eBay, and it’s only a case of shopping cleverly. For instance, if you want something new, narrow your search down to ‘brand new with tags’ or ‘brand new without tags’ and that is all that will come up in your search. You know what they say, one man’s rubbish is another man’s treasure!

Missguided.co.uk

A little like Boohoo in many ways, Missguided is a great place to head for up to date fashion pieces, without having to pay the over the top prices you may find on the high street. The website is easy to use, prices are low, and for bang on trend pieces, you can’t go wrong.

Everything5pounds.com

Yes, you read it right, and it really does do what it says on the tin. Everything on the site, from clothes, shoes, bags, and accessories, are all £5, and your postage costs depend on how much you buy, according to weight. Sizes aren’t the best, so be shrewd with your buys, but generally this is a great way to grab serious bargains when your funds are low.

Check out these five suggestions and see if any of your fashion requirements are met, without having to splash out and make your bank card cry!

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Backpacking in South East Asia for Beginners

Tips to help you out

So, you’re planning to head off on that well-trodden backpacking trail, taking you from perhaps Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia and Singapore, passing through misty mountains, stunning rainforests, beautiful temples, and meeting endless friendly faces and wildlife along the way? Lucky you!

Despite this amazing adventure you’re about to embark on, you could be forgiven for perhaps being a little apprehensive and wondering where to start with the whole thing. You wouldn’t be the first, and you wouldn’t be the last, so there are plenty of hints and tips out there to help you get on the backpacking road.

Here’s a few you should take notice of.

  • Research your route – You might think that flying by the seat of your pants is a spontaneous and fun thing to do, but this is what pulls people into problems. I’m not suggesting you mark it all down in ink and stick to it, but at least have a rough idea where you’re going, in what order. Of course you can change it as you go, but a rough guide will always help you.
  • Think when to go – November to April are the busiest months, but that is also because the weather is the best. This is when it’s not too hot, not too rainy, and perfect for getting around.
  • Time your visit for events – If you want to head to the legendary Full Moon Party in Thailand, or another event that takes place at a certain time, make sure you research accordingly and time your visit to coincide, so you’re not missing out.
  • Budget – Accommodation and food are cheap in this part of the world, but you need to make sure you spread your money out evenly, so you’re not rich at the beginning, and extremely poor at the end.
  • Eat like a local – Stick to street food and local delicacies and you’ll find your money goes further. If you head to restaurants aimed at tourists, and eat the food you eat at home, then you’ll find inflated prices, and you’ll run short of cash.
  • Pack wisely – The term ‘backpacking’ should give you a clue, because everything you bring you have to carry. Pack lightly and give it plenty of mix and match thought before you leave.
  • Leave the valuables at home – This is a safety and security issue, so don’t carry major valuables, don’t keep too much cash on you, and don’t go around waving your brand new iPhone in public.
  • Get backpackers’ insurance – Don’t go booking ordinary travel insurance, as you might find that you won’t be covered in the event of a claim. Some polices have restrictions on how many borders you can cross, how many countries you can visit, and how long you can go away for – specialist backpacking insurance was designed for a reason.
  • Research your visa requirements – Backpacking means crossing many borders, which may pull visa requirements into the fray. Check what you need for each country you’re planning on visiting in good time, and do the necessary.
  • Health matters – Check with your doctor if you need any specialist immunisations for your travels, and anti-malaria medication. Also make sure that your regular immunisations, such as tetanus and polio, are up to date. It’s not worth taking the risk to go without.

All that’s left to say? Enjoy your adventure!

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10 Things You Should Tell Yourself Every Day If You’re Single

If you’re single, you could be forgiven for occasionally thinking that the world is conspiring against you, that everyone is happy and coupled up, and that you’re going to be constantly stuck on the shelf, ending up an old lady in a rocking chair, who is strangely attached to cats.

This is a myth, fret not.

The truth of the matter is, that being single is a wonderful and free time in your life, and it’s only when you look back on it, usually when you’re much older and probably married, that you will realise this fact and understand the truth.

There are major perks to flying solo, but during those moments when you’re feeling a little down on yourself, comfort yourself with these few words of truth and optimism.

  1. It only takes a minute. In the words of Take That, it only takes a minute to fall in love. Okay, so maybe that’s stretching it a little, but it does only take a minute to meet someone who could change the course of your life, and that’s an exciting thing to ponder on.
  2. Just because they’re in a relationship, doesn’t mean they’re happy. Not every single person with a significant other is climbing the walls with joy every morning, and it’s true that it’s better to be alone than be in a relationship with the wrong person. You never know what is going on behind closed doors.
  3. The best is yet to come! Your future is a blank canvas and you have your loved up years yet to come.
  4. You are the most important person in your life. Being single is the time in your life when you can be totally and utterly selfish, without having to consider another person. Focus on yourself, go on a course, go on holiday alone, do everything you’ve wanted to do, before you have to start thinking about someone else into the equation too.
  5. It’s time to have fun! Party til dawn if you want, but the bottom line is everything is your choice.
  6. You’re single solely because you haven’t met the right person yet. There is nothing wrong with you, you are not a sad, lonely individual, you are simply still searching. We have to kiss a few frogs before we find our prince, and you’re just somewhere in the middle of the frog pool!
  7. You have to love yourself first. Okay, so this is something that gets bandied about a lot and everyone rolls their eyes, but how can you love someone else, if you don’t love yourself? Take the time to build up your relationship with the most important person in your life – you!
  8. Freedom. Do I need to explain?
  9. An abundant life in whatever guise, comes from being happy with what you have. I read this somewhere once, and it rang true. Sending out positive vibes means you’ll attract the right things back to you. Be grateful with what you have and who you have in your life, and you’ll be happier for it, and more open to attracting the right people.
  10. Write your own story. Be who you want to be, learn what you want to learn, go where you want to go, and be the author of your own bestseller, before someone else comes along and joins you for the ride.

Feeling better?

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10 Best Quotes for Hopeless Romantics

Love, love, love!

We all love a good quote, right? When it comes to matters of the heart, words from books, famous people, and films can often sum up what we’re feeling better than our own hearts, and it’s always a comforting feeling to know that what you are experiencing can be put into words, and has been felt by someone else.

For us hopeless romantics out there, love quotes are like the bread and butter of life, and there are countless out there; in fact, just head to Facebook and you’ll see endless pictures of sunsets with inspirations words of the heart etched upon it!

Below you’ll find ten of the best quotes related to hopeless romance, heartbreak, and lost love.

“You are my own personal brand of heroin” – Twilight, Stephanie Meyers

“No matter where I went, I always knew my way back to you. You are my compass star” – For Darkness Shows the Stars, Diana Peterfreund

“I saw that you were perfect and so I loved you. Then I saw that you were not perfect and I loved you even more” – Angelita Lim

“You are the answer to every prayer I’ve offered. You are a song, a dream, a whisper, and I don’t know how I could have lived without you for as long as I have” – Nicholas Sparks

“When I follow my heart, it leads me to you” – Unknown

“I can conquer the world is one hand, as long as you’re holding the other” – Unknown

“So it’s not gonna be easy. It’s gonna be really hard. We’re gonna have to work at this every day, but I want to do that because I want you. I want all of you, forever, you and me, every day” – The Notebook

“My heart is, and always will be, yours” – Sense and Sensibility

“I’m scared of walking out of this room and never feeling for the rest of my whole life, the way I feel when I’m with you” – Dirty Dancing

“A simple ‘I love you’ means more than money” – Frank Sinatra

Ah, matters of love and the heart. Words leave you feeling serene, touched, and downright romantic. For a romantic soul, a film or book fills your heart with hope and sometimes even regains trust in romance. These ten quotes sum it up perfectly for me, but can you think of any others from famous films or books that sum it up better?

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