Articles Posted by Izy Berry

Posts by : Izy Berry

About Author / 589 Posts
,

Landscape photography can be very rewarding – you get to travel to exciting and unique locations, bear witness to some of the most breathtaking phenomenons of Mother Nature, and, if it is your job, be paid. Landscape photographers always have his or her own bucket list of locations they lust after, while others simply every single destination for what it is. From sprawling landscapes to culture and wildlife, some locations will make even the most seasoned landscape photographer weak in the knees.

Iceland

The Land of Fire and Ice, Iceland looks like a country that has come right off the pages of a G.R.R Martin novel. From dramatic landscapes to volcanoes, glaciers and the legendary Blue Lagoon, Iceland truly offers once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunities.

9687226902_cbc0301875_b

Patagonia

Landscape photographers will be blown away by the rugged terrain and awe-inspiring panoramas of the mountainous region Patagonia. One of the most iconic sights has to be the snow-capped peaks rising above the lakes of Torres del Paine National Park, which is a good place to start. But let’s not forget about the picturesque lakes, pristine waterfalls, sand dunes and frosty lagoons just waiting to be snapped.

Okavango Delta, Botswana

The Okavango Delta is one of the most breathtaking regions in the world. It is located in the Kalahari Desert in Botswana and holds the honour of being the world’s largest inland delta. The Okavango Delta is a wildlife lover’s paradise, and you will be able to capture a variety of wildlife in their natural habitat. Think buffalo, giraffe, lion, elephant, hippo and zebra. Botswana is one of the most popular safari destinations in Africa, so expect some incredible photographic opportunities, and don’t forget about that famous African sunset!

The American Southwest

The American Southwest is home to majestic regions like the Grand Canyon, Zion National Park, Horseshoe Bend, Sedona, Bryce Canyon, Antelope Canyon, and Monument Valley. This in itself will make any landscape photographer excited. The incredible weather, jaw-dropping vistas, landscapes, and natural wonders make this area one of the most loved locations in the world for landscape photography.

Victoria Falls, Zambia

Victoria Falls is one of those ‘must photograph’ locations. Capturing the beauty and magnificence of the Vic Falls, as it is affectionately known, is possible from almost any angle, although those in search of the most unique shots should jump at the opportunity to book a helicopter flight for an up-close-and-personal experience.

Antarctica

While not your typical tourist destination, Antarctica has become more popular over the years for photographer and adventure seekers. The remoteness, tranquillity and immense beauty of the region will take your breath away, while the wildlife and landscapes of the area provide some of the most incredible photo opportunities imaginable. Every photographer should strive to capture the beauty of Antarctica at least once in your lifetime.

,

If you’ll soon become a landlord, congratulations! Property is an excellent investment, and while there are a lot of things to think about, having tenants paying off our mortgage is a great feeling.

HomeLet has created an ebook which deals with many of the recent changes to the rental market, including tips for both landlords and tenants.

Here are a few things to think about:

Think about your ideal tenant

While it’s easy to look at your property and imagine whether you would like to live there, you’ll need to decide who your ideal tenants are, and put yourselves in their shoes.

if you’re aiming to let to students, the property will need to be comfortable and easy to clean. They also often expect the property to at least have basic furniture as they may not have bought this themselves yet.

If you’re aiming for young professionals, they’re likely to like it to be stylish and modern, but they also won’t want it to quickly date.

Families will have their own furniture and belongings and are more likely to want a blank canvas.

pexels-photo-263189

Screen your tenants

This can seem unnecessary, particularly if you’ve met your potential tenants and they seem great. Unfortunately, though, failing to screen tenants is something that costs landlords the most money. You should definitely be asking for references so you can see that they’ve paid their rent and haven’t caused problems in the past.

Get landlords insurance

Landlords insurance will cover you for a number of things, including if the tenants stop paying rent, they damage the property, or you have a fire or flood in the house. It’s easy to compare landlord insurance to see how much you would need to pay and what would be covered, and the peace of mind you’ll have will be well worth it.

Be responsive

If you’re not using a company to manage your tenants, it’s your job to be responsive. If you lose tenants because you haven’t looked after them, you may find yourself floundering as you try to fill the gap. This can also mean that your yearly returns disappear. Your tenants need to know that if they have a problem it will quickly be resolved and they can pick up a phone and speak with someone who will help them get sorted.

Have a tenancy agreement

Your tenancy agreement will need to comply with all recent legislation, and should set out all of the obligations for your tenants, along with your rights and responsibilities. Your tenants need to sign this before moving in, and should also be provided with a copy.

Know your tenants

It’s a good idea to ask your tenants their goals before you sign with them. We learned this the hard way when our tenants moved out to buy their own property- something we weren’t expecting. By getting a feel for how long your tenants will be staying you can then plan accordingly.

,

When was the last time you heard of someone staying in a B&B? It’s become as uncool as it was to be seen with your mum in public when you were 13. This is a sad state of affairs though, since B&Bs are a great option and in my opinion, will ensure a better stay than the usual boring hotel every time.

As someone who does a lot of travel by myself, one of the things I really like about staying in a bed and breakfast is the fact that I can meet new friends. Because there are usually far fewer rooms in an AirBnb and more communal areas plus an intimate environment, you really can meet people from all over the place- which is great if you’re on the tourist trail since you can share advice and stories. There are few things lonelier than checking into a hotel by yourself after a long flight, eating that sad meal alone, and watching everyone else hanging out together before you go back to your room.

 bed-1090440_960_720

That doesn’t mean that B&Bs have no privacy though- in fact the opposite is true. I somehow always seem to end up at the hotels that are fully booked that weekend for a wedding or just have non-stop conferences the whole time. That means there’s always a baby crying, people are everywhere, the lobby is packed with people trying to get online, and it’s the worst of both worlds- you’re often lonely while giving up all your privacy at the same time.

Speaking of getting online in the lobby, I think it’s ridiculous when hotels don’t offer free wifi. This is something you never have to deal with at B&Bs, and they’re for sure a more inclusive option, usually including snacks, wifi, and parking. Hotels are the opposite and I’m continually surprised by how much extra I have to spend once I’ve already paid for a hotel- resort fees are especially annoying.

While there are definitely friendly people everywhere, I’ve noticed that you’re much more likely to have great customer service at a bed and breakfast compared to when you stay in a hotel. Often the front desk staff have been working all day, and they just don’t care about your problems. The opposite is true at B&Bs, and you’re often being served by the owner who will usually go out of their way to ensure that you have the best possible stay.

Since these owners are also locals, they can also give you the best advice about where to go and what to see. They usually take the time to ask where you’ve been already and find out what you like to do before they point you in the right direction, and they’re also more likely to help you get away from the tourist hotspots so you can eat where the locals are eating and hang out where they’re hanging out as well.

toprooms-bedandbreakfast-infographic (002) (002)

,

Is there anything better than a week spend on a beach, with friends and family? Or perhaps your favourite kind of holiday involves snow and racing down the mountain. Or maybe you’re more interested in six months spent backpacking around South East Asia. Regardless of the type of holiday you love, chances are you’re going to have to do some serious savings before you can book your flights and start getting excited. Saving for a holiday can feel overwhelming when you’re just getting started, so I’ve written these simple tips to save for your next holiday to get you ready to tackle this challenge.

1. Set a Clear Budget or Goal
For me, knowing how much I’m planning to save makes everything so much easier. If I’m hoping to save $3,000 for my next holiday in a period of a year, I can see that is $250 that I have to save per month. Breaking it down like this makes it easy to see the saving goals I need to hit each month in order to be able to take my trip. Knowing where you want to end up, will make everything else so much easier.

2. Get Serious About Saving
If you’re normally not saving anything, or not as much as you would like, you’re obviously going to have to make some changes so that you free up more of your money, or so that you earn more so you have spare cash to save. Picking up extra shifts or a casual part time job can be a great way to ensure you have some extra money spare to save.

3. Research
I love reading personal finance books and personal finance blogs as I feel there’s so many tips out there that can help you achieve your goals faster. I wanted to share this helpful money-saving guide by My Voucher Codes called: Your 2017 Money Saving Plan. It’s jam packed with helpful money saving hints, such as blasting debt and focusing on cutting down expenses. The more informational you absorb about money saving and achieving your goals, the more motivated you’ll be.

4. Get Excited
Whether your goal is a trip away, or maybe you want to first save for something a bit more practical like a new car or an apartment, getting excited about your goal will help you have more momentum to move forward. Some people really love to create vision boards, which are basically static boards with pictures of your goals stuck to them. That way you can see them each day, remember where your focus is and be reminded to stay on track. Personally, I have a Pinterest board with my goals and ideas added as digital pins. For me this is simply easier, more organised and easier to update as my goals change. Before I start work each day I spend 5-10 minutes browsing for new pins and looking through my existing vision boards, it really helps me to stay focused!

I hope these tips help you get excited and motivated for your next trip. With some simple changes you can be sitting on a beach sipping mojitos in no time!

,

Running a small business can be a difficult and confusing process, especially if you aren’t sure how to go about using things like integrated card services. Luckily for you, there are a wide variety of options when it comes to merchant services providers who can help you on this journey. Some of them can even help you better understand the trendier and newly implemented forms of payment. Let’s look at how credit card machines that take Apple Pay and Android Pay can help your business thrive.

Integrated Card Services

One of the most important things you can do as a small business owner is to ensure that you offer integrated card services. Even more than that, however, you want to be sure that you are getting the best deal possible for these services. They should work for you and make your life easier. If they are not, then you should seek out a merchant provider that can better help you achieve your goals.

Credit Card Machines and Apple Pay/Android Pay

There are certain types of credit card machines that take Apple Pay and Android Pay. This can help make your life as a business owner easier than ever! Your customers will be able to pay quickly and in a fashion that suits their needs, and you will be able to effortlessly accept said payments and send the information on to be processed. Just make sure that you remember to opt for a service that offers options like a wireless credit card reader as well as the lowest credit card processing fees you can find in order to make sure you have the best deals possible.

For more information on implementing these payment methods as well as how they affect your business, contact Merch

,

DIY can be a rewarding experience when it goes well, but it can also be an exercise in frustration if it goes poorly. It also carries a large amount of risk, since people who like to do it themselves are often using sharp instruments and power tools.

Slater & Gordon have revealed that a large percentage of people who are planning to do DIY are completely unaware of the risks involved with seemingly simple home improvement tasks.

An example? Many people think nothing of working with wood. But when you’re sanding or cutting, sawdust is released into the atmosphere and if you breathe it in, it can cause serious respiratory problems. MDF is a big risk, since urea formaldehyde is used as a bonding agent, which is known to be a carcinogen. That means that if you’re planning to work with it, it’s crucial that you wear a face mask.

repair-891422_960_720

Another harmful substance is asbestos, which is commonly found in homes and buildings that were built before the 1980s. This is also linked to cancer, and when it’s left alone asbestos generally isn’t harmful, but if it’s disturbed, the fibres within the asbestos can cause mesothelioma which is a particularly aggressive form of cancer.

One of the risks that many people forget about is the risk of being exposed to volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These are found in alcohols, carpet, particleboard, acetone, cleaning products, adhesives, paint, and paint strippers. These can cause cardiovascular issues, along with neurological symptoms like lightheadedness, nausea, headaches, and irritability.

So how do you stay safe if you’re planning to do DIY this year? Firstly, you want to contain any dust in your work area, or make sure you have ventilation that goes outside. You’ll also need to protect the rest of your house so be sure to sweet and clean daily, and spray surfaces with a bit of water before you do any demolition or cutting to keep the amount of dust down. One thing that many people forget to do? Closing air conditioning vents which will prevent the dust from circulating through the rest of the house.

Safety equipment is a must. Before beginning any DIY projects, think carefully about the risks and hazards associated with the work you’ll be carrying out. Any time you’re working with wood or anything with airborne fumes or particles, you need to be wearing a safety mask. The same goes for eye protection, which will prevent things from flying into your eyes while you’re working, and if you’re going to be using loud equipment, hearing protection will mean you’re less likely to begin losing your hearing at a young age.

There are many benefits to DIY, and you’ll be proud when you’ve finished working on your home with your own two hands. However you need to make sure you’re doing it right if you’re going to do it yourself, so stay safe while you’re DIYing this year!

,

Moving to the country sounds great in theory. For many people they dream of fresh, GMO-free eggs, organic gardens, and kids running around outside as they explore fields and ponds.

But if, like me, you’ve lived in the city for most of your life, this move probably won’t go as well as you’re expecting.

Here are the main things I would miss if I moved somewhere remote:

People

Nope, not friends and family, just people. Imagine being out in the middle of nowhere, and you hear a weird noise. Every car that goes by late at night could potentially be an intruder, going outside requires a flashlight since you won’t find any street lights if you’re living somewhere super remote, and you also won’t have any neighbours to call on in the event that you need help. No thanks.

dandelion-916829_960_720

Convenience

You know those days when you get home after a long day of work, don’t have the energy to make dinner so you jump online or on the phone and order a pizza? Yeah, that’s not happening if I’m living somewhere remote. Instead, I’d be scheduling meals so that I would only need to buy groceries once a week since the supermarket is unlikely to be five minutes away. I also wouldn’t be enjoying high speed DSL, and sure, I could still get my gas bottles delivered, but what about when the electricity goes out and the water pump stops working? No thanks.

Not to mention, what do you do if you need a plumber or electrician? Trades people may be few and far between, and I would probably end up either having to fix things myself (not a good idea) or paying a premium for someone to come all the way out to the boonies.

Culture

Sure, you can absorb plenty of ideas by reading articles and books, exploring nature, and listening to music, but nothing beats museums, concerts, the theatre, and art galleries. Unfortunately, in the country you’re more likely to run into people who have been living in the area for a long time, and since we’re the average of the 5 people we spend the most time with, it makes sense that people who have all grown up together in the country will probably have pretty similar life experiences (and I appreciate diversity).

Friends and family

When you can simply pick up the phone and be hanging out with friends or visiting family within half an hour, it’s going to be a pretty big adjustment to move somewhere where you can no longer do those things. Personally, I find that everyone is so busy that actually scheduling in visits (and then having to drive) would probably mean that these relationships would suffer.

I’m not sure if the benefits of living somewhere remote would outweigh all of the things I would miss, so it’s a good thing I won’t be moving anytime soon!

,

Planning to propose to your other half? Want to make sure it’s the most romantic moment you’ve had together so far? Then here are some of the world’s most jaw-dropping locations that are perfect for getting down on one knee at.

All you need to do is plan your trip in advance, set the mood and most importantly of all – don’t forget to pack the engagement ring!

The Trevi Fountain in Rome

Rome is known as a city of romance, and the Trevi Fountain is one of its most iconic landmarks. This beautiful fountain will create the most stunning backdrop for your proposal. Just make sure you’ve got someone on standby to take a photo and don’t forget to throw a coin in the fountain too. Folklore suggests that anyone who throws a coin in the Trevi Fountain (with their right hand and over their left shoulder) will return to Rome again one day. On your honeymoon perhaps?

pexels-photo-136402

The Grand Canyon in Arizona

If you’ve got your sights set on a breath-taking location for your proposal, it doesn’t get much better than America’s Grand Canyon. This sensational gorge was crafted by the Colorado River over six million years ago and is one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations. With the vast landscape behind you, your partner is sure to say “yes” when you pop the question – just make sure you aren’t teetering too close to the edge when you make the move!

Maya Beach in Thailand

For those amongst you who are looking for a tranquil, idyllic location, Thailand’s Maya Beach could be the destination you’ve been looking for. With its white sandy beaches, clear blue water, stunning cliff faces and tropical climate, this location has got it all. Choose between a sun-kissed proposal on a secluded part of the beach or a sunset proposal as the sun goes down.

The Eiffel Tower in Paris

As one of the world’s most famous landmarks, the Eiffel Tower has been home to many proposals, including some celebrity ones (i.e. Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes). Nestled amongst the bustling streets of Paris with warm cosy cafes, stunning architecture and rich history, this is the perfect destination if you’re looking to combine your proposal with a romantic city break. And, the beauty of Paris is it isn’t too far to travel to, providing you with the ideal opportunity to whisk your partner away on the holiday of a lifetime.

,

One of the hardest parts of travelling is being away from the ones you love. You may be having the time of your life and experiencing things you could only ever dream of, but being apart from the people you care about most in the world is always going to be tough.

The only way to make it a little easier on yourself is by staying connected, and regular phone calls, emails, and Facebook updates can go some way towards sating that ever-present ache inside, so that you can carry on with your journey and not have to cut it short.

Of course, the problem is that most travellers will have a very limited budget, and staying connected can sometimes cost quite a bit. To help you keep your expenses down whilst still staying in touch, here’s what we recommend…

laptop-762548_960_720

#1: Skype or FaceTime for Free  

When you’re apart from the people you love, there are a lot of things that you will miss about them, from the way they frown when they’re concentrating to the sleepy sound of their voice when they first wake up in the morning. The best way to capture these at once is by video messaging, and this makes Skype and Facetime your new best friends. Reliable, free, and easy to use, they’ll stop you from breaking the bank on those days when you just need to see a familiar face or hear your mum’s dulcet tones.

#2: Install WhatsApp 

When you’re travelling, you won’t always have the time or a strong enough internet connection for lengthy video conversations, so make sure that you and your whole family install WhatsApp as the next best thing. Although you probably have it already, older relatives often won’t, so encourage them to download it onto their phones for the occasions when a quick message is all that’s needed to brighten your day. Once they learn that it’s completely free to use, most will be happy enough spending a little time getting to grips with it.

#3: Choose a Cheap Yet Reliable Courier for Sending Presents Home

Another nice way to stay in touch is by sending the odd present home, especially on your relatives’ birthdays and at Christmas. It doesn’t have to be anything impressive; just something to show the people you love that you’ve been thinking about them and to give them a flavour of where you’ve been. Unfortunately, doing this can be incredibly expensive, which means that it’s important to choose your courier with care. We recommend a company like My Parcel delivery to limit your expenditure whilst still ensuring optimum customer care and a package that will arrive in perfect condition.

Follow these three top tips today to keep your costs down and make it easy to stay connected when you’re travelling abroad.

,

So, you’re getting ready for your big trip. You’ve booked the plane, know where you’re staying and have looked up places of interest in the area. Hopefully, having sorted travel insurance as well, you will be feeling excited and probably in that space where you’re constantly checking events in the area to find things to do. However, you need to have a think about travel essentials. What should you take with you? We’ve put together an essential selection below.

Footwear

Dependent on where you are going, you might need more than one type of footwear. For example, many countries have beaches and mountains and flip-flops aren’t great for hiking in! It’s worth investing in something that has been built for travel, such as Merrell’s selection. They are sturdy enough to cope with walking, and still look cool for evenings out.

11050192686_7d3422021d_b

Waterproof phone case

Whether you’re planning a trip to the beach, lake or even just pool, there is likely to be some water on your holiday somewhere. Most good quality phone cases these days will be able to enclose any phone in waterproof plastic that is sealed. It will have the added bonus of also protecting your phone from dirt, sand, and condensation, so even if you’re planning on trekking in the desert, it is a good idea to have some sort of protection for your phone.

Travel diary

From the people you meet to the places to eat, there is always something marvellous to document when you go travelling. Some of the best travel diaries include sealable pockets for tickets and other paraphernalia you might come across on your journey.

Keeping a record of everything in a travel diary will provide you with some amazing memories later down the line. Particularly if you are likely to complete more travels, this is a good way of chronicling events as they happen. Believe me, it can get a little hazy once you’ve been to twenty five countries. Also, if you ever decide to write your memoirs, this will be a nifty reminder!

Good playlist

Music is one of the things that connects us most, and helps to create memories. How often do you find yourself cast back to a different place and time when you hear the opening bars to a certain song? Irrespective of where you’re going and for how long, you will need something to listen to music on, and a decent playlist. These days, our phones tend to be our go-to place for music, photos and everything else at the same time, but it’s good to take something as backup when you’re charging your phone and to entertain you in communal space. Check out HMV’s wide range of CDs to create the soundtrack of your memories.