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Gap Years: A Wise Choice?

It can be very daunting deciding to set out on a trip across the world, especially when others around you are plowing through their university lives. Gap years are such a tantalizing concept for students and young adults alike that it’s strange that they’re not more popular than they already are.

Research conducted by foreign exchange company World First found that £995 million was spent on funding gap years by British parents last year. That’s an incredible amount of money and a total that is expected to increase over the coming years.

But are these trips worth it? Sure they’re great while you’re on them but if the trip puts you back five years on a career ladder, is it just short-term joy in exchange for long-term pain? Well not exactly.

In fact 88% of those who have gone on a gap year believe it has increased their employability and 66% said that it made them focus more on their academic work when they arrived back.

Travel broadens the mind but does it inhibit your aspirations? Take a look at the graphic below and decide for yourself.

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An infographic by World First
 
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Webloyalty Easter research reveals nations favourite Easter egg.

New study from Webloyalty reveals our plans for Easter

How will you celebrate Easter this year?

Webloyalty has released research today which reveals our plans for the long Easter weekend (this year it’s 18th – 21st April). Despite the research showing that some of us see Easter as “over commercialised” it’s still not unusual to mark the occasion in some way.

The traditional Easter Sunday roast
Over a quarter of us are planning on cooking a special meal or roast on Sunday 20th April, with 17% of us choosing chicken compared to the more traditional lamb, which just 12% of us are planning to cook.

Old Easter habits die hard
Despite the growing apathy towards the Easter holiday, many of us will be making the most of the long weekend by getting stuff done. Just under 18% of us plan to tend to the garden, with 10% of us buying bulbs and plants for this purpose. Of course, it’s the perfect time to get out in the garden, making the most of the sun. Almost 11% of us are planning to get things done around the house, in terms of DIY. Most of us are simply planning to relax at home!

07-04-2014 Importance of Easter from Webloyalty research - Katie and the Kids

Big brands still outshine supermarkets in the battle of the Easter eggs
When you’re shopping in time for the Easter holidays, are you happy to buy a Sainsbury’s or Tesco own-brand egg, or would you always go for something a little more luxurious? If you would go for the bigger brand, you join almost 60% of the population, according to research released by Webloyalty today. The winner in the Favourite Easter Egg wars is Lindt – would this be the one you would choose?

Webloyalty Easter Egg Competition

Webloyalty wants to know what YOUR favourite Easter egg is! The competition closes on Friday, so you’ve got to be quick. Just click on the picture!

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Passing your test ~ GP

Passing your driving test is one of the highlights of teenage life, opening up a whole new world of exploration and freedom. No more “Mum, can you drop me off at…” or “Dad, can you pick me up from …”

There’s nothing better for parents than independence and for kids to feel like the master of their own destiny.

For many young drivers, however, owning their first car brings with it a big challenge: finding the cash both to buy a car in the first place and fund the associated insurance, tax and running costs. And while no doubt the Bank of Mum and Dad will be roped in to help with costs in one way or other, it is generally a financial stretch.

The press is full of chatter around the ‘extortionate’ cost of insuring new and young drivers, but some companies are taking novel approaches to address this. One young driver, Outnumbered’s Tyger Drew-Honey, who recently passed his test, is the face of one such company’s campaign. For ingenie, a specialist insurance company catering to the needs of 17 to 25-year-old drivers, instigating methods to help reduce costs associated with motoring are its bread and butter.

One way of reducing car insurance costs initially, explains video blogger Tyger, is to make sure you choose the right model to start with. Cars with an engine size of 1.4L or less, for example, will mean cheaper insurance costs.

To view Tyger’s 5 tips for keeping car insurance down, click here.

Along with video blogging, Tyger was nominated for a British Comedy Award for Best Newcomer in 2009. He is best known for his role in multi-award winning sitcom Outnumbered, which returned for its fifth series in 2013.

Tyger has also gained recognition as a comedian in the BBC 3 family sitcom Cuckoo. On Friday download, a CBBC magazine show now in its fourth series, Tyger co-presents and is the show’s resident games and gadget guru.

You can view the video here.

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Women vs men ~ GP

Guest Post

I hate to sound like one of those grumpy women who enjoy dissing men, but sometimes don’t they just drive you crazy?

Just the other day, I was out in the car with my husband and at every junction he had to look over my shoulder to check I could go, and then kept telling me off for driving too fast (this, from the man who has NINE points on his driving licence).

I can’t believe I actually agreed to get behind the wheel with him in the passenger seat; it honestly isn’t worth the hassle. I get so cross whenever I am driving with him next to me.

But then I came across this infographic by UK motor dealer, Jennings, and I took comfort from the fact that something I already believed is officially correct. Women ARE better drivers than men and here are 10 reasons which prove it. . . .

Infographic via Jennings Motor Group Click Image to Enlarge.

10 Reasons Women Are Better Drivers

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Making the switch from tobacco products a little more stylish

Let’s face it; smoking just isn’t cool. For some reason, it seemingly used to be. With Hollywood stars like Humphrey Bogart, Audrey Hepburn and, in more recent times, the likes of Johnny Depp and Kate Moss seen smoking, the habit has been in the limelight for years. It wasn’t necessarily meant to be and it definitely wouldn’t have become the multibillion pound industry it is today if all of the health implications had been known from the off. People still choose to stick with them, many as though they are martyrs to a cause, defending their right to use something that will cause them health problems, is an expensive habit and makes them stink. Naturally why would you want to pack them in, right?

For those who realise that they’re not cool and want to change their life for the better the latest alternative to the market has been electronic cigarettes. They come in a range of different shapes and sizes with a whole host of different flavours from tobacco to apple and even sweeter options such as chocolate. They are currently all over the news as companies push to advertise them in order to inform people of how they work and their benefits. So here’s a quick run through:

How do they work?
There are two different options. The first is the standard ‘cigalike’ style e-cig. This is made up of two parts, a cartridge which contains e-liquid and a battery that heats the e-liquid inside the cartridge when the user inhales. When the e-liquid is warmed it produces vapour which looks like smoke and provides a fairly realistic smoking sensation.
The other is a vaping device which is slightly larger like Freshcig’s eVolve. This has a bigger battery and a refill that the user adds e-liquid too.

The benefits
Although there haven’t been any long term studies, there has been a lot of support from senior medical professionals to suggest that they are a healthier alternative as they don’t contain any tar or the 4,000 chemicals in tobacco cigs. Professor Robert West, Director of Tobacco Studies at the University College London, believes that electronic cigarettes have the potential to save millions of lives.
You can also save a lot of money, with an average 20 a day smoker standing to save around £2,000 by switching. And of course, you won’t smell any more…

Adding some style
Like tobacco cigarettes, celebrities are now being snapped with electronic versions. Most recently, Leonardo DiCaprio was pictured at the Golden Globes using his e-cig along with Julia Louis-Dreyfus. In terms of devices, there are some more fashionable one’s available including the new eVolve Pastel Range in a variety of four colours; pink, purple, blue and green, from Freshcig. If you’re going to switch then having something a little different could well be for you, although with the benefits mentioned above, some would argue they’re already stylish enough.

Freshcig pastel range

 

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