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4 actually realistic ways you can afford to travel more

Hiker with laptop sitting on the ground
Get away from the nine to five (Picture: Getty)

It seems like every other travel article these days is about how you should quit your job, move to the other side of the world, and live by the beach for the rest of your days.

The trouble is, this just isn’t a realistic aspiration for most, like, normal people.

Not everyone can be a travel blogger. Or afford to just travel for months on end without working. Or deal with not having a steady job.

Luckily, there are more realistic ways you can afford to travel. Here are just a few of them:

Spend a season working abroad

Lots of countries look… Read the full story

You can order a dog on room service at this pet-friendly hotel

Buster the dog at Hotel Nikko, San Francisco
Buster paws-ing from his duties for a picture (Picture: Instagram/nikkopupsf)

Hotels can be lonely places.

You’re sleeping in the same building as loads of other people, but if you’re staying alone, you might feel a little isolated, especially as you’re probably staying far from your home, pets and pals.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just whistle and have a doggo come hang out with you?

Well, one hotel in San Francisco lets you do just that!

Hotel Nikko in San Francisco lets you bring your own dog, with its pet package – or if you can’t bring a furry friend, you can… Read the full story

ASOS is selling some questionable jeans and people are pretty confused

What to do if you’re not considered an alcoholic but you think you have a problem with alcohol

***ILLUSTRATION REQUEST*** I’m not an alcoholic but I think I have a problem with alcohol, what should I do? (1000 words) (Fiona Thomas)
How do you seek help for a growing problem with alcohol? (Picture: Mmuffin for Metro.co.uk)

2018 is upon us and with that comes the nationwide campaign, which aims to encourage us to save money, sleep better and lose weight by abstaining from booze for an entire month.

Dry January is a bit of fun for most people who, after a December crammed full of over-indulgence, are more than willing to opt for Pepsi instead of Pinot for 30 days (it’s certainly not a solution for alcoholism and could… Read the full story

Popping ibuprofen could make your balls shrivel up

(Picture: Getty)

Got a pounding headache?

You might just want to give a big glass of water and a nap a go before reaching for the painkillers.

Scientists warn that ibuprofen could be wrecking men’s fertility by making their balls shrivel up. Sounds pleasant.

While reducing pain signals in the brain, ibuprofen also lowers the male sex hormone testosterone. The drop in testosterone can cause testicles to shrink, as well as making it more difficult to get someone pregnant.

A new study of 18 to 35 year olds shows that taking ibuprofen increases the risk of compensated hypogonadism, a condition that involves having higher levels of luteinizing hormone (LH) than testosterone. LH’s job is to… Read the full story

How about hibernating for the rest of January in this giant sack of chocolate?

(Picture: Joyceieejuice/Mashable)

When it’s cold and miserable outside, all you want to do is curl up somewhere warm with a sack of comfort food and wait for spring.

You need a little winter padding to make it through – that’s how winter works.

And there’s nothing like a 2,000-piece bag of chocolate to put hairs back on your bony chest.

Something like this 22lb sack of chocolate, which has been spotted in TJ Maxx (no, that’s not a typo) by Reddit user Joycieejuice.

It’s so large in fact, that you could probably get inside and take a food coma-induced nap.

The giant back is more than 3ft tall and costs $325 (£239) which sound like… Read the full story

How to choose the right primary school for your child

Picture of a schoolgirl playing hopscotch in the playground. Only seen from below the waist
Are you choosing a primary school yet? (Picture: Getty)

If like me you have a three year old, then you are probably in the process of picking a primary school.

I’ve been dreading it for over a year and I can no longer hide from it.

#MakeMotherhoodDiverse aims to draw attention to the many faces of motherhood

It’s a truly terrifying prospect as this is the place my daughter will spend most of the next seven to eight years of her life.

I’m living under the fear that if I… Read the full story

Artist inserts people from classical paintings into 2018, making worlds collide

(Picture: Alexey Kondakov/Instagram)

At times, modern world can seem grey and drab – especially when you spend half your life on grimy public transport.

But not in Alexey Kondakov’s world.

He’s a Ukrainian artist who has been going around photoshopping figures from classical paintings into everyday modern scenes.

The Daily Life Of Gods is his ongoing series which sees Pre-Raphaelite heroines getting frisky on buses, Enlightenment characters waiting for service in dingy cafes and cherubs hanging out in parking lots.

Most of the scenes are set in Kiev and Alexey calls on a whole host of past artists to help transform even the glummest location into something magical.

For more, check out his Instagram.

You’ll never see… Read the full story

Can we please stop labelling ourselves with our mental illnesses?

(Picture: Mmuffin for Metro.co.uk)

You are not OCD. You have OCD. That’s an important distinction.

I really wish people would stop labelling themselves – and others – with their mental illness.

What I’m talking about is discussing mental illness as though it’s something that you are – and not something that you have.

How many times have you heard someone describe themselves as being ‘ao OCD’ or ‘so Bipolar’? My guess is lots.

Labelling yourself with a mental illness not only overshadows how serious it is, portraying it as a personality trait or a passing mood, but also hammers home the difference in the way we view physical and mental illness.

You wouldn’t say you are a… Read the full story

Gluten-free foods are no healthier than regular ones, apparently

(Picture: Getty)

Gluten-free products are no better for you than regular carbs, according to an expert.

Suzanne Mahady is a gastroenterologist at Monash University in Australia, and she advises against swerving gluten unless you’re a genuine coeliac.

In fact, she claims that actively avoiding gluten can actually put your health at risk.

‘For people without coeliac disease, there’s no evidence to support claims a strict gluten-free diet is beneficial for health,’ she tells The Conversation.

‘It’s even possible the opposite is true, and the avoidance of dietary whole grains resulting in low fibre intake may be detrimental.’

She goes on to say that gluten-free foods are often thought of as being the healthy alternative but that… Read the full story

Why the Seychelles is the perfect destination to get some winter sun


Visiting the Seychelles is the closest you’ll get to feeling like Robinson Crusoe without giving up any of your creature comforts.

The archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean is home to some of the most spectacular beaches in the world, ones so overwhelmingly beautiful that they look like fantasy beaches.

Why Taipei should be your next Asia holiday

You know the ones – snowy-white sand that’s powdery soft, and crystal-clear sea in the most dazzling shades of blue, all set against the backdrop of verdant mountains bursting with a riot of colourful flowers and plants.

Even though there are resorts everywhere, the country has managed to maintain its wild and rugged appeal.

Onions that won’t make you cry when you chop them are coming soon

Onions that won't make you cry when you chop them could be on the way] getty/metro.co.uk
(Picture: getty/metro.co.uk)

Tired of mascara streaming down your face whenever you have to make a nice pasta sauce? Same.

You’ll be pleased to know that soon, you may never have to put up with sobbing while chopping onions again.

After 30 years of work, the ‘sunion’ – a new sweeter, crunchier, smaller type of onion – could soon hit shelves.

The thing that makes the sunion special: It doesn’t make you cry when you chop it.

The sunion’s been created through natural cross-breeding rather than genetic modification, so it’s not packed with scary stuff that dries out your tear… Read the full story

Airline offers air fare refund if they don’t cure your fear of flying

(Picture: Getty)

According to YouGov, four in ten people with a fear of flying miss out on exotic holidays altogether due to their phobia.

That’s a whole lot of people never getting to feel the warm sand in their toes or enjoy the taste of a cool drink by the pool (somehow everything tastes better on holiday).

Virgin Atlantic have started a new campaign called Screw it, Let’s do it, in the hope that these people can finally live their dreams of travelling abroad.

As an antidote to the depressing Blue Monday January chat, they’ll be trying to cure people’s fears and stop whatever’s holding them back.

There is no shame in having a cleaner

My hero, my cleaners (Picture: Alija/Getty)

I have a dirty secret.

Well, actually it is a clean secret – or, to be straight, my secret is that I have cleaners.

While you would happily tell your friends if you had a plasterer doing some work at your home or a carpenter or electrician – apparently having a cleaner is taboo.

I noticed when I first asked friends if anyone could recommend a cleaner on social media because I was going to be working full time.

xx dog owners share embarrassing moments with their pets13 dog owners share funny stories which will make you howl with laughter

While… Read the full story

Over half of us don’t know what to do in the gym

metro illustrations
(Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

More than half of us don’t really know what to do in the gym, says a new study.

Nuffield Health surveyed 2,000 adults and found that a fifth has no idea how to use gym machinery, and a further 23% say they’re too embarrassed to use the equipment.

A quarter says they’re too shy to ask for help…which means that loads of people are either ‘making it up’ in the gym or copy someone else’s workout because they look like they know what they’re doing.

And that’s hardly surprising – gyms can be daunting places, even if you’ve been going for years.

You feel like you should know what… Read the full story

6 reasons you should pick Indonesia as your next destination

6 reasons you should pick Indonesia as your next destination (Ellie Hattersley)
When’s the next plane? (Picture: Getty)

There is no denying it: Indonesia is a beautiful place.

It’s a whole collection of islands, so the beach is never too far away, and the temperature rarely drops below 25 degrees (though you might get a side of rain with that).

Digital nomads: what are they and how do I become one?

Plus, its tropical climate means that fruit grows in abundance, and those posh smoothie bowls that cost you more than a tenner in London are available for just a couple of quid.

And… Read the full story

Talking openly about my mental health is the best thing I’ve ever done


Admitting to people that I have obsessive thoughts about houses setting fire and people coming to stab me was bloody terrifying.

Finally coming clean about suicidal thoughts, even more so.

There’s a big difference between making jokes about my super fun, quirky dating paranoia (I suspect that everyone’s a murderer! How cute!) and saying ‘hey, I’m actually struggling here. I can’t cope anymore. I need help.’ Namely that the latter puts you in a hugely vulnerable state.

But one year ago I finally opened up. I put out the tangled mess of my brain on the internet, showed it to a GP, and finally stopped pretending that everything was totally fine and I wasn’t having panic attacks in the toilets and sobbing sessions before bed.

It was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done.

It’s also the best thing I’ve ever accomplished. It’s the thing I’m proudest of. It has truly changed my life.

There are a whole bunch of reasons that… Read the full story

If you always forget to take your pill, this new gadget could be your saviour

(Picture: Popit.io)

There’s a gadget for everything, whether you want your fridge to re-order your milk automatically or a drone to bring you the remote.

It seems weird, then, that something as easy to mess up as taking your pill hasn’t been given a helping hand by technology until now.

Finally, there’s a start-up looking out for those of us who are super forgetful but also super don’t want to have a baby.

Massive rescue puppy Fluffy could grow to the size of a tiger


Fluffy is one big pup.

At just ten months old, the rescue puppy already weighs 44kg and is 5ft 6in tall when she stands on her back legs. And that’s her at puppy size – it’s predicted she’ll stand at 2ft on all fours when fully grown, and is likely to weigh between 60kg and 80kg – that’s the same size as a small adult tiger.

She’s… Read the full story

M&S starts selling ‘modest’ clothing for women and people aren’t happy about it

(Picture: Getty)

It must be hard for brands to accommodate the breadth of clientele these days.

Take Marks & Spencer, for example.

They’ve decided to finally include a range of ‘modest’ clothing to cater for women who need ‘flowing fabrics, higher necklines and lower hems’ for whatever reason.

They’re not the first high street brand to offer such – Mango and Zara have already boarded the Ramadan fashion train.

But despite M&S’s effort to diversify and better represent women, loads have complained that the retailer is implying that women who don’t dress from the new section are ‘immodest’.

‘I wish they wouldn’t call it “modest”,’ writes one woman on Mumsnet.

‘It implies women not swathed from head… Read the full story

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