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How to make sure 2018 is your best travel year yet

Make 2018 your year of travel (pictured: woman on a beach in Australia)

The old saying goes ‘to travel is to live’ so make sure 2018 is the year you make your travel goals well and truly come alive.

Rather than scrolling through Instagram with half-hearted jealousy at the bright blue posts from other people’s adventures, it’s time to plan, prep and experience your own piece of paradise.

But why not start the holiday early and have your getaway tailor made to your requirements? Well, we have the top tips for ensuring you get your dream holiday without the dreaded fuss of organising yourself. 

Destination preparation- without the fuss

Read the full story

Thanks for helping with the life admin, Mum: 12 times your parents absolutely rocked

super parent 2 illustration by Monika Mmuffin
Super parents (Picture: Monika Mmuffin for Metro.co.uk)

It’s stating the obvious; of course your parents rock.

They brought you into this world, willingly changed your nappies, ferried you around from classes to Pizza Hut parties and allowed you to treat their home like a hotel.

metro illustrations18 times we’ve all massively failed at adulting

But the older you get, the more you start to appreciate them in a whole other light.

And you realise that there’s a whole other bunch of times that they really rocked, and not just to mop your tears when you fell off… Read the full story

Fitness blogger celebrates eczema after feeling ‘alienated and self-conscious’ as a teen

(Picture: Karina Airby/Instagram)

If you’ve ever suffered from psoriasis or eczema, you’ll know how irritating it can be.

The more stressed you get about it, the worse it can become. And the worse it becomes, the lower your self-esteem drops.

But it’s not something that just us mere mortals have to deal with.

Karina Irby is a swimwear model who suffers from eczema – and, perhaps surprisingly – cellulite.

She’s just the latest influencer to open up about her ‘imperfections’ after struggling with body confidence most of her adolescent life.

One of her goals this year, she says, is to ‘create normality to a few seriously common things people worldwide are dealing with day to day’, and for… Read the full story

This wearable tracker will help you find your friends at festivals

lynq tracker
Sarah is in the loo (Picture: LynQ)

Ever needed a wee halfway through a band’s set during a gig, knowing you’ll never find your friends in the crowd again if you give in to your bladder?

Have you ever walked away from your pals at a festival with the blind optimism of someone who’s high on good vibes, only to realise there’s no phone signal, and that there’s no hope in hell of seeing your mates again until you’re back at the tent?

It’s a nightmare, and one we know all too well during festival season.

It makes it really difficult when you all want to see different bands, and you essentially… Read the full story

I didn’t make a speech at my own wedding, despite being a feminist.


If you want a traditional wedding there’s a litany of things to think about. 

Your bridesmaids come up the aisle after you, rather that in front of you American style. Men can’t wear morning suits unless you get married in the actual morning, and for a town wedding you’re not supposed to have a sit-down meal.

Oh, and the bride certainly isn’t supposed to speak.

Not speaking isn’t exactly my style, and I know all of my friends and family expected me to refuse to stay silent on the day. But, weirdly enough, I didn’t want to make a speech. So I didn’t.

Everyone who knows me was surprised to find that, given a captive audience of a 120 of my favourite people, I wouldn’t want to stand up and bask in the attention.I am, by nature, one of life’s attention seekers. I appear on TV and radio most weeks. I write about myself and my life… Read the full story

14 inventive ways to use leftovers (and save money)

Shakshuka is a great way to use up surplus eggs

Every year in the UK, we’re throwing out £13 billion worth of food, and 4.4 million tonnes of that is avoidable waste, which means it was edible.

We’re all guilty of throwing edible food in the bin, but we could actually save ourselves time and money if we put this food to good use.

With a little creativity, we can turn leftovers into something nutritious and delicious, simply by cooking them up with other bits and bobs from our kitchen. You’d be surprised at what you can do with surplus meat/veg/grains!

Why not dedicate a night of the week to ‘leftovers night’? That… Read the full story

36 unusual Art Deco engagement rings you can buy online

A selection of art deco engagement rings
Do any of these catch your eye? (Picture: Getty/Brilliant Earth/The Antique Jewellery Company)

Marriage isn’t for everyone, but is there a woman on earth who doesn’t love a beautiful ring?

How much to spend and what to look for in a diamond engagement ring

Art Deco naturally lends itself to engagement rings, thanks to the diamond-based opulence and drama it is so often associated with.

The great news is, you don’t need to get engaged to own one of these rings – in fact knowing you’ve bought it yourself will make you feel even prouder to wear… Read the full story

Candlelit Valentine’s dinner at Greggs anyone?


Greggs is a pillar of British culture.

We’re not sure how the baked goods store became as popular as it is but it’s about to get a whole lot busier as they’ve started taking Valentine’s Day bookings.

That’s right, forget all the fancy oyster gunk, pasty bakes and sausage rolls are the new aphrodisiacs.

Romance is on the menu this year as Greggs is offering couples the chance to enjoy a candlelit dinner in selected shops around the UK for the very first time.

And you can forget the quick lunchtime pasty or cold sandwich; the pastry shop is going all out, offering a four-course meal for lucky couples.

Unlike the normal quickie, you can expect to be wined and dined and waited upon. By Greggs that is.

We have caveman brains but we aren’t set in stone – Ruby Wax talks neuroplasticity and her new book How To Be Human: The Manual on mental health podcast Mentally Yours


‘It’s the most interesting thing I can think of in the world.

‘You wanna churn the past or talk about the stars? I’m not smart enough to understand the big bang, but everything you are, sitting here now, is your mind…

‘If you kind of understand it a little bit, that’s freedom.’

Ruby Wax joined us on the latest episode of Metro.co.uk’s weekly mental health podcast Mentally Yours to talk about the mind and her new book How To Be Human: The Manual.

The book is written in partnership with neuroscientist Ash Ranpura and monk Gelong Thubten, the latter who also chatted with us.

Ruby said: ‘It’s not a New Age book. Everything is funny but it’s seeped in science and it’s seeped in what the mind is.

‘Once you understand the human condition you can, because of neuroplasticity… start changing it.

‘You can start shifting it. We aren’t set in stone. And then you can work your way towards…a life that’s easier. You… Read the full story

Sorry pals, hummus prices rise by a third due to a chickpea shortage

(Picture: Getty)

We hate to be the bringer of bad news but it’s our duty to inform you that the price of hummus has risen by a third over the past year.

You’re now paying 33% more for your delicious, creamy dip thanks to a chickpea shortage.

According to The Grocer, this time last year, the average 310g tub of hummus cost a reasonable £1.14.

Today, outrageously, we’re forking out £1.47 for the same tub.

And it’s all due to the fact that chickpeas haven’t been growing well and supply can’t keep up with demand.

‘Chickpea prices increased during 2017 and remain high,’ says Tasneem Backhouse, joint managing director at EHL Ingredients.

Read the full story

Have you tried plogging – the hot new trend from Sweden?

Metro Illustrations
(Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

Remember when hygge, the trend for staying in and being cosy was everywhere? 

Well now there’s a new Scandi trend in town. Only, the bad news is, it sounds a lot less relaxing than hygge. Plus, we’re sorry to say that it means getting off the sofa.

Plogging is a Swedish word, formed by combining ‘pick up’ and ‘run’. It describes an activity where you run along picking up rubbish.

Plogging isn’t just fun to say, though. It’s good for your body, good for your mind and good for the environment around you. It means you’re doing something good for yourself and something good for the world,… Read the full story

Do you live in the top dieting city in the UK?

(Credit: Reuters)

January might have heralded the annual ‘new year, new me’ attitude but some cities are better at sticking to it than others.

As Brits attempt at least three new diets each year, it’s no surprise that not all the latest fads are proving to be successful.

But one city seems more determined than most to get rid of the pounds.

They might be most well-known for their astonishing Premier League season, but now Leicester can add a new accolade to their town.

The city takes the crown for being the most strict when it comes to sticking to their diets.

Health fanatics in the city are reported to lose up to 19lbs… Read the full story

Zara is trying to sell your dad’s £3 lungi (Asian male skirt) for £70

(Picture: Zara/weareabout)

Zara might occasionally sell clothes that are all the rage but sometimes they get it so, so wrong.

Remember the sock-stiletto fiasco? The abominable combination of a sock…attached to high heels, for a whole £60?

Now they’re testing the waters again (and must be having a laugh) with a lungi-style skirt which no one can deny has an uncanny resemblance to the south Asian garment.

The lungi is the heat-appropriate staple for men in India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Somaliland, and Nepal. You might have even seen it on your gap yah travels in Cambodia, Myanmar, and Thailand.

Shockingly (or not), the fashion purveyor is charging £69.99 for the ‘flowing skirt with draped… Read the full story

8 mental health red flags we should all be aware of

Illustration of two friends with red flags in the background
(Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

Every one of us goes through ups and downs as a normal part of life.

Sometimes there’s a reason for the lows: a parking fine, a disagreement with a loved one, a rubbish day at work.

metro illustrations‘I’m changed in good ways as well as bad’: 5 ways depression has made me a better person

Sometimes, they come out of the blue with no warning whatsoever.

If you live with a mental illness, it’s vital to be watchful for the signs that your emotional wellbeing is taking a… Read the full story

Paying extra to prebook a sunbed – has the world gone mad?

Would you pay to reserve a sunbed? (Picture: Pierre-Yves Babelon/Getty)

Last year, I went on my first ever all inclusive holiday to Cape Verde.

Beautiful hotel, great staff, lovely pools – a place where you could really relax and kick back.

Except some people couldn’t.

Courtney ActCourtney Act should totally be crowned the winner of Celebrity Big Brother

Every morning, without fail you would see towels proudly laid out on the sunbeds closest to the swimming pools.

During our time abroad, I would roll my eyes as I heard adults proudly bragging about how early they had woken up to bag the best sunbeds.

It wasn’t as bad… Read the full story

This dating app only lets you match with one person at a time

Ditto dating app
Get in there, my son (Picture: Ditto)

Dating apps, amirite?

When it first came out a few years ago, Tinder seemed like the absolute dream – an online store for the type of hotties you never saw in real life.

The rush of matching with a future bae was undeniable, like a little bump of serotonin – and it was addictive.

You’d get chatting to your matches and find out some were dry as hell, but it was fine because there were plenty more fish in the sea, and the sea was big and full to the brim with (seemingly) high quality sea life.

So you’d get chatting to… Read the full story

‘Does your dad sleep around?’: 5 things not to say to someone with gay parents

Mate, seriously? (Picture: Ella Byworth)

For as long as I can remember my parents have been separated and both of them have been in relationships with men.

But people have always been more intrigued about my dad being with a man because, well, it’s not the “norm” (as far as they know), so it must be wrong, right?!

metro illustrations10 things you’ll only know if you’ve grown up with gay parents

And said people haven’t held back on sharing their views with me.

Ok so there’s the obvious down right homophobic things, which are obviously a no-go unless you want me… Read the full story

How to find out if people have paid for Twitter and Instagram followers

(Picture: Altan Gocher/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

‘Instagram people’ seem to be a breed unto themselves. They’ve transcended simple filters and smiley family photos, and have a curated life on the ‘gram.

Their follower counts are as large as their implanted bums, and more power to them for creating a career out of social media peacocking.

‘Twitter people’ are the same, and you may often be confused why some influencers who don’t say much of substance have thousands of followers.

Buying followers is nothing new, but it’s something shrouded in mystery and hard to pin down who’s done it. However, whether you’re a brand scouting for influencers or just a bit nosey, there are ways to find… Read the full story

Stop using the excuse that ‘boys mature slower than girls’ for bad behaviour


A lot of the toxic things about the way we treat each other start in childhood. 

Like the myth that it’s normal for little boys to push or hit girls because they ‘fancy’ them – which teaches boys that it’s normal to hurt people you like and teachers girls you should expect violence if someone likes you.

Another especially toxic myth that sets my teeth on edge is the old adage that ‘girls grow up faster than boys’.

I think I knew, even when I was little, that that expression just didn’t seem fair. Whenever a boy in my class would stop everyone else from learning by dicking around a teacher would turn to the girls and tell us how much more ‘grown-up’ we were. I didn’t want to be grown-up. I wanted to get away with murder like the boys did.

How important is it to socialise with other vegans when you’re transitioning to veganism?

What happened when I stopped eating for a month picture: MMUFFIN
Can temptation be avoided with an army of plant-based pals? (Picture: MMUFFIN)

I’m the only vegan in my close group of London friends, and just a year ago, I wouldn’t have dreamed of asking any of them if they wanted to go check out a new vegan place.

Yet now, thanks to veganism busting its way into the mainstream, my veggie-curious/omnivore friends often come to me first with a vegan suggestion, and I’ve noticed they often order the vegan option at places which serve meat.

Hell – one of my meat-eating pals even prefers Temple of Seitan to actual fried… Read the full story

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