Cotton and canvas tote bags are flexible, lightweight, and long-lasting. You probably have a few of them sitting around, but you might not be cleaning them as often as you ideally should. After all, these fabrics do get exposed to the elements, as well as to everything that you carry inside them, so it’s worth giving them a wash every now and again to ensure that they don’t get grubby or smelly.
Lucky for you, it’s super easy to wash these tote bags.
Cotton is the easier of the two materials to deal with; after all, you almost certainly wash cotton whenever you do a load of regular clothes. However, there are a few things to keep in mind. For example, you’ll probably want to use a cold water cycle since cotton tote bags are vulnerable to shrinking. If the bag has been dyed, make sure it’s also colourfast before you throw it in the machine.
Once they’re out of the washing machine, resist the urge to put them in the dryer – even the low-heat setting might cause them to shrink. You’ll probably find that the bag looks a little crumpled when it comes out of the washer, so lay it on a flat surface and reshape it with your hands. Make sure not to forget to untwist the straps or handles. If there are still wrinkles after the bag has dried, just go over it with an iron, keeping to a medium setting, to get it looking as good as new.
Canvas isn’t likely to be something you’ve washed before, but you really just need to follow the same directions. Put your canvas in the machine, use a cold-water cycle, and reshape before air-drying. The only thing to be aware of is that fact that your canvas bag will be quite stiff when you take it out of the washing machine. Have no fear, that stiffness will go away as the bag dries.
Now that you know how easy it is to keep your cotton and canvas tote bags in great condition, you’ll have no excuse not to keep yours pristine.
So, having kids and a husband and a house to run can be quite demanding, well, very demanding actually. I love my life, my kids, my hubby and my extended family but I will never not miss the times I could just come home from work and put my feet up, eat my tea, do a bit of work and then chill out, or just come home and straight up chill out. It’s because of this and the way I miss just chilling out sometimes that I figured I’d try and come up with some different ways to unwind, but with the family and kids about.
I’ve found, as I’m sure millions of other parents have, that being a parent, as rewarding as it is, can be mega stressful. When I get stressed, I tend to tense up big time. Now this particular title may seem a bit odd to be jumping into considering the whole post is about unwinding and relaxing is about as obvious as it gets but bear with me.
When I say relax, I mean be more relaxed around you children. It’s rare that your kids will behave in a way that mixes perfectly with your current state whether that be standard you or emotional you. A good way to ensure that you stay relaxed around your kids is to set broad, non-negotiable limits and then let your children have a free run within those limits. At times, they’ll do stuff that is within the limits but it may make you easy or they may be pushing their limits and that’s when I just breathe and smile.
This is something that I always find helps me to relax and always make me feel a bit more at ease and also it reminds me actually that I’m blessed to have my own children. I find though that if I act more relaxed around my kids that they tend to pick up on that a little and they tend not to get as rowdy as usual, but of course that could just be me overthinking things.
This is something that I find helps me massively. I only manage to get out twice a week at the minute but going out for a run and bringing the kids with me on their bikes is a great way to relax. Don’t get me wrong, when I’m running on the pavement by the road and they’re on their bikes, it does get a little hairy at times as they get a little too close to the passing cars but it’s good for us all to get out and get some fresh air and we don’t spend too much time on the pavements, we just head straight to the park and I run laps of that and it gives the kids a bit of freedom to ride out in front of me.
This time out of the house is good for all of us, I put my headphones in on a low volume when we get to the park and the twenty to thirty minutes or so that we’re there, I have that time to just unwind, listen to some relaxing music and clear my head which helps me to relax and generally by the time we get home, my other half is back and he takes over the kids for an hour or so while I go and have a bath and generally (barring the odd time) when I come back downstairs, they’re ready for bed and are quite relaxed themselves. Exercising is a massive help to me, no question.
Take a Mental Holiday
This is something that I have been doing quite a bit recently. I get dead tense when negative things crop into my head and I find that I start to stress even more and over think things and I find that if I do the opposite and think good things it helps me massively.
I prepare to go on this mental “holiday” by taking a few deep breaths and when I’m ready and calm (or calmer than I was), I close my eyes and imagine I’m somewhere that I enjoy being or would love to be right at that moment. It’s a bit more than just imagining it though, I try to fully experience this moment in my head, I see the sights all around me, hear the sounds and feel the place that I’m in, in my head. I try to allow myself a good ten to fifteen minutes for this exercise and once I’m finished, I feel a lot more relaxed than before I went on my “holiday”.
Family Days Out
This may seem a little odd to include in this list but it’s a good way for the whole family to get out and relax together. These only tend to happen at the weekend or during school holidays but they do work when we’ve all been out somewhere together. There’s loads of good days out with the kids that can be had in the UK. From Blackpool Pleasure Beach to one of the various Go Ape sites dotted around the country, there’s plenty of choices.
Playing board games as a fun, social and educational pass time is a dearly valued and long-held tradition in American culture. Scrabble, Mouse Trap or Trivial Pursuit – every family has their favourite! Here are some tips and inspiration to help you and your kids bring those board games to life this Halloween…
Let’s face it – Halloween is just as much about candy as it is about spooky stories and pumpkin carvings. What better way to prepare for a confectionary gorge than by celebrating the sweet-tooth’s favourite holiday with a Candyland costume? The popular board game features several fantastic characters with distinctive appearances, making them the perfect inspiration for Halloween costumes. Let your kids choose their favourite – Princess Frostine, Lord Licorice, Grandma Nutt or King Candy? If they can’t choose – pay tribute to the game with an outfit themed like the famously colourful board instead!
The Joker is getting a little old. Ever since Heath Ledger redefined the look of the classic Batman villain, DC comic fans have been dyeing their hair green and sporting purple suits for what has seemed like every Halloween since 2008 – but there are other cards from the deck that can provide original costume ideas. The Queen of Hearts, for example! Who can forget her iconic depiction in Disney’s Alice in Wonderland? This costume is especially great because you can feel royal in a crown and extravagant dress, whilst also having a lot of fun with the unique make-up. Check out this tutorial to learn how you can recreate the famous heart-lipstick and bright blue eye look.
If you do go with the Queen of Hearts costume, it’s worth convincing a friend to compliment your Halloween attire with the Queen’s natural companion – the king, of course. Decorate with blue, yellows and reds plus plenty of suit symbols so people are left in no doubt that you’re not just any king – you’re King of the Deck! It wouldn’t be the first time someone’s expressed their love for card games in an unconventional manner...
While this costume combo might be good for a couple or friends, sometimes you want to unite the whole gang in a Halloween theme collaboration. The best board game for that? It’s clearly Cluedo! Not only will you have fun dressing up in classical 1920s fashion – you can all play the part of your character and combine the costume idea with a with a spooky mystery dinner party…perfect for Halloween.
So far, we’ve left out two very iconic board game characters that, besides being famous around the world, would be a total blast to dress up as this Halloween! Both the Operation Man and Monopoly Man have become recognized as symbols of two best-selling board games. You Operation Man costume will be twice as hilarious if you can get a flashing red button for your nose, whilst the Monopoly Man costume will let you spend Halloween handing out ‘Get out of Jail Free’ cards.
Alright, so Twister isn’t exactly a table top game – but this list would not be complete without a mention of how stylishly wacky a Twister dress can look! There’s something so totally 60s about the big colourful dots, so why not groovify the outfit with a pair of platform boots too? If you like making your own dresses, then the Twister costume will make for a straightforward textile project that is sure to earn you praise throughout Halloween…
Have we missed any?
It can be a joy to travel for long distances, away from your home and headed off to explore somewhere new to you. Travelling by plane or boat for hours at a time brings with it unique joys. Many people spend the time just planning out what they will do when they arrive, eager to see friends and family or visit somewhere exciting. Others take the time to catch up on sleep, watch a movie or talk to their travelling companions.
If you make the proper preparations, then long haul travel can be a wonderful experience. Preparation is the key, though, and you definitely want to know about the health problems that can occur while travelling long distances and what preventative measures you should be taking.
During Your Travel
We’re going to break this up into what you need to be prepared for while you are in transit and what you have to be prepared for once you get to your destination. Starting with travel preparations, let’s talk about the discomfort of sitting in one place for a while.
That can cause thrombosis, or blood clotting. This is especially likely when you travel by plane, as the high pressure can make the problem worse. You can avoid this by getting up from your seat whenever possible and taking a trip to the bathroom or just stretching out. It’s advisable to drink as much liquid as you can during a flight so that you’ll need to get up frequently to use the bathroom. It’s a good idea to get up every two hours to exercise your legs a bit and ensure clots don’t happen. Diabetics and people with blood pressure problems are more likely to suffer from this problem, and they should see a doctor before they travel.
You also need to be concerned about diarrhoea when you travel. This can be caused by the unique travel conditions, by some bacteria you picked up while visiting someplace new or by simply eating food you are unfamiliar with. A lot of people get adventurous when they travel, even when ordering food on a plane or before their flight. You have to be careful about how that will affect your digestive system. If you have anti-diarrhoeal tablets ready to use when needed, though, you can be prepared for this eventuality. If your condition becomes severe and the diarrhoea continues for several days, then you may want to consult a doctor.
Once You Arrive
When you go to visit someplace new, you need to be prepared for the diseases that are common to the area. Many countries suffer from outbreaks of dysentery, malaria and small pox. You should check with the tourism websites and travel websites for that particular country before you visit it. You may be advised to have some vaccines administered before you travel. In some cases, a vaccine will be necessary for entry to certain countries or to return to your own country after visiting another country that has an outbreak.
It’s a good idea to check for travel advisories in the weeks right before you travel and not just in the months ahead of your travel. That’s because conditions can change, and new travel advisories may be in effect.
You may also want to catch up on any vaccine that is approaching renewal, such as tetanus. That’s because, once again, people can become adventurous on holiday, and you want to be prepared for the effects of taking some extra risks while you are abroad.
You also want to check travel advisories for the are you are going to for any political unrest or violent activities. Even in places as commonly visited as India or the United States, there are occasionally travel advisories warning visitors about outbreaks of violence. You need to be aware of which advisories apply to you and where you are visiting and take the proper precautions.
All parents want their children to be happy, well adjusted, independent individuals who are in charge of their own destiny. It’s what we would want for ourselves after all, and those attributes are certainly some of the traits we’d love to know our children are endowed with. But we all make mistakes and sometimes those mistakes can have an effect on the way our children turn out. Of course we don’t mean to, but as they say, ‘the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree’.
You can’t force shy children to become confident, gregarious outgoing individuals overnight, but you can teach them confidence and self security, it’s just a case of breaking habits and changing points of view.
Don’t Pass On Phobias
When they’re born, babies are only frightened of falling and loud noises. All the other phobias that they experience are leaned responses. If you’re scared of spiders your child is almost guaranteed to be as well. If you can act not being frightened around them, your children won’t pick up the fear. If you can’t even pretend not to be afraid, look into cognitive behavioural therapy for yourself. If you can cure your phobia everybody wins.
Lay Off The Pressure
It can be incredibly frustrating to watch your own child hang around the outsides of a social group but forcing them to get involved is counterproductive and damaging. If their natural response to groups is reluctance, then telling them that it is ‘wrong’ to be shy will only make them feel bad about themselves. Children will naturally flock together, but sometimes it just takes time.
Teach your child to give compliments, so long as they mean it. In How to Win Friends and Influence People, Carnegie tells us we should always give compliments to everybody, even if it isn’t any advantage to us. It just makes people’s days and they’re better disposed toward us in the future.
Back complimenting behaviour up with examples. Every night, when you tell your kids ‘goodnight’ add ‘you’re awesome’ or remind them something they did that impressed you that day. Such a lovely thing to go to sleep on.
Sharing Really is Caring
Teaching your kids to share has to be one of the most important factors in creating a balanced, likeable child who will grow into an adult with similar qualities. As well as sharing, it’s also important to teach them that sometimes other kids won’t want to share, and that’s OK too. They might be doing something really important or just having a bad day and want to keep things to themselves.
‘Helicopter parenting’ refers to parents who hover around their children when they’re at play, ready and waiting for something to go wrong so they can dash in and come to the rescue. Ostensibly the child is confident that they won’t come to any harm, however, helicoptering actually impedes development as the child never learns from mistakes. Let them do their own thing, let them fall down. They will get up and they will learn what they did wrong and how to avoid repeating it. Of course, you can make sure the toys and other things they’re playing with are safe and good quality. Read reviews on sites like toddlersstuff.com. They also have some useful advice for parents.
The Prize Plaster
Kids do fall over all the time. If they get cuts and grazes, treat plasters like a little prize for being brave. If they’re not afraid of getting hurt then they will be more adventurous and self-confident. Don’t worry that treating plasters as rewards will encourage your children to engage in dangerous risk-taking behaviour; the pain will teach them that it’s not a good idea to be repeated, they just won’t be afraid to try new things.
Don’t Fight Over Food
When they’re little, children have virtually no control over anything that happens to them. One thing they can try to control is their diet. To the frustration of every parent, a food that was perfectly acceptable one week will be the cause of hours of teatime argument the next. Instead of trying to force a child to eat something they don’t like, simply tell them “you don’t have to eat it”. Rather then prepare a plated meal, serve the elements of the meal separately. If they don’t want cabbage or broccoli, but hey do want carrots and potato, let them choose that and have as much as they want. You won’t have to worry that they’re not getting enough to eat and you won’t be fighting with them every day.
Of course every child is different and any or all of these recommendations might not be suitable for your particular situation, however, it’s worth bearing in mind that in any given child-rearing situation, there are options and the most obvious to you might not always be the way that works best with your kids.A
Every office has different rules and traditions in their business, but they all have one thing in common – the dress code. Professional business women should always look classy, stylish and no skin should be left distastefully uncovered. Sometimes, this business look can come off as dull, but if you know what to combine, you will still look stunning and professional.
Many ladies believe that if they are successful enough and manage to earn money from their business, the look is not that important. Well, if you show up at work wearing sneakers and a regular shirt and sweatpants, no one is going to take you seriously. It’s all about the image you create and business attire helps. Stylish and formal clothes that you wear at work will accentuate your skills, professionalism and qualifications. The more formal you dress the more competent and serious you look, which is always a big plus in the business world. However, that doesn’t mean you cannot wear comfortable and colorful clothes, it just puts an accent on dressing office-appropriately and creating your own elegant style.
When creating your business style, you can never go wrong with the classic black and white combos. Simple black pant suit combined with a white shirt or a top and a pair of pumps of a medium height are the safest play. Another timeless classic among colors is navy blue. Many women’s suits, formal dresses and other work attire are made in this royal shade and it suits everyone. If paired with a white shirt, statement necklace or even bright red pumps, this outfit will exude elegant professionalism you’re striving for. Despite the fact that black, white and navy blue are never going to be out of style, today’s fashion requires a bit more experimentation. Trends are inclined towards neutral and calm overtones correctly combined with each other, such as white, gray, deep gray, pastel tones, olive shades, brown and sand shades. Also, you can be bold and pick some accessories and details in wine color or other shades of red, but be careful not to pick the brightest ones.
Women love showing off some skin, but in the business world, that is not the best idea. There are several rules that need to be followed about how much skin you should show, and make sure to follow them:
- The neckline of your shirt should never go lower than 4 inches below your collarbones.
- The shortest sleeves you should wear are the ones extending to the end of your shoulders. No spaghetti straps allowed.
- No short hemlines. The safest length is at the knee or just an inch or two above them.
- Backless anything is not appropriate for the office. Leave those for casual parties. If you wish to wear such tops at work, cover them with a blazer or a stylish jacket.
Sloppy, messy clothes will instantly create a sloppy image about you. Clients and colleagues will think you’re not dedicated to your job, since you couldn’t even iron your clothes. Opt for materials that don’t wrinkle easily, no matter how much time you spend sitting in one place. Your best choices are sturdy synthetic materials, such as lyocell and polyester, but you will also be safe with wool and cashmere. Just remember not to look tacky and pick the materials that you consider comfortable. However, if you don’t like synthetic materials, just be sure to iron the clothes before leaving for work.
Even though it is not right to judge the person by the clothes they wear, that’s just how it is in the business world. Don’t allow yourself to be treated with disrespect just because your wardrobe is sloppy. Create a serious image and don’t let anything stop you from achieving your goals.
Remember those good, old times when every new day was an adventure waiting to unravel and every movie you saw was a love at first watching? The fact that we’re adults who may (or may not) have grown out of love with Flashdance doesn’t make dance movies any less of an impact on our formative years. As a matter of fact, musicals we’ve seen in childhood were an integral part of our music education, and as such helped our younger selves develop rock-solid linguistic and spatial-temporal skills to go with an admirable IQ, memory, and talents. For all the benefits and enjoyment musicals brought us, let’s give a round of applause to the best dance movies that enriched our childhood and remember the melodies many among us still hum in the shower.
Who could ever forget Annie’s dreamful ‘Maybe’ or her buoyant ‘Tomorrow’? The tale of a little orphan girl and her dog Sandy is one of those that stay with you for a lifetime and inspire a smile every time we go back to them for a fresh dose of childlike faith that everything will turn out just fine in the end. After a series of antics and adventures ranging from dramatic to comical, Annie eventually gets her heart’s biggest desire, and the scintillating smile that seldom leaves her lips never fails to rekindle our faith in happy endings in the face of adversity.
The Sound of Music (1965)
You can’t really say you’ve ever been a kid if you haven’t seen The Sound of Music. As we follow Maria’s path from the convent to her Happily Ever After with Captain von Trapp and his children, we’re reminded of the power of an open heart and positive thinking that can make the world a better place even in the most precarious of times. After the closing credits, Maria’s “confidence in confidence alone” remains in our minds as a private lighthouse we can turn to when the going gets tougher than we’d like it to be.
The Wizard of OZ (1939)
Dorothy Gale sure is a strong girl underneath her meek semblance, and she doesn’t give up on her desires and dreams easily. As we follow Dorothy’s journey to the Emerald City to meet the Wizard of OZ, we’re constantly reminded that all we seek is right there inside us: we’re as gentle as the Tinman, as courageous as the Lion, and as smart as the Scarecrow, and we certainly have all it takes to beat the Wicked Witch of the West. ‘There’s no place like home’ is one of the lessons the movie leaves with us, along with renewed faith in the power of good over evil.
John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John certainly know what romance, dance, and music are all about, and they’re not afraid to show it on the big screen. As the love story between Sandy and Danny unravels, the old adage about love being able to conquer all is put to test time and time again, only to emerge triumphant at the closing scenes of the musical. Even though its plot is up the coming-of-age lane, Grease is one of the biggest movies of the 20th century even folks who don’t normally watch musicals need to see at least twice.
This one goes out to all the rebels at heart who won’t settle with less than rock and dance. Ren McCormack is a teenage boy from the city trying to set his life in a small town on the right foot and coming across obstacles en route. As Ren struggles to make his voice heard and restore the right to dancing and music at the prom to his peers, the adult audience is reminded of all the challenges they’ve gone up against during their teenage years – and kids get to learn a thing or two about the value of friendship, fights for righteous ends, and bopping to rock tunes.
Mary Poppins (1964)
Life can be supercalifragilisticexpialidocious if you’re in good company and know how to find fun and magic in every day. Miss Poppins, a peculiar nanny with a pack of Wow-ing magical tricks in her handbag, will color the life of a cold-hearted banker’s kids in all the shades of the rainbow, reminding us that silver linings can be as real and as dazzling as we want them to be. Even if you prefer to watch documentaries online, Mary Poppins is a must-see: it will clear away the clouds on a rainy day and inspire you to dream big and see a chance for adventure at every corner.
We’ve had the time of our lives watching musicals back when the world was sparkling new – and we should by all means go back to dance movies when the world turns grim and lackluster. After all, growing up is mandatory, but growing old shouldn’t exactly be an option you should jump at just yet. The world may not always be bright, but when it turns a tad more disheartening than usual, it’s as good a time as any to let the musicals play and dance to the classic melodies in your pajamas.
Moving home is incredibly stressful, but there will probably come a time when no matter how much you love your home, you need to upgrade or downsize. If you look online, you will find a hundred and one house selling tips, but before you reach that stage in the process, it is a good idea to think about whether you actually need to sell. After all, there are plenty of ways to enlarge or improve an existing property, which could save you money!
If you are still undecided, here are five reasons why it is time to sell up and move on.
A Growing Family
A one-bed studio apartment is fine when there is just the two of you, but once kids come along, it will soon begin to feel a bit cramped. Kids take up a lot of room. They come with extra furniture, toys and hundreds of miscellaneous bits and pieces. Even if the bedrooms are large enough to accommodate siblings, as your children grow into teenagers they will want their own space. For this reason, most families take the decision to move to a larger property once their home begins to feel cramped.
A home is a huge investment. Unless you are lucky enough to be able to buy your home outright, you probably have mortgage payments to make every month. When times are good, this will not be a problem, but if the worst happens and you lose your job for any reason, it will be hard to pay the mortgage. One way to deal with this change in circumstances is to sell up and buy a cheaper property. Ideally, you can pay off your mortgage and be debt free, but at the very least, your repayments will be lower.
A Career Change
Ticking along in the same old job for years suits some people, but if you fancy a change in career, selling your home and buying something cheaper could release enough equity to fund a new business venture. However, this is not a decision to be taken lightly, as you could lose your home if it all goes wrong.
An Unexpected Windfall
Have you inherited a large sum of money or struck it lucky on the Lotto? If so, now would be a good time to trade in your one-bed apartment and upgrade to a beachfront condominium somewhere hot and sunny.
Bad neighbours are a nightmare to deal with. Sometimes the situation can be resolved with some careful negotiation or legal action, but if you have tried everything to make the best of a bad situation, selling up and moving to a new home with nicer neighbours could be answer you are looking for. It is not ideal, but sometimes you just have to admit defeat and take the path of least resistance.
Selling a property is always stressful, no matter how well organised you are, so do not make the decision to move unless you absolutely have to.
Give Your Wardrobe a New Lease of Life
With embroidery one of the hottest fashion trends of 2016, there’s never been a better time to learn the skill.
If there’s one trend that’s making a comeback right now, it’s embroidery! At the start of the year fashion journalists were telling us that we’d be seeing plenty of embroidered garments in the shops – and boy were they right! From jeans to dresses, the more embellishment the better. So there’s never been a better time to take up embroidery than now. With the right skills, tools and knowledge, you’ll quickly be able to add some beautiful embroidery to your own clothes.
Do your research
That’s not to say that books can’t help you out – there are some fantastic ones out there. Have a look online and in your favourite bookshops for some beginner’s level books. If you see a book that’s full of beautiful projects but they’re a little advanced, pick it up! After all, if you’re going to improve you’ll want to have more challenging projects to get started on. Subscribing to a magazine is a great option too, as you’ll be inspired every month to create something new. With the right written advice and the support of your classmates and teachers, you’ll be an expert in no time at all!
Buy the right machine
Of course, all the knowledge in the world isn’t enough if you don’t have the right tools. While it’s incredibly easy to embroider by hand, machines allow you to embark on more ambitious projects and help you to build on your existing skills. Shopping for embroidery machines can be pretty daunting – there are just so many out there! Brother embroidery machines are a great choice for those starting out. The controls are easy to get to grips with, and they come with an array of built-in embroidery designs. As your skill level grows, you’ll find that the familiar comfort of a Brother machine means that you’ll be unafraid to tackle any project.
Take a class
There are many ways to familiarise yourself with embroidery. Firstly, see if there are any classes going on near you. Even if you’re shy, it’s a really good idea to get yourself out there and meet fellow embroidery enthusiasts. You’ll be able to learn not only from an experienced teacher, but your fellow classmates too. After all, some of the best tips come from years of practise rather than the pages of a book!
Some exciting projects
So which projects should you be tackling first? Well, if you want to transform some of your clothes, there are plenty of great ways to get started. Have you got lots of old t-shirts that are past their best? Brilliant – they’re fantastic blank canvases for embroidery designs. Start small, perhaps with a small detail on a pocket or sleeve, and work your way up to designs on the neckline, hem or right in the middle of the shirt. Jeans are great to unleash your creativity onto as well – and the built-in designs on your machine will work wonders. Of course, you can embroider many other things too – from pillowcases and duvets to bags. So why not give your home and accessories a facelift too?
You’ve got nothing to lose by trying
Don’t hold back once you’ve got the embroidery bug – practice makes perfect and the more things you make, the more confident you’ll grow! Once you’ve started to transform your clothes with embroidery, you’ll be the envy of all your friends. Who knows, they may even want to take it up too! With so much inspiration out there, we wouldn’t be surprised.
If you have ever hired a car before – in this country or anywhere else in the world – you are going to be aware of the often very high excess typically incorporated into the rental company’s car hire insurance package.
In their publication entitled “What you should know about renting a car in Europe in 2016”, car rental agents for Germany, Switzerland and Austria, Gemut.com issue a two-fold warning:
- the amount of the excess (or “deductible” in US parlance) may be very high indeed, usually between US$1,000 and US$3,000; and
- the cost of protecting that liability with many car rental companies’ excess insurance packages adds a significant daily charge to the cost of hiring your car.
The awkward conclusion you might draw, therefore, is that yes you probably do need hire car excess insurance (as a defence against a possible US$3,000 or more than £2,000 liability), but still have to pay a hefty price for that necessary protection.
There is a solution
Having recognised that you might do well to arrange excess insurance protection, the good news is that the cover is available at a considerably more competitive rate from independent, UK-based providers, such as Bettersafe, who are able to offer potentially more comprehensive cover with greater value for money – research conducted by Bettersafe, for example, suggests that you might need to pay more than £30 a day for excess protection sold by some of the leading car rental chains.
This may be purchased simply and quickly online by payment of a single premium, providing excess protection throughout your car hire period abroad. The price of those premiums reflects the different risks likely to be faced in various parts of the world, so that you pay choose the region to which you are travelling and pay the appropriate rate for those countries only.
If you have an accident or the car is stolen and you are then charged an excess, you simply claim reimbursement of that cost once you have arrived back home – so you need to remember to bring the supporting document relating to the incident home with you.
Standalone excess insurance from these independent providers is also likely to offer more extensive cover, which, unlike many of the products sold by the car rental companies themselves, does not exclude damage to areas of the vehicle such as the undercarriage, wheel, tyres, windows and roof.
Provided that the drivers are aged between 21 and 85 years, it is also generally possible to include these additional drivers under the same excess insurance protection policy.
If you are a frequent traveller, you might make even further savings by arranging annual, multi-trip excess insurance protection. On a trip by trip basis, this is likely to prove still more economical that arranging cover for just one period of car hire and, of course, you then have the peace of mind in knowing that any liability for paying high excess charges is safely protected however often you go abroad and need to hire a car.