Smart Security: What To Do Immediately After A Home Break-In

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Thousands of burglaries happen every single year in the US, and so it’s vital that homeowners take precautions. However, most people don’t understand the risks they face until it’s too late. So, those people end up having to improve their property’s security after a break-in. With that in mind, there is a step by step guide on this page that details the strategy individuals and families should follow. If the worst occurs, this is how people protect themselves and ensure it doesn’t happen again.

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Identify the vulnerable areas

Firstly, people need to consider the method criminals used to get into their home. Did the burglar find an open window or something similar? Did they manage to get in through a broken patio door? Whatever the outcome, it’s sensible to homeowners to improve security in those areas. For example, that could mean installing a new gate to stop people from gaining access to the garden. Families might also put a routine in place where they always check for open windows before leaving home. There are even specialist companies that focus their efforts on performing security assessments. Perhaps their services could come in handy?

Invest in home security tech

Essential technology:

  • CCTV cameras
  • Alarm systems
  • Coded door locks

There are lots of different home security devices available on the market today. So, it’s wise to search online for reviews to ensure homeowners don’t waste their money on inferior brands. At the very least, it’s sensible to install some CCTV and a home alarm system. Opt for products that use motion sensors for the best results. However, some people like to go a step further and secure their property using digital code locks. That option requires extra investment, but it provides an improved level of protection.

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Get new locks for all windows and doors

Lastly, it’s time to look for a local company that provides residential locksmith services. Explain the situation, and then ask for recommendations and advice. Some types of lock are easier to penetrate than others. So, it’s worth asking the experts for their opinions. Anyone with reasonable DIY skills should manage to change the locks without assistance. However, it’s often sensible to pay for professionals to handle the fitting. That way, the homeowners can relax, safe in the knowledge their properties are as secure as possible. Incidentally, it’s always advisable to change the locks every couple of years regardless of whether a break-in has occurred or not. The job isn’t going to break the bank.

If all readers follow the process outlined in this article, they should manage to prevent any further instances of crime. Of course, people who become a frequent target for criminals should contact their local police departments. It’s sometimes possible to link alarm systems to those establishments for a small fee. If families do that, the police will become alerted the second a criminal tries to gain access. So, there’s more chance of law enforcement catching them in the act. Still, a decent CCTV system should also provide enough evidence to secure a conviction.

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These Embarrassing Health Problems Could Have Easy Fixes

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Taking care of health problems shouldn’t be as hard as it sometimes is. We can all be reluctant to see a doctor or too quick to ignore a problem. And then there are the issues we don’t want to address because they’re embarrassing. Maybe you don’t want to mention them to a doctor, or you’re trying to hide them from family or friends. However, often these issues have simple solutions.

Dry Feet

Having dry feet may not seem all that embarrassing. However, when the skin on your feet gets dry, it tends to peel. If you’re too embarrassed to wear sandals, you need to do something about it. Two easy things to try are making sure you dry your feet properly after washing or swimming, and moisturizing your feet too.

Hair Loss

Hair loss is common for men, and not so common but still possible for women. If your hair starts to thin, you don’t have to hide it under a hat. Some shampoos can help it to be healthier. However, if you suspect there’s an underlying cause, a visit to your doctor wouldn’t go amiss.

Excessive Sweating

Everybody sweats (at least, almost everyone) but it can still be embarrassing. If you find you sweat a lot or it smells particularly bad, you probably avoid a lot of things. A good antiperspirant could help you out more than you might think, so try a few different products.

Constipation

If there’s one thing people feel awkward discussing with others, it’s anything to do with going to the toilet. Constipation can be pretty embarrassing, but it can also often be easy to fix.


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Rating a Restaurant: Make an Assessment Before You Eat

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Going out to eat is one of life’s great pleasures. You don’t have to cook, you can enjoy better food than you’re able to make, and you can experience the atmosphere. Choosing the right restaurant can be a little stressful though, especially because you’re trusting someone else to make your food. If it’s not up to scratch, the consequences could range from disappointment to food poisoning. When you choose a restaurant, use these steps to help you out.

Read Reviews

For most people, their first stop is somewhere they can read reviews. You might look at the food column of your favorite magazine or newspaper. Or you might look at reviews on a site like TripAdvisor.

Check Their Website

You can also look at a restaurant’s own website to see what they have to offer you. Not all restaurants have a website, but many do because it helps with their marketing. Sites will often give you an indication of how upmarket the restaurant is, and what’s on the menu.

See How Their Staff Are Treated

Here’s a great indicator of the quality of a restaurant: how they treat their staff. You can do some research on this by looking at resources like Glass Door, where people report their salaries and their experience working for their employer.

Check Their Hygiene Rating

It might seem basic, but knowing a restaurant has good hygiene standards is vital. If they don’t keep their kitchen clean and practice good hygiene, it could lead to food poisoning – no matter how good the food tastes.


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It’s Not Just Women’s Work! Why You Shouldn’t Have To Do All The Chores By Yourself!

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Even in a modern society that strives as hard as possible to make things totally equal for everyone, there’s one rather nasty stereotype that still seems to be strangely prevalent in a lot of people’s lives. That’s the idea that in a family home, the wife/mother does all of the chores including the cooking, cleaning, and anything else. Now, there might be some people for whom this lifestyle works, and if they’re happy with it, that’s great! However, if you find yourself feeling like there’s just a little bit too much pressure put on you to handle all of the chores in the house, then that’s a problem. Here are just a few reasons why the chores in your home aren’t just “women’s work.”

You’re not a servant

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A relationship should always be a totally equal partnership. If one person in the relationship has power over the other, then that’s going to potentially cause some pretty serious problems between them. But if you’re being made to do all of the housework, then you’re being treated more like a servant than an equal partner. Now, if your partner really doesn’t want to deal with things like cleaning, then why don’t you pay for maid services? That the house gets cleaned but you don’t have to spend your time feeling like you’re working for your partner rather than on the same level as them.  

You’re a busy person

The idea of the wife/mother doing all of the housework comes from the classic idea that one member of the household stayed at home while the other went out to work every day. However, thanks to the rising cost of living as well as the broad cultural realization that women are, obviously, just as skilled as men in the workforce, that dynamic has shifted. This means that, if you’re working a full-time job as well, there’s really no reason why you should be the one to do all of the cooking and cleaning. If you’re both bringing in equal shares of the income, then you should be doing equal shares of the chores.

You deserve a break

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One of the most common reasons why many people say that they shouldn’t have to do the housework is that they’re “tired after a long day at work.” Well, what about you? Even if you’ve made the decision to stay home with your children instead of going to work, that doesn’t mean that you get to relax all day. Taking care of kids and cooking all of the meals for the family is as much of a job as anything else, so why shouldn’t you have the chance to take a break every now and then?

Once again, there is absolutely nothing wrong with choosing to be the one to do the chores around your home. A relationship is about balance, and if you feel like you’ve found the balance in your relationship then that’s great! However, if you feel like there’s a lot of pressure on your to deal with all of the chores by yourself when you don’t want to, then it might be time that you and your partner sat down and had a serious talk.

 

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Avoid Breakdowns on Family Road Trips!

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One of the worst things that can happen when driving – you know, aside from a crash – is a breakdown. This goes double if you’re going on a family road trip! It’s a nightmare scenario, but it’s not unavoidable, nor is it simply “bad luck”, the way that most people make it out to be. The vast majority of the time, some simple checks and tips will help avoid such car failure.

Check the tires

You should always check your tire pressure before you drive the car anywhere, let alone on a long journey. Most people don’t bother, but there’s little reason to not do this. We’re not talking about bothering with equipment; just giving the tires a good kick will do. If you don’t feel any give, then they are most likely fine. However, the pessimists will give them a quick check with a pressure gauge as well. Don’t forget to check the spare in the boot. If you have a flat tire, it’s easy to replace with a spare. You can find info on how to do that online. If the spare is useless, then you will have no choice but to contact an emergency towing service.

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Maintain the brakes

This, a million times over. You need to check all the braking systems you have. If you have a car with a trailer attached, for example, then you need check both the primary brakes and the electric brake controller. A lot of people don’t think to keep the brakes carefully checked; after all, if there was an issue, you’d know about it already, right? The problem: that means you find out about the problem when you’re already driving. Not exactly the ideal time to find out. Get familiar with your brakes and make sure they’re working perfectly before embarking on a long trip with the kids.

Measure the oil

If there isn’t enough oil in your car, there should be a warning light on your dashboard. If there’s no light, then you are most likely fine. But it’s still a good idea to check the oil levels manually! You’ll need to look into oil changes at some point, too. In general, car oil needs to be topped up every fortnight. However, it will depend how much you drive your car. Check it every fortnight; don’t just automatically top it up. This can lead to other problems. While you’re there, you should also check the water level. That needs to be kept quite full too. You can check the oil level using the dipstick, and you’ll find that next to the oil tank in the engine.

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Know the omens

Is your car making a funny noise or emitting an unpleasant, unfamiliar smell? If it is, you’re probably better taking it to a mechanic rather than continuing to drive it. Cars won’t usually break down without any warning sign; they will usually find a way to tell you that there’s a problem that needs fixing! The smell of burning in particularly should be seen as a red light, of course. This could be a severe problem with your exhausts or your engine that needs to be checked out immediately.

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Fabulous Features To Incorporate Into Your New Build

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In 2017, more people than ever before are choosing to build properties from scratch. Why? Because by building from scratch you have the power to dictate what your home will look like, as well as what features are incorporated into it. And not forgetting the materials that it’s made of and how eco-friendly it is – sustainable property is big business and comes with a much higher value than normal property.

Usually, when you move your family into a new home, you have to spend weeks (sometimes even months) adapting it to make it fit your family’s needs. However, if you choose to build your next home from scratch, you can design it to meet yours’ and your family’s specific needs. Whether you are in the process of designing your own home or are thinking about it, it’s important to spend some time planning the features that you would like incorporated into the design.

In case you are lacking inspiration for creating the perfect family home, below are some feature ideas and suggestions – have a read and see what you think!

Smart furniture and fixtures

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Smart homes are all the rage. Today, the majority of all new builds are designed to be adaptable smart homes, which means that as new developments occur, the property can be easily adapted to ensure it’s able to utilize them. There are a lot more smart options that you may realize, so it could be worth taking the time to do some research into creating a smart home. From light fixtures that can be turned on and off and dimmed using an app, to washing machines, cookers, and kettles that can be switched on and off with the tap of a button. Smart homes are the future, which is why it makes sense to incorporate smart fixtures and fittings into any new build home.

Quality heating and cooling systems

As you are building a new home, naturally you want to ensure that it is as visually appealing as possible, which means that you need to be selective about the features that are incorporated into the design. Instead of investing in a basic HVAC system, consider spending a little more and getting a ductless air conditioner (and heater) instead. It might cost more, but it will look smarter, add value to your property, use less energy, and should also be more effective. In addition to an HVAC system, you may also want to look into underfloor heating – this offers a highly effective source of heat and will add a large amount of value to your property as well, making it a worthwhile investment.

A kitchen island

Kitchens can be difficult to adapt once the initial layout has been designed as this is what determines where the pipes and electrics are run. So if you have a certain idea of what you would like your kitchen to be like, it pays to discuss it with your designer beforehand, to ensure that your design preferences are met. For example, say you have always dreamed of having a kitchen with an island in the middle of it with a sink incorporated into it. This is the perfect opportunity to make that dream a reality. Adding a kitchen island to your kitchen can be the perfect way to ensure that it is a family-friendly, multi-purpose space. Just make sure to pick an island and countertop style that suits the room, style of the property, and your budget.

Built-in storage space

If there is one thing that every homeowner should invest in for their new build property, it’s built-in storage space. Homes with built-in storage space are like gold dust – everyone wants them, but they are hard to find. Although it is possible to add built-in storage to a ready built home, it is much simpler to incorporate it into a new build. It will increase the cost of the project, but not by too much, and it will ensure the property has plenty of storage space, which will then add value to it. So should you ever choose to sell, your home will be worth more than it would be without built-in storage.

His and hers sinks

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If your new property will have good sized bathrooms, in each opt to have his and hers sinks. Or, if you aren’t keen on the concept of his and hers sinks, another option could be one large sink that stretches across the room. A small sink in a family bathroom is a recipe for disaster, which is why his and hers sinks or a larger sized design, always tend to work well. The same goes for your bath and shower cubicle – the larger (and more luxurious) they are, the better. Think value, style and comfort.

Outdoor kitchen

Are you a BBQ family? If the answer is yes, then incorporating an outdoor kitchen into the design of your property is a must. Think countertops, a sink with running water, a BBQ pit, a smoker, a pizza oven, and a bar. Or, if this would be too expensive, just the bare minimum can work just as well. But if you have the budget to create an incredible outdoor kitchen, it’s a worthwhile investment to make. It will make eating outdoors and entertaining in the summer easier and more enjoyable, and will also increase the value of your property, so it could be a worthwhile feature to incorporate into your new build.

Pool

Have you always dreamed of having a pool in your garden? Well, if you are planning on building your new home on a large plot of land, now could be the ideal time to make that dream a reality. There are some incredible pool options available, from large square designs to natural pools, you have plenty of choices. Adding a pool to your garden will ensure that your new home is the epitome of luxury, with the added bonus being that it will add some amazing value to your home. If a pool is too pricey or too large for your garden, a hot tub could be a good

There you have it, everything that you need to know about choosing the features for your new build home.

 

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Form VS Function: Which Is More Important In Your Home?

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A lot of people seem to struggle with turning their home into the kind of place that they really want to spend their time. Much of the time the best that they can manage is making it fairly nondescript, the kind of place that could easily fade into the background of your life.

This is often because very few people are aware of the fundamentals of design, and what could be more fundamental than the age old question of form VS function.

Thinking carefully about this question you’ll not only come to understand many design concepts more clearly, but you’ll also gain a much greater idea of your own style that you can then bring into your home.

Form

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Form is essentially the pure aesthetics of something. You might say that a painting like the Mona Lisa is something that is all Form since, other than being beautiful, it doesn’t actually “do” anything. Without an eye to form when you’re decorating your home, things are going to become incredibly stale with little to no personality whatsoever.

However, there is, as with all things, a limit to this kind of design. Vintage homes tend to cause a lot of issues in this regard. Sure, you home might look absolutely fantastic on your Instagram feed, but elderly appliances and rusty pipes are going to make actually living in it much more difficult than it needs to be.

Function

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Function is what an object actually does. One of the most popular design movements that is almost entirely based around this idea is the Bauhaus school. The idea of Bauhaus design is that the function (ITALISJFODSJHGK) is the form. A chair is beautiful because it is well constructed, sturdy, and functional.

While it might seem a little restrained on a design level to a lot of people, this kind of thing can be incredibly useful on a day to day level. Folding drying racks might not be quite as aesthetically pleasing as their more traditional, hanging counterparts that you might see in a vintage home, but they are much more convenient for people living in smaller homes. These kinds of design ideas are key to focusing on function over form. The things that you have in your home should have a clear use, and if they don’t, then there is very little purpose in their existence.

Of course, it hardly takes a genius to see the flaw in this design idea. It can be incredibly difficult to give a home any sense of personality within these constraints. To do so, you would have to adopt a very specific, minimalist style that is not suited to everyone’s taste.

While there are clearly a lot of pros and cons to building your home around either form or function, it should be relatively obvious to just about anyone that the very option is for you to try and maintain some kind of balance between the two. That way you can avoid your home becoming dry and boring while making sure that you’re not constantly coming up against little inconveniences that make life more difficult than it needs to be.

 

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FAO New Moms: Getting Back To Normality After Giving Birth Is Easier Than You Think!

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Giving birth to your son or daughter was undoubtedly the greatest moment in your life. But after nine long months of being ruled by pregnancy, the thought of restoring some normality in your life must sound appealing.   

As a new parent, you will need to adjust routines to accommodate having this little bundle of joy. Nevertheless, restoring a sense of normality should be one of the top items on your agenda. The first step en route to success is to get your priorities in order.  Focus on these four areas, and you won’t go far wrong.

#1. Your Look

Pregnancy will take its toll on your body. On the one hand, you should embrace those changes as they represent the greatest accomplishment in your life. On the other hand, it’s important to accept that looking great makes you feel great too.

Emotionally, getting back into your old outfits is a huge deal. You can do this far sooner with the help of a maternity waist extender. This will instantly make you feel more like yourself. When followed by good nutrition and a little exercise, you’ll be back to your best in no time.

Meanwhile, you should rid yourself of any guilt connected to having beauty treatments. Every mommy deserves an occasional treat. After all, a happy mom is a better mom.

#2. The House

A happy home environment is integral for any modern family. Having another person in the home will clearly have an impact. If you’ve already created a nursery, that’s great. However, it’s equally important to perfect other parts of the property.

A decluttering session will claw back the space needed for home comfort. Of course, you’ll need to think about childproofing once your child starts crawling. For now, though, comfort is king.   

#3. Work

Becoming a parent changes everything, not least your outlook on life. While your career is an important factor, being a mom will forever remain number one in your heart. Therefore, finding a way to fit work around parenting should be one of your main goals.

Maternity leave gives you a chance to analyze the opportunities. Becoming a work-at-home mom is an increasingly popular option, though. The financial rewards can potentially be huge. Moreover, you’ll have the versatility to find greater balance in life while spending more time with the kids.

#4. Your Relationship

Having children brings couples closer together in many different ways. However, the new focus can also stop you from giving your relationship the attention it needs to thrive. While being a family is the greatest thing in the world, you shouldn’t forget your love for each other.

Being parents does move the goalposts. Still, you can arrange home date nights to keep the flame of love burning strong. Those moments celebrating each other is crucial to maintaining that strong bond that’s needed for long-term happiness.

Essentially, the title of mom will define you as a person. But it needn’t stop you from appreciating other aspects of your life. Keep this in mind, and finding the balance should be easy.   

 

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Eight Tips for Looking After Your Dog During the Summer

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Your dog is your best friend. You care about them tremendously and don’t want them to get hurt. It’s important to pay special attention to your pet in the summer when the temperatures are hot. As the pet owner, you know best and need to take care of your dog since they can’t always take care of themselves.

Understand the repercussions for not ensuring your dog is cool in warm weather. This will motivate you to take it seriously and not mess around. Be responsible, and read up on the best ways to avoid overheating and take action right away to protect your dog. See tips for keeping your dog cool in the summer.

Shelter

If you’re outside a lot in the summer, get an underground dog house to protect your pet. There are cooling vents installed in the structure and they’re very safe. It’s great for all weather patterns and keeps your dog dry in the rain. It’s perfect shelter away from the heat and sun in the summertime. Dogs love being outside, so avoid banishing them to the indoors if you don’t have to. They want to be in nature and are excellent watchdogs for detecting danger in the neighborhood. The dog house will allow your pet to be where they like it best, outdoors, without any concerns to their safety.

Ice Cubes

Give your dog ice cubes or cold treats when they’re feeling overheated. This is a great way to reward and cool them off at the same time. Make a game of it once they’re not overheated and throw the ice cubes so they have to fetch them. They love this because they know it’s edible and gives them a chance to get some water. Ice cubes are a budget-friendly way to make your pet happy and cooled off in an instant. They love them and won’t want to stop nibbling on them once they have the ice cubes in their possession.

Hose

Use your hose to cool off your dog. Be kind and gentle with them, but spray them down and have them roll around in the water. It’s easy and works like a charm. Turn the hose to different spray patterns and watch them splash around as they quickly cool off. Keep a hose in your backyard for those times you don’t want to run inside to get water. Use it to fill their water dish and cool down their fur.

Water Dish

Always make sure you bring a water dish outside and with you wherever you go with your pet in the summertime. If you go hiking, bring your own water and dish with you so you can stop and provide your pet with water as soon as they need it. This goes for wherever you may travel with them during the warm months. Always have a water dish in and around your home too. Buy multiple dishes so you can set a few around the house and have others for when you travel. Allow your dog access to water at their leisure. Make it as easy as possible for them to get to fresh water whenever you’re with them. They’ll start panting and can quickly overheat, which is exactly why you want to have water available at all times.

Pet Pool

Every dog needs a pet pool. Get a blowup pool for your backyard in the summer. They’ll play in it and run in and out of it to happily cool off. If you have multiple dogs or a dog friend, it’s fun to watch them play and splash around as they chase each other. A pet pool is great because it’s nice for cooling off their fur and they can also drink out of it. Little pools aren’t just for kids anymore. You’ll be surprised at how often they’ll jump in and out of it throughout the course of an afternoon. This way you can have them outside for longer periods of time without having to worry about hydration.

Keep your Home Cool

Turn your air conditioner on and cool off your pet in the summertime. You’ll also enjoy the lower temperatures as you move around your house. It’s important that their space is cool and comfortable. You don’t want them sweating and panting in the house. Get them a cooler spot to sleep in the summertime and put away any warm blankets.

Remove them from the Car

Never keep dogs in the car for extended periods of time when you’re not in it. This is unsafe and dangerous to their health. You risk the dog overheating and not being able to bring itself to a sustainable temperature. A car can quickly soar in temperature on the inside, even when it’s not that hot outside. Take the dog with you when you leave the car or don’t bring them with in the first place. Signs of overheating include a rapid heartrate, heavy drooling and panting. Visit your vet right away if you notice these indicators.

Exercise Smart

Be careful when you’re exercising with your pet. Even though you want to take them running and hiking, be mindful if it’s safe for them to go with you. Try exercising outside in the morning or evening when the temperatures are more mild. Don’t assume that just because you don’t think it’s that hot out, that your pet will be fine. Be smart and put safety first. Walk if you have to and get your pet to shelter right away if you see any signs of overheating. Limit how much you do when it’s hot and humid. Be careful of your dog’s paws on the hot concrete and let them walk on the grass.

Sprinkler

When you’re outside, set out a sprinkler for your dog to run around in. If you have kids, they’ll all be able to join in the fun. It’s also nice for you because you can water your grass at the same time you entertain your pet and kids and keep them safe.

Conclusion

Summer is a fun season with lots of great outdoor activities, but it also gets very hot. Watch out for the safety of your pet and pay attention to their needs. These are tips for keeping your dog cool in the summer.

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Five Options for Staying Entertained on Your Morning Commute

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Morning traffic jam on a road in Kiev 3

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Most of us work hard throughout the week, so those who commute to work on public transport often take this time to have a short break, catch a breath and have some fun. Thanks to our gadgets, and the fact that Wi-Fi is now readily available on most public transportation, it’s never been easier to use your smartphone or tablet to have some fun and entertain yourself on your commute to and from work. We’ve listed some of the best things that you can do on the bus, train or subway during your morning or evening commute.

#1. Play Bingo:

If you’re a fan of playing online bingo and want to use your commute to work to try and win some extra money, then you’re in luck. There are several bingo apps that you can download which have a selection of games on offer, with differing ticket prices available, allowing you to have some fun regardless of your budget. If you’re not interested in playing for money, there are also many apps that you can download which will allow you to play for fun. With Bingo PayPal options, it’s never been quicker and more secure when depositing money to play with!

#2. Catch Up with a Book:

Thanks to apps such as Kindle and iBooks, there’s no need to take a book along with you on your morning commute. With your smartphone, tablet, or e-reading device, you can have a whole library with you to choose from! Whether you’re a fan of reading history, comedy, biographies, crime dramas, or romantic stories, reading can be the perfect way to pass the time during your morning commute.

#3. Play Games:

No matter how old you are, playing a game on your smartphone or tablet will always be a great way to relax, wind down, and have some fun. With hundreds of games to choose from that are free to download on iOS or Android devices, your morning commute will go by in a flash!

#4. Watch a Movie:

Thanks to unlimited data and the fact that Netflix now has an app for iOS and Android, there’s nothing stopping you from catching up with your favorite movies or TV shows during your morning commute. If your bus, train or subway has Wi-Fi, then you’ll be able to watch to your heart’s content without worrying about the amount of data that you’re using. Or, if you don’t have the time to watch a feature length film or even an episode of your favorite TV show, YouTube is great for catching up with funny videos.

#5. Listen to Music:

Listening to music is a great way to relieve stress, so it’s no surprise that it’s the activity of choice for many people who are trying to wind down and relax on their morning commute. Whether you’re into ballads or heavy metal, take some headphones along and spend your time traveling listening to some of your favorite tunes.

How do you spend your commutes to and from work? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.

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