Tuesday, December 17, 2013

HouseTrip London Apartment Review

One of the dilemmas we have when planning London adventures is whether to stay the night or try to do everything we want to do in a day. And yes, I realize this very much falls under "first world problems." The train ride to London from our closest major train station is only an hour. But there's a balance between the expense of the train tickets to get into the city (which can be around $50 per person if we don't plan ahead), the expense of a hotel room for a night or two, and then the kid factor: how hard do we want to push the kids to see a lot of sites, without much rest or downtime?

We've done it both ways (day trip itinerary for London here and weekend itinerary for London here). They both have their positives and negatives.

So when the opportunity to check out one of HouseTrip's London apartment rental properties came about, I jumped at the chance to take in a few days in London, knowing we'd have a place to call home in the evenings. Especially in December, when the city is full of Christmas magic.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Off to London, Be Back Before Christmas!

We're off to London this weekend to experience some of the Christmas events held in the city. Then we'll be back home just in time to enjoy our first holiday in the UK before jetting off to Portugal for the week between Christmas and New Year's. I can't wait for both trips, and to share more about our experiences here. For now, I found the following post, provided by Crown Relocations, about British expats pretty fascinating.


Moving by numbers: top travel statistics for emigrating Brits

Did you know that, Immigration into the UK is a matter of much debate, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)? A total of 1.28million highly-skilled British citizens are now living abroad. This is a considerably higher figure than any other developed nation. By contrast there are 865,000 highly-skilled German citizens living abroad and only around 400,000 from the USA.

This is not the only startling statistic concerning emigration, so here are a few more.

144,000: Brits left the UK in 2012

Migration overseas does not seem to be running out of steam either. According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) an estimated 144,000 British citizens emigrated from the UK in the year to December 2012. 56% of the total emigrants leaving the country did so for work-related reasons and of these, 64% left for a definite job with the remainder planning to look for work once there.

5,000: Graduates looking for work overseas in 2011

 British graduates are increasingly looking to expand their horizons by looking overseas for their first job. In 2011, more than 5,000 graduates looked for work in locations such as mainland Europe, America and Asia. This was 1,000 more than the average before the financial crash.

Students from the country's top universities are even more tempted; figures from the Higher Education Statistics Agency suggest. Almost one in ten British graduates from universities such as Cambridge, Oxford and Exeter who found jobs in 2011 were working overseas. This includes those who found employment with multinationals that operate in the UK and were posted overseas.

Around 40% of graduates working overseas were based in mainland Europe. Approximately 20% relocated to the Far East and 12% were in North America.

1,062,000: Brits living in Australia

The top destination for emigrating Brits overall was Australia. According to the Office for National Statistics, there were 1,062,000 British expats living down under. Of these, just over a quarter of a million were retired.

The Home Office suggests that between 4,000 and 8,000 pensioners retire overseas annually. This is down from a peak of 22,000 in 2006.

The next most popular destinations overall were the USA (829,000), Spain (808,000), Canada (608,000), Ireland (289,000) and France (253,000). Just under a quarter of a million had relocated to New Zealand and South Africa.

100: Countries with over 1,000 Brits expats

In total there are more than 100 countries that are home to populations of at least a thousand British expats.

(Content sponsored and provided by Crown Relocations. Arrows Sent Forth assumes no responsibility for its accuracy.)

Monday, December 9, 2013

Product Review: iPad Snugg Case

Like many parents these days, our iPad is a pretty essential part of our travel gear. It's entertainment for our boys, a way of staying in touch with friends and family back home via Facetime, and our mechanism of internet access for work, activity research, restaurant recommendations, and so much more while we travel.

Needless to say, it's really important to us that this vital and pricey product be protected. So when The Snugg contacted me to review one of their travel cases, I took them up on the offer.

Friday, December 6, 2013

6 Months as Expats

We recently passed our six-month milestone since moving to England. Quite frankly, it went by somewhat unnoticed to me, mostly because I was busy celebrating Little Arrow's 2nd birthday that same day.

But then it occurred to me that I no longer really calculate how long we've been here. It's not something I think all that much about these days, other than when people ask me. This shows how far we've come since my last update about our feelings post-move (I wrote this post 2 weeks after we moved here.)

Don't be fooled by my smile. I totally cried my way through the 4th of July.