Tag Archives: travel

Are You a Road Hazard? Make Sure Your Car is Roadworthy!

So why is it so important that your car is roadworthy? I mean, you know, apart from the obvious safety issues. Two other potential problems come to mind. The first is the legality of your ride. If the police pull you over and discover that your car isn’t roadworthy, then you can get at the very least, ticketed.

The other problem may not seem as serious because the police aren’t involved, but the financial consequences could turn out to be even more dire. Let’s say you get into an accident. Afterwards, your car is deemed to have been unroadworthy at the time of the accident. At that point, even if the problems with your car didn’t cause the accident, the insurance company is within their right to turn around and say that they won’t be able to compensate you. Pre-existing conditions and all that.

From a legal standpoint, as well as an insurance standpoint, driving in a car that isn’t roadworthy is a form of recklessness. Reckless driving isn’t exactly looked upon with kind eyes – y’know, being a crime and all that. Of course, you may not actually be aware that your car isn’t roadworthy. It’s not always as obvious as it sounds.

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Looks good, but is it legal?

If you want to ensure that you avoid these sorts of sneaky problems, then you need to follow the steps in this guide.

Get your car checked by a professional. If you’re in the U.S., then every state has its own requirements set by various branches of the DMV. It’s best to go to a renowned garage and have them inspect the vehicle (and maybe give it some maintenance). In the U.K., it’s as simple as getting an MOT test. If your car fails, you’ll need repairs and another test. Thankfully, there are businesses out there that won’t charge you for that second test.

Check the identification. If you bought your car from anyone other than the manufacturer – and chances are you did – then you need to get this checked. There’s always a risk that the identification numbers in the car don’t add up. The engine and the chassis will both have identification numbers – and they need to match. If they don’t, the police may take it away temporarily.

Ensure the electrical system works perfectly. Electrical problems are the most common cause of “roadworthiness violations.” Giving this system a thorough check is pretty darn involved, especially when you consider just how much of your car depends on that system. The headlights, brake lights, dip lights, indicators, air conditioning, the window mechanisms, the battery… I could go on for a couple more paragraphs. I won’t, though. If there’s a single problem, get it fixed.

Inspect tread depth. So many people forget about the tyres. Sure, a lot of people remember to give it a firm kick or push to make sure it’s inflated properly. But not many people frequently get down and actually check the tread depth. It should be at least 1mm deep – if it isn’t, then some of the tyre has worn away, meaning your car won’t stop as effectively as it should. Undesirable, to say the least.

Traffic Jam Boredom: How to Occupy Yourself During Heavy Traffic

Tired of moving a couple of meters every few minutes? Annoyed that you’re going to be late for your friend’s birthday party or worried that your boss is going to fire you for being late again? Don’t worry, we’ve all been in those situations before. As drivers, we’re at mercy to two things: traffic and weather. It’s not our fault that everyone decided to get on the road at the same time as us. Sure, maybe you predicted there would be heavy traffic due to a holiday such as Christmas so you decided to get on the road a little earlier—too bad everyone else thought the same as you!

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Sadly, the only thing we can do to alleviate these frustrations is to occupy ourselves. As long as you keep road safety in mind, here are some fun ways to keep yourself entertained during these horrible traffic jams.

Mobile Phone Games

Video games don’t have to be high-action. They can be simple as well and require thinking as opposed to reaction speed. Some examples include puzzle games like Sudoku, board games like Chess or even a role-playing game. They’re simple to learn, easy to play and you can stop them at any time to continue driving. If you’re interested in something more grown-up, you could play card games such as Poker, or even participate in competitions like this Discomfort Zone campaign as long as you have internet access and an account on the website.

Listen to Music

Music can be soothing, uplifting or even empowering. Listening to some relaxing music can relieve the stress of a busy and slow traffic jam, and listening to something upbeat and fast can get you grooving to hide the boredom. Grab yourself a portable battery bank or an in-car charger to fill your device with juice as you play music. Buy an audio cable to connect it to your car’s built-in speakers for better sound quality—never use headphones as it could distract you and you won’t hear the cars or people around you.

Read Something

As long as you don’t get too engrossed in a good book and forget to drive, reading can be a relaxing way to pass the time while you’re in a busy traffic jam. Bring your favourite book into the car with you and keep it stored in the glove compartment for boring traffic situations. It doesn’t have to be a fictional book either, it could be a magazine, today’s newspaper or a factual book or biography that you can read for inspiration and enlightenment.

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Explore Your Mind

Have you ever taken a shower or gone to the toilet and had an epiphany or moment of clarity? When we’re in lonely situations, we often contemplate our lives and think about anything and everything. Traffic jams are good times to relax and think about things in our life. Stop thinking about how angry your boss is going to be when you arrive at work late or how disappointed your friend might be if you’re late to the party. Instead, reflect back on your life, think about problems that you’re having and explore your mind.

Can You Really Afford Your Dream Car?

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Many of us have a car that we’ve always wanted. That one car that you can’t help but admire anytime, you pass in on the street. Some of us will even take it out for multiple test-drives just to feel what it’s like to get behind the while. The sad thing is that for many of us, it seems like owning your dream car will only ever be a fantasy. After all, if something is your dream car then it usually has something pretty special about it. And there’s a pretty good chance that the price of the car is going to reflect that. But there are in fact ways to turn it into a reality. Your dream car doesn’t need to be so expensive that you can only ever afford it in your dreams. You just have to know these few simple tips.

Finance

The most obvious barrier that a lot of people have to finally get their hands on the car of their dreams is the idea of shelling out a massive sum of money in order to actually buy the thing. Fortunately, there is another way. Rather than emptying your bank balance all at once, getting a car on finance allows you to spread the cost of the vehicle across a longer period of time. Some car finance deals will even allow you to purchase the car without making a deposit. Be careful though and always check the interest rates on any finance deals. Otherwise, you could end up payment far more than you intended in the long run.

Part-exchange

Want your old banger to do something useful for a change? Well, a lot of dealerships are willing to part-exchange your dream car for your old one. Of course, this is hardly going to cover the entire price, but it will make a decent dent in it. The value and condition of your car will have a pretty big impact on exactly how much you get, but it’s always a good way to kill two birds with one stone: helping you your hands on your dream car and getting rid of the old one that you no longer need.

Negotiate

Most people are not especially good at haggling, and that’s pretty understandable. There aren’t many instances where you need to barter with a salesperson to bring the price down on something. But when you’re getting ready to drop a significant sum of money on a car, it’s pretty reasonable to try and get the best possible deal. The idea of haggling can be pretty scary for some people, but it’s important to remember one thing. The salesperson wants you to buy the car. They might act like they don’t care but that’s because they don’t want you to realize how much power you have. A lot of car dealerships work on commission and how much they get paid depends on how much they actually sell. That means that, within reason, a lot of salespeople are more than happy to meet you in the middle when it comes to the price of your car.

 

Natural Wonders It’s Worth Going A Little Further For!

There are so many different options available to holidaymakers. We can go somewhere warm, somewhere cold. We can go somewhere busy or somewhere quiet. A lot of what we look for on holiday depends on upon our personality. A quiet, shy person is unlikely to go to a crowded resort. Similarly, a devoted sunbather is not going to rush to a ski resort.

There are other distinctions too. Many people love to go to the major cities. The thrill of the metropolis is understandable. Big shops, lots of people, a whole lot of nightlife. Places like Dubai, New York, and Tokyo bring in innumerable tourists every year. But are they places you’re in a hurry to visit? Or would you prefer to go somewhere a little more natural for a change?

You see, our world is actually filled with places where you can look upon what nature has bestowed and realise something. Architects – as amazing as some of their works are – don’t have a monopoly on beauty. Sometimes, what’s been there for thousands of years can be as incredible.

Natural Wonder #1 – Niagara Falls

A holiday to the USA might be packed with visits to any number of cities. You can see the gaudy, but often undeniable, charms of Las Vegas. You could take a trip to New York and see some wonders there. But a better bet for a holiday in North America might be to head to the border with Canada, where you can see the Niagara Falls. An incredible testament to the power of water, and a truly picturesque destination.

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Natural Wonder #2 – The Northern Lights

OK, so what are the Northern Lights? You’ve seen some photos of them, but what’s so special about them? Well, this wonder of our world is an entirely natural phenomenon caused by charged particles from the sun. As they collide with particles in our own atmosphere, they create a moving glow in the sky.

It’s best seen above Iceland and other areas in the Nordic regions. And if you’re looking for a place to let your hair down and party, Reykjavik is hard to beat.

We went, and we reviewed our hire car while we were at it!

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Natural Wonder #3 – The Australian Outback

Where you head on a trip to Australia says a lot about your priorities. If you want to shop or have a rowdy journey, there are plenty of cities. If you like to sunbathe or surf, there are some of the best beaches in the world. But if you want nature to wow you, you’re best heading into the Outback – locations like Uluru in particular. The magnificent desolation on show here is something that no-one who visits it forgets.

One word of warning – there are areas of the Outback recommended for tourists, and those that aren’t. In search of authenticity, do not charge off the beaten track. You may not find a signpost back to comfort, and there’s a reason these spots are off the beaten track. Heading to less familiar areas will only make you harder to find if you get lost. Be wise.

Shunning the usual destinations in search of something a bit different really does have its compensations. Take the chance to see something special, and you’ll never regret it.

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Can you fit a surfboard in an MGF?

Yes.

is the short answer to the question, but there are provisos…

Although surf racks are available for the boot lid, it may not be possible with models such as the Trophy and Freestyle, which have a boot lid spoiler.

You can fit a surfboard in an MGF, but not a longboard

You can fit a surfboard in an MGF, but not a longboard

You can fit a surfboard up to around 6’2 in a small convertible, with the fins and tail as far into the footwell as possible and the nose pointing towards the rear of the car.

With boards over 6’2 you may need to remove the passenger seat headrest. In the MGF this causes zero problems with the roof going up and down, although with boards over 6’2 just be careful not to scrape the rear screen with the nose of the board when you’re putting the roof up or down.

The MGF complete with 6'2 surfboard enjoying the sunshine late in the season at Polzeath beach, UK

The MGF complete with 6’2 surfboard enjoying the sunshine late in the season at Polzeath beach, UK

Pictured is a 6’0 surfboard inside an MGF Freestlye without removing the headrest. There is enough space in the boot for your changing mat, towel and wetsuit, so there you have it, you can own a convertible and still go surfing!

You just won’t be able to take anyone else with you…

The MGF Freestyle on Polzeath Beach, complete with surfboard on the passenger seat

The MGF Freestyle on Polzeath Beach, complete with surfboard on the passenger seat

Print Portfolio: The Volkswagen Doubleback

The Volkswagen Doubleback is an ingenius concept in creating a motorhome that’s as good to drive and look at as it is to sleep in.

This feature originally appeared in the Most Wanted section of Wavelength Surf Magazine:

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Print Portfolio: Lottery Surf Trip – The Charter Vacation

The Lottery Surf Trip was a concept dreamt up by Joe and the team at Wavelength Surf Magazine. It was a double page spread based around a no-limits lottery win surf trip of your wildest dreams!

This was the first ever edition of the Lottery Surf Trip, and featured a charter vacation with no budget, surfing some of the best waves the world has to offer in complete exclusivity.

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Print Portfolio: Lottery Surf Trip – The South American Road Trip

The Lottery Surf Trip was a concept dreamt up by Joe and the team at Wavelength Surf Magazine. It was a double page spread based around a no-limits lottery win surf trip of your wildest dreams!

This edition involved chartering a jet from Newquay Airport to Los Angeles, before purchasing a fully kitted off road Earthroamer vehicle for a trip through California and on to Mexico and South America.

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Print Portfolio: Lottery Surf Trip – Buying an Island

The Lottery Surf Trip was a concept dreamt up by Joe and the team at Wavelength Surf Magazine. It was a double page spread based around a no-limits lottery win surf trip of your wildest dreams!

This edition involved purchasing an island, a speed boat, chartering a private jet and starting a surf camp.

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Print Portfolio: Lottery Surf Trip – Australia

The Lottery Surf Trip was a concept dreamt up by Joe and the team at Wavelength Surf Magazine. It was a double page spread based around a no-limits lottery win surf trip of your wildest dreams.

This issue featured the Holden Maloo, a trip to Australia and some money-no-object surfboard purchasing.

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