Looking to get away? Hit these hotspots before everyone else does

Looking to get away? Hit these hotspots before everyone else does

*Books flights immediately*

holiday photography

You don’t need reminding that January is pretty bleak. As we count down the days until payday and try not to think about the cold, we’re also Googling getaways because we need something to look forward to this year – right?

But where should you head off to? Should you opt for a staycation or head to Europe? Go to your favourite place or try somewhere new? Or maybe you want to go that bit further and really chase the sun?

On The Go Tours analysed data from the United Nations World Tourism Organisation 2018 Tourism Highlights Report to find out which countries are growing in popularity as tourist hotspots – and give you some hol-spiration.

So where are we all heading as soon as the need for sun hits?

Romania is the fastest growing destination for UK tourists, with an increase of 638% between 2007 and 2017. Lithuania comes in second with around 115,000 visitors in 2017, followed by Mexico with holidays there racking up around 49 million hashtags on Instagram. If you’re going for the perfect feed, you know where to go.

Other tourist hotspots include Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Morocco.

The original favourites, France and Spain, don’t make the list for fastest growing destinations – but they are still pulling in the crowds with over six million and ten million British tourists visiting respectively.

On The Go Tours Head of Marketing, Hollie Youlden comments: ‘It’s interesting to see the variety of destinations that have made it into the top 20 with our internal consumer data seeing similar trends for UK tourists, with peaks in destinations like Morocco, Greece, and Italy.

‘Europe definitely takes the crown with 70% of the fastest growing destinations being European countries, which given the wonderful variety of locations we have in Europe, and the relatively short travel distances from the UK, may not come as a huge surprise.

‘Having said that, it’s great to see the likes of longer haul destinations in North America, Middle East, Asia and Africa with a large increase in UK tourists, showing people are willing to travel the extra mile for fantastic views, culture and cuisine.’

Brb, booking flights immediately.

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This is the one symptom you should never ignore after sex

This is the one symptom you should never ignore after sex


delay your period

Sex can leaves us feeling many things – euphoric, confused, hungry, and even guilty (if it’s an ex that you were supposed to be avoiding – we’ve all been there).

But while post-sex emotional symptoms are pretty common, some physical symptoms aren’t.

Sure, you might feel achey or have shaky legs (TMI?), but the one symptom that you should never ignore after sex is nausea.

chewing gum ingredients

That’s right. According to gynaecologist and medical director Lauren Streicher MD, you should never have an upset tummy after intercourse.

‘It’s never normal to feel nauseous after sex,’ she explained to POPSUGAR, flagging the symptom as something to look into.

What could it mean if we do feel nauseous after sex? Luckily, Dr. Streicher broke it down.

‘Contact with your cervix during sex – or cervical stimulation – can create a vasalvagol response in which your blood pressure and pulse drop,’ she explained. ‘This can cause you to feel nauseous or even to pass out. Your cervix changes throughout your cycle, dropping lower during your period, which may make it more susceptible during penetration.’


Another reason could be an underlying condition, with Dr. Streicher explaining that ‘women with endometriosis and pelvic inflammatory disease may experience painful intercourse’, with other causes including cervical infections and fibroids.

If you are experiencing any type of pain during sex, you should contact your GP or gynaecologist.

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Getting presents can give you the same high as being in love

Getting presents can give you the same high as being in love


emma stone ryan gosling
Credit: Photo by Ben Glass/REX/Shutterstock

Remember the feeling when you first fell in love? Those hazy days when your S.O. was on your mind constantly and all was right with the world?

We’ve been taught to believe that there’s no way to recreate that feeling, so when you get that love high you should cling on to it for as long as possible. However, new research shows that there’s actually another way to get that buzz.

A study conducted by Bloom&Wild and London Metropolitan University reveals that receiving gifts such as flowers and chocolate can recreate the same hormonal reaction as love itself.

Oxytocin, known as the ‘love hormone’, is produced when people are in a loving, happy relationship. It also has anti-anxiety and stress reducing effects. Research suggests that people in the first three stages of love reported higher oxytocin levels that last for around 6-12 months. Based on this, Bloom & Wild worked with London Metropolitan University to conduct an experiment in order to find out if receiving gifts can recreate that ‘loving feeling’ at a chemical level.

And guess what? The hormone rose significantly in the participants after receiving nice presents.

Thirty volunteers were split into three groups to receive a gift of flowers, chocolate or water, and saliva samples were taken before they were given their present, 10 minutes after deliver, and then again 40 minutes later. The samples were then tested to detect changes in hormone levels. The study found no changes in levels of cortisol, due to the fact that participants were not under any stress, but higher levels of oxytocin were detected amongst those receiving chocolates and flowers, while those gifted with water saw the least change.

Chocolate came out on top as the most euphoric gift, followed by flowers and then – no surprises – water.

Dr Una Fairbrother, Head of Biosciences at London Metropolitan University said: ‘Participants in the study were selected randomly and only their age, gender, and date of birth was recorded, in order to maintain anonymity in compliance with data protection and the Human Tissue Authority.

‘Interestingly, the results show that there was a significant increase in oxytocin after receipt of any gift. Furthermore, within this small cohort, the effect of the more desirable gifts, such as chocolate and flowers, was more pronounced, with chocolate being marginally on top.

‘This is not surprising since chocolate induces feelings of wellbeing, including an oxytocin response when eaten, thus anticipation is likely to provoke a similar (if smaller) response.’

So if you’re celebrating Galentine’s and you want that burst of love then gifts are the answer.

*Ahem, hints at friends.*

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The Eurostar sale means you can get tickets to Paris for just £29

The Eurostar sale means you can get tickets to Paris for just £29

Au revoir

Credit: Carola Vahldiek/imageBROKER/REX/Shutterstock

It’s January, we’re all broke after Christmas and the weather has taken a very chilly turn. Despite the fact that we’re all motivated to do everything – New Years resolutions are in full swing (for now) – things are pretty dreary.

But if you’re frantically Googling last minute holidays so you can wave the office goodbye on a Friday evening, listen to this. There’s a Eurostar sale happening, and it means cheaper than cheap tickets to Paris and Brussels.

You could be swanning off to Europe for the weekend for just £29 as the rail serve slashes prices on over 100,000 seats this January.

And if you’re worried that it’ll only be a bargain on inconvenient dates, then fear not – the cheap seats will be for anyone who wants to travel between Tuesday, 22nd January and Wednesday, 17th April. So if you want something to look forward to in 2019, this could be just the ticket. 

The deals are currently on the Eurostar website but they’re expected to sell out very quickly, so if you want to book that break you’d better act fast.

If you’re feeling plush, you can also book a seat in the Standard Premier carriage for just £70 each way and your ticket includes extra legroom, a meal and refreshments.

The offer lasts until Monday 21st January but considering it’s such a good deal we suggest you get onto it pronto.

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Apparently, this is the one question you should ask on a first date

Apparently, this is the one question you should ask on a first date

Would you?


Dating can be difficult at the best of times. We’re aware of some hideous dating trendsscrooging, anyone? – and the fact that we’re supposedly meant to have our shit together by 39.

But first dates can be hard. How do you break the ice? What if they don’t get your sense of humour? What if you’ve exhausted all your possible chat via messages beforehand?

There’s a lot to think about, and we often feel the pressure of having to be the best, coolest, funniest, most care-free version of ourselves to impress someone else. And while multiple love experts will tell you that you should looking for them to impress you, it’s natural to be a little nervous about whether or not you’ll get on and have enough to talk about.

But what if we told you that there’s one question you should ask on a first date if you want to make things a little less awkward?

According to one Cosmopolitan.com writer, it’s simple. After going on a date with a ‘sort of stranger’, he asked: ‘What’s one thing you want to ask me, but you’re too nervous to?’

Apparently, this really got the conversation going and the experts agree that it’s a great opener.

Paulette Sherman, PhD, psychologist and author of Facebook Dating: From 1st Date to Soulmate told them: ‘Asking this question can allow your date to relax into the moment, get out of their head, and open up – especially if things are a teensy bit awkward.’

Would you give this a go the next time you go on a date with a Tinder match?

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Here’s everything you need to know about sleep paralysis

Here’s everything you need to know about sleep paralysis

From diagnosis and symptoms to causes and treatments, here’s everything you need to know about sleep paralysis…

Sleep paralysis

What is sleep paralysis?

Sleep paralysis is a temporary inability to move or speak as you’re falling asleep or waking up. The sensation occurs when in a hynopompic state (when waking up) or a hypnogogic state (when falling asleep), where the person is completely aware of their surroundings whilst being asleep. Whilst harmless, this sensation can often a very scary experience, with many describing it as an out-of-body experience. After the episode passes you will be able to move and speak as normal.

How long does sleep paralysis last?

Although it will feel like the paralysis is lasting an excruciatingly long time in the moment, the episode generally tends to last for only a few seconds.

How common is sleep paralysis?

Feeling this sensation is not uncommon, with some surveys suggesting that 25-30% of the population will experience some form of sleep-type paralysis at least once in their life. For most people, experiencing sleep paralysis is a one-off episode, while others experience it more frequently with some experiencing it a few times a month.

Sleep paralysis
What are the symptoms of sleep paralysis?

The most obvious symptom is being temporarily unable to make movements or speak whilst being very aware of your surroundings. Other symptoms of sleep paralysis include difficulty breathing, a crushing sensation on your chest and in some cases hallucinations and being able to open your eyes. Another key symptom is actually the feeling of fear as it can be a very unsettling experience.

What can cause sleep paralysis?

Experiencing this type of sleep disorder can happen to anyone. While there’s no definitive cause, it is most commonly linked to sleep deprivation, irregular sleeping patterns, stress, depression and some prescription medications. In some cases it can be down to more serious causes like a family history of this sleep disorder or narcolepsy, and in others, it can be simply down to sleeping on your back.

Is sleep paralysis dangerous?

Experiencing this type of sleep disorder can be terrifying, with many people explaining that in the moment they felt as though they were dying. Whilst being scary, however, the natural state is completely harmless and will have no dangerous or lasting effects.

Sleep paralysis
Are there treatments for sleep paralysis?

Like most sleep disorders, this tends to improve over time. You can help the process though, by improving your sleeping habits, sticking to a regular sleep pattern in a comfortable environment. Regular exercise and a healthy diet can also help, as well as avoiding smoking, caffeine and big meals before bed.

When should I consult a GP about my sleep paralysis?

For most people, sleep paralysis will be a one time occurrence and as it is not harmful, there is usually no need to consult a doctor. If, however, you are experiencing sleep paralysis on a regular basis or feel that your symptoms could resemble narcolepsy, get in touch with your GP.

The post Here’s everything you need to know about sleep paralysis appeared first on Marie Claire.

Having a dog is actually really good for your health

Having a dog is actually really good for your health

Knew it.

dog names
Credit: David Micha Sheldon/imageBROKER/REX/Shutterstock

As January gets underway and we start breaking our New Years resolutions, we’ve got some good news: petting a dog is actually really good for your health.

Yes, if you promised yourself that 2019 would be the year you focused on your health and wellbeing, the secret to seeing it through isn’t just journalling, spa days or meditation. The self-care journey can also include something as easy as having a pet. Hurrah.

If you love nothing more than coming home and giving your fur baby a big cuddle, it’s not just giving you a warm, fuzzy feeling – it’s actually lowering your blood pressure, too.

Tombola released a study that reveals petting an animal – be it dog, cat, goat – for just fifteen minutes can lower your blood pressure by up to 10%. Great news.

The study showed that petting an animal ‘releases serotonin, oxytocin, prolactin and even lowers the stress hormone cortisol. These feel-good hormones lower our stress and anxiety, serotonin being the main thing antidepressants try to replicate.’

Disclaimer: fluffy toys don’t quite cut it. In order to see this health benefit, it has to be a real, living animal.

It claims: ‘Researchers found that petting a living creature, whether furry or shelled, massively reduced anxiety in the participants.’

That’s right – if you’ve got a pet turtle it also counts.

We already knew that having a pet is good for your mental health. Numerous studies have shown that they can help with depression, PTSD and loneliness, too.

So all in all, having a pet dog can help your mental and physical health. We’re sold.

The post Having a dog is actually really good for your health appeared first on Marie Claire.

The secret to getting cheap flight deals this year

The secret to getting cheap flight deals this year


holiday photography

So we’re armed with the knowledge that you can double your holiday allowance in 2019, making this the year to book your getaways – whether you’re looking for a weekend city break to Prague or a full on two-weeker in Tobago. All you need to do is get the time off and away you go (thank us later).

But once you’ve got the time off work sorted, you’ll need to assess your finances to see if all the trips are actually doable. Can you really afford to go away five times this year? When you’re waiting for the January pay day after a very expensive Christmas, even a Tesco meal deal can feel like a stretch.

However, there are some ways around the hefty price tags on flights – turning your travel dreams from wishful thinking into a reality.

Ever heard of the genius money-saving newslaters from Jack’s Flight Club? Jack Sheldon, who runs the service, told Cosmopolitan.co.uk that the easiest way to save the pennies is by tracking the fares.

‘Booking flights is all about timing,’ he told them. ‘Don’t make the mistake of blindly going online and booking a ticket 6 months in advance. Airline fares can fluctuate as much as 50% daily and will seldom stay at their lowest for very long.’

Instead of trawling the internet for the cheapest flights, he advises you set up trackers using Google Flights which will keep an eye on the ones that suit your timeframe and destination. Every time the price changes, you’ll be alerted, meaning you’ll get a good idea of what a bargain looks like.

If it sounds easy, that’s because it is. You should also think about the day you book your flights, with Expedia advising that you can get a better deal on a Sunday if you’re travelling internationally (economy, of course).

We know what we’ll be doing this weekend.

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What is CBD oil? Everything you need to know about 2019’s hottest ingredient

What is CBD oil? Everything you need to know about 2019’s hottest ingredient

Rex Features

CBD has officially hit the main stream, with industries including beauty and wellbeing embracing the ingredient for its many potential benefits. But what is CBD Oil? And how are you supposed to use it? Keep reading for the complete Marie Claire guide…

By Rebecca Fearn.

What is CBD Oil?

CBD, short for cannabidiol, is an oil derived from the cannabis plant. It is different to THC (tetrohydrocannabinol), which is the part of the plant that creates the ‘high’ associated with smoking weed.

‘THC is the compound in cannabis that gets you high but CBD alone won’t get you high at all,’ explains Charlotte Ferguson-Quilter, psychotherapist and founder of Disciple skincare.

‘It is important to check that your CBD products contain minimal THC if you don’t want to feel high – also any products with >2% THC are considered psychoactive in the UK and are therefore illegal.’

What are the benefits of CBD?

Let’s start with how CBD works. We all have internal Endocannabinoid System (ECS for short), which affects things like our mood, appetite and memory. CBD can support the ECS, helping with things like anxiety.

‘The popularity of CBD says something about how stressed and anxious we are as a society,’ says Charlotte.

‘By far the most popular benefits are pain relief and anxiety. It’s thought that CBD interacts with receptors in the brain and immune system to reduce inflammation and alleviate pain.’

‘CBD is also great for sleep issues and insomnia,’ she continues.

Indeed, studies conducted in recent years have suggested CBD oil can help with a range of problems. Recent studies cited by Medical News Today are an interesting read, highlighting the effectiveness of CBD Oil with anxiety, arthritis and a whole other host of symptoms.

How can you take CBD?

On board with CBD? There are a number of ways to try out the trend, from sipping a smoothie to smothering it onto your skin.

Drink it

Several boujee health food cafes now serve smoothies or coffees with CBD extract in the ingredients list. Glow Bar, for example, serves a moon milk (golden, available hot or iced) that contains Wunder Workshop Golden Mylk and CBD. Planet Organic also offers CBD Oil Coffee, which features espresso, butter, coconut oil and CBD oil. While drinking your CBD at cafes is a treat, it’s not ideal for daily usage due to money and time constraints. Another option is to eat your CBD; Green Goddess Wellness now offer a ‘Bliss Bar,’ which uses vanilla flavouring, dark chocolate and CBD oil. Delish.

Use drops

Perhaps the most versatile way to incorporate CBD into your life, CBD oils can be taken orally or applied topically onto skin. We’d recommend checking out Disciple’s new range of Miracle Drops, which offer CBD levels of 1%, 3.5% and 5%. All you need to do is swallow half a dropper’s worth (of the actual glass dropper, not just half a drop), or mix it into a drink to take it orally. Alternatively, you can apply it directly onto skin as a face oil, which will be absorbed into your skin.

Miracle Drops, 1% CBD, £22, Disciple



KiKi Health

CBD Oil 5%, £40, Kiki Health

Apply it topically

Skincare is another realm of the beauty and wellness industry that is embracing CBD oil. CBD Oil has great moisturising properties, notes Charlotte, making it great for dehydrated complexions. It’s also good for acne-prone skin:

‘CBD creates a highly effective sebostatic effect ( this essentially means that it is amazing at balancing sebum and skin oils.) Both of which are catalysts for the series of issues that result in skin breakouts and acne,’ explains Charlotte. 

While many brands are taking time to perfect CBD formulas that we hope to see in future, there are a few options you can already buy. Revolution’s Nourishing Oil – CBD Oil is perfect for dry, dull skin that needs soothing, while MGC Derma has a whole range of CBD Oil-based skincare, from creams to serums.


Revolution Beauty

Skin Nourishing Oil – CBD Oil, £10, Revolution 

MGC Derma

MGC Derma CBD Brightening Facial Cream, £37.50, Cult Beauty


The post What is CBD oil? Everything you need to know about 2019’s hottest ingredient appeared first on Marie Claire.

These are the jobs that get the most swipes right on dating sites

These are the jobs that get the most swipes right on dating sites


relationship challenge, she's all that

Dating isn’t exactly a walk in the park these days. We’re getting all too used to cushioning, ghosting, stashing and sneating, and the dating trends of 2019 don’t exactly offer a glimmer of hope, either.

And if you’re using an app to find the cherry to your bakewell, you’ll know how quickly you make your mind up about someone. Based on a bunch of pictures and a bio, we make assumptions and judgements in a matter of seconds. Enjoys brunches, lazy Sundays, and has a cute dog? Instant swipe right.

But there’s another thing we’re judging when flicking through the books for a potential partner. Apparently, their job plays an important role. When separating the wheat from the chaff so to speak, we’re reportedly drawn to some careers more than others.

According to a new survey from Badoo, the most attractive job for men is a chef and for women, a hairdresser. Participants were aged between 18 and 30, and appear to prefer more hands-on professions.

Most desirable jobs for men:

  1. Chef
  2. Engineer
  3. Entrepreneur
  4. Marketing
  5. Artist

Most desirable jobs for women:

  1. Hairdresser
  2. Nurse
  3. Lawyer
  4. Entrepreneur
  5. Teacher

It’s a different story if you talk to the masterminds over at Tinder, however. Their recent study showed that the top job for men was a pilot, and the top job for women was a physical therapist.

Just to confuse you even more, data collected from Match.com also doesn’t quite relate to its competitors, with the website claiming that the most desirable men are doctors, and women are freelancers.

So there you go.

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