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SUMMER




   HOLIDAY PROBLEMS:                        DOWNSHIFTING FOR BEGINNERS
   Your rights if things                    More and more people quit the rat race for a less frenetic life in the country.
   go wrong                                 But you don’t need to ‘up sticks’ to live a less complicated life. Here are ten
                                            easy steps to downshift:
    If your flight is cancelled and
    you’re stranded at the airport.         1. TAME YOUR FINANCES                      c) have been used within the last
    You’re entitled to claim meals and         If you want to stop working             12 months. If they’re not, they
    refreshments at the airport from           yourself into the ground for            can usually go.
    the airline as well as two free            money, don’t spend it. Hide
                                               your credit cards and track your      5. SOURCE YOUR OWN FOOD
    phone calls or emails and a hotel          spending for a week, noting              Even if space is limited, you can
    room if you have to wait overnight         everything you spend. It is tedious      grow an impressive amount of
    for another flight. But the airline        but gives you a really good idea of      food in pots in a garden or on a
    does not have to pay for other             where your money is going - and          patio, and plants like herbs and
    lost parts of your holiday such as         that could be a real wake-up call.       strawberries do well in window
    hotel or car hire. If you decide not                                                boxes. Many suburban gardens
    to fly, and are flying to or from an    2. LEARN TO BE CHEAP                        now also include hens which
    airport in the EU or with an EU            This doesn’t mean giving up all          repay you with a good supply of
    airline, under EU regulations, you         the things you love, but take            tasty, free-range eggs. Swopping
    are entitled to a full refund from         a hard look at small ways you            food with neighbours can also
    the airline within seven days.             can save money. Use energy-              help reduce your reliance on
                                               saving light bulbs, hang washing         supermarkets.
    Missed connections. If your flight         outside to dry, try batch-cooking
                                               and freezing food, make your          6. RE-THINK YOUR WORKING LIFE
    is late or cancelled, resulting in
                                               own clothes, buy secondhand              Can you work from home some
    you missing a connecting flight,                                                    days? That will avoid some of
    the airline responsible must make          and own-brand items: the list is
                                               endless.                                 your commuting stress. Do you
    sure you get on the next available                                                  really need to work late every
    connecting flight. If you arrive on     3. DETACH FROM CONSUMERISM                  day? Remember, your ‘to do’ list
    time for your connecting flight, but       Many of us get sucked into               will never disappear completely,
    it is cancelled, you can decide not        ‘keeping up with the Joneses’,           so prioritise the truly urgent stuff
    to continue with your journey. In          feeling like our status and              and finish off the rest tomorrow.
    this case, that airline should repay       happiness is wrapped up in the
    the total price of your tickets and        ownership of vast quantities of       7. MAKE USE OF YOUR SKILLS
    provide a free flight back to your         material possessions. However,           There are an increasing number
    original departure point.                  the more you buy, the longer             of local schemes where people
                                               it will take to pay it all back.         barter goods and services with
    Delayed flights. You have the right        Removing yourself from this              each another – why not start
    to be reimbursed the cost of your          pressure and purchasing only the         your own? Make a list of all the
    ticket if the delay is more than five      necessities can actually be very         things you love doing – this may
    hours and you decide not to travel.        liberating.                              be gardening, cooking, anything
    But you will not be reimbursed for                                                  – then make a list of the goods or
    any other elements of your trip         4. DE-JUNK YOUR LIFE                        services you’d like to have access
                                               The more ‘stuff’ we have, the            to. Once you have your lists,
    you have lost as a result.                                                          you’re ready to trade.
                                               more there is to keep clean and
    continued on page 2
                                               tidy. So pass on unwanted items
                                               to charity or to someone who          8. SWITCH OFF TECHNOLOGY
                                               will actually use them. Check that       It’s easy to be in constant contact
                                               the things you own are either            through email, Facebook and
                                               a) useful, b) give you pleasure, or      your iphone. But switching off is
                                                                                       continued on page 2

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     HOLIDAY PROBLEMS:
     Your rights if things go wrong
     continued from page 1

     If you’re bumped off an overbooked
     flight. If an airline does not have
                                               even if you only paid the deposit
                                               with it, provided it cost more than
                                                                                              DOWNSHIFTING FOR
     space for you on the flight, you must     £100 and less than £30,000. And if             BEGINNERS
     be compensated. Provided you are          it costs more to buy another similar           continued from page 1
     at an EU airport or an EU airline is      holiday, you can claim that back,
     involved, and you have your ticket,       too. If you paid by Visa debit card,
     confirmed reservation and have            you can ask it to repay you under                 important in order to engage
     checked in by the deadline, you           the charge-back rules. But you will               you properly with what’s going
     are entitled to a refund or another       get only the amount paid with the                 on around you right now. Make
     flight. The airline must also pay         card, and it’s not a legal right. You             a deal with yourself not to look
     compensation based on the length          must claim within 120 days.                       at your phone after 7pm, or
     of the flight and how late you            If your airline goes bust, leaving                insist on laptop-free weekends
     will be. Meals, phone calls and           you stranded. Those travelling                    – for all the family!
     overnight accommodation must              with an ATOL or ABTA-bonded tour
     also be offered.                          operator or travel agent will have             9. RE-EVALUATE YOUR
     If the airline loses your bag. Ask for    replacement flights home arranged                 LEISURE TIME.
     cash to buy emergency supplies,           and paid for as close to the original             Instead of watching the TV,
     such as clothes and toiletries. Some      date as possible. If you have to                  soaking up all the bad news of
     airlines do this, others say you must     pay for extra accommodation, the                  the day and being bombarded
     buy them first and produce the            bonding schemes will repay you if                 with reality programmes and
     receipts. After 21 days your bags         you provide receipts. If you paid for             soaps, why not detach and
     are deemed lost and the Montreal          the original flight by credit card, you           enjoy more simple and ful-
     Convention says the airline must          can claim the cost back from them.                filling leisure activities, such as
     compensate you. But it might ask                                                            reading a book, playing games
                                               Don’t forget your insurance. Take
     for proof of the cost of the luggage      out insurance as soon as you book
                                                                                                 and talking as a family?
     and contents. If your bags turn up        your holiday to cover you for
     and are damaged, you must claim           cancellation due to illness, re-               10. GET A TASTE OF COUNTRY
     within seven days. Alternatively,         dundancy or jury service. All                      LIFE.
     claim under your travel insurance.        policies will protect you for medical             Even if you can’t live in the
     If the airline or holiday company         emergencies and get you home if                   country, holidays and regular
     collapses before you fly. If you          you’re injured or sick. You’ll also               day trips to the countryside
     booked a package with an ATOL-            have cover for delays, cancelled                  can give you that rural ‘fix’ that
     bonded tour operator, you must be         flights and lost baggage, though                  you might be craving. Escaping
     reimbursed for your holiday, flight,      limits differ between providers.                  the rat race, even for a day, can
     hotel and transport costs. But if         However, most won’t provide cover                 often be enough to put life in
     you booked your flight through the        if an airline or holiday company                  perspective and de-stress us
     operator, you are not covered, even       collapses and won’t pay for                       for a while.
     though it was bonded. However,            replacement flights.
     don’t expect ATOL to repay you
                                               Adapted from: Holiday hell: Your rights if     Adapted from: Downshifting for beginners
     quickly if a big company failed.          things go wrong (January 2010). Retrieved      (April 2006). Retrieved 25 May 2011, from:
     Get your money back. If you paid by       25 May 2011, from: http://www.thisismoney.     http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/
                                               co.uk/bargains-and-rip-offs/tips-and-guides/   this-britain/downshifting-for-beginners-
     credit card, the company must repay       article.html?in_article_id=497507&in_page_     475812.html
     you the total cost of your lost holiday   id=53954&in_advicepage_id=133
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                                                                        BE WATER WISE
                                                                       Summer Water Conservation Tips
                                                                       With more of us having water meters and hose pipe bans
                                                                       always a threat in the summer, it makes sense to try and save
                                                                       as much water as we can. Cut back on water use with a few
                                                                       simple tips:
                                                                       • Ditch the hosepipe and use a watering can to water your
                                                                         plants and grass.
                                                                       • Attach a water butt to your gutter to catch the rain and use
                                                                         this water to water the garden, clean the car and wash the
                                                                         windows.
                                                                       • Water your garden early in the morning or late in the
                                                                         evening when evaporation is at its lowest.
                                                                       • Check the weather forecast before you water your plants
                                                                         – it might be forecasted to rain soon!
                                                                       • Wash your car with a bucket and sponge rather than a
                                                                         hosepipe.
                                                                       • Put mulch in your flower beds to lower evaporation rates.
                                                                       • Recycle water from the kitchen into the garden by pouring
                                                                         water used to boil/rinse vegetables on your plants.
                                                                       • Give your plants’ roots a good soaking once or twice a week
                                                                         in dry weather rather than lightly watering them every day
                                                                         because most of that water just evaporates away.

                                                                       Adapted from: Saving water in summer (2011). Retrieved 25 May, 2011,
                                                                       from: http://www.waterwise.org.uk/reducing_water_wastage_in_the_
                                                                       uk/water_saving_tips/saving_water_in_summer.html




     Workplace Options (WPO) has endeavoured to ensure that the information compiled for this edition of Lifelines is accurate.
     Notwithstanding this, WPO stresses that the information contained is in no way intended to be a substitute of any kind for medical,
     financial and/or legal advice given in the context of an individual professional consultation. WPO makes no representations
     whatsoever, either expressed or implied, regarding the accuracy of the information or its fitness for purpose.



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