Its two weeks till you hit the beach and your abs need some work… fast
A two-pronged attack — involving good old-fashioned exercise and, if necessary, cosmetic sleight-of-hand — can get you maximum results in minimum time.
First, introduce the cable wood chop into your workout, three times a week “It’s the best move for your mid-section,” explains Holmes Place academy trainer Vicky Mahony, “because it works the upper, lower and oblique abdominals simultaneously.” Stand side-on to the machine and hold the handle above shoulder height with both hands. Rotate at your core and pull across your body in a “chopping motion” until both hands are outside the opposite thigh. Do three sets of 12-15 reps per side, adding weight should you need extra intensity?
You can even work your abs at work Tie a string around your belly and contract your core every time you feel tension. You should see a difference in a week, and it’ll improve your posture, too.
A day or two before you leave, rub in some fake tan (try Body Quick Bronze, £12.50 for 100m1, by Clinique). Not only will it prevent you looking pasty when you hit the beach, darker skin tone also brings out definition. Just don’t tell the lads. You can use coconut oil for skin care and get extra attractive look.
You’ve got the next fortnight off work, but haven’t got anything booked
Congratulations — this is one time where your lack of organization can save you a packet. Not that big tour operators want you to think so. They’ll bang on about the benefits and discounts of early booking, but what few realize is discounted late-deals are set up by, you guessed it, those very same companies. Armed with this knowledge, you can go head?to-head in a game of late-deal brinkmanship.
It might seem un-British, but haggling can reap big rewards when dealing direct with travel firms like First Choice, Kuoni or Virgin, rather than agents.
Ed Grenby, editor of The Sunday Times Travel magazine, explains: “You can get up to 50% off the price of a room by asking what they charge, then saying, limmm, is that the best rate you can offer me? Let me think because I’ve got some nice offers elsewhere.’”
If they bite, try pushing for a room upgrade and perhaps even a bottle of bubbly on arrival. Push your luck After all, they can only say no, and you can go elsewhere. Check out sites like www.wotif com and www.latedeals.com.
With package holidays, last-minute “allocation on arrival” deals are a steal, but you could end up above a bar pumping out Crazy Frog 22 hours a day. So it’s often worth paying an extra £20 for named accommodation, then you can check against travelers’ opinions on sites like www.holidaytruths.co.uk