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All you need to know about renting an apartment in another country

All you need to know about renting an apartment in another country

All you need to know about renting an apartment in another country

Packing up your life and moving abroad is an exciting prospect, with so many new adventures awaiting. But it does require a lot of careful planning, particularly when it comes to finding somewhere to live.

Thanks to the internet, this is now much easier to do than it has been in the past, with it possible to find a rental online that’s ready for you to move in as soon as you touch down. Rental sites such as Rentola allow you to compare rental properties around the globe, based on your budget, accommodation type, and the number of bedrooms.

For example, if you head to Rentola Dublin, you can browse properties in various neighbourhoods and find the ones that fit your budget. By using a rental comparison website with multiple listings in the same destination, there’s also less chance that you’ll be ripped off.

Decide where you want to live

First things first. You need to decide which country/city most appeals to you as your next “home”. Are you planning on moving somewhere that you’ve visited before or is it a destination you’ve always dreamt about living in long-term?

When deciding where to live, take into consideration the costs of living, the local culture, and the overarching lifestyle, and make sure they all appeal to you. If you can’t find reliable articles online, search for expat forums where you can ask questions about what it’s like to live in a particular neighbourhood, access to public transportation, and recreational opportunities.

Figure out your budget

There’s no point setting your sights on living somewhere expensive like Manhattan if you’re on a small budget. Be realistic about what you can afford and use this to guide your search.

You should also remember that there are lots of additional expenses to consider in addition to rent, such as security deposits, utility payments, and transportation costs. Some landlords may also require that you pay several weeks’ rent upfront, so add a bit of “buffer” into your budget.

Not only do you need to think about rental costs but also the expenses of day-to-day life. If you’re someone who likes to eat out a lot, take into consideration the costs of doing so in your chosen destination. Prefer to cook at home? The price of groceries can vary widely from country to country, so do your research about what the average person spends at the supermarket on a weekly basis.

Know what type of accommodation you want

In some destinations, you will have a wide variety of housing types to choose from, including apartments, villas, and townhouses. In others, the high density of people may mean that small apartments are the norm, and finding anything more substantial may be next to impossible.

If there is a choice available, consider the type of accommodation that you would prefer and the lifestyle it offers. Perhaps you want to try something different from what you have previously known, which may even mean sharing your new home with a flatmate. Not only is this a great way to meet people as you’re settling in but it will help to keep costs down too.

To furnish or not to furnish

Fitting your place out with furnishings can be not only expensive but stressful, particularly while you’re still settling into a new place. Some rental properties come with furnishings, which will save you the hassle of trying to transport bulky items from the point of sale to your new home. You may pay more for a furnished apartment but it could save you a lot of time (and even money) in the long run.

Have your documents ready

Just like renting an apartment in your home country, there will be documents that are required before you receive your key. These may include your passport/ID card, evidence of employment, or even a bank statement showing that you have sufficient funds available. You may also be asked to sign a tenancy agreement saying that you will leave the property in the same condition that you found it.

Plan your move

Now for the exciting part – packing up your belongings and getting ready to start your new life abroad! If you need to secure visas, make this a priority as they can take weeks or even months to process. Without the correct visa, you won’t even be able to get on the plane to start your journey!

Next, book your flight/train/bus tickets, preferably as far ahead of time as possible as prices usually increase as you get closer to the departure date. Keep in mind that you may need to book extra baggage if you’re bringing a lot of stuff and it will probably be cheaper to do so at the time of booking than at the airport.

Need to move more than just a few suitcases? Start researching the most affordable and efficient way of moving your possessions with the help of a relocation company.

My Next Adventures with Celebrating Queen

My Next Adventures with Celebrating Queen

My Adventures with Celebrating Queen, the US based Queen Tribute Band, continues this September and October. There are two more concerts in the coming 5 weeks and I am looking forward to meeting up with the Celebrating Queen band to fulfil these dates. The following are the Celebrating Queen tour dates in the next few weeks, detailing where the Celebrating Queen band are going to be performing.

Headlining the Murphy Maize Days Festival near Dallas, Texas on Saturday 24th September

The first event is a nice date headlinging the 13th annual Murphy Maize Days Festival. This is sort of a Carnival … or Cornival, sort of a harvest festival which is being held in Murphy Texas. The area of Murphy is within the greater Dallas metro area and is located between Plano and Wylie. If you are reading this and you are in the area, then please join us as this Maize Days Festival is a totally FREE festival, open to all.  If you are going to be attending the Murphy Maize Days festival near Dallas, then please leave a comment below and I hope to see you there.

If you are coming then I have some important location details. It is being held in Murphy Central which is at 550 N. Murphy Road Murphy, TX 75094. You can join the festivities from 12 midday to 9:45pm. Our Queen Tribute band, goes on stage around 8pm so don’t miss 90 minutes of the very best Queen hits ! There will also be other live music all day, great food from local restaurants and caterers, drinks, a variety of Dallas based market vendors, a wonderful kids zone, and much more! Also, after our performance there will be a fireworks display.

If you are interested, then I would urge you to visit the official Maize Days Festival website for more information. The website has information on how to get there, parking, vendors and much more – visit for full details.

Headlining the Miami-Dade Parks’ “Love-In” at Greynolds Park, Miami, Florida, 16th October

I’m only back in Waterford for 15 days and I will be flying off again, this time heading to the sunny shores of Miami, Florida to perform at the Greynolds Park “Love-in”. This music festival has a lot of music history associated with it (or atleast the venue does) and according to my research The Grateful Dead apparently played in this park at a similar music festival on April 14th, 1968. The Greynolds Park Love-in music festival is a real excuse to step back in time to the ‘60s, ’70s and ‘80s. It is a whole day of great food, fun attractions, delicious food and of course great music with the many live concerts on the day … and that of course includes ourselves with Celebrating Queen. I’m thrilled to be headlining at the Love-In this year and it’s the first time I’ve ever had 2 headlinging events in the same year. The closest thing I ever had to this was playing on of the smaller stages at Glastonbury 2015.

If you are attending the Love-in at Greynolds Park Miami, or the Murphy Maize Days Festival above please leave a comment below. Perhaps I might see you at one my Next Performances with Celebrating Queen.

If you want to find out more about Celebrating Queen please visit You can also Follow Celebrating Queen on Social Media if you want to keep up to date with the latest news from the band.My Adventures with Celebrating Queen will continue in 2023 but I’m not sure what concerts are on the books as yet but I will keep you posted.

Follow Celebrating Queen on Social Media
Gambling Has Significantly Boosted U.S Revenue, Especially In New York

Gambling Has Significantly Boosted U.S Revenue, Especially In New York

While gambling is frowned upon in some circles, its economic impact is undeniable. Gambling is a huge industry worldwide and brings governments millions in revenue on a yearly basis.

The U.S has been a major benefiary despite legalization across states occurring slowly (but surely). States rake in millions in tax through gambling alone, and as states continue to take a looser view, they’re only going to bring in more.

New York, in particular, has seen a flurry of betting activity since sportsbooks rolled out in the state back in January. There are now plenty of options for punters, with platforms such as BetMGM New York among the more popular ones.

With NY sportsbooks heading into their first full NFL campaign this year, things look very promising. Over $9.7 billion has been wagered since January 8 while the state has brought in over $368 million in tax as a result.

New York State Gaming Commission Executive Director Rob Williams is confident that New York could bring in $500 million in tax revenue from online sports betting in the market’s first year.

New York Gambling Predictions

When former NY Governor Andrew Cuomo set things in motion for betting to be legalized, he projected that the figure wouldn’t be reached until the Fiscal Year of 2026. 

“We’re very pleased with the overall success of the mobile sports wagering industry in New York. We are very cognizant that we’ve reached those great numbers without going through a football season,” Williams said to Sports Handle last week.

It always seemed as if New York was on course to break national records and become the capital of sports betting, especially given the activity coming from Manhattan neighborhoods, where folks are crazy about sports.

Folks in NY placed north of 300,000 bets within the first hour of sports betting becoming legal in the state. GeoComply, a geolocation provider based in Vancouver reported that 17.2 million were placed in the first weekend.

New York made up 25 percent of the company’s sports betting traffic in the U.S for the Super Bowl.

It’s believed that NY will go over the $2.3 billion mark for the new 2022/23 NFL season. Per Sports Handle, betting on NFL outcomes made up 18-20 percent of the state wagering. The number was 27.6 percent in Mississippi for retail sports as the state hasn’t rolled out online gambling.

NFL betting represents 37 percent of wagers made in the state of Nevada historically. It represented 33.4 percent in 2021.

Where the NFL is concerned, NY launched betting pretty late, doing so right before the final season.

There’s every reason for the state to smash projections. NFL plus college football should see NY make over $500 million in gambling tax revenue.

Percentage of Wagers by Section in Gambling

For reference, Colorado saw over $158 million in college football bets, with $689.1 million coming in the form of NFL bets. Yes, Colorado’s numbers include wagers in the offseason months but most of it came during the season. Now, consider that New York has well over three times as many residents as Colorado…

“There’s no doubt that as we go through this upcoming fall football season with both college and professional football that we will exceed the initial revenue numbers that we were aiming for,” Williams added. “It has been a wonderful success without what everyone concedes is the most important season to benefit sports wagering, so we’re very bullish on the market.”

New York could earn more than $180 million in gross gaming revenue off NFL betting alone.

Right next door in New Jersey, the NFL prompted around $2 billion in wagers but in NY’s first six months, it has usurped NJ in GGR, which is no surprise as there are two times as many people living in NY.

Last week, New Yorkers bet more than $200 million on sporting events for the first time in almost two months. The New York State Gaming Commission reported the mobile sports betting handle for the week ending on August 21 was $200.1 million.

Mobile wagering had gone down in July and August as there weren’t many games and events to bet on but, with the NFL kicking off its preseason, the frenzy has returned and betting is expected to increase in the coming weeks.

The state had a record week in late January when $572.6 million was wagered.

NY takes in 51 percent in tax on gross gaming revenues, making $12.4 million last week as sportsbooks hauled in $24.4 million in GGR.




Tips to Improve your Twitter Account in 2021

Tips to Improve your Twitter Account in 2021

Easy Twitter Tips to improve your Twitter account in 2021

I have been on Twitter 12 years now (as of April 21st 2020) and over the past 9 years I have come to love the platform. For me,​ Twitter is a source of news, opinion and interesting articles as well as the odd competition which I have won. If you are looking to grow your Twitter audience and influence you are going to have to invest some time on Twitter. These are some Twitter Tips to help in growing your following and presence in 2021.

1. Have a good Twitter Profile image

The first of the Twitter tips is to update your profile pic. The Profile Image is the small icon which appears beside each tweet. Your profile picture should be representative of you or your business. Try to​ make the image one which will stand out.

The key here is don’t leave it as the default Twitter Egg! The profile photo of an egg is indicative of an account which is new. So change this and you’ll get an advantage over accounts with Twitter eggs.


2. Ensure you include a Twitter Header image

At the same time, you should upload a good header image. The header image could be a product photo or something which works along with your profile image to strength your accounts visual appeal. You can use systems like Canva to place a nice quote or even your web address. Canva is a very easy to use system which gives you great results. It certainly saves me lots of time when I need to create a graphic in a hurry and gives results which are as good as using a graphics programme.

Twitter Tips : The Dreaded Twitter Egg - No profile image on Twitter is not good.

3. Your Twitter Bio

Your Twitter Bio should detail what your account is about. Tell people the benefits of following you. It should also outline the types of interest and content people will expect if they follow you. For example, you could tell people what interests you or what you tweet about. If you look at my Queen account @shanesqueensite it has the following biog…

Shane’s Queen Site run by Shane McDonald. Keyboardist & MD for Queen Tribute Band ‘Celebrating Queen’. Tweeting all about the band #Queen. YouTube Channel ⬇️. 

Feel free to use hashtags like I did or even other accounts. e.g. “I am an​ ​ account manager for @mentioncompanyhere and I like #Travel”. or “I love Twitter. Follow my account for freebies and great Twitter Tips and advice.”

If you have a website don’t forget to include that. This is one of the key Twitter Tips – so if you do one thing, it’s update your Bio.

 4. Daily Twitter Activity – Key Twitter Tip !

Each day, as as much as you can, you should log on to Twitter and do some sort of activity. This is my personal must do from this Twitter Tips list.

This activity may include;

– Tweeting something even if it is just a comment on the weather. This keeps your feed flowing with recent content but try to make it interesting and if you can include a photo of the weather in your region (following on from this example) if puts your tweet in context..
– Retweeting others tweets. If you find something interesting retweet it. Perhaps ‘Quote Tweet’ it and add your own personal comment
– Responding to any replies or notifications ; always thank people for replies and always respond to your engagements
– Thanking some of your recent followers for retweets or likes.
– If you find the ​content you like the press the ‘Like’ button on others tweets or perhaps leave a comment
– You should follow any Twitter accounts which you are interested in. Normally I follow about 5-10 accounts per day. If I find a Twitter list of Food Bloggers or Travel Writers I may end up following 50 or 60 accounts.

One warning on things like ‘The weather today is …” if you over use that sort of tweet, just for the sake of having content, then you run the risk of people becoming bored and perhaps unfollowing or muting you. Always try to keep your content relevant and of interesting


5. Tag or include others in your tweets

Every now and again you should mention other accounts using the @account method.
For example “Hi @mrshanemcdonald many thanks for liking my tweet. I am delighted with the Twitter Tips post on your website” would send me a nice mention and I may then follow you as a result. This can be especially good when responding to Brands, e.g. complementing a brand on a good job or a great product you recently used. They may retweet your tweet to thousands thus exploding your reach.

6. Use Hashtags

Use hashtags, as tweets with one or two hashtags have about 20% more engagement. You can use systems like Hashtagify to find the best hashtags for your tweets before you tweet.

7. Use images and GIFs

Use images and gifs in your tweets. Apparently tweets with images and relevant gifs normally get over 80% more engagement than tweets without images

8. Use Lists

Lists are exactly that, it’s a section a Twitter where you can list all the accounts which share a similar topic or relationship with you, e.g. You could have a list of Digital Marketing experts or just place all your friends and contacts in a ‘My Friends’ list. Twitter Lists are free and easy to setup. The upshot is you don’t need to filter through all of Twitter just to check in on a certain list – plus others can subscribe to your list.

9. Use a Tweet Scheduler

If you think you might be away from Twitter for a while or you might be busy this week, add a few tweets to a scheduler such as Buffer, Hootesuite, Crowdfire or Agorapulse. This can ensure you have some content being dripfed onto Twitter and your account can continue to show in feeds.

10. Occasionally do an Twitter account Cleanup

Every so often, do a clean up of your Twitter Account and looking at who you follow, remove dead Twitter accounts, Twitterbots, people who don’t provide any value to you following them. Every so often I clear down the accounts I am following based on their content. 


How do I know if I am doing well on Twitter?

If you follow some of the Twitter Tips above, you should see some growth over the next while. There are a few pointers and KPIs to show your success in growing your Twitter account.

  1. The first is your follower’s growth if it is increasing fast this is one indicator that you are doing well.
  2. Secondly is your mention notifications, if you are getting a lot of @mentions, either responses or direct mentions, this shows a well-engaged audience.
  3. Check your Twitter Analytics to see your performance month on month
  4. You can also look at how much traffic is being driven to your website via Google Analytics. Strong Twitter performance would lead to good traffic to your website.
  5. If you are enjoying Twitter and you are Tweeting daily – In a way, this is a success of its own as many people start on Twitter and just give up!


Klout is Dead, Long live the King

In 2018, Klout had it’s last score update. There are a few different cites which have digitally passed-away over the years.

You may also be interested to know how long people spend online and on social media – check out this report regarding the Average Time on Social Media.


I hope you enjoyed these Twitter Tips for 2021 and this is what works for me. Twitter changes all the time which is why I updated this list of Twitter Tips for 2021 as it was last updated in 2018 and again in 2020.
If you have any other interesting Twitter Tips or hacks please feel free to leave a comment.


Follow Me on Twitter

My Twitter account is @mrshanemcdonald so if you like this list of Twitter Tips post why not follow and say hi!


A full list of Social Media Tools

If you are looking for a great list of Social Media Tools please visit this great link –