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Vanta’s coming to town!

It’s happened again hasn’t it? You had stocked up on Christmas cards, cobbled together a rough list of gift ideas and whipped up a heavenly Christmas pudding by mid-October. It was written in the stars, your time had come; this was the year when you would finally grab Christmas by the horns and have every to-do list ticked off by the time Ant and Dec crowned a new king of the jungle. But lo and behold, the festive season has managed to catch you unawares yet again.

So with a house full of food, decorations and presents still to be sourced, just what is one to do?

Take inspiration from Santa, of course! Or in this case, we prefer to call him Vanta. Efficiency is the name of the game for good old Father Christmas, you see, which is why even he occasionally decides to park the sleigh in favour of picking up a van hire when the going gets tough.

So to help you out with that Christmas to-do list, we’ve put together some vantastic suggestions to help you on your way. From a last minute bulk shopping spree all the way through to the post-Christmas clean up, there’s plenty of great ways to utilise a van during the festive period. Check out our tips below and you’ll be #movingsantasway in no time…

Last minute Christmas shopping

Image by Jon Curnow
Image by Jon Curnow

So you’ve been meaning to spend a night in front of your laptop ordering all those well-thought out gifts, but just haven’t gotten round to it? And now you’re worried the postman won’t bring them in time? Well, it’s a good thing you’ve hired that van then!

Whether you’ve still got a hefty list of presents to get through, or need to pick up one or two large items (have you seen the size of the latest flat screen TVs?), the use of a van can prove invaluable. You’ll be able to easily place your items in the back, without having to arrange for potentially costly delivery by the store.

And while you’re at it, take half an hour to clear out any items that have been cluttering the house and pop them off at the local skip on your way to the shops. An easy and efficient way of getting your home in tip-top shape for the big day.

Stock up in bulk

Image by shrinkin'violet
Image by shrinkin’violet

There’s no doubt about it, Christmas can be an expensive time of year for families up and down the country. Aside from the cost of presents, there’s also the small matter of stocking up on food, drink and decorations.

So if you’re looking for ways to save a penny or two then consider bulk purchases. You may, for example, still be on the look-out for a Christmas tree (yes, many people do leave it late). In which case, consider buying a batch of four or five trees – as you can often negotiate hefty discounts, particularly at such a late stage when sellers are eager to shift the last of their remaining stock. Now, we’re not suggesting you cram four trees into your living room, but check with neighbours or friends to see if they’re in the same boat. If they are, then offer to pick up the trees for them – all with the help of your van, of course.

The same goes for your groceries, as supermarkets are jam packed with two for one deals and multi-packs at this time of year. For more helpful advice, check out these Christmas cost-cutting tips.

Tackle the dreaded post-Christmas clear-out

Image by emilydicksonridesabmx
Image by emilydicksonridesabmx

The Turkey leftovers have finally been finished off, the mulled wine aroma has begun to fade and the Christmas tree is a shell of its former self. Yes indeed, once the festivities are over and January comes chapping on the door, it’s time to start the post-Christmas clean up once again.

As ever, preparation is key and in this instance it comes in the form of a van hire. From bulky trees to excess bags of waste, there’s no limit to what you can easily slot into the back of your van before heading off to the nearest recycling centre.

You should also take the chance to have a proper clear-out of any unwanted household items that you never quite got round to dealing with over the course of 2014. So pull out any unwanted chairs, mattresses, televisions or cupboards and load them into the van. They too can be taken to a nearby waste disposal area, or you could opt to donate to charity or sell them online via Gumtree.

Alternatively, consider heading along to a local car boot sale and sell your items straight out the back of your hired van. Car boot sales pop up all around the country at the turn of the year, so keep your eyes peeled and load up on some top tips for a successful sale.

Alternatively…

We’re all about the festive cheer and spirit here at Europcar, but let’s be honest, everyone has their breaking point – even during the season of goodwill. We all know that the novelty of being shacked up in the house with family members for several days at a time has a habit of wearing out. You know, the endless bickering about which TV Christmas special to watch or the widespread sighs when your uncle suggests a game of trivial pursuit for the third night running.

How can a van rescue me from this, we hear you ask? Well, if worst comes to worst, the big and empty storage space in the back of your rental van could provide the perfect escape. Now we’re not suggesting you do a runner by any means, but if you’re looking for a short term fortress of solitude, then a half hour’s worth of peace and quiet in the back of the van might be just the ticket!

Alternatively, you may find yourself sitting next to a pile of presents you don’t actually need or want. Of course, you should be grateful for every present you receive. But let’s face it, there’s always a few items that you know you’ll never use, and they quite often have a habit of being of the large and bulky variety. So instead of sulking, pop them into the back of your van and return them! Alternatively, eliminate your feelings of guilt by dropping them off at a charity shop or giving them to friends.

All set to tackle the final Christmas hurdles? Check out some of our other posts for further inspiration:

Europcar’s Christmas survival guide
Practical tips for driving a van
New Year, New start

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