Monthly Archives - September 2021

How to pack your car for trips to university

Congratulations on getting to university! Or maybe it’s your son or daughter that has made it. Either way, well done you. Seriously, this has been a strange couple of years for those in education and even getting through A-Levels and BTECs has proven a battle. Choosing to go on to university and broaden horizons during a pandemic is a move not to be understated. So, congratulations to all new students and to their families who helped get them there. Now the fun really begins!

But first, you need to physically get there. 2020 saw a lot of online learning with the majority of young people learning via mainly virtual classes. 2021 will see a return to campus for many students, while some universities are looking to blend online and in-person teaching we hope that 2021 is a better year for students and the teaching profession alike.

Campus life can be a lot of fun and for many this may be the first time living away from family. University is a learning experience in many ways and one of the first lessons is planning and organisation.

We at HandiWorld are often asked about good ways of transporting pretty much anything. So here are our top tips for getting your, or your young person’s kit to university (and back again).

Photo by Victoria Heath on Unsplash

Top tips for packing for university


Do you really need everything you want to take? Make a list of all the things you will actually need, and be sure to consult any lists that have been provided by the university. If you’re in halls of residence, you will be provided with certain items such as a microwave or kettle and you may not have to take your own. If you’re in a shared house, worry about buying items like a toaster later. Someone else may already have brought one, or you can club together for one and save space in the car. Remember to dispose of any unwanted items responsibly.

Don’t take every outfit you might ever need, just in case. The wardrobe space in the accommodation may not be anywhere near what is available at home. More clothing can always be brought if needed at Christmas or half-term.

You will likely be able to buy your stationery supplies from a campus shop or somewhere nearby and probably at better prices than your normal high street, so don’t worry about overstocking on these too early.

Extra capacity

If you need extra space for everything you want to take, then look at a roof-top box or bag for the car. You will do the trip to university, and back home again at least once for every year of study, and maybe also at Christmas and Easter. It’s worth investing in decent kit that you can use for other purposes throughout the year. If you’re tight on space back home, a roof bag is easier to store than a solid roof box – have a look at our HandiRack, HandiHoldall, and matching HandiDuffel bags.

The sort of items that we find people use soft roof boxes for are lighter items such as bedding and shoes. The HandiDuffel bags provide extra weather protection and are especially good for keeping at university and using as storage under the bed or on top of the wardrobe.

You can find more information on our soft roof boxes, inflatable roof bars, and storage bags at

Bags are for life

Forget hard-shell storage tubs and make friends with bags. When packing for university, always have a roll of black bin bags to hand, and a few smaller carrier bags. Storage tubs are great for transporting fragile items but most things you will take can be wrapped in bags and pushed into cubby holes, under seats, and put on top of each other in the gaps. Pretend you are playing Tetris and make the most of every available inch of space. Just make sure everything is secure so it’s not moving around while you’re driving.

Coming home

Once you’re at university and you’ve survived the first year, then you need to come home again. Try not to accumulate too much extra stuff during the year and you should have no problems getting it all back in again.

Put any dirty laundry in bags on the bottom, and then any heavy items like books. Don’t bring anything back home that you’re going to end up throwing away or replacing anyway – dispose or recycle it at university in the accommodation bins. Some universities do end of term disposal days and provide skips. If your university is one of them, plan ahead and take advantage of this.

You could also sell any items in good condition or donate to the local charity shop rather than lug them back home. Get familiar with eBay, Gumtree, Facebook Marketplace and Freecycle!

Photo by Baim Hanif on Unsplash

Most of all – practice, practice, practice. Once you’ve done this a couple of times, you will be an expert and surprise yourself how much you can get into one reasonable sized car. And all the very best for the next few years – may your lectures be enlightening, your essays be compelling, and your roommates be fragrant!


Why stand up paddleboarding is good for your health

It’s no shock to find out that the covid-19 pandemic has had an impact on mental health. The changes to our routines and social interactions, fear and anxiety of the impact of the virus itself and juggling work and schooling arrangements have taken its toll on the best of us this last year or so. The pandemic really has been devastating for so many and it may take a long time to overcome the damage and to navigate our way to a new ‘normal’.

One casualty of the pandemic has been physical activity levels. Sport England’s report into the impact of Covid-19 has found that people reduced their exercise and activity levels in 2020, mainly through reduced opportunity and dwindling motivation. Fitness habits changed as fewer people went to the gym and did other indoor activities such as swimming. As we move through 2021 however, the appetite for activity is returning, and outdoor activities are booming, especially those that don’t require a regular subscription payment. You can see Sport England’s research at

In 2020, an activity which really grew in popularity was stand-up paddleboarding. You can be forgiven if you’d never heard of this before but if you haven’t heard of it by the summer of 2021, then maybe you’ve been living under a rock because IT. IS. EVERYWHERE, even dinosaurs are paddleboarding!

We talked about the rise of paddleboarding last year and it seems that 2021 will be another year of growth. More and more people are working out the positives of water based outdoor activities and paddleboarding is easy to take up. Soon, paddleboarding might even be on the NHS. Recently, it was announced that people in Nottingham could be prescribed paddleboarding and other waterside activities to boost both physical and mental health.

Photo by Tower Paddle Boards on Unsplash

But why is paddleboarding such a good thing to be doing? Here are five reasons why paddleboarding could be the ideal activity for both physical and mental health this year:

  • It’s done on the water. Water has amazing qualities. It’s therapeutic and peaceful and has a different impact on your body than other forces. Falling into water is (usually) less painful than hitting a patch of concrete or tarmac, though you should still take care of hazards and wear appropriate safety clothing. Water is often located in places away from modern stresses amongst nature, and indeed the theme for Mental Health Awareness Week this year revolved around how vital to well-being nature and outdoors can be.
  • It’s easy to get into. You need a paddleboard, which you can hire if you’re not sure about buying straight away, and some suitable clothing. That’s about it. The rest is a little practice. It doesn’t matter if you’re not good at it straight away, and that’s part of the fun.
  • It’s a good overall physical workout. It works your arms and your core, and helps with balance and co-ordination.
  • The SUP community is really friendly and welcoming. You never know, you might make a new friend or three in the process.
  • It’s good for social distancing and it’s always outdoors, so much less worry about virus transmission. Unlike contact sports, it’s an activity that thrives on distance from other people and it can be done with as many or as few people as you like.

Where can you paddleboard in the UK?

The UK is abundant with inland waterways and plenty of coastline. There are lots of water sports centres in and around the UK where you can learn to paddleboard, though you don’t need to have lessons. You can just find your own waterway and teach yourself, however, you will need to check that you’re allowed to use it. Check out the information from the Canal & River Trust and British Canoeing for more information about accessing the UK’s waterways.

Photo by Larkin Hammond on Unsplash

Check out these articles for more ideas about where to paddleboard near where you are:

A guide to paddleboarding in London

11 epic paddleboard locations in Wales

Top 5 best paddleboarding spots in Northern Ireland

While paddleboards are inflatable and don’t take too long to inflate and deflate, if you keep yours inflated and prefer to travel ready to go, our HandiRack is ideal for when you just want to load up and go. Our inflatable HandiRack roof bars can be fitted to most cars in minutes and can help to safely transport you and your paddleboards, kayak or canoes wherever you need to go. The British summer can be unpredictable at times, it’s always important to find ways to maximise your leisure time.


HandiWorld – Lifting and Handling Tips

Lifting and moving loads and objects is something we all do every day and frequently without thinking. Often, it’s not until something goes wrong and we suffer a pulled muscle or a strain that we’re reminded just how important it is to look after our backs. We’ve collected together our top tips on how to take extra care when moving heavy or awkward loads to try to make sure lifting can be as safe as possible.

We’ve seen some excellent advice on lifting and handling objects safely from the NHS which can be found here: NHS Lifting Tips and for guidance on lifting and handling at work, the Health and Safety Executive have these: Good Handling Techniques

If you know you have to move a large load, do be sure to check the weight of it first. Plan your route and ensure that any trip hazards or obstacles are cleared out of your path to avoid extra time managing the load you’re lifting. If the load is too heavy for one person, enlist the help of another person or consider using additional lifting aids to help. Our CAMBA Moova and HandiMoova 2in1 are designed to take some of the strain of lifting and moving, when objects are just too tricky, bulky or heavy to manoeuvre alone. Our innovative CAMBA technology, means the karts/trolleys we have will walk up and down stairs and across bumpy and uneven terrain. Sometimes it’s important to let something else do the bulk of the heavy lifting for you.

Once you’ve cleared your route, pick up the load smoothly, avoiding any jerky movements that can cause strain and pressure on sensitive areas of your back, shoulders and neck. Bending through your knees and keeping the back straight is important; let your legs take the weight as you get into position to protect your back. Keeping your back straight and taking small steps while you move can help to keep the weight evenly balanced and distribute the load pressure equally.

Where you can try to keep your load close to you, this keeps the centre of gravity as central as possible protecting you from over reaching and strain. Some loads can be bulky, misshapen and awkward to get a firm grip on, keeping control of your hold will help you move smoothly and serve to further protect your back.

If you twist while lifting you can cause injury to yourself, sometimes this can be quite severe. Anyone who has ever suffered with a back injury will tell you it’s best to avoid it and it can take a long time to repair. Keeping your back straight with good posture will help you to focus on not twisting. Put the object or load down in the same smooth manner as you lifted it, try to let your knees bend as you bend down.

These tips remain the same if you are using lifting or moving equipment such as our HandiMoova 2in1 to take the weight for the main part of the move. Lift your object into the trolley or kart you are using and once at your destination follow the same procedure to safely unload. Safer lifting really could help to protect and maintain the health of your back.