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How to Choose the Right Credit Card for Your Business

When running your own business, it is important to secure yourself a credit card in order to create a smooth cash flow. Many cards you find that are specific for business owners have higher credit limits, and can even save you money on your purchases.

Business credit cards can help you maintain organization, and can help you build credit. If you need a business credit card, there are numerous choices, so you need to research the benefits of each one to find a card that is right for you. Here are some excellent business credit cards.

1. Ink Business Preferred Credit Card
Issued by Chase, you will receive 80,000 bonus points if you spend $5,000 within the first 3 months of opening the account. On each dollar spent in certain categories, you will earn 3 points. You will earn 1 point for all other purchases. There are no foreign transaction fees, and employees can get a card at no additional cost. The annual fee for this card is $95.

2. Bank of America Cash Rewards for Businesses
This MasterCard is an excellent card if you spend a lot of money. When you spend $500 within 60 days of opening an account, you will earn a $200 statement credit. There is no annual fee for this card, and there is no limit to the cash back that you can earn. You will earn 3% cash back when you make purchases at gas stations and office supply merchants. You will earn 2% cash back at restaurants, and 1% on all other purchases. The card offers an interest free introductory period for 9 months.

3. SimplyCash Plus Business Credit Card
This American Express credit card carries no annual fee. When you spend $5,000 within the first 3 months, you will earn a $200 statement. If you spend $10,000, you will earn an additional $200 statement credit. You earn 5% cash back on phone and office supply services. You earn 3% cash back on certain other merchants, and you can earn 1% cash back on all other purchases.

4. Capital One Spark Cash for Business
With this card, the annual fee is $59, but the first-year fee is waived. If you spend $4,500 within the first 3 months, you will earn a $500 cash back bonus. You earn 2% cash back on all purchases. Rewards do not expire, and you can obtain an employee card at no additional charge.

5. Citi Diamond Preferred
This card carries 0% APR for 21 months, and a 0% transfer for 21 months. There is no annual fee. The downside to this card is that there are no rewards associated with it.

6. Club Carson Business Rewards Credit Card
Issued by US Bank, you will earn 10 points for every $1 spent on Carlson Rezidor Hotels and 5 points on eligible purchases everywhere else. After your first purchase, you can earn 50,000 gold points, and after you spend $2,500 within the first 90 days, you will receive 35,000 points. When you pay the annual fee, you earn 40,000 bonus points.

7. The Plum Card from American Express Open
If you pay the balance on this card early, you can receive a 1.5% discount. You can go up to 60 days without paying interest. This card is more flexible when it comes to making late payments. It is free for the first year and $250 after that.

8. The Blue for Business Credit Card by American Express
If you make your first purchase within the first 3 months, you earn 10,000 points. You can earn an extra 15,000 points after you spend $5,000 within the first 6 months. There is no annual fee with this card. You will earn 1% cashback on all purchases.

9. US Bank Business Edge Select Rewards
After spending $500 within the first 90 days, you will earn 10,000 points. You will earn 3% on purchases in certain categories and 1 point on all other purchases. There is no cap on points you can earn, and there is no annual fee. You will receive a 0% APR for the first 9 months.

10. Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card from American Express
After you spend $5,000 within the first 3 months, you will earn 25,000 points. If you spend an extra $3,000 within the first 3 months, you will earn an additional 10,000 points. There is no annual fee for the first year. It is $95 after that.

Eligibility for a business credit card depends on your individual credit history. You need to know that these cards affect your credit, so make sure they are paid. If you need a higher credit limit, you need to choose a card that allows you to change the limit instead of looking for one with rewards. If you have employees that need to have a card, look for a card that lets you add employees at no charge.

When choosing a card, look at the promotions to find a good deal. You want a card that provides excellent customer service and flexible terms. Many cards offer extra perks, so take advantage of them.

When you do not have cash available, you will need to resort to your business credit card. You need to decide what perks you want in a credit card and find a card that offers those benefits. You also need to find a card with the lowest rates and fees. After you have found the perfect card for your business, you can enjoy the advantages that come with having a business credit card.

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How Hotels Fill All Their Unsold Rooms

What could be better than sipping a glass of champagne from the private balcony of your massive hotel suite while overlooking the Las Vegas Strip, the Mexican coastline, or the streets of Eastern Europe?

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If you’re like most people, you might be thinking to yourself “that sounds expensive” and ordinarily, you would be right. However, there are some little known secrets out there that can help you book the room of your dreams at a dramatically lower price.

People have been taking advantage of these deep web search tactics for quite some time now and have reaped the benefits many times over.  Imagine that – getting a great deal on a vacation just by doing a little bit of extra research and knowing where to look.

Before the financial collapse of 2008, the economy was booming.  People had money to spend and hotels wanted to ‘cash in’ on that.  They started building “dreamlike” hotels with more amenities than any one person could ever take advantage of.

Things like – complimentary in room massages, multi-bedroom suites, indoor swimming pools, and the list goes on.  Room prices at hotels like these were reaching astronomical levels.  However when the economy took a turn for the worse, people weren’t willing to spend as much for travel.

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Hotels couldn’t fill all their vacancies and were scrambling.  This opened the door for opportunities to book luxury hotel rooms at a fraction of the cost.

Booking The “Old Way”

You won’t enjoy the most juicy discounts on luxury hotel rooms by simply calling the hotel or booking on their website.  There is a cost to the hotel for booking staff and maintaining fancy websites also costs money – this is often reflected in the price.

You might not even find them on the typical ‘discount travel sites’ after all, the hotels will usually share some of the room proceeds with the travel aggregating sites, thus impacting the cost of the room further.

In order to find incredible deals on hotels, you will have to dig a little bit deeper and know a few ‘insider tips’ – some of these tips might even sound counter intuitive but I’m here to tell you that they work.

The “NEW WAY” To Book

When a hotel isn’t at full occupancy, they aren’t maximizing their return on investment. An unoccupied room means there isn’t a guest paying to stay there. Hotels will often do what they can to make sure they can fill 100% of rooms.

Sometimes this means offering up rooms at a substantial discount. Discounts that they would not ordinarily offer under most circumstances. “How do I find these deals?” you might be asking yourself.

Most of these deals are only offered through authorized partners so you might have to search a little bit but trust me, they are out there.

Do you want to find a luxury hotel room at an affordable price? Search now and see what deals you can find!

How Car Dealers Get Rid Of Unsold Cars

Wondering how you can get behind the wheel of a fabulous new car FOR LESS? Thousands of new car buyers just like you have discovered the secret to finding the new car they want at the discount price they deserve.

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Listen, if you’re anything like me, you know how intimidating it can be to take on the car sales experts when you’re in the market for a new set of wheels. Car dealerships are famous for their hardcore negotiations, and you and I certainly aren’t the only customers to have driven off the lot wondering if we got taken for a ride. As a matter of fact, I guarantee that you or someone you know has probably overpaid for at least one new car.

Don’t you wish you could avoid all the hassle and just find the car of your dreams at the best price possible?

The great news is – you can!

Those in the know have already left the greedy sales reps behind and are scoring unprecedented car savings with just the click of a button. Who needs to trudge from dealership to dealership when you can shop for serious discounts on the perfect vehicle right now, from the comfort of your home?

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I urge you to join the other smart buyers who have figured out that taking advantage of online discounts is the NEW way to shop for cars. They’re not paying full price anymore, so why should you? Shopping for car discounts online is fast, it’s easy, and you can do it in your pajamas. Try pulling that off at your local car dealership.

But that’s not all, because I’ve saved the best news for last.

Not only are there incredible deals just a few clicks away, these mind-blowing savings are for the very same inventory that’s being sold in dealerships right now! That’s right – you don’t have to settle for less just because you’re shopping for deep car discounts online. You get to choose from the same great vehicles as those less knowledgeable shoppers who are out kicking tires at every car lot in town.

So don’t wait. If you’re looking for a car, you need to get in on what just might be one of the best-kept secrets around.

Search here now, and find the best deal of your life TODAY!

Introducing the 2017 Chevy Equinox

The five-passenger 2017 Chevy Equinox is a compact SUV Crossover. It comes in four trims: the L, the LS, the LT, and the Premier.

The interior features front bucket seats, leather upholstery on the Premier, a durable “denim-style” upholstery on the other models, and chrome trim. The Premier adds automatic climate control and an optional sunroof, which is also available for the LT. The Premier has an eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with power-adjustable lumbar support, and heated front seats, which are also optional for the LT. The Premier also has an optional eight-way power-adjustable front passenger seat.

The Multi-Flex® 60/40 split-folding, sliding rear seats tilt forward when folded, creating a flat floor for hauling cargo. The cargo space measures 31.5 cubic-feet and expands to 63.7 cubic-feet when the rear seats are folded down. It offers a retractable cargo cover and a cargo net to hold items like groceries in place.

The exterior carries on Chevrolet’s tradition of good styling and sharp details. It has a dual-port grille with chrome accents, power-adjustable mirrors with heated mirrors standard on the Premier trim, halogen projector-beam headlights, LED daytime running lights, and extra-wide horizontal taillights with LEDs on the upper trim levels. A programmable liftgate is available on the LT and the Premier. The Equinox provides a smooth, quiet ride.

Specifications

The 2017 Chevy Equinox is 188″ long x 73″ wide x 66″ high with an 18.8-gallon fuel tank capacity. The L trim starts at $23,100 MSRP. The LS trim starts at $25,510 MSRP. The LT trim starts at $26,750 MSRP. The Premier trim starts at $30,040 MSRP.

Features

The 2017 Equinox comes with a 2.4-liter, 182-horsepower LPower, four-cylinder, DOHC, SIDI, VVT engine with 172 lb-ft of torque or a 301-horsepower, 3.6-liter, V-6, SIDI engine. It offers a six-speed automatic transmission and either FWD or AWD. Manual shifting is done with plus and minus toggle buttons at the top of the shift knob.

The 2.4-liter engine has a 1,500-pound towing capacity, and the 3.6-liter engine has a 3,500 pound towing capacity. It has four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes and four-wheel independent suspension with front and rear stabilizer bar.

The Chevy Equinox was the first compact SUV Crossover to offer 4G LTE with built in WiFi. The OnStar 4G LTE in the 2017 Equinox has the ability to connect seven devices. The 2017 Equinox also has Siri Eyes Free for compatible iPhones, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, SiriusXM Satellite radio on the LS and higher trims, optional universal tablet holders, a six-speaker 80-watt audio system with a Pioneer Premium audio system available for the LT and Premium trims, speed-sensitive volume control, and optional 7.0″ Chevrolet MyLink infotainment system with GPS navigation, traffic, and weather. The myChevrolet Mobile App allows you to lock/unlock your doors, start/stop your engine, set parking reminders, view diagnostic information, and send locations to the navigation system, all from any location.

The Chevy Equinox is built with a high-strength steel safety cage. Safety features include StabiliTrak electronic stability control, traction control, tire pressure monitoring system, forward-collision alert with low-speed automatic braking and following-distance indicator, side blind zone alert, lane-keeping assist, lane departure warning, rear cross-traffic alert, rear park assist, hill start assist, a rear-vision camera, Teen Driver monitoring, and a rear-seat alert that reminds parents about children in the rear seat.

The 2017 Equinox received an overall four-star rating, a five-star rating in the side crash test, and a four-star rating in the frontal crash test and the rollover crash test from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The crash test results for the 2017 Chevy Equinox from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety have not yet been released. However, they should be similar to the results for the 2016 Equinox, which received a Top Safety Pick from the IIHS. It received the top score of Good in all categories except for a Basic score for the optional crash-mitigation systems.

How It Compares With Its Competitors

Car and Driver Magazine ranks it 12th in the compact Crossovers and SUVs category.

In a comparison with the 2017 Ford Escape, the 2017 Chevy Equinox offers 4G LTE and a Multi-Flex® 60/40 sliding rear seat and the Ford Escape does not.

The 2017 Chevy Equinox has 39.9″ of rear legroom and an available 301-horsepower. The 2017 Ford Escape only offers 37.3″ of rear legroom and an available 245-horsepower.

Fuel Efficiency

The FWD L and LS with the 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine get 21 MPG in the city, 31 MPG on the highway, and 26 MPG combined. The AWD LT and the Premier with the 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine get 20 MPG in the city, 28 MPG on the highway, and 23 MPG combined.

The four-cylinder version offers an eco mode. The eco mode lowers the power to accessories like the air-conditioning, maximizes shifting, and locks up the torque converter quicker for better fuel efficiency. The 3.6-liter V-6 engine with FWD gets 17 MPG in the city, 24 MPG on the highway, and 20 MPG combined. The 3.6-liter V6 engine with AWD gets 16 MPG in the city, 23 MPG on the highway, and 18 MPG combined.

Pros and Cons

The Equinox is Chevy’s second highest selling vehicle, ranking behind only the Chevy Silverado. A lower dashboard creates better visibility of the road. It is roomy, fuel efficient, and comes in FWD or AWD. The V6 engine, which is one of the few V6 engines in the compact SUV Crossover category, provides lots of power, and it has the technology you want. The six-speed transmission does a fairly good job, but it can be a bit rough and hesitant on hills.

Even though it is a compact SUV Crossover, the 2017 Chevy Equinox will give your family lots of room and is also roomy enough to haul cargo. It is loaded with technology features and safety features, and provides good fuel efficiency. Whether you want to haul recreational vehicles or heavy work loads, the V6 engine option gives it the power to tow up to 3,500 pounds.

So, the 2017 Chevy Equinox is an all-around car. It provides you with the fuel efficiency to run daily errands around the city. It has the power, the towing capability, and the storage capacity to be a work horse for you. Finally, it has the mileage, towing capability, safety features, technology features, and passenger and cargo room to be a great car for family road trips. The 2017 Chevy Equinox offers all of this versatility at an affordable price.

With all of the options it offers and all of the uses it can be put to, the 2017 Chevy Equinox is a Crossover to seriously consider.

The Top Pickup Trucks of 2017

Maybe you own a lawn maintenance company and you’re tired of hauling your equipment in a small, cramped SUV. Maybe you’re a Budweiser-drinkin’, NFL-watchin’, Remington-shootin’, BBQ-lovin’, flag-wavin’ American, and your Japanese Honda Accord is a burr in your saddle.

Or maybe you just enjoy driving around Wal-Mart parking lots revving the engine to 4,000 RPM and startling grandmothers.

Whatever your need, there’s a pickup truck to meet it.

2017 is a red-letter year for the pickup truck world. Old Faithfuls such as the Detroit Big Three – Ford, Chevrolet and Ram – set the standard for towing power and fuel efficiency. Sales – and build quality – of midsize trucks are surging. And hopefully, Jeep will unveil its lustful 2017 Jeep Wrangler Pickup late next year. Want to know more? Keep reading.

Disclaimer: Pickup trucks are the most popular vehicles in America. Ford sells almost 400,00 F-Series trucks annually, and the Ram 1500 alone has three dozen configurations. For these reasons, the following list does not include heavy-duty three-quarter or one-ton trucks, commercial vehicles, dedicated off-road models, or those lowered pickup trucks you laugh at on the highway.

7: 2017 Ram 1500

The Ram is a great truck. Drivers widely agree that its smooth coil spring suspension and V8 powertrains offer the best combination of power and sensuous comfort in the market.

What keeps the Ram from its place on the podium? It has disappointing safety test scores, for one thing, and subpar reliability ratings from J.D. Power, for another.

6: 2017 Toyota Tundra

The Toyota Tundra isn’t a sexy truck. It doesn’t offer innovative mobile office packages. It doesn’t have flashy design. And it’s imported and sold on U.S. soil.

At least, that’s what competitors want you to think. In fact, every Toyota Tundra is assembled in San Antonio, Texas, and testing is performed in the harsh weather of Michigan. That’s why off-roaders love the Tundra TRD Pro, starting at $43,395, which is arguably the best 4WD pickup truck in America.

The big truck is big everywhere: enormous front brakes, two massive V8 engines, a 38-gallon fuel tank, and a spacious cabin. It can tow up to 10,000 pounds. Most importantly, the Tundra can haul up to 2,080 pounds, far more than most competitors. Is it “sexy”? Maybe not. But with its incredible hauling capacity and bulletproof reliability, it’s the best work truck for the money.

5: 2017 Honda Ridgeline (Spotlight: RTS)

When you think Honda, you probably think of roadsters, motorcycles and lawnmowers. Are you surprised to learn, therefore, that the 2017 Honda Ridgeline was a Motor Trend Truck of the Year finalist? And that it won the “2017 Green Truck of the Year Award”?

You will note that the Ridgeline won no awards for towing ability, hauling capacity, or sheer badassittude. That is because the 5-passenger Ridgeline, completely redesigned for the 2017 model year, is a trucklet, a baby pickup, with a hauling capacity of 1,500 pounds and a 280-horsepower V6 engine that can tow up to 3,500 pounds in 2WD or 5,000 pounds in AWD.

“Only 3,500 pounds?” you say. “Fiddlesticks!” Perhaps, dear reader. But most pickup drivers tow nothing heavier. In return, the Ridgeline returns up to 26 mpg. It also has a silky-smooth 6-speed automatic transmission, beautiful ride quality and some of the most innovative features on the market.

For instance, the Honda Ridgeline RTS pickup has a dual-action tailgate, one that can open sideways or fold down. The bed also hides a weather-protected trunk box.

Options are legion. Want a standard review camera? How about optional blind-spot sensing? LaneWatch live video feed? Adaptive cruise control? Collision mitigation? Certainly!

The 2017 Honda Ridgeline RTS starts at $31,515.

4: 2018 Jeep Wrangler Pickup

Details are few. Speculations are many. Jeep hasn’t sold a pickup since 1992, but according to CEO Sergio Marchionne, it’s really happening. Everyone expects the classic 3.8-liter 285-horsepower Pentastar V6 engine, but there’s rumors of a turbocharged four-cylinder. The body-on-frame pickup will be lighter and more economical than current Wranglers, promises Jeep. However, spy shots seem to indicate a lengthy wheelbase and bed. Everyone’s crossing their fingers for both two- and four-door versions.

MSRP is unknown and irrelevant.

3: Chevrolet Silverado 1500/GMC Sierra 1500 (Spotlight: High Country)

If the Ford F-150 is the Michael Phelps of the pickup world, then the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and its cousin, the GMC Sierra 1500, is the Ryan Lochte – because in any other age, the Chevy would be the undisputed king.

After a refresh just this year, the 2017 Chevy Silverado receives several new exterior colors, a capless fuel system, a standard review camera on most trims, and enhanced active safety and infomatic systems.

But, let’s be honest – what matters most is power, and the Silverado is not found wanting. The biggest, baddest engine available is a 6.2-liter Eco-Tec V8 engine with 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque. It is paired with a fuel-efficient 8-speed transmission. It is available exclusively with a crew cab in either 2WD or 4WD configurations with a 5’8″ or 6’6″ cargo box.

This powertrain, the strongest in the industry, is available on the range-topping High Country trim. The High Country has a saddle brown interior with heated and ventilated leather front seats, and it offers several active safety features, including lane-keeping assist, a sort of smart cruise control that prevents drifting.

Is the High Country a truck you would drive, er, in the country? No. It’s as nice as a Lexus. But if you must have the best, and you have $49,840, then you can do no better.

And if you’re curious about fuel economy, then no, the High Country isn’t for you.

2: 2017 Chevrolet Colorado (Spotlight: Diesel Duramax)

Is it cheating to have two models from the same automaker on one list? Perhaps. But the Chevy Colorado is too good to ignore. The little-pickup-that-could has single-handedly resurrected the midsize truck market.

Recently, Chevrolet announced that the Colorado will receive an upgraded 3.6-liter V6 engine and 8-speed transmission for the 2017 model year. And the little truck is no weakling. Properly outfitted, gasoline models can tow up to 7,000 pounds. Fuel efficient trims achieve 20/27 city/highway mpg.

The truck is available with everything from a trailer brake controller to heated front seats to the Chevrolet MyLink infotainment system and OnStar telematics system. You can even sync your smartphone to the truck using the 4G LTE internet connection via the OnStar mobile wifi hotspot.

These are all respectable achievements, but the Colorado has yet another trick up its sleeve: a class-exclusive turbocharged diesel engine. Available with on crew cab LT or Z71 trims, the Duramax diesel engine produces 181 horsepower and a whopping 369 pound-feet of torque that peaks at just 2,000 rpm. When equipped with the trailering package, the little Colorado can tow up to 7,700 pounds and, some say, will achieve up to 30 mpg on the highway. For just under $36,000, it’s all yours.

1: 2017 Ford F-150

For 39 consecutive years, the Ford F-Series has been the number one selling truck in America. Why? Because Ford, just like its truck, won’t stand still.

Ford made history a few years ago when it introduced the first ever aluminum-bodied truck, shaving off around 500 pounds. Where most competitors offer gruff V8 engines, Ford relies on turbocharged V8 engines paired with 6, 8 and 10-speed transmissions. The all-new 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine, in fact, can tow up to 12,200 pounds! Ford even introduced its own app, FordPass.

This entire article could not list the litany of features, cabs, powertrains, rear axle ratios, appearance packages and accessories available on the Ford F-150. Prices started at $26,540. If you want to know more, as Ford says, “Go see one yourself.”

The Top SUVs in 2017

Since sport utility vehicles first started becoming all the rage in the mid-1990s, manufacturers have continued to refine them with the features that drivers want and have come to expect. This automobile market is typically divided into compact, subcompact, midsize and large SUVs, with crossover SUVs being one of the most recent classifications.

SUVs are already thought of as being a cross between the utility of a station wagon or pick up truck and the driving around town convenience of a sedan. Crossovers can be thought of as combining the features and capabilities of larger SUVs with the benefits of smaller cars such as better gas mileage and being able to fit in that tight parking space. Taken together, the various subcategories of this vehicle segment can meet the needs of an amazingly large target market, which explains their ubiquitous nature on America’s roadways today.

The following are just a few of the best available 2017 models in terms of offering the features that drivers want and doing so at a price point that offers value.

5th – The 2017 Ford Expedition

If you need something that can haul a lot of gear to the great outdoors or tow that boat to the water, only full-size SUVs will offer the kind of hauling capability you need. These vehicles are not cheap on gas and don’t fit into small parking spaces and their owners know that and don’t care. They buy them because they are what’s needed to get the job done when it comes down to moving lots of people and stuff where they want to go.

The latest Ford Expedition meets this description perfectly. It gets a 5 out of 5 rating from both Edmunds.com and Car and Driver. The Expedition’s MSRP starts at about $46,000, and its 365-horsepower engine and 6,600-pound towing capacity give it the power and ability to get the job done. While there were no major changes for the 2017 model year, it already offered excellent cargo capacity, a smooth ride, powerful engine, and room for the whole family with three rows of seating.

For long trips, the Expedition’s infotainment options will keep you from getting bored. Its entertainment system includes satellite radio, HD radio and a 12-speaker Sony audio system. One feature that some parents will love is what Ford calls MyKey. It’s basically an extra key that can be programmed with speed and volume limitations, so parents will know their teenager isn’t speeding or blasting the sound system unbelievably loud.

4th – 2017 Honda Pilot

If you need something with sufficient space and comfort for long family trips but a vehicle that also makes getting around the city or suburbs easier, a midsize SUV will fit the bill. This stylish Car and Driver Editors’ Choice Award recipient starts at just over $31,000 MSRP with the base trim and goes up to $47,000 for the Elite trim package. It carries eight passengers comfortably, and it has a peppy 280 horsepower V-6 engine that enables it to tow up to 3,500 pounds.

The entry-level Pilot includes push-button ignition, a rearview camera for added safety and a stereo that comes with Bluetooth and USB ports. It has such a superb combination of interior room, entertainment and safety features and reliability ratings that U.S. News & World Report considers it the best three row SUV for families.

3rd – The 2017 Mazda CX-3

This sport utility vehicle ranks number one in U.S. News & World Report’s list of the top ten subcompact SUVs, and Car and Driver gives it a rating of five out of five. At a starting MSRP of just under $20,000, it is affordable. It offers best-in-class performance with handling that may make you feel like you are driving a sports car. It also has an impressive looking interior, especially for its price, and an equally impressive fuel economy.

It only seats five, but this is par for the course in the subcompact segment. Its cargo space might be even a little less than some competitors in this class, but let’s face it; if you wanted something for long road trips, you’d get a midsize or full-size SUV. People buy a vehicle like the Mazda CX-3 because it offers some of the practicality of an SUV while being fun to drive. Its standard features add to the fun with a 7-inch touch screen infotainment system and voice-activated commands. It is also a safe ride, with a rearview camera coming standard as well.

2nd – 2017 Audi Q7

No list of the top SUVs for a given model year would be complete without mentioning one or two luxury models. Sure, they may be out of your reach at the moment, but there’s nothing like having a financial goal to work toward. As a midsize SUV, the Q7 offers you and your family the flexibility of a vehicle that’s as adept at going on long trips with all your luggage as it is at commuting to work. It has a lavish interior, smooth ride and high-tech infotainment system that will ensure you do either in total luxury.

Starting at just under $50,000, you get a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 engine that puts out 333 horsepower. Because it’s a luxury SUV, even the base model includes all-wheel drive, an eight-speed automatic transmission and Audi’s Drive Select feature, which lets you choose from the four driving modes of comfort, dynamic, auto or off-road. The Q7 seats 7 and comes in three trim packages. It comes standard with a third row of seats that the competing Volvo XC90 lacks, and it offers more features as standard than the BMW X5.

1st – 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee

Car and Driver put it best when they said, “thanks to its off-road grit, the Grand Cherokee’s expertise doesn’t begin and end in the concrete jungle like many of its rivals”. This one quote sums up why this Car and Driver Editor’s Choice Award recipient is at the top of this list. It offers truly rugged off-road capability to a list of features that many competitors also offer. To get similar off-road capabilities with more luxurious trim you would have to step up to the Toyota Land Cruiser at about double the price of the Cherokee, which starts at an MSRP of about $30,000.

It comes standard with a V6 engine that produces about 300 horsepower. There are, however, plenty of engine upgrade options, which would largely account for its maximum towing capacity varying anywhere from 3,500 to 7,200 pounds. This solid vehicle offers a plush interior and an intuitive infotainment system. The 2017 model is particularly strong now due to the fact that rearview camera and rear parking sensors are now standard.

What Are You Looking for in an SUV?

You have to look at the preceding list with your needs in mind. It was ranked in a numerical order, but if, for example, you have a lot of hauling to do and need to put size and towing capacity above all other considerations, then the Ford Expedition might be your top choice despite being number five above. If you’re single or have a small family and just need something practical to get around town in, something small but more fun like the Mazda CX-3 might be more up your alley.

All of the above are solid offerings that deserve a hard look if you are in the market for a sport utility vehicle.

5 Keys to Successful Substance Abuse Treatment

Drug addiction and alcohol addiction are true diseases among us. Many people suffer from their clutches. In fact, even upstanding citizens who live normal lives struggle in secret with the painful effects of these conditions.

Alcoholics and addicts often try several avenues of escape and seek help often to no avail. Some try rehab but find the temptation to use too strong to overcome after being released from the program. The family support encourages them, but they still wrestle to break from the constant use of drugs and alcohol. The community support is available in many cases, but addicts still feel too overwhelmed to quit.

Maybe you can relate and have asked yourself how to be free. What are the key ingredients to the recipe of successful substance abuse treatment? Most of these 5 keys components may differ from conventional wisdom on overcoming addictions, but they are still essential aspects to successful abuse treatment.

  1. Your Desire to Quit Must Be Stronger Than Your Desire to Use

It’s probably easy for everyone around you to simply say “quit.” You may even desire to quit, but when the urge to use kicks in, suddenly you’re thrust back into the cycle of whether to drink or get high. And after promising yourself not to slip, you inevitably make the same mistake again. Then the guilt kicks in, and the cycle resumes. Before you know it, you’re drinking and using just like before.

Deep down inside you desire to stop but deeper inside is the desire to use. What must happen is that an intrinsic motivation from within you must consume you to the point that you want to stop using more than you want to continue.

And no one around you can make this happen for you. No one can give you the desire to quit regardless of how much they want you to get better. It must come from you. This is perhaps the most important key to obtaining freedom — you must cultivate a desire to quit that is stronger than your desire to use.

  1. Change Your Atmosphere

You could have all the help in the world from every doctor, friend, and loved one, but unless your atmosphere changes, your behavior never will. Drugs and alcohol are social. We associate them with certain friends, with particular places, and even with certain times. It is essential to change the atmosphere of your world in order to change the results you are getting.

The people you associate with while drinking or using will always trigger that desire in you as long as you are around them. It is therefore essential to revamp your social network. Furthermore, the places you go to drink or use will continue to trigger you every time. You must find new places to go where you can enjoy life in a new environment that does not urge you to use.

Additionally, you may be surprised to consider, there are probably particular times of the day you drink and/or use. Revamping your schedule is a key component to overcoming substance abuse. If you tend to drink after work, it is vital that you replace that time with something such as a hobby, family outings, or even a movie.

Changing who we spend our time with, where we spend that time, and what we do with time will greatly increase our chances of overcoming drug and alcohol addiction.

  1. Keep Going After a Mistake

One of the worst feelings for an addict is to go through withdrawal, make progress, and then to slip. The guilt is so overwhelming it makes you want to give up completely. But this is not the worst mistake. The bigger mistake would be to assume that one night’s slip makes all of your previous progress worthless. That is simply not the case.

It is essential that you learn to fall forward. In other words, see the slip as a learning experience, not as a complete mess up. To do this successfully, take the time to analyze some things about yourself that led to the slip. Where were you? Who were you with? What were you thinking? Feeling? If you can learn to see what led to the slip, you can equip yourself to avoid it in the future.

Let’s assume you’ve been sober for 3 months and messed up last night. Remember that a mistake one evening does not mean you have been using or drinking all this time. It means, in our example, that you successfully stayed clean for 90 days and slipped for one day.

That’s an amazing success record. Think about it. If a business made profits for 90 days in a row then lost profits one day, does that mean that the business is a failure? Of course not. And neither are you.

Learn from the mistake, but don’t let it destroy all the progress you’ve already made. Get up and keep moving forward!

  1. Think of What Will Happen If You Quit, Not What Won’t Happen If You Quit

Many substance abusers are tempted to motivate themselves to quit using or drinking by thinking about what will not happen if they quit. In other words, if I quit, I won’t lose my job, I won’t lose my kids, or I won’t go to jail.

That is what psychologists refer to as an avoidance goal — if I don’t do X then Y won’t happen. The problem with this type of motivation is that it is short-sighted and usually does not provide what is necessary to achieve long lasting results.

On the other hand, there is another type of goal psychologists refer to as an approach goal. This simply means if I do X then Y will happen. In other words, if I quit drinking, I could get promoted on my job, I could have a great relationship with my family, or I would be more confident about myself. It is a shift in thinking.

Instead of what won’t happen if you quit, focus on what will happen if you do, and your motivation to stop using will drastically increase.

  1. Celebrate Along the Way

One concept about sobriety worth considering is that it is a continual, ongoing victory. You never reach a moment that cannot be celebrated in your journey of recovery. After you’ve gone a week without using, you have been successfully sober for an entire week. But in three more weeks, you will have been successful for a month. Sixty days later, you will have achieved three months clean, and the process never stops.

The important thing is to think of sobriety not as a destination but as a journey and to celebrate the steps you take on that journey. Make a big deal after your first 24 hours clean. Treat yourself to something special. At noon the next day, celebrate once again that you’ve made it halfway through an entire day without using. The key is to celebrate progress and to do it frequently throughout the journey.

Overcoming substance abuse is not impossible. But if you are alive, it is because you have a purpose in life. And overcoming your struggle will bring you one step closer to that purpose.

So, don’t be afraid to try. Even if you mess up, continue on your journey. Search for a desire inside of your heart that wants to quit more than it wants to use. Change your atmosphere, think of the possibilities, and remember to always celebrate along the way.

The Top Sedans of 2017

For many people, the sedan is the perfect all-around car. A sedan will have enough room for a family of four, it will likely get good gas mileage, there should be plenty of space in the trunk, and the driving experience should be comfortable and relaxed.

Unless you have a specific reason to need a larger (or smaller) vehicle, you are unlikely to regret the decision to go with a sedan.

With that said, the decision of which sedan to choose is going to be slightly more complicated. As you already know, there are an incredible number of sedans to pick from today, each with its own combination of features and capabilities.

Most cars on the market today are built to a relatively high standard, so you don’t have to worry too much about picking a poor model. However, you do need to be concerned with finding something that is going to suit the needs of your family perfectly.

The Contenders

Following is a partial list of some of the top options on the sedan market in 2017. There are certainly more sedans available than just those listed below; however, these are some of the most-popular options that you will find as you browse local dealerships.

  • Toyota Camry
  • Honda Accord
  • Ford Fusion
  • Chevrolet Malibu
  • Mazda6
  • Nissan Altima
  • Audi A4
  • Mercedes Benz E-Class
  • Volkswagen Passat
  • Lincoln MKZ

Unless you would like to be shopping for a sedan for the next several months, you are going to want to pare down your list of options significantly before you ever head out to take some test drives. Fortunately, it should be relatively easy to cut down your list based on price and a couple of other important points. Once you have a list in hand of a few cars that you are considering, you can then get out in the ‘real world’ to see them for yourself.

The Safe Bets

If you are looking to purchase what most people would consider to be a ‘standard’ sedan – that is, one that has all the features you need, with practicality and reliability put above all else – you will likely want to pick one of the leaders in this segment. By opting for one of four cars – the Ford Fusion, the Honda Accord, the Toyota Camry, or the Chevrolet Malibu – you will pretty much be able to know exactly what you are getting. Incredible numbers of these vehicles are sold each year, and you don’t have to travel far down pretty much any road across the country to find one.

When you go in this direction, you will be getting a quality sedan for a fair price. The MSRP for the base model of all four of these cars comes in right around $22,000, give or take a few hundred bucks. Are you going to stand out on the road when you pick one of these popular options? No, not really – but that isn’t the point. These cars are all about getting the job done, and each can do that nicely.

Moving Up to First Class

You don’t have to break the bank these days in order to own a quality sedan – and that’s a good thing, to be sure. Any of the models in the previous section are likely to give you solid performance across the board, and each comes with a modest price tag in the lower trim levels. However, if your budget allows, you may wish to look for something a bit more luxurious. There are plenty of sedans offered today which fall into the category of a luxury car, including names like the Mercedes Benz E-Class, the Audi A4, and the Lincoln MKZ.

Of course, the word ‘luxury’ means different things to different people, and there is a wide range within this category as well. For instance, the Mercedes E-Class can easily run as much as $20K more than the Audi or Lincoln.

If you decide that you are going to be looking at the higher end of the market for your sedan, you will have to determine first where your budget is going to land before you can figure out which cars are within reach. In addition to the models listed previously, other luxury sedan contenders include options from BMW and Lexus.

Another Direction

If you would like to break away from the crowd that is the owners of Ford, Toyota, Chevy, and Honda sedans, but you don’t want to move your budget up into the stratosphere, it might be the Mazda6 that ultimately wins you over. Many car buyers agree that the 6 has the looks of a luxury vehicle, with a price tag that remains down in the low $20K range. Sure, this isn’t a luxury car in terms of the materials used or the features it includes, but it does have an appeal to the eye that isn’t commonly found in a standard sedan.

The other selling point for the Mazda6 that is worth your attention is the sporty way that this car drives. Nearly every Mazda model is complimented for its handling abilities, and this one is no different. Driving the Mazda6 just might make you feel like you went ahead and busted the budget on your sedan purchase, when you in fact made a perfectly reasonable and rational choice.

It is an exciting time to buy a new sedan, as there are plenty of worthy contenders vying for your money. If you want to pick up something affordable and reliable, you can do that with ease. Rather find a little more luxury and excitement in your driving experience? That is available as well – as long as you are willing to write the check.

As mentioned above, take some time to review the specs and prices of a number of sedan options in order to narrow your list before you hit the dealerships. After just a few test drives and some chatting with the sales people, you should have a great idea of which sedan it is that will earn your business.

 

The Top 4 Crossovers Of 2017

Just a few years ago, you wouldn’t have been able to read an article about the ‘top crossovers’ in the automotive market. Why? Because this category did not exist.

As automotive transportation has developed and evolved to meet the needs of consumers, the crossover category has emerged as one of the most popular options on the market.

Crossovers blend the best of a large SUV with some of the characteristics of a sedan. They tend to get excellent gas mileage – which is definitely not something you can say about a big seven-seat SUV – while also having enough room for the whole family. On top of it all, they look great and are often fun to drive. It doesn’t take an automotive expert to figure out why these vehicles are quickly taking over the roads.

If you are in the market for a crossover in 2017, you are going to have plenty of options to pick from. But which one is best? Well, that’s where it gets a bit tricky.

The Contenders

At this point, complete information about all of the 2017 crossover models is not yet available, but we do have a good idea of which models will be near the top of the class when all is said and done. To be sure, any 2017 crossover shopping experience will not be complete without a closer look at each of the following –

  • Mazda CX-5
  • Ford Escape
  • Kia Sportage
  • Honda HR-V
  • Audi Q3

That list is certainly not exhaustive by any means, but it is a good starting point in your search. Of course, there is a little bit of ‘wiggle room’ when it comes to what is considered a crossover, so there may be other models from the same maker that you could include in this conversation as well.

Value

If it’s value that you are looking for first and foremost, your search is likely going to begin with the Kia Sportage. Kia is an automaker that has long been associated with value, as their cars tend to be some of the lowest-priced on the market. However, with quality improvements in recent years, a low price does not necessarily indicate a low-end experience. The base Kia Sportage has an MSRP of just $22,990, making it one of the least expensive crossovers available.

Speaking of value, you can also find it from another name on the list above – the Honda HR-V. This vehicle really lives up to the name of a crossover, as it looks more like a sedan than it does an SUV. The MSRP for the HR-V actually comes in below $20,000 for the base model, so this really is an opportunity to get value – especially from a carmaker with a reputation for quality. However, the HR-V is limited on space, so it isn’t going to work for those who put a premium on having ample passenger and storage capacity.

Driving Experience

While the main reason to purchase a crossover is for utility, you can still think a little bit about the fun you would like to have out on the road. If you enjoy driving and you appreciate a car that gives the feedback you are looking for, it is the Mazda CX-5 that should grab your attention.

Mazda is known for creating vehicles which are both practical and fun to drive, and the CX-5 carries that torch nicely. You will feel like you are driving something closer to a sports car rather than an SUV when behind the wheel of this popular model. Precise details for the 2017 model are not yet available, but this crossover does tend to be a bit more expensive than options such as the Kia or Honda.

All-Around Performer

Ford is one of the iconic names in the automotive world, and they continue to produce great models like the Ford Escape year after year. It is hard to pin down one specific thing that you can point to as the strength of the Ford Escape – which is actually a compliment. It fares well in fuel efficiency, cabin space, design, and just about any other category you would like to include. Sure, the price is a bit higher than many of the other crossover options, but this is a model that lands further on the SUV side of the scale than some others in this segment.

You might not wind up settling on the Ford for your purchase, but it would be a mistake to not at least take a test drive as part of the process.

A Luxury Play

If it is luxury that you are looking for, and you don’t mind spending significantly more for that experience, the Audi Q3 is a safe bet. Audi has a long-standing reputation for quality high-end vehicles, and that reputation certainly extends to the Q3.

This model has plenty of power under the hood for the driver who likes to feel some spirited acceleration while out on the road. It also fares pretty well in the gas mileage category, and it has the luxury look that you would expect from an MSRP north of $30,000. This is not a model that will fit in everyone’s budget, but it can be the perfect fit for a certain slice of the market.

The Bottom Line

The hardest thing about buying a crossover these days is likely the sheer number of options that you will need to consider. For a segment that didn’t even exist a few short years ago, there are now numerous vehicles in this market that are worthy of your attention.

Personal preference is going to play a big part of this decision, as there isn’t a significant difference between the specs of most of these models. As long as you take the time to test drive at least a few different crossovers, and you stick to a budget range that you are comfortable with, you are almost sure to come away with a great vehicle.

Ditch Your Old Landline for VoIP! Here Are Three Popular Options

VoIP, or Voice Over Internet Protocol, is a means of replacing traditional landline phone service with a similar service provided over the internet. Due to its low cost, especially regarding long distance, it has become increasingly popular. But why choose VoIP?

The biggest reason that people choose a VoIP home phone is cost. While cellular telephones and landlines have both become significantly less expensive in recent years, VoIP remains the most affordable option for those who do not require the portability of a cell phone or the unquestioned uptime of a traditional landline. The cost advantage of VoIP is particularly pronounced when it comes to international calls, which would usually cost dollars per minute even on the most flexible cellular phone plans.

There are many popular VoIP providers, each designed to handle a particular target market. Some focus on business customers, while others focus primarily on personal phones. Additionally, not all services are the same regarding cost or products offered, and they may not all be ideal for all consumers. So what are some of the best VoIP services out there, and how do they stack up?

Microsoft Skype

Since Microsoft acquired Skype in 2011, it has focused on making Skype the premiere voice and video messaging app, as well as a powerful VoIP technology. Unlike almost any other chat program, Skype can move effortlessly between instant messages, audio chat and video chat with ease. Additionally, as it is a completely software-based solution, it requires no hardware installation or purchase, and the software itself is free, with charges being placed only for calls to landlines and cellular phones.

Cost is where Skype has the greatest advantage over other VoIP competitors. The basic software is ad-supported and 100% free and enables free instant messaging, voice calls and phone calls to any other Skype user. Skype is available for most platforms including Windows, Mac, Linux, some game consoles, and most smartphones. A single user account can be reached over all of these systems, enabling conversations to effortlessly be carried from place to place. The ability to turn one’s phone into a mobile VoIP call center or a video chat source makes Skype the most popular VoIP provider in the world today, especially in areas where cost or mobility is a concern.

Skype’s primary downsides are related to the fact that it is free, however. Because it must be ad supported, many users complain about the presence or obtrusiveness of advertisements when sending instant messages or making calls. While a paid version without ads is available, it is designed for business use only, and it is quite expensive. Additionally, while it is possible to obtain a Skype number to receive calls as well as make them, it is not available by default and indeed costs extra for each month of use. Additionally, as Skype is in no way a traditional phone carrier, it is not required to provide any emergency services options and indeed does not do so.

Therefore, Skype is the best option for those who need a cheap, easy, sometimes solution as a supplement to their primary phone or as a means of reaching out to those who live abroad. The investment cost of $0 makes it an ideal solution for those who already have some form of telephony available, but it is a limited option for those who need a full landline replacement device. This makes it more ideal for casual conversation or as a supplement to an existing service.

Ooma Telo

The Ooma Telo system is a VoIP technology designed to replace traditional home phones. With a handset that looks like a regular cordless phone and a very simple, basic installation, the focus of the Ooma is to enable those who want to stick with traditional telephony to nonetheless save money in terms of their telephone service. Rather than billing per call, most calls are free, and instead, there is a small monthly rate to pay. Additionally, like a landline, emergency services are provided, making this a superior option when chosen to be a person or family’s sole telephone system.

The Ooma Telo offers competitive international rates, but its primary purpose is to replace the home phone. While its initial startup cost is around $100, and it requires special Ooma handsets, it nonetheless is otherwise like classic landline, with basic features such as call waiting and voicemail available with the basic subscription. An advanced subscription also enables the Ooma to block unwanted calls, integrate into modern smart devices such as the Amazon Echo, and coordinate with smartphones to enable the operator to take their Ooma number with them everywhere.

Indeed, while it is an excellent home phone replacement device, the Ooma’s primary purpose is to integrate into modern computers, smartphones, and other smart devices to function more as a substitute for telephone service than to just be a phone system unto itself. Between the phone and computer apps, its ability to integrate into many smart home systems and other unique advantages, it is clear that the primary purpose of the Ooma is to provide additional functionality to such devices in addition to basic home telephony. This makes it an excellent option for those looking to have a smart home, but it may prove to be an unnecessary feature for those who do not have such devices.

Vonage

Vonage has been in business since 2001 with the objective of providing Internet-based telephony and nothing else. This focus has led to a very high-quality VoIP system that is designed to integrate into existing phone infrastructure and replace a traditional landline with as little hassle as possible. While Vonage handsets are available, the core Vonage VoIP unit is designed to accommodate existing lines, and in fact, can be integrated into an existing house telephone setup without the replacement of any hardware. This makes it a superior option for older customers or for those who want to minimize the cost of equipment investment without the limitations of web-only solutions.

Vonage offers a very competitive first year of service, although only for users who sign a multi-year contract. Subsequent years are within the expected expense for a service that offers free domestic calls and reduced rate international calls, however. Vonage also offers voicemail, emergency services, call waiting, and other standard services. Indeed, its emergency services option is one of the better ones available for VoIP options, as you provide Vonage with your exact address, which is then sent to the 911 call center upon the number being dialed.

Where Vonage falls short is in the digital realm. Unlike much of the competition, accessing Vonage via your PC costs extra, and doing so via your smartphone or another smart device is not possible. Video conferencing and text messaging are not available as well. This makes Vonage an inferior option for people who rely on such communication services, especially in light of the ubiquity of cheap cellular phones in many areas. However, it is very price competitive due to its stripped-down nature, and the fact that, once installed, it is essentially a simple landline makes it much more approachable for those who are not tech-inclined, or who just do not need any additional services.

Here Are Three of the Best Mattress Deals Available Right Now

A good mattress is one of the best investments you can make in your own health and comfort, but finding the best mattress for you can be tough. There are tons of offers, brands and styles to choose from, with prices ranging from the hundreds to the thousands.

There’s a lot of conflicting information about mattresses floating around out there. To keep it easy on yourself, just focus your efforts on these 3 types of mattresses:

Memory Foam Mattresses

Major inner-spring mattress manufacturers are now using memory foam in the comfort layers of their mattresses.

Be warned, while the marketing for inner-spring companies producing traditional inner-spring mattresses with layers of memory foam might be convincing, you will not get the real benefits of sleeping on memory foam with an inner-spring mattress. The real effect of sleeping on memory foam is experienced on no-coil mattresses.

But what are the overall benefits of memory foam in mattresses?

Lifespan

Good quality memory foam can have a lifespan of up to 15 years. But how can you identify good quality memory foam?

Good memory foam will have at least a 4-pound density. It will meet Certipur-US or similar health standards. Certipur standards test that foams in a mattress are free of:

  • PBDE fire retardant
  • Mercury, lead and other heavy metals
  • Formaldehyde and phthalates
  • Have low chemical output “off-gassing” at 0.5 parts per mill or less.

Looking out for these elements will ensure that the memory foam you select is a high quality.

Pressure Relief

Since there are no springs in the mattress, memory foam beds are extremely pressure relieving. This is for two reasons:

First, because the human body is not square shaped, pressure points are created as the parts of our bodies that stick out the most (shoulders and hips) end up supporting our weight throughout the night. Memory foam mattresses will provide even support by distributing weight across the entire surface of the mattress.

Second, if you think about the way a coil works you will see that it is virtually impossible to eliminate pressure points with inner-spring mattresses. When you push down on a coil, it will naturally resist back upwards.

That resistance is what creates the pain in our pressure points throughout the night. So, if your hip and shoulder digs into the mattress the most, those are the parts that will get the most resistance and pressure.

No Motion Transfer

Falling into a deep rejuvenating sleep means that you don’t toss and turn too much. For those sleeping in a bed with a partner, that means you have to be aware of their tossing and turning as well.

Because there are no springs in memory foam mattresses and because pressure is decreased, you don’t feel your bed-partner moving if they do.

Support

For those with back issues, memory foam is a great choice. A major advantage of the material is that it allows you to be in the mattress and have the mattress conform to your natural shape.

This keeps the body as straight as possible without creating a hard or pressure producing surface to sleep on throughout the night.

Drawbacks of Memory Foam

Weight

While memory foam mattresses aren’t necessarily that much heavier than traditional mattresses, they are a bit difficult to move because they are hard to hold.

Odor

Some people think memory foam mattresses smell bad, especially when they’re new. Getting a plant-based memory foam and those with a Certipur certification cuts down on this complaint.

Sleeps Hot

This is the biggest complaint about memory foam mattresses. But a good quality memory foam, like a plant based one, or one with a Certipur certification has virtually no issue with heat.

Cost

The cost of memory foam is more expensive up front. However, you should always keep in mind that you want a mattress to perform in year 10 as it does when you first buy it. Memory foam has one of the best lifespans in the market.

Memory Foam Mattress Deals

Finding a great deal on memory foam mattresses seems like it would be easy, but it can be a bit tricky. Don’t get fooled by the $399 Queen size memory foam mattress deals out there either – cheap memory foam is never worth the money.

To get the best deal on memory foam, you want to make sure you look for the memory foam density, Certipur (or similar) certification for chemicals and thickness of the memory foam itself.

Finding all 3 of these qualifications when there are sales on mattresses will ensure that you will get a good quality memory foam mattress for your budget.

Latex Mattresses

Like memory foam, latex is one of those materials that is becoming more and more popular for mattresses. Also like memory foam, the best latex mattresses are made without coils.

There is a difference in the types of latex used in mattresses. You should look for mattresses made from natural latex as opposed to synthetic.

Here are some benefits of latex mattresses:

Health Benefits

Natural latex is hypoallergenic and free from petrochemicals. Its main ingredient comes from the sap of the rubber tree.

If you suffer from allergic reactions to latex, don’t worry. The proteins that cause these allergic reactions get washed out in the manufacturing process.

Pressure Relief

Latex mattresses relieve pressure points and reduce pain in areas like the lower back. Because latex is more resilient than memory foam, you will experience more pressure relief in the hip and shoulders area.

Lifespan

Latex has an average lifespan of about 12 -15 years. Because of the natural durability of latex, the top comfort layer of the mattress remains unchanged longer than traditional inner-coil mattresses.

Customizable

Latex can be extremely soft or table-top hard. Many manufacturers will offer a range of comforts for latex models.

While memory foam has softer and firmer versions of their mattresses as well, latex beds provide more customization in that department.

Some manufacturers allow customizations by retailers so that you can create a mattress that has different firmness levels per side.

Drawbacks of Latex Mattresses

Heat

There have been complaints regarding feeling hot throughout the night on latex mattresses. However, this is usually the case in the synthetic (closed cell) latex and not the natural latex.

When shopping for a latex mattress, make sure to look for ones with breathable covers. This will ensure the mattress temperature stays regulated.

Cost

The cost of latex is usually higher than the cost of traditional inner-spring mattresses as well as memory foam. It is usually the price more so than the comfort of the mattress that prevents people from purchasing a latex mattress.

You can save on a mattress at many local mattress retailers. But to really get around the cost issue for latex mattresses, you can check for special sales online.

Latex Mattress Deals

While latex mattresses are not typically considered a budget mattress, you can still find good deals on them. The key is to make sure they are certified natural latex, are at least 10 inches thick and have a good amount of natural latex.

Don’t be fooled by mattress manufacturers that only offer .5 inches of latex and call it a latex bed.

Inner-Coil Mattresses

Finding a good inner-coil mattress is not as difficult as memory foam or latex. The key is to know what to look for and what to be wary of.

Here’s what to look for in an inner-coil mattress:

Coil Density

Coil count used to be the way to go to find out how high quality a mattress is. These days, you also want to find out about how thick the coil is.

Having fewer, but stronger, coils will give you more support with less pressure points.

Materials

Many manufacturers are now including memory foam and latex in their mattresses. To get the best bang for your buck, you want to make sure the memory foam or latex is at least 1.5 inches or more and that it is close to the top of the mattress.

Warranty

Most manufacturers will come with a warranty. The trick is that the warranty is only enforceable when the body impression “dip” in the mattress is over a certain number of inches.

Find a company that has the longest warranty, but with the least inch requirement to enforce a claim.

Cost

The cost of inner-coil mattresses can run the gamut. Costs for queen size sets can range from $299 to over $5,000.

The key is to shop smart, have a mattress budget in mind and find the highest quality within that budget.

Conclusion

You can find better costs for memory foam mattresses than latex. Since they offer great pressure relief, support and longevity at a lower price, memory foam mattresses are becoming more and more popular.

Keep the above tips in mind to ensure you get a great deal on your next mattress purchase.

Here Are the Three Most Popular Dental Implant Options Available Right Now

Dental implants are useful when patients have lost a tooth, or if they are missing sections of the jaw. If a dentist determines that there is a sufficient amount of healthy bone in the jaw that can support a dental implant, he/she will likely recommend one. Likewise, the patient must also possess healthy gums. Healthy bone and gum tissue are incredibly important because the longevity of the dental implant depends on them.

Those who are living with dental implants must, at all times, ensure that they stay clean. Furthermore, regular dental checkups are necessary to monitor the health of the implant.

What Are the Most Popular Types of Dental Implants?

If you’re considering a dental implant, or if you’ve already been told that you need one, it’s a good idea to become acquainted with the most popular types. Generally, there are three different ones that your dentist will choose from. His/her choice will depend heavily on your personal condition and needs. The three most popular implant options are:

  • Endosseous implants- An endosseous implant often takes a cylindrical shape, and in some cases, it can be compared to the shape of a screw. It is generally made from ceramic material, metal encased in ceramic material, or solid metal. These dental implants are set inside of the jaw. In certain cases, this implant might also mimic the shape of a blade.
  • Subperiosteal implants- A subperiosteal implant takes on the shape of metal framework. It is affixed atop the jawbone. It also resides beneath the tissues in the gums.
  • Transosteal implants- This implant is designed to penetrate both the gums and jawbone. It often either comes as a frame in the shape of a “U,” or as a metal pin.

Your dentist will be able to determine the right size, design, and type of dental implant for your specific needs. When this decision is made, he/she takes into account where the implant is needed, the type and availability of the bone involved, and the tooth/teeth that will use the implant.

Ideally, you are probably also looking for a dental implant low-cost option that won’t break the bank. Certain areas of the world, such as Poland, Spain, and Thailand can perform these treatments for significantly less than centers in the U.S. Also, you can look into financing options if they are offered by the center from which you’re receiving treatments.

Your First Steps – Diagnosis

In order to determine whether or not you need dental implants, your dentist will need to thoroughly study the inside your mouth. X-rays will likely be needed, and he/she might also want to conduct testing on other aspects of your body to determine your overall status of health.

Your dentist will likely also want molds of your jaw and teeth. Using the molds, he/she can estimate the type of treatment that will be needed, as well as intelligently plan a guide for surgical purposes.

The Day of Surgery

Dental implant surgery generally occurs in a single stage or two stages. This will depend on your particular condition and implant choice.

Stage One

During this procedure, the implant is set into the jawbone. For the next 90-180 days or more, the implant will stay there and undergo the healing process. In some cases, the implant is not buried in the jaw, and stage two is not necessary. The healing process for exposed implants is more quick as well. Your dentist will give you specific instructions for caring for your implant during the healing process and afterwards.

Stage Two

If you are to return for a second session of treatment, this is known as “stage two.” This stage usually occurs roughly 90-180 days after stage one, if necessary. The dentist opens the gums to expose the implant underneath. From there, abutments are attached so that your new teeth can be set in place. The dentist re-secures the area with stitches, protective caps, and surgical packing to ensure the area is as healthy and pain-free as possible.

Aftercare

After treatment has completed, your dentist will want to make another mold of the space around your implant to determine a plan of action for creating your replacement teeth (or your bridge). Once an assembly is created consisting of a framework and teeth, it is tested in your mouth in order to determine its look and feel. When you and your dentist are satisfied, the bridge is considered completed. The bridge (or even the single tooth replacement) is then attached to the abutments using screws or dental cement. In some cases when a fixed bridge is not an option, the dentist will design a removable overdenture.

Caring for Your Implant

In the following year after your treatment has completed, your dentist will want to frequently check to see that it is working and functioning properly. In just the first year, you can expect appointments at relatively frequent intervals. Not only will your dentist examine the dental implant area during your appointment, but he/she will likely also take dental x-rays to get a closer look at its state and ensure that any diseases or complications aren’t present. Once a year has passed after the initial treatment, your dentist will likely only want to meet with you once per year.

How Long Do the Popular Implants Tend to Last?

Over the past several years, great strides have been made in the world of dentistry. At this point, it’s safe to assume that any of the top three dental implants will likely last for the rest of your life. Keep in mind that this is stated under the assumption that proper care is exercised and that you meet with your dentist at his/her discretion. For example, you should attend all checkups scheduled by your dentist, and continue to do so in the time following long after your procedure.

Remember that restorative treatment is not perfect. Such as with all artificial treatments, there is a chance the teeth or implant might experience complications from normal wear and tear and require repair or replacement. Notify your dentist as soon as you notice anything abnormal about your implant.

Should you ever run into problems with your dental implant or feel as though something isn’t quite right, it’s always a good idea to let your dentist know as soon as possible. This way, treatment can be administered in a timely fashion and the problem can be corrected before any adverse effects take place.

Here Are Three of the Most Popular Lasik Procedures Available Right Now

Though Lasik has only been used for a few decades, it is already becoming one of the most popular methods of treating eye abnormalities. Lasik can be used for a variety of eye issues, but it is most commonly used for these three procedures.

Classic Lasik Surgery

A basic Lasik surgery is the most commonly done optional surgery in the United States, and it is a very simple process that is typically done while you are awake. To prevent any discomfort, anesthetic eye drops are typically used.

The first step in basic Lasik is cutting a flap through the corneal epithelium which is the protective layer that covers the front of the eye. This flap can be cut with either a tiny metal blade or a femtosecond laser, and it is then folded back so that the middle section of the cornea is revealed. A computer guided excimer laser is then used to reshape the corneal stroma by removing tissue. Eye tissues are removed in very thin layers that are just micrometres thick to avoid overcorrecting the eye. The protective eye flap is then repositioned over the newly shaped cornea, and once the eye heals, vision is restored.

Wavefront-Guided Lasik

Wavefront-guided Lasik is a newer type of procedure, but it is also very popular because it helps to correct natural irregularities in the eyes. For many patients, wavefront-guided Lasik is a better choice because it tends to result in sharper, clearer vision.

In classic Lasik, ophthalmologists only apply a simple, single layer correction to the eye problem that does not vary along the surface of the eye. Wavefront-guided differs because it uses a correction that varies in thickness based on the shape of the eye. This tends to be more accurate because each eye is unique and often has tiny surface irregularities. However, it is important for this surgery to only be performed with top of the line wavefront sensors and perfect eye tracking equipment because if the wavefront guiding is even slightly off, it can cause eyesight to worsen.

Despite the fact that this is not a low-cost Lasik procedure, wavefront-guided Lasik remains one of the most popular types of Lasik procedures because patients are less likely to deal with halos, starbursts, or other vision irregularities afterwards.

LASEK Surgery

You may have heard LASEK referred to as a type of Lasik surgery, but it is technically a slightly different procedure. This procedure also corrects the shape of the eye with a laser that vaporizes small amounts of tissue. However, it focuses on a different layer of the cornea, and one version of LASEK, called PRK, does not cut a flap before remodelling the shape of the cornea.

LASEK tends to have a slightly quicker healing time and less risks of flap complications, but it does not work on as many different patient types. LASEK is typically only recommended if a patient does not have severe eyesight issues. Patients who get LASEK tend to have more risks of developing eyesight problems later in life.

The Lasik Process for Myopia

A myopia correction is the most common reason that a patient needs Lasik surgery. Myopia causes nearsightedness, so farther away items will look very blurry if you have myopia. It happens when the eye’s length is too long in relation to the cornea’s curvature, so light rays that enter the eye are focused in front of the retina instead of being focused directly onto the retina like they should be.

Lasik is considered ideal for patients with up to 6 dioptres of myopia which is categorized as mild to moderate myopia. You might think that Lasik fixes this issue by making the overall eye shorter, but what it actually does is modify the curvature of the cornea so that it reflects light directly onto the retina.

The Lasik Surgery for Hyperopia

If you have hyperopia, you have essentially the opposite problem as patients with myopia. The eyeball is too short for the curvature of your cornea, so any light that enters the cornea will focus too far behind the retina. People with hyperopia can see far away objects easily, but close up objects look fuzzy or blurry.

The process for fixing hyperopia with Lasik is very similar to the myopia process, so it works by changing cornea curvature to reflect light properly. Patients with severe hyperopia may not be able to use LASEK or PRK methods.

The Lasik Procedure for Astigmatism

Astigmatism is a little different from other types of eye problems because it is not caused by improper focal length. Instead, the issue is caused by a cornea that is misshapen. Typically, the issue is that the cornea is somewhat oval instead of rounded, but astigmatism can be caused by other issues. This causes vision to look warped and uneven, and you may end up feeling like your vision is similar to something seen in a funhouse mirror.

Since astigmatism is a corneal issue, it can easily be fixed with Lasik surgery. During the Lasik procedure, the lasers will focus on reshaping the cornea into a more normal curve that does not distort light rays as they pass through it. Wavefront-guided procedures are ideal for patients with astigmatism since it provides a customized approach.

Possible Risks Associated With Different Lasik Procedures

Laser eye surgery is a great option for patients who want to correct their eyesight without wearing glasses or contacts, but it does come with some drawbacks. In general, there is an increased risk for dry eyes, infections, and night vision issues. At night, some patients may have trouble seeing or notice halos or starbursts around lights. Vision aberrations tend to be less of an issue with wavefront-guided Lasik. There is also a risk of flap complications or slips if the corneal flap does not heal properly, but this risk is significantly lower with LASEK or PRK methods of laser eye surgery.

As time progresses, vision can start to degrade again, but this can often be fixed with another surgery. Overall, the risks of Lasik are beginning to decrease as doctors perfect all types of Lasik procedures.

The Recovery Process for all Lasik Procedures

When patients are considering choosing between one of the three popular Lasik procedures, they normally focus on choosing a procedure with a short recovery time. Though Lasik surgery is not painful, the recovery process can be a bit uncomfortable. PRK and LASEK versions tend to take a little longer to heal because the outer layers of the cornea will regrow, but otherwise, recovery for all procedures tends to be the same.

Regardless of which procedure you choose, you should rest as much as possible and avoid bright lights after the surgery. You may need a bandage contact lense or special goggles to ensure that everything heals correctly. If your doctor advises you to take antibiotic eye drops, be sure to follow your ophthalmologist’s instructions. By being careful during recovery, you can ensure that you get the best possible outcome from your Lasik procedure.

Three Treatment Options for Back Pain Relief

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), low back pain is one of the 10 top leading causes of pain and disability worldwide. The Global Burden of Disease report 2010 states that back pain can affect everyone, from the very young to the elderly.

In this article, learn about three research-based treatment options that are known to be effective for providing relief from back pain.

Treatment 1: Chiropractic Care

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), recommends chiropractic care for cases where self-care alone does not produce improvements in the severity of low back pain.

Several studies highlight positive results ranging from mild to moderate when using chiropractic adjustment to treat low back pain. The American College of Physicians, the American Pain Society and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality also endorse chiropractic treatments as an effective option for managing neck and back pain.

Perhaps most pertinently for individuals considering more invasive options such as surgery, a number of research studies have indicated chiropractic care is as effective as mainstream conventional medical care in managing the symptoms of back pain.

In certain studies, chiropractic works best when used in combination with a variety of other options for obtaining relief. The options highlighted include these:

  • Heat application.
  • Cold compresses.
  • Changing to a firm mattress.
  • Physical therapy.
  • Exercise (especially strengthening).
  • Pain relief medications.

The reason results vary from mild to moderate relates to the underlying causes for the back pain. For example, if an individual suffers from low back pain due to a herniated disc, a congenital narrowing of the spine (Cauda equina syndrome) or other similar longstanding known issues, the results may differ from those of individuals experiencing chronic low back pain as a result of stress, poor posture and ergonomics at work and lack of physical strength.

According to the American Chiropractic Association (ACA), much additional research exists to support the use of chiropractic care for treating back and neck pain. One intriguing point that is made is the cost effectiveness of including chiropractic care along with traditional medical care to achieve relief (versus seeking medical care alone). Fewer additional visits for traditional medical treatment were required when chiropractic was added to the care menu.

The American Chiropractic Association states that chiropractic practitioners are Doctors of Chiropractic (DC). They have completed a full four-year accredited graduate program in chiropractic medicine. Accreditation is overseen by the U.S. Department of Education. Licensing is overseen by the practitioner’s state of residence and includes having to pass a national licensing exam and keeping up their state license through taking continuing education courses annually.

When selecting a chiropractic doctor to treat low back pain, it is important to verify the practitioner’s credentials, education and licensing. Here, the selection process should be no different than that required to select a family doctor or surgical specialist. In this way, it is possible to ensure the highest quality of chiropractic care and the best chance of helpful results.

Treatment 2: Physical Therapy

Harvard Medical School states that physical therapy can provide equal benefits with fewer risks for at least one cause of lower back pain.

Called lumbar spinal stenosis, which basically translates to mean a narrowing of the spine in its lower region, this type of back issue causes pain from putting excess pressure on nerves and the spinal cord itself. The most common types of lower back pain experienced with this condition are in the lower back to the buttocks area.

While decompression surgery is still commonly prescribed and has been shown to be effective, new research published in the Annals of Internal Medicine shows that physical therapy can also deliver similar results with a lower risk – and a lower cost with far less recuperation time. As well, there is a lower likelihood of complications with a less invasive approach.

In a second research study, research participants with generalized back pain (unrelated to a specific medical diagnosis) were treated with physical therapy, yoga or education only. The study results (more on this in Treatment 3 here) showed that physical therapy and yoga each provided commensurate benefits, which were far more effective than education for relieving back pain symptoms.

Physical therapy treatment for lower back pain can incorporate each of the following elements (and others), according to WebMD:

  • Exercises to promote pain relief.
  • Exercises to promote strengthening.
  • Manual movement therapies.
  • Low-impact cardio exercises.
  • Ultrasound treatments.
  • Heat and ice treatments.
  • Dry needling.
  • Electrical stimulation (TENS).
  • Stretching exercises to promote flexibility.

Since physical therapy is a highly individualized type of treatment where a plan is tailored to the needs of each individual patient, the study is particularly valuable since all participants were given the same basic physical therapy treatments for the duration of their participation in the study. 12 sessions were offered and then results were measured, at which time participants reported that their pain had been alleviated to a moderate extent (37 percent for physical therapy track participants).

Treatment 3: Yoga

WebMD states that yoga is considered commensurate to physical therapy for treating back pain. The study was done through the Boston Medical Center under the direction of director Robert B. Saper, M.D.

Some of the key benefits of using yoga to treat lower back pain that were highlighted in study results include these:

  • Reduces reliance on pain medications.
  • Reduces pain.
  • Improves function in the back.

This study used research subjects who did not have a specific medical diagnosis (such as the spinal stenosis highlighted here in Treatment 2), but rather had chronic back pain stemming from unknown causes. Most of the study’s research participants rated their pain in the 7 to 10 range on a scale of one to 10, with one being little pain and 10 being severe pain.

Study participants attended one 75-minute yoga class each week and were encouraged to practice the new postures at home using a DVD resource. The participants rated both yoga and physical therapy as equally effective at reducing their back pain symptoms.

There are many different types of yoga practiced throughout the world. However, in this study, the type of yoga offered was uniform for all participants (obese to fit) and was gentle, with the first classes focusing on basics such as getting down onto the ground and then getting back up again. The participants took just 12 sessions total and saw marked improvement in their pain levels (48 percent for yoga track participants).

What these three treatments highlight is that back pain sufferers have a variety of options for addressing the often disabling effects of back pain. These options exist at varying price points, levels of invasiveness and risk factors. With research continuing in all three treatment areas, chiropractic, physical therapy and yoga, and study results proving largely positive to date, each of these three treatment options appears to hold promise to ease pain in the upper/mid/lower back and neck area for patients with short-term or chronic pain.

Don’t Cut the Cord Just Yet! Cable TV Deals That You Need to See

To the average consumer, the term “low cost cable TV” is seemingly a thing of the past. Cable providers tend to boast about their low prices, but you know as well as anyone else that these attractive deals tend to creep up as soon as their introductory periods end.

Even though cable companies are using various strategies to squeeze as much money as possible from their consumers, you don’t have to fall victim as well. You can still enjoy a low cost, versatile TV package without paying an arm and a leg each month. Keep in mind that while some providers are very open about disclosing their plan details up front, others are a bit more deceptive and illusory in their practices.

With this guide, you’ll find out about the best cable TV deals offered from the top providers. You’ll also gain a better understand of how cable TV packages tend to work so you can make the best overall choice when comparing deals.

TWC (Time Warner Cable)

Often time, Time Warner Cable is the go-to solution for people who are interested in saving money because they offer a wide range of extremely affordable options. Ranging from entry level packages all the way up to comprehensive solutions, Time Warner offers a plan to meet most any set of needs. Specifically, their entry level plan begins at roughly $20 per month, and it includes approximately 20 channels. Among these channels are local programs and weather broadcasting.

If you find you want a little more than the bare minimum, you can choose the 70+ channel package (also known as the Standard TV Package). This package comes in at roughly $49.99 per month for the first 12 months of service. Their Preferred TV Package is a rank up from the Standard TV Package, offering up over 200 channels for $59.99 per month for the first 12 months of service. The Preferred TV package comes with access to over 15,000 titles in its On Demand service. However, the On Demand selection typically depends on location.

Always keep in mind that Time Warner tends to bump plan pricing up after its 12-month introductory period ends with new customers. Likewise, be aware of the costs associated with your DVR device selection. Time Warner tends to slap hefty rental prices on their more expensive equipment. This can and does equate to a higher bill each month.

AT&T U-Verse

AT&T is practically the only provider that offers an affordable solution that is powered by fiber optic technology. Their rates are often affixed to 12 month agreements, and they generally want their consumers to hold other qualifying subscriptions with them to benefit from their discounted rates. They also disclose their additional fees upfront.

In a nutshell, their plans can become a bit pricey depending on package setup, but many people choose them for their fiber optic connection. Their most affordable plan (the U-Family Package) starts out at approximately $50 per month, and it includes up to 140 channels, including local and music stations, and DVR technology. The most costly plan of theirs, the U450, includes a maximum of 470 channels, premium music and sports packages, HD options, DVR technology, and local/music stations. There are two other packages available as well, starting out at $70 and $75 per month with their own perks.

The true bargains offered by U-Verse are found in their entry-mid level packages. The U-Verse introductory period tends to last roughly six months, so you can expect price hikes after the first 180 days of service. Their fiber optic technology offers crystal clear reception in most cases, and if this technology is bundled with an internet package, you can expect impressive data speeds online as well. If U-Verse is offered in your geographic location, it’s certainly worth a look.

Comcast XFINITY

Comcast XFINITY is one of the most affordable picks for consumers because it services 40 out of 50 states in the U.S. XFINITY is a wise choice if you retain your options to the low-mid range packages.

For those looking for a bare bones solution, you can choose the Digital Economy Package. This plan includes 45+ channels, as well as access to the XFINITY TV Go App. This plan starts at around $19.99 per month for the first 12 months of service. Beyond that, you can choose the Digital Starter package which is loaded with 140+ channels, Streampix access, sports coverage, and access to the XFINITY TV Go App. This plan starts at $49.99 per month for the first 12 months of service. The HD Preferred package is also a viable pick if you have multiple people in your household. The only difference between the HD Preferred package and the Digital Starter package is that the former has 220+ channels, up from 140+.

If you plan on subscribing to a Comcast XFINITY package, be wary of the terms and conditions of their agreements. While they offer attractive pricing and options, their plan terms can often be rather deceptive and misleading. Always stay aware of each item included on each bill, and at all times, keep your introductory period in mind.

Cablevision (Optimum)

Gaining ground in the cable provider industry is the newer “Optimum” solution offered by Cablevision. Affordable packages offered by Optimum tend to range from roughly $40 per month to $70 per month. Their entry level plan is a bit pricier than those of its competitors, but their mid-high range package packages are where the value truly lies.

Once Optimum’s introductory period comes to a close, prices will generally increase somewhat. At that point, if you’re subscribing to one of their higher packages, it might be wise to move on to a more affordable provider. Because Optimum is still a relatively new service, it currently only covers 8 states, and therefore, it might not be an available option for many consumers.

However, their services are rather unmatched. For example, Optimum offers certain DVR devices that can simultaneously record four titles at the same time. For households with multiple people, this can be quite an attractive feature. Likewise, Optimum does not operate a credit check on new customers, and this can be helpful for those who have less than perfect credit histories or those who lack any credit at all.

Overall, it’s a good idea to always fully understand the terms of the cable package you inevitably choose. Likewise, if you don’t like your new rate after your introductory period ends with your preferred package, don’t be afraid to switch to a new provider that offers better terms. Many people maintain affordable cable service by merely hopping around from provider to provider and taking advantage of the best deals at that current time.

Additionally, it doesn’t hurt to check into other packages offered by the same company if rates are too high after the introductory period ends. As the old saying goes, “It pays to shop around.” After all, staying ahead of the providers and keeping in tune with their pricing strategies will always help to keep your cable bill low and manageable.

Three River Cruises That Everyone Should Take

River cruises provide a fun and exciting adventure that’s becoming increasingly popular throughout the world. These cruises offer majestic views and several stops at major cities and towns situated along the way. These excursions can be unforgettable experiences if you know which ones to choose. If you’re searching for the best river cruise to go on, here’s an in-depth look at three river cruises that everyone should take.

S.S. Legacy

The S.S. Legacy is a wonderful river cruise that’s designed entirely to provide guests with a fascinating journey across the wine regions of Washington and Oregon. This cruise specifically takes the Ameritage itinerary, which covers the Williamette, Columbia, Snake and Palouse rivers. Throughout this lengthy 7-day trip, you will stop at nine renowned wineries throughout these regions, all of which provide tours and tastings. When not taking a tour in the winery, the sprawling cruise ship includes on-board demonstrations by wine experts, as well as additional tastings.

Each day offers new and spectacular sights to see. The Palouse River, in particular, provides picturesque views of the Palouse Falls State Park, complete with enchanting waterfalls. The S.S. Legacy is an 88-guest boat offers stylish and comfortable interiors that are equipped with such amenities as fitness equipment, hot tubs, elevator access and a wine bar. Each cabin also comes with a high quality entertainment system that may come in handy during any downtime during the cruise.

This trip begins and ends in Portland, Oregon. The destinations you stop at throughout the cruise are varied enough to ensure that you’re provided with unique experiences at all points of the trip. One of the highlights of this cruise is the tour through the Maryhill Museum of Art. Situated just off the Columbia River, this intriguing art museum is home to a wide range of permanent and temporary exhibits that are sure to catch your eye. When stopping at this museum, don’t forget to check out such appealing exhibits as:

  • The Auguste Rodin gallery, featuring 87 works of art by Rodin
  • The native American gallery
  • and the Loïe Fuller collection

This is just a small sample of what you should expect when taking the S.S. Legacy cruise. These trips are generally held at certain dates throughout the months of August and September.

Viking Astrild

The Viking Astrild is a European river cruise that’s widely considered to be one of the very best around. This river cruise takes guests down the beautiful Elbe River in East Germany, making use of the 10-day Elegant Elbe itinerary. The Viking Astrild longship is equipped with Scandinavian decor that really sets the mood for the sights that you’re about to see. This trip begins in the majestic city of Prague and ends in the modern city of Berlin. Extensions are available that provide extra days in both cities before and after the cruise.

Each city the cruise takes you through is steeped in history, from the birthplace of the Protestant Reformation in Wittenberg to the famed rock tower of Bastei in Saxon Switzerland. The Bastei overlook provides you with an overlook of the Elbe River below that you won’t soon forget. Each destination you visit is packed with breathtaking sights and unforgettable experiences.

The river cruise lasts for a total of eight days, while one night is spent in a first-class hotel in both Berlin and Prague. By purchasing the Viking Astrild package, all on-board meals are complimentary throughout the duration of the cruise. A vast selection of wine, beer and other beverages are also included to ensure that your time spent on-board is as enjoyable as possible.

If you’re interested in getting to know more about different cultures, you’ll be pleased to hear that this cruise takes guests to four different UNESCO World Heritage Sites. These destinations have been named as such for being places of outstanding cultural significance. Czech and German culture are also focused on intently during numerous stops along the way. You’ll be able to take in a unique Czech folkloric performance, as well as an eyewitness account of the historic Velvet Revolution that changed the nation of Czechoslovakia forever. During this cruise, you will even have the chance to learn some of the basics of the German language, which should prove to be fun.

While on the river, the Viking Astrild provides all guests with premier accommodations and amenities. As you view the charming scenery along the Elbe River, your stay on the cruise-ship is made to be as comfortable as possible. Free WiFi is included during the entire cruise, while numerous lounges and verandas are situated across the ship to allow for endless amounts of relaxation. Each stateroom has a view of the river and is equipped with a large HDTV. The elegant, on-board restaurant also offers a panoramic view of your surroundings. While there are many river cruises to choose from, the Viking Astrild is one of the very best.

Amazon Discovery

As its name denotes, the Amazon Discovery cruise is all about discovering the northern portion of the Amazon River along Peru. This scenic cruise provides you with spectacular views of the surrounding rainforest, which is filled with exotic wildlife that you’re sure to spot during the lengthy eight-night trip. The nearly 170 ft. long cruise ship that takes you along this route is equipped with plush accommodations for 44. Each suite is air conditioned, which is essential when traveling along the humid Amazon River. The Amazon Adventure itinerary makes sure that your visit to the Amazon rainforests aren’t a waste. Throughout the cruise, you will embark upon several excursions into the vast rainforest, where you will be able to spot fauna and flora that’s native to this region.

You will also be given the unique opportunity to meet with members of the Bora tribe, an indigenous tribe to the regions of Peru and Colombia. This trip begins in the city of Lima, Peru, where you will get the chance to taste the world-renowned Lima cuisine. The next two days of this trip take you to different locations around Lima before you embark on the cruise.

Each day afterwards is spent primarily on visiting one intriguing destination each day. For instance, on the fifth day of the cruise, you will explore tiny tributaries of both the Pacaya Samiria Reserve and the Amazon River Basin, in search of beautiful pink Dolphins.

Throughout the jungle excursions, an expert guide provides detailed information on the history and highlights of the rainforest. During these trips, you will be able to spot such species of wildlife as howler monkeys, spotting Tamarins, sloths, piranhas and a whole host of birds. The flowers in this area are particularly large and vibrant, so don’t forget to bring along a camera. This is just a small sample of what you should expect while on this cruise.

The ship you take on your adventure is equipped with everything you need for a comfortable and relaxing stay, from indoor/outdoor lounges to an exercise room and plunge pool. The outside viewing deck is where you’ll want to be for the best views during your trip.

Here Are the Top Cloud Storage Providers Available Right Now

With multiple cloud storage plans available, the one you choose should give you enough space for your needs. It should also be secure, reliable and easy to use. These factors will be explored in-depth in this post, hopefully helping you decide which cloud storage provider is right for you.

Cloud Storage Capacity

When choosing a cloud storage provider, one of the major questions is obviously how much storage you really need. Most cloud storage services come with a free version, usually allowing between two gigabytes on up to fifty gigabytes of free space. This allows you to test and see if a service works out for you. But don’t let “free” mislead you into thinking you’re getting all the features that the cloud provider has to offer. These free accounts usually come with restrictions.

Cloud providers offer paid plans, with tiers available from a couple of hundred gigabytes to a few terabytes. Multi-terabyte plans can get pretty expensive, but you can often get a single terabyte of cloud storage for around $10 per month.

If you only need a few gigabytes of online storage, Dropbox is the easiest to use. If you own a Microsoft 365 subscription, then Microsoft’s OneDrive will offer even more storage as part of your subscription.

If you need multiple terabytes, then consider Google Drive. They have storage available up to 30 terabytes (which will cost you around $200 per month.)

Cloud Storage and Security

Another crucial question to ask about cloud storage concerns how much security they provide. Services like Dropbox and OneDrive offer convenience, but they’re certainly not the most secure cloud providers. They simply provide a base level of security, which could include two-factor authentication and encrypting files via a TLS layer. But mainstream cloud providers like this lack end to end encryption. This means your files are not encrypted before they leave your computer. They are only encrypted after the fact using a key that the company controls (and not you).

If you’re looking for strong security for sensitive files, you should look at services such as Sync.com or SpiderOak.com (who offer zero-knowledge privacy).

Sharing Files and Folders

When looking for a cloud storage service, one of your goals is likely to share files with people. The good news is virtually all cloud storage services today have this capability. But some services give you more control over who can see and edit a shared file or folder.

For example, Dropbox offers an all or nothing approach: once a folder shared with somebody, they can do basically whatever they like with its content. This could include deleting files you don’t want to be deleted.

If you need more fine-grained control over file permissions, then other services like Sync.com allow you to give specific rights to users or groups of users. You can then make some files “view only”, or even create an access password to a shared folder. Your choice of a cloud provider will be influenced by how much control you need over your shared files.

Some Other Cloud Storage Features

Let’s look briefly at a few features that you might want to consider and evaluate before choosing a cloud storage provider.

File versioning and deleted file retention

If you’re using a cloud storage service, let’s say you delete a file and then you need it back.

Cloud storage services let you play time traveler and recover all the file’s versions. Some providers go a few versions deep, while other providers allow unlimited versions. File retention is usually the number of days a service keeps files in their storage facilities before deleting them for good. If you accidentally deleted a file and notice it only after two weeks, you need to make sure your cloud service provider has deleted file retention policy of at least fourteen days to recover that file.

File size limitations

There are many services that limit the file sizes you can upload to two gigabytes or even less. If you’re dealing with a lot of large files (for example. video files or raw camera images), you have to make sure to watch the file size limit of each provider you’re carefully evaluating.

Selective file sync

Sometimes you don’t want to sync all of your contents to every single computer or smartphone. Let’s say you have a home computer with multiple terabytes of hard drive space but a laptop with only a small hard drive. You have to make sure you’re only syncing the folders necessary.

Selective syncing gives you this flexibility. Keep in mind that services like Google Drive don’t allow you to check subfolders for selective syncing.

Live document editing

If you’re looking for a live online document editing capabilities, you are limited to the big companies like Google Docs and Microsoft OneDrive with Office Online.

You can also edit documents locally with other cloud storage services. The changes are then saved to the cloud where other people can access the new file version. You can do this sort of local editing on services like Dropbox and iCloud.

Mobile clients

You want your most important files to be with you all the time. That’s why many cloud storage services allow you to download a mobile app. This allows you to make files available for offline access on your mobile device.

The quality of the mobile clients is quite variable. These range from simple mobile websites that you need to open your mobile browser to sophisticated native apps that allow you to do the same things you can do on their desktop counterparts.

Good mobile clients will allow you to review coming files like JPG, PDF and Office files. They will even allow you to edit Powerpoint presentations on the fly. This allows you to edit files on the go and update them for your whole team.

Online hard drive functionality or archiving

This feature can pose a risk to some users who trust their files entirely to one single cloud. Some services let you store files online without a local copy on your computer. For example, you can use selective sync to disable all local copies of some folders. Other services offer an archival feature to move files entirely to the cloud to free up hard drive space. Sometimes this is called a vault feature. This can be dangerous because the cloud storage services can lose data or scramble your files in a way that you don’t want. Just be very careful with this feature and only use it for non-essential files.

No matter which cloud storage service you choose, you’re opening up a new world of online sharing and anywhere editing that’s sure to be rewarding. Choose wisely to make sure you get a provider who matches your needs.

Ask This When Renting A House Or Apartment

The decision to rent a home or apartment isn’t one that should be taken lightly. The old saying ‘home is where the heart is’ has lasted for as long as it has for a reason. We spend a lot of time in our homes and thus, it’s important to make sure you find something that you’re happy with and can afford. Depending on the area, sometimes renting a house or apartment is more affordable than home ownership – this is especially true in cases where ‘rent control’ exists or if you can find a good sublease. Given the weight of a decision of this type, coupled with ever-changing rental markets for houses and apartments, here are a few questions that we think are important to ask yourself before getting keys to your newly rented house or apartment:

Ask This When Getting Rid Of Pet Fleas

Only pet owners can understand the sheer joy dogs, cats, hamsters, and any other animal for that matter, can bring into your life; always having a smiling face to greet you when you come home from a hard day’s work. All that love certainly comes at a price as pet ownership can sometimes get expensive. One area that can be costly is if your animal gets inhabited by fleas. Those little black pests can be quite annoying. Fortunately for you and your pet, fleas don’t need to be a ‘life sentence’. Here are some questions that can be helpful to ask when dealing with an animal that has become down with fleas:

Ask This When Finding a New Dentist

A lot of people prefer finding a dentist who is closer to their home, work, and school to help them plan their schedule and ensure they’ll always keep their appointments. When you move to a new neighborhood and you’re planning to begin the search for a new dentist, it is advisable not to pick just any dentist, as there are many factors you should take to account. Before choosing a new dentist, ask yourself the following questions:

Ask This When Buying Skincare Products

Trying to decide on a new skincare product can be very overwhelming. There are hundreds of different skincare products available, all of which are designed to treat different skin issues. There are also many different brands, all selling different variations of the same skin treatments. Trying to figure out which one will work best for you can be a challenge. While you can buy several different products and try them all to find the most effective one, there is a better way. Take a few minutes to ask yourself a couple of basic questions about what you are looking for in a skincare product before you set out to purchase one.

Ask This When Buying Tires Online

Owning or leasing a car or truck can offer unparalleled convenience – the ability to get in, buckle up, and drive to the store, a friend’s house, and wherever else is a wonderful thing. In order to keep your car or truck in tip top driving condition, you’re going to need to have a good set of tires. Unfortunately tires don’t last forever and at some point, you’re going to need to replace the ones you have. There are many options when it comes to tire buying. An often overlooked one however, is buying them online. Here are some questions you might ask when buying tires online.

Ask This When Signing Up for a Credit Card

Signing up for a credit card is something you should do only after carefully considering your options. There are dozens of credit card offers available for you to choose from, so it is important that you take a close look at the details of the offers so that you can choose the one that suits your financial needs the best. Here are some questions that are frequently asked by consumers looking for a new credit card and their answers:

Ask This When Getting Plastic Surgery

Plastic surgery is becoming more popular. In fact, it is estimated that 14.6 million plastic surgery procedures were performed in 2012. Many people feel self-conscious about the way that they look, which is why they opt to get plastic surgery. If you are contemplating plastic surgery, then there are several questions you may have. Below is a list of answers to some of the frequently answered questions about plastic surgery:

Ask This When Homeschooling Your Children

According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), about three percent of children were homeschooled in 2011 to 2012. Homeschooled students are children between the ages of five to 17 who receive academic instruction at home. In fact, parents can choose between either part-time or full-time home schooling. Over 90 percent of parents choose to homeschool their children over concerns about the local school environments. Below answers some of the most common questions asked about homeschooling children.

Ask This When Dealing With Bed Bugs

Dealing with bed bugs isn’t something that anyone has to go through but unfortunately, it happens. It actually happens to more people than you might realize. According to a 2015 study conducted by the NPMA and the University of Kentucky, almost all pest professionals have treated bed bugs in the past year alone. They are annoying (and gross) but here are some questions that can help you in your quest to eradicate them from your life:

Ask This When Considering Psoriasis Treatment Options

If you’ve ever been caught wearing a long-sleeved shirt on a hot, summer day, you may be battling an embarrassing and uncomfortable inflammatory disorder of the skin called psoriasis. Tossing all of your beach shorts in the trash is not a happy alternative. You have the power to create a better solution and change the situation. Science is offering help for healing your psoriasis.

Ask This When Considering ADHD Treatment Options

Thanks to progress in the fields of medical science and technology, treatment of ADHD and other mental conditions are now more effective than ever before. If you or someone you know is suffering from ADHD, seeking immediate medical treatment is central to living a quality life.

Ask This When Living With Diabetes

Diabetes is manageable, not curable. Balancing medicine and diet helps control weight and keeps the blood glucose in a healthy range. Complications are preventable or deferrable. Many diabetics live long and healthy lives. Even though it’s a common disease, every diabetic requires unique care. It’s helpful for diabetics and their families to know as much as possible about the most recent approaches, medical therapies, and healthy lifestyle choices. Communicating with experts helps diabetics respond to and control needed changes.

Ask This When Becoming a Heavy Equipment Operator

Have you ever wondered how those towering skyscrapers and behemoth stadiums get built? It’s all thanks to heavy construction equipment like backhoes, bulldozers, and cranes. But as advanced as the human race is, we are yet to develop fully automated construction equipment, hence the need for human intervention. This is where heavy equipment operators come into the picture.

Ask This When Going To Beauty School

For anyone who is passionate about building confidence in others by helping them look their best, cosmetology is an ideal career choice. By staying on top of the latest beauty trends, those who work hard build steady clienteles or go into business for themselves. If you’re interested in this fulfilling, financially rewarding career, the following questions will help you get started:

Ask This When Going To Auto Mechanic School

Going to auto mechanic school is an option worth considering if you enjoy working on cars and are seeking a career with good job prospects. There are more vehicles on the road every year, and skilled mechanics are needed to service them. Here are the answers to some common questions many people have about attending auto mechanic school.

Ask This When Using Online Coupons

When the economy is struggling, it goes without saying that times will be tight. When paychecks are smaller and wallets are leaner, finding ways to save money on everyday items is an essential way to keep your head above water. Today, many people are choosing to save when they shop both online and at local retailers with a twist on a classic savings option: online coupons. The Internet offers a variety of money saving solutions that will help you cut back on costs for household essentials, clothes, food and more, and we’re here to help you understand.

Ask This When Buying Home Appliances

Whether you are replacing an old appliance or buying for a new home, the idea of shopping for new home appliances seem overwhelming and it can be difficult to know where to start. We have compiled a list of common questions to help make the process of selecting and purchasing common household appliances such as washers and dryers, refrigerators, dishwashers and microwaves easier and more efficient for you.

Ask This When Buying a Digital Camera

With so many digital cameras on the market, it can be nearly impossible to know every single feature that’s available to you. Luckily, there are a few easy-to-answer questions that will help you narrow down your choices and purchase the camera that’s best suited to your needs. Read on for five questions to ask yourself before purchasing your first mirrorless camera or DSLR camera.

Ask This When Troubleshooting A Broken Air Conditioner

With summer temperatures already on the rise, for those that are fortunate enough to have home air conditioning, the thought of it breaking down can bring feelings of helplessness and anxiety. Imagine setting the thermostat to a comfortable 70 degrees, setting the system dial to ‘auto’, patiently waiting to hear the fan kick on, only to hear – nothing. The temperature inside your home begins to rise and yet, the cooling mechanism still hasn’t kicked in. What do you do? Opening a window and turning on a few fans might be a good start but if you’re feeling up to the challenge of diagnosing your air conditioning problems, here’s a little help to get you started.

Ask This When Renting a Car

Whether for convenience during a vacation or as a temporary replacement for your regular rig in the shop, renting a car can be an enormous relief. Tumultuous transportation situations are nothing to joke about, and the stress of not knowing when or how you’ll get to where you need to be can have some major consequences. Renting a car can be pretty helpful if you don’t have access to your own transportation, but there are a few things to keep in mind when heading to the rental dealership.

Ask This When Writing a Resume and Cover Letter

One of the most important steps of the application process is drafting a resume and cover letter. These documents will determine whether an applicant receives an interview or is rejected for a position outright. Unfortunately, many job seekers do not know how to create resumes and cover letters that appear professional and properly sell their skills and experience to employers. Below are answers to a few questions that can help.

Ask This When Your Printer Isn’t Working

You were just trying to print out tickets for the concert that you’re going to tonight, or maybe you have a paper due in just under an hour. Whether you left plenty of time for yourself or are in a bit of a jam, nothing is coming out of the printer. Trying to fix the printer may involve calling tech support or the company that manufactures your printer, but you can try a few solutions by yourself.

Ask This When Planning a College Savings Strategy

As college tuition and costs continue to rise faster than inflation rates, planning ahead for school tuition and other costs is more important than ever. Answers to a few basic questions may provide you with the insight needed to make the most of your efforts and financial decisions.

Ask This When Getting Your MBA Online

Obtaining an online MBA is an excellent option for those who are ready to progress in their careers and further their practical skills. An MBA program also offers unmatched networking opportunities with students, professors and recruiters who can help open the doors to promising future career opportunities. The decision to pursue an MBA must be addressed with careful consideration. The following questions will help you determine if an online MBA program is right for you.

Ask This When Getting Your GED Online

A high school diploma or a GED equivalency is a requirement for many jobs above the minimum wage level. It is also a requirement to enter college and pursue a higher education. For many adults that never received their diploma, finding the time to study for and take the GED tests can seem like an insurmountable obstacle. With the help of web based study aids and practice tests, attaining a GED can be a relatively simple matter.

Ask This When Choosing a Cloud Backup Provider

Today’s businesses and consumers rely on their data more heavily than ever before. Protecting sensitive data is one of the most crucial elements of today. Even just a few hours of downtime can substantially impact our lives. Cloud backup is quite popular because it offers decreased complexity, lower upfront costs, and a cost-effective pay model.

Ask This When Setting Up a Merchant Account to Accept Payments

Most physical stores and online businesses accept credit cards through a merchant account. Merchant accounts are a contractual agreement between a business and merchant service provider which allows the business to accept credit cards through a special bank account. Businesses accept credit cards in order to increase their sales and decrease the checkout time. Customers will appreciate the convenience and typically spend more on a credit card order. Businesses that fail to accept credit cards are guaranteed to lose customers and potential sales.

Ask This When Setting Up a Payroll System for Your Business

Understanding exactly how to set up a payroll system is part of practicing good business. You have to prepare well ahead of time, especially if you have a large company. As a business professional, identify at least 5 questions you should ask yourself about the payroll process.

Ask This When Researching Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment Options

When you are first diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), it is natural to be worried and a little scared. Your physician has explained what this will mean to you, but it may be difficult to completely process or even remember their recommendations. Once you get home, you may want to research rheumatoid arthritis for yourself. Then, you can take the time to examine the complexities of the condition and make sure your physician is using the latest findings.

Ask This When Creating an Online Dating Profile

Online dating has become extremely popular in the past few years– some would even argue it is the best and most popular way to meet a partner nowadays. However, many that want to try online dating are intimidated by all of the options, and therefore never try it in the first place. Others may have had a bad experience with Tinder or another app more suited for hookups, and they avoid all potential future experiences with online dating like the plague. In this situation, one has to understand that not all apps and sites are the same.

If you’re ready to jump in, let’s address some common questions about how to put together a good online dating profile.

Ask This When Signing up for a Cell Phone Plan

Everywhere you go, you see people looking down at their cell phones. While some people debate the necessity of these devices, you might be beginning to realize how important one really is. Even if you don’t want to surf the internet or make purchases on your phone, having one provides you with extra safety and security. If, for example, your car breaks down, you can call someone for help. However, signing up for a cell phone plan can prove overwhelming if you have never done it before.

Ask This When Buying a Pickup Truck

Over the last few decades, buying a pickup truck has become a significantly more complicated process. Trucks are no longer considered utility vehicles designed for utility purposes, but instead have become a sort of “go to” vehicle that has everything a customer needs. With the rise in pickup drivers using them as everyday rigs rather than vehicles for specific hauling purposes, the features and prices have increased dramatically. Here we’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions with answers to consider when shopping for a pickup truck.

Ask This When Signing Up for a Government Cell Phone

Cell phones issued by the government may be used by citizens who do not have access to mobile service through traditional channels. Learning about government cell phones will help you sign up with the correct source, and you will have a mobile phone that will help you stay connected.

Ask This When Signing Up For Automobile Insurance

Insurance is no longer an optional product. In many states, it is a requirement to operate a motor vehicle. But the process of purchasing insurance isn’t always as simple as the requirement itself. There are so many options, and so many ways to end up with a product that is not necessary. This is confusing, but it doesn’t have to be.

Ask This When Selecting an Internet Service Provider

In most areas of the country, the options you face when shopping for an Internet Service Provider can be incredibly daunting. You may be bombarded by promotional deals, commercials, billboards, and even advertisements that arrive right to your mailbox, but still not know everything available to you. Here’s what you need to ask when deciding on an ISP to make sure you get the best possible service.

Ask This When Selecting a TV Service Provider

Choosing a TV service provider can be a difficult decision — the market is becoming more competitive, but the variety of new different add-ons can really add value to your package. The key is figuring out exactly what is right for your household. It can be tempting to bundle your TV service with your mobile and/or internet provider, but before doing that, check out all the options to make sure it’s the best decision, not just the easiest. Ask yourself the following questions to help you make a decision in picking the right TV service provider.

Ask This When Opening a Checking Account

There are very few things you can do financially today without some form of checking account. However, committing to a certain bank typically comes with a variety of different financial responsibilities. While finding a convenient location for you to do your banking is typically a first priority, there are a few more things to consider before you set up your account. Asking a few important questions will help you to understand the responsibilities you have when establishing an account with your selected bank and will also help you determine which bank is right for you.

Ask This When Checking Your Credit Score

A person’s credit score is one of the most important numbers in their life. It can help to determine if credit will be extended to you and what interest rates will be charged. It can also impact your ability to get certain jobs or even rent an apartment. Even though a person’s credit score is so important, many people still do not know enough about it. The following are some of the most commonly asked questions about credit scores and credit reports.

Ask This When Opening an IRA Account

You can set up an IRA for retirement purposes at any qualified financial institution. This is a way you can save money for retirement with possible tax-free growth or on a tax-deferred basis. The three main types of IRAs available are Rollover, Roth and Traditional. Each of them provides different advantages for retirement savings.

Ask This When Planning a River Cruise

When planning a river cruise, there are many things to keep in mind that may be different than other trips. Many river cruises stop quite frequently, and boats are often smaller than the gigantic ocean liners that larger cruises use. Make sure you’re prepared by asking yourself the following questions when confirming all your details. Taking a few minutes to check everything can save you from major headaches while on board, giving you more time to relax and enjoy your beautiful surroundings.

Ask This When Booking a Hotel Room

When booking a hotel room for the first time, many people look for amenities that will make them feel at home. While this is a smart idea, some people don’t realize that when they are traveling, they often have a completely different set of priorities than in their everyday lives. Each vacation requires a different type of hotel room — the accommodation that might be perfect for a beach vacation might be completely wrong for a 3-day tour of Rome. Savvy travelers can save tons of money by asking themselves the following questions when booking a hotel room.

Ask This When Signing Up For Home Phone Service

Cell phones have become all the rage, but having a dedicated home phone is still valuable for many people. When you’re choosing between home phone service providers, the options can be overwhelming. Here are some questions to consider before selecting a provider and signing up for a home phone service.

Ask This When Signing Up For Homeowners Insurance

What homeowners insurance to buy is one of the most important decisions you will make if you buy a house, rent a house or take out a mortgage. If you are a residential homeowner, this type of insurance forms the foundation for financial protection of your investment and your family. If you are a landlord, homeowners insurance can be a vital first step in establishing and growing your business. When you take on the obligation of a mortgage, your finances may revolve around your house, but your risks are much greater than you probably think.

Ask This When Signing Up for Renters Insurance

Acquiring renters insurance is one of the most overlooked and undervalued aspects of renting a property. Some renters don’t believe they need to purchase coverage, while others simply don’t know it exists. Most of the time people don’t realize they need renters insurance until they have experienced a loss or damage.
According to the Insurance Information Institute, only 30 percent of renters are covered by renters insurance. In the unfortunate event that a fire or theft occurs, most renters will not be financially protected against the damage.

Ask This When Buying A Car

Buying a car can be a complicated process.  With so many different models and options available and different financing options, it can seem overwhelming at times.  Fortunately for you, the AskThisWhen community is here to help you in your quest to buy a new car.  Below are some questions that other members have voted most helpful to ask during the car buying process: