Travel Tips – Save Time and Money

I love traveling. I love seeing new cultures and places. I don’t, however, enjoy the amount of wasted time spent trying to get to/from all these wonderful places. I’m always amazed at how much time can be spent on the logistics of the trip taking away from the enjoyment (and time) actually involved in exploring these new places. Alas, help is here. I’ve found a few worthy tips to help save time and improve your sanity while traveling:

Global Entry

So, your bags are packed, you’ve arrived at the airport excited about your next destination only to find a massive line at airport security. You have time to make the gate but suddenly it’s getting tight and the stress begins. Airports are now offering all sorts of different ways to simplify the security process and I’ve found one solution that’s absolutely worth the time and money. It’s called Global Entry. The cool thing about Global Entry is this allows you to bypass some of the long international customs lines when returning to the States (especially from Canada and Mexico). And, on top of all this, it includes TSA Pre-check (a must have for almost all domestic airports in the US). TSA Pre-check not only commonly has a shorter line but it also allows you to skip removing your shoes and laptop making the security line go faster. Without a doubt I’ve made a couple of flights I wouldn’t have otherwise caught due to this and I’ve enjoyed a beverage at the gate (getting there early) rather than stressing with the standard airport security line. Global Entry costs $100 but is valid for 5 years (and includes TSA Pre-check which costs $85 anyway) so you’re essentially getting two valuable services for the price of one (for $20/year which is worth it if you make one trip a year).

Airline Upgrades

I consider myself a pretty frugal traveler always trying to get the experience at the lowest possible cost. Over time I’ve quickly realized this isn’t always ideal for the best travel experience. When I get back from my trip I’ll look back and regret not buying that unique item that wasn’t really that expensive from a street vendor and would be a great keepsake and I look back at some of the stress and discomfort I encountered. One option to reduce this is to pay a little bit more and enjoy some of the perks airlines often offer. One perk I’ve found invaluable is paying for a slight upgrade to the seat I’ve purchased. After I buy that deep discounted seat for a steal, why not spend a little more getting a seat with more legroom (even in Economy or Economy plus) to enjoy the trip to/from my destination? Airlines often offer upgrades when checking in or at the boarding gate that can allow you to get on-board early with your carry-on bag, use their airport lounge for a long layover and have a seat that provides more legroom or comfort. These are often well worth the additional expense. If you’re traveling, you want to enjoy the experience, right?

Skip the checked bags

If you’ve ever traveled to Europe you’ll quickly realize the generous luggage limits of the airlines in the States don’t apply – at all – to European airlines. Europeans travel lighter, gas costs more and airlines are very strict with your bags. Combine the additional expense (to check a bag) and the time (waiting for it to be delivered at baggage claim) combined with the additional weight to lug around on your trip and you will quickly realize the benefits of packing light in a carry-on (even if it means you may wear the same outfit twice, or, aghast! 4 times). So, you couldn’t pack your large bottle of shampoo or moisturizer. Every country I’ve ever visited has a ton of stores that sell something similar and allow you to skip the trouble of checking a bag. Just grab some necessities at your destination and enjoy the additional time you have skipping the wait (and weight) of your checked bag.

Duty free isn’t free

You’ve landed in London and have a few hours layover at the airport and can’t miss the duty free stores lit up everywhere. This can be a little bit of a misnomer. Duty free means you don’t pay the duty/tax (of that country) when purchasing a product. What it doesn’t mean is the product actually costs less in the country you’re headed to. They can mark-up the price of the product and it will cost less than on the street when duty is applied but that doesn’t mean it’s a great deal. A quick example, I was looking at a bottle of Jack Daniels at London Heathrow at Duty Free and it cost about $30 for the bottle (which is cheaper than on the streets of London) but when I land Stateside, I can get that same bottle at a liquor store (with duty applied) for about $20. Why drag that bottle back and pay $10 more on top? Be sure to do your research before you realize that steal of a deal wasn’t actually a deal at all.

Avoid currency exchange places – use your ATM card instead

Before you head off to that foreign land there’s always a tendency to want to make sure you have the right currency before you go. Try to hold off getting this currency until you get there! And don’t use a currency exchange at the airport. Find a local bank ATM in the country you’re visiting and use your ATM card (not your credit card cash advance where you start paying interest immediately) to pull out cash. You’ll save on the conversion fees and the conversion rate.

Skip the foreign transaction fees

I’ve just landed back home and going to enjoy all the things I bought along the way. I open up my credit card statement and see all of these additional charges for EVERY transaction. What? These are foreign transaction fees that are applied every time I’ve used my credit card (to handle the transaction and the currency conversion). These add up (often 1-3% of every purchase) and can be charged by the issuing bank AND the payment network. There are a multitude of credit cards that offer no foreign transaction fees. Be sure to get one. You’ll thank your wallet later.

Roundup Weed Killer: Its Effects and What To Do to Get Help

Weeds are always everywhere and can wreak havoc when they’re growing endlessly in your yard.  It’s the perennial enemy of gardeners, farmers, and homeowners.  A great way to eradicate them is through the use of herbicides like Roundup. This herbicide is very effective in killing weeds and with long-lasting effects.   

However, Roundup has been receiving a lot of backlash because of so-called negative impact on consumer health as well as to the environment. Its main ingredient, glyphosate, is said to be a human carcinogen that causes cancer like Non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Many lawsuits have been filed by persons who were said to be afflicted by cancer due to their exposure to it. At least two popular cases won against the company were those filed by Dewayne Johnson who was awarded $78 million as well as that of Edwin Hardeman, who was awarded more than $80 million. 

What is Roundup and how does it work?

Roundup is a brand of herbicide manufactured by Monsanto, a company acquired by Bayer in 2018.  Its main ingredients include isopropylamine salt of glyphosate and polyethoxylated tallow amine, a surfactant which is a compound that acts as an emulsifier or foaming agent. The herbicide kills weeds and grasses that overtake crops. It works by inhibiting a certain enzyme, EPSP synthase, which plants need to grow.  The absence of this enzyme makes plants turn yellow and eventually wither and die. Just as antibiotics kill bacteria, similarly, glyphosate kills plants.  With the popularity of Monsanto’s genetically engineered seeds that grow to become glyphosate-tolerant crops, also known as Roundup-ready crops, farmers and gardeners can use Roundup liberally in eradicating weeds and grasses. 

Usual Side Effects Due to Brief Exposure to Roundup 

These are some of the usual side effects after brief exposure to the herbicide:

  • It may cause eye and skin irritations.
  • It may cause nose and throat irritations due to spray mist inhalation.
  • It causes burns in the throat and mouth, diarrhea, vomiting and nausea in cases where it’s intentionally ingested. Animals exposed to the herbicide lose their appetite, drool, vomit and experience diarrhea.

What are the adverse effects when exposed to Roundup?

The popularity of Roundup was highly questioned because several studies showed that it has adverse effects like cancer. The International Agency on Research and Cancer (IARC) reported in 2015 that glyphosate is carcinogenic and may cause cancer according to studies made on glyphosate exposure among various countries.  Further, a February 2019 study by Luoping Zhang, a University of California toxicologist, showed that exposure to the herbicide was closely linked to an increased risk of contracting Non-Hodgkin lymphoma or NHL. 

Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma: What it is 

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is a type of cancer that begins in the white blood cells, also known as lymphocytes which fight infections.  NHL usually originates in the lymph nodes and immune system cells that are found all over the body and connected by lymphatic vessels. It may also start in the spleen, bone marrow, tonsils, thymus, and digestive tract.  The two types of NHL are the B cells lymphoma and the T cells lymphoma. The former normally protect the body against bacteria by producing antibodies while the latter safeguard the immune system by destroying the body’s abnormal cells.

What are the ways that Roundup can cause cancer like NHL?

A person can be exposed to the herbicide through eye exposure, inhalation and skin exposure.  These are some of the ways with which Roundup can potentially cause cancer like NHL:

  • Proliferation of lymphocytes
  • Disruption of endocrine functions 
  • Creation of free radicals that damage cells and DNA 
  • Suppressing the immune system which in turn leads to tumor growth
  • Destruction of gut bacteria 
  • Damaged to the kidneys and pancreas 
  • Binds with calcium, zinc and magnesium resulting in its deficiency.

There is an increased risk of developing cancer like NHL if you use the herbicide for more than two days annually according to Dr. Dennis Weisenburger, a pathologist.  

How to get help if you contracted Non-Hodgkin lymphoma?

If you have contracted Non-Hodgkin lymphoma because of exposure to Roundup then it’s best to seek the help of lawyers that specialize in environmental litigation matters.  These lawyers will assist you in claiming compensation for the medical bills that you’ve incurred. The monetary compensation shall also include lost wages due to inability to work, economic loss as well as a monetary equivalent for the pain and suffering because of the diagnosis. 

The people who were mostly afflicted with NHL include the following: landscapers, gardeners, farmers, groundskeepers, and garden center/nursery workers.  Along with their families, these people who have contracted cancer such as NHL due to Roundup exposure are eligible for compensation. A period of 3 years is given to file for compensation after the NHL diagnosis. When reaching out to your compensation attorney or lawyer of choice, make sure that you provide your diagnosis papers to them so that they can assist you every step of the way. 

Benefits of Daily Contact Lenses

If you’re tired of wearing eyeglasses then daily contact lenses are a great option. Daily contact lenses allow you to have clear vision without the hassle. These single use lenses are worn and replaced daily.  They are comfortable to use and especially beneficial for people with an active lifestyle. 

Here are some facts on why you should consider daily contact lenses:

  • They are comfortable to wear. 
  • They are a healthy option.
  • They are better for dry eyes.

Why you should wear daily contact lenses

These are the common reasons why you should wear daily contact lenses:

  • You have an astigmatism or blurred vision.
  • You have corneal irregularities.
  • You are nearsighted. 
  • You are farsighted.
  • You have age-related loss of close-up vision.

The following are the benefits of using daily contact lenses:

  1. They are efficient and less expensive.

Due to the rising demand of daily contact lenses, more and more brands are introducing their own line of daily contact lenses. This results in lower prices because of the stiff competition and brands trying to attract more buyers. 

  • They reduce your risk of eye infection.

Daily contact lenses are sterile and reduce the risk of getting an infection.  Reusable lenses are more prone to bacteria and allergens.  This is not a problem when it comes to daily contact lenses since they are only used once and removed daily. 

  • They require regular eye check-ups.

The use of daily contact lenses requires you to have a current and updated prescription before you can purchase it.  A regular eye check-up is therefore needed and this means your eyes are being monitored regularly reducing the risk of an issue going undiagnosed. 

  • They are good for your eye health.

Daily contact lenses are good for your eye health compared versus reusable and longer-use contact lenses where airborne allergens tend to live and multiply.  Your eyes and tears also contain lipids and proteins that build up on reusable lenses resulting in infections. 

  • They are convenient.

Aside from protecting you from infections, daily contact lenses give you the convenience to either use them or your eyeglasses during the day.  It is convenient especially for people who have an active lifestyle. 

  • They provide allergy relief.

Daily contact lenses prevent allergies and infections. Having a fresh set of contact lenses means your eyes will be free from irritations and, ultimately, infections. 

While there are a lot of advantages that one can get from using daily contact lenses, there are some disadvantages that are worth knowing. These are the following:

  • Daily contact lenses are more expensive since they are replaced regularly.
  • Daily contact lenses create an amount of waste because they are disposed every day.

How to avoid complications when using daily contact lenses

These are the things to remember to avoid complications:

  • Make it a habit to remove the lenses before going to sleep.

Eye doctors advise contact lens wearers remove them every night just before going to sleep.  These are some of the reasons why:

  • Bacteria and amoeba may grow and multiply since the lens seals the cornea and traps fluid and, as a result, oxygen cannot reach the area. 
  • It results in dryness of the eyes.
  • Always practice good hygiene.

Make sure that your hands are clean each time you handle your contact lenses. Wash your hands using soap and water and dry them properly with a lint-free towel.

  • Always remove your lenses before taking a swim or using the hot tub.

Be sure to minimize the contact of water or saliva on your contact lenses.  Before taking a bath or before taking a swim, make sure to remove them. Also, don’t place the lens in your mouth to wet them.

  • Take extra care of lenses by using contact lens solutions.

Make sure that you use only sterile and commercially prepared contact lens solutions for your daily contact lenses. 

Aside from knowing the purpose and benefits of daily contact lenses, it’s good to know the types of contact lenses that are available nowadays. These are the following:

Soft contact lenses

These are the common choice among contact lens users since they are breathable, flexible and comfortable to use. Daily contact lenses are included in this category.  Other types of soft contact lenses include:

  • Two weekly disposable lenses
  • Monthly disposable lenses
  • Extended wear contact lenses

Gas permeable contact lenses (hard)

These contact lenses can be worn for a longer period of time and recommended for the following:

  • People who have eye conditions causing shape irregularity.
  • People who have astigmatism.
  • Soft lens users who want a sharper vision.

Colored contact lenses

These contact lenses are available in various shades and colors and can be worn as daily or monthly disposables.

It is vital you follow the instructions and to take precaution to keep things sterile.  Most importantly, they should always be removed at night to avoid eye infections. Using daily contact lenses is a popular choice especially among people who have an active lifestyle.  They have many advantages over eyeglasses and longer term contacts. 

Is a Dentist really necessary?

Having to visit your dentist once every six months may not be a priority for most, but it is an important appointment you should keep.  A regular dental visit usually includes an examination and oral cleaning. During check-up the dentist will look for any buildup of plaque and tartar and commence on cleaning thereafter. He examines the throat, tongue, gum and face checking for any swelling or redness that may be an indication of a possible problem. Other benefits of a regular visit to the dentist include:

  • Dentists are highly trained to check out for early signs of serious diseases such as oral cancer. 
  • Dentists take care of the plaque and tartar buildup in those hard-to-reach places. 
  • Regular appointments will take care of tooth decay causing cavities or erosion of the mouth’s gum tissue. 

Types of Dental Checkups 

Professional Dental Cleaning and flossing 

Professional cleaning of your teeth by the help of a certified oral hygienist is a critical part your general oral health. Dental professionals advise that having your teeth cleaned every 6-12 months reduces the chances of periodontal disease flair ups and buildup of tartar. 

Routine tooth cleaning is painless. It involves the dislodgment of tartar and the smoothening of the tooth’s surface. Done professionally, the individual scaling of the teeth is painless with no injury to the gum. Patients can be assured that the mild vibrations and the pressure from the hand-held smoother will not cause discomfort. 

Crowns and bridges 

Looking for a secure way to fill gaps and prevent further buildup of bacteria? Well, consider a professional dental crown or bridge. When done right, these are the best restorative prosthetic devices in the market. Bridges are lucrative to patients that have lost a tooth or in the case of jaw bone loss. During your regular checkup, your dentist will check on previously inserted bridges and implants keenly checking for their placement. 

Dentures and Cavities 

Cavities have to be the most prevalent disease of teeth. At the scheduled dentist visit, an X-Ray will be taken to detect any cavities between the different sets. 

Dental Transplants

Missing teeth can greatly affect your self-esteem. Fortunately, dental implants offer reprieve. They offer a strong foundation for both permanent and removable replacement sets. Patients will usually experience improved appearance, easier eating, improved speech and better overall dental health. 

Diseases Indicators 

A regular visit to your dentist will allow your dentist to perform diagnostic tests for diseases and biopsies. This could go a long way into rooting out any disorders that could result in chronic diseases. 

Optional/ Elective Services

Most common cosmetic dentistry procedures include: 


Want to improve your appearance? Want to change the color, shape, size and length of your teeth for that perfect smile? Well, consider visiting your dentist to get porcelain veneers. When done by an experienced cosmetic dentist, the veneers will not damage your teeth. With dental veneers, you no longer have to worry about cracked, chipped teeth with worn-out edges. 

Teeth whitening  

Teeth get discolored for a myriad of reasons. These can range from the intake of stain-causing food and drink to tobacco use and exposure to excessive fluoride in drinking water. Teeth whitening is conducted after the dislodgment of any plaque and tartar found on the tooth. This service is especially attractive to patients undergoing tobacco cessation with the best candidates being those with healthy, unrestored teeth. 

Inlays and On-lays 

Patients needing teeth strengthening after mild to moderate decay are advised to get inlays and on-lays. These will not only prevent further decay and deterioration but will also restore the shape.  

Facts about visiting a dentist 

  • Do not fret over the dental x-ray. These are relatively harmless with the radiation levels being negligible. 
  • Do not be embarrassed. Your dentist has probably seen it all. Do not be afraid of judgment over what your dentist may find. 
  • Pain level is not a guide on when you should visit the dentist. Notably, most oral problems do not result in pain unless they are critical. 

Interesting facts about dental hygiene 

  • There is a right way to use your toothpaste. The more contact the toothpaste has with your teeth, the more effective it will be. Brush for some time, spit out the foam and let the paste sit for half an hour then rinse it out. 
  • Certain medication may be the root of your dental problems. An aspirin a day or regular blood pressure medication may cause a spike in cavities. 
  • Ignoring your dental hygiene may result in even bigger problems. Studies have shown that ignoring tooth decay caused by harmful bacteria can elevate into a heart disease. This is because these bacteria travel to the bloodstream causing inflammation. 
  • Do not brush right after a meal. This is especially true for acidic foods as the acid may result in softening of the enamel. Wait for an hour or so before brushing. 

Invest in professional and regular dental visits and be well on your way to a brighter and healthier smile. 

Why Choose a Vacation Rental

Vacation time is always something to look forward to with much anticipation. Most see it as a great way to spend time with their family, as a personal reward or to explore new and exciting destinations. However, going on vacation can end up as a disaster if it’s not carefully planned. Experienced travelers plan for a vacation at least a few months prior to the actual date to ensure that it will go smoothly and with no delays. Aside from plane fare and itineraries, booking for accommodation is on top of the priority list. Most would opt for hotels but for seasoned travel enthusiasts, a vacation rental home is a top pick.

What’s a Vacation Rental?

A vacation rental is a process of temporarily renting out a furnished home or condominium unit to tourists as an alternative to staying in hotels. It’s gaining popularity in the U.S. and all over the world because it has many advantages. At present, the top players in the vacation rental industry include Airbnb, VRBO and HomeAway.


It’s a privately-held international company based in San Francisco, USA and it hosts various listings, from simple to lavish accommodations. Its founders are Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia, and Nathan Blecharczyk. The main premise of Airbnb is to connect homeowners to tourists and travelers who are looking for short-term rental homes. As of 2017, the company boasts of an estimated 4 million listings in around 191 countries.  


HomeAway has a wide selection of vacation rentals for tourists to choose from. They have more or less two million places to stay in an estimated 190 countries. The company founders are Carl Shepherd and Brian Sharples. It offers its rentals of cabins, villas, condos, and farmhouses, among others through their 50 websites which are available in 23 languages. 


This travel website company was founded in 1995 by David and Lynn Clouse and it’s based in Austin, Texas, USA. VRBO is an acronym which means Vacation Rental by Owner and it allows homeowners to advertise their homes to prospective renters. Its vacation rentals come in various types like houses and villas.  It was acquired by HomeAway in 2006. And HomeAway was acquired by Expedia in 2015.

Benefits of a Vacation Rental 

Posh hotels may appeal to most tourists but for the budget-conscious traveler, a vacation rental is a perfect choice. Check out these advantages that make vacation rentals all the rage these days!


This is one of the top reasons why vacation rental homes are becoming popular. You can save money! You can shop at local stores, cook your own food and set aside extra cash for the tours and sightseeing galore.

Cost effective and convenient for families or groups.

Hotels generally can host up to 4 people in a room. This can be tight and provides very little personal space. Vacation rentals on the other hand can offer multiple rooms or an entire home allowing a family or large group to all stay together. You get more space and it’s often more cost efficient.

Gives you the luxury to have more space and privacy.

Choosing a short-term vacation rental home is more advantageous than staying at inns or even hotels since you’ll have more room and privacy. With the right place, you don’t have to worry about shared bathrooms, too.

You can settle in without the hassle of continuous unpacking.

Getting settled in a vacation rental is convenient as you only have to unpack once for the whole duration of your trip. This arrangement works best for seasoned and frequent travelers. 

The luxury to have a home base.

What’s great about a vacation rental is you can be comfortable and treat it as your home away from home. You and your family can do whatever you like since the whole place is all yours for a certain period of time. 

Allows you to choose the amenities that suit your needs.

Unlike hotels and inns, it’s not limited to just mere essentials. There are countless of listings to choose from, with amenities ranging from a jacuzzi to a kid’s playground, a mini swimming pool or anything that you might fancy!

Limitations of Vacation Rental Homes

While vacation rentals have a lot of advantages, there is also a downside to it. These are some of the things you have to consider before deciding if a vacation rental home suits you:

Don’t always have the amenities of a hotel.

Unlike hotels or inns, a vacation rental home doesn’t always have all the amenities so you may have to bring bath essentials like soap and shampoo. And, if you forget your toothbrush or run out of toilet paper, you have to head to the store to replace.

You have to provide your own mode of transportation.

This may not be quite a hassle if you’re staying in an urban area where a taxi is easily accessible. However, if the vacation rental home is located near a beach or up a mountain then you’re required to have your own car. 

No access to concierge or staff to assist you.

Definitely, there won’t be any housekeeping staff or bellboys to attend to your needs, and this may not work well for some travelers. 

A property manager or staff is usually not available on-site.

There’s no property staff or manager that you can easily reach should there be minor repairs to do like a leaking faucet. It’s something that you have to really consider especially if you’re not the handyman type. 

It’s not always what you expect. 

Since you’re basing mostly on what you see online, a vacation rental home may not appear as what you’ve expected it to be. So, it would be helpful if you seek out recommendations from trusted friends and family members before deciding if a vacation rental home is right for you.

Corporate Travel Management

Companies that offer CTM services should not be confused with typical travel agencies. Corporate Travel Management goes beyond the normal function of a travel agency. It exists to function as a strategic plan of a company when it comes to travel policy. For most companies, travel expenses are considered to be the second highest controllable cost. And since it is controllable, employing a team to control these expenses can be very helpful in cutting expenses. Travel expenses do not only apply to a plane ticket, hotel, car rental, and etc., but also apply all costs incurred during the trip, including food expenses, fares, and hotel accommodation.  

With increasing complexity in managing a business, a little help from your travel program can be really beneficial to your company’s bottom line. Here are the few advantages you can get from having this one:

  • Simplifies everything. Having a separate team managing your travel program simplifies everything. Corporate Travel Management makes things easier with booking solutions and tools. In addition, CTM also manages the company’s strategic travel policy. 
  • Cost cutting.Again, the traveling cost is one of the highest controllable costs in a company’s expenses. Properly management of this cost can greatly affect the company’s bottom figure. CTM is designed to provide a company with a cost-effective approach in handling travel expenses. Usually, they are the one to look for vendors that offer the best deal at the very lowest cost. They also plan expenses and work within the budget. A CTM can help you with travel expenses inconsistencies that will help you save big money in the end.  
  • Smooth company’s travel policy. With the help of CTM, the company can set up and have a definite travel program and policy. Having this program can lead the company in the right direction in terms of travel decisions. TMCs know already the keys to successful travel policy and what is recommended.  
  • Provide safety and security. Having a Corporate Travel Management ensures more the safety of your employee. They are the ones who find vendors with the safest and most secure facility. They manage also the travel insurance of the one traveling. Securing the safety of the employee is very important, knowing that high risk comes when traveling.
  • Customer and care support. In the event of an emergency, the CTM can easily track the employee who is traveling. CTM have this online tool that can help your employee’s tracks and location. They help also the employee in getting where it should be.
  • Organizes travel documents. One of the important advantages of having CTM is that it helps the company to have organized travel documents.  The CTM often secure and store travel itineraries and key travel documents, such as plane tickets and passport. This helps the one traveling to focus more on the purpose of the travel. 

With those said advantages of Corporate Travel Management, it is indeed beneficial for a company, especially a big company, to have one. To know more about CTMs and their roles in a company, here is the list of their definite functions:

  • Negotiate with vendors and contact third-party contractors. One of the important functions of the CTM team is to get the best deal with vendors. Looking for vendors that offer the best deal is very critical since this is the very reason why CTM exists. Usually, CTM companies who have run business for quite some time have already a list of vendors that offer the best travel package. 
  • Day-to-day operation of the travel program.Aside from negotiating with vendors, the CTM is also responsible for the itinerary of your travel. They are the one who plans for your day-to-day activities. This is very critical since it helps the company to have more efficient transactions throughout the travel.
  • Provides and ensures safety and security. The safety of the employee who is traveling is very important. This includes securing an insurance policy for the one who is traveling. The CTM is also responsible for choosing vendors with the highest credibility when it comes to safety and security.
  • Credit-card management. Corporate Travel Management is also responsible for the management of the billing for the whole trip. One of the unique roles of these CTM companies is to monitor the credit transactions of the company, making sure it does not exceed its limit. 

All You Need to Know About Conference Call Solutions

Do you spend so much time in meetings? Are you looking for a solution that is quick, inexpensive and works flawlessly? Do you need to have all your employees connected in on the call despite their location? Conference calling is the solution. 

Conference call can simply be explained as a telephone call involving three or more people. It allows different parties to join in on a call remotely at a prearranged time. With teleconferencing, the only thing needed is the telephone equipment and speakerphones with no need for internet or web-based solutions. Participants dial into a conference bridge that is provided by a third party and are instantly connected to the call. Most service provides provide a ‘virtual’ meeting point that can comfortably accommodate up to 100 individual callers. 

Benefits of Conference Calls for Businesses 

  1. Saves time and money 

In today’s working environment where companies are outsourcing work, it allows for these remote workers to exchange information and ideas effortlessly. Employees no longer have to travel to the headquarters for meet ups saving both time and money in form of travel expenses. 

Notably, audio conferencing is considered relatively cheap. Virtually the only cost involved in audio conferencing is the equipment cost and the talk time charges. It is important to note that while the companies are able to save on the operational costs by cutting down on expenses, communication is just as effective.

  • Conference calls are speedy. 

In the case where something urgent comes up or you need a quick follower up on an issue, conference calls are the perfect solution. It eliminates the need for scheduling a face-to-face meeting. Within just a couple of minutes,   you can jump on your phone and have the issue settled. 

  • They reduce stress

Scheduling an in-person meeting and making your way to the meet-up point can be stressful especially when travelling over long distances is involved. Conference calls eliminate all of that. You only need to have the call pre-scheduled and within a couple of minutes, the information will be disseminated. 

  • Conference calls save the planet 

By embracing conference calling, businesses are able to reduce their environmental footprint by reducing the carbon emission associated with travel.

Things to Look for in Conference Call Solutions 

Previously, most shoppers only considered whether the conference call solution they went for could record, report and toll free access numbers. With the technological advancement available today, shoppers should be keen that the service providers any of the following. 

  • Free vs. Paid 

Businesses are always looking for a way to minimize operational costs without compromising on the quality. This applies even with conference call solutions. Fortunately, there are simple free conference call services that provide the very basic services. This however may offer poor quality audio and video and have very limited features. 

For businesses that need conferencing more often and are not willing to sacrifice on quality, paid conference call solutions are best. 

  • Audio and video quality 

You want HD audio and 1080 p video quality for that seamless quality. Go for solutions that offer this or have accompanying software that will enhance the same. Remember, for effective communication having the best hardware is simply the first step. 

  • Connectivity 

Nothing disrupts your meeting than frozen screens and delayed audio. Ensure that your internet provider offers reliable connection to prevent people from dropping out of the meeting. 

  • Feature catalogue 

More is always better and with conference calls, it isn’t any different. Check out what features are being offered while shopping for a conference call service provider. Look for added features such as screen-sharing, annotating and transcription services. 

  • Customer support and setup

Just like with any technological solutions, problems are bound to arise. This can be due to combining a couple of services or simple lack of knowhow. Having a solution provider with reliable customer support will ensure your meetings are not delayed and that you get the most out of the platform.

Different Types of Solutions Available

For $14.99,, the software based collaboration-enabled conference tool, offers small businesses quality cloud video conferencing capability that’s unmatched. Its functionality goes beyond conducting online training, hosting webinars and online course dissemination. It makes possible online meetings, group messaging, and wireless screen- sharing experience. For companies concerned about the security of any messaging solution, offers a secured database and end-to-end encryption of meetings. In-meeting security is also taken care of with all content being encoded. For video demonstrations, has a feature that enables the presenter to share their full screen with other participants. To improve teamwork and collaboration, the software features allows the host to drag and drop files and documents. 


For seamless conference call team meetings, sales interactions, marketing events and customer support, is the service to go for. The software supports a host of devices and is also web based. With either the monthly payment or annual subscription pricing model, a business can improve collaboration among remote employees as it gets a hassle-free and cost-effective audio and video conferencing solution. Its cloud hosting and open API deployment coupled with user-friendly interface makes it easy to schedule, start and conduct a meeting. Video conferencing is usually on a full screen where the software supports up to 7 video feeds. For focus groups and brainstorming, this solution offers the ability to share the presenter role in all its plans. The free mobile app is a nice touch further enhancing productivity and effectiveness.  


GoToMeeting ticks all the right boxes when it comes to ease of use, connectivity, and usability. Getting onto the platform is relatively easy as not only is their support strong, you also get training videos, live trainings, and PDF guides. Its control settings are almost instinctive allowing for easy scheduling. The GoToMeeting’s video webinar functionality allows for remote access of pre-recorded meetings or media enabling the sharing of content. The collaborative function enables creation of groups and instantaneous sharing of information. It boosts of consistent quality connection across a variety of connection speeds. Switching screens or changing moderators is also relatively easy. You are also able to quickly check out who is contributing to the discussion, sharing files or joining the meeting through a new automatically generated ID. The free version is available though it lacks the 128-bit encryption available on the paid plans. 

Every enterprise has different communication needs necessitating a flexible and straightforward communication solution. While emails and phone calls have increased in popularity, conference calling solutions still remain king. With the right assistance, you can be on your way to high quality video and web conferencing that’s a perfect fit for your business needs.

How to Get an Auto Loan with Bad Credit in the U.S.

Interested in how you’ll feel behind the wheel of your new car but worried about your credit score? Anxious about just how tough the terms might be? Well, we evaluate the process of getting an auto loan with a bad credit focusing on the research required and the background information that will give you an upper hand when approaching the negotiation table. 

Understanding Auto Loans in the USA

Automobile loans can be confusing especially when you are faced with bad credit scores. Usually, shoppers are faced with figuring out which one is the best deal on their financing. Understanding all the moving parts including the interest rates and the overall terms of the auto mobile loan is essential for getting the best deal even with a bad credit score. 

Automobile financing is understood to be a close-ended credit provided to service the purchasing of a new or used automobile. Products offered during automobile financing include either partial of full coverage for the cost of purchase. Financing usually comes from banks, original equipment manufacturing (OEM) companies, online lenders, and credit unions. 

Some of the terms you need to understand to help your automobile loan take shape include the: 

Annual Percentage Rate 

This is simply the interest rate that will be charged on the original amount borrowed- the principal. Note that most lenders add any closing costs to the principal further influencing just how much you will be repaying at the end of each month. 


This is the duration in which the loan will be serviced. Industry trends indicate that auto loan terms are getting longer and longer. This effectively means that the monthly repayments are getting lower and interests higher. Have the lender take you through the duration you are expected to service the loan. 

Tips for getting an auto loan with bad credit in the USA 

Know your credit score 

For lenders to assess your personal credit risk, they rely on your personal credit score. This information is contained in a credit report that details your recent financial history including previous loan payments, credit applications, and bankruptcies. 

To take charge of your bad credit, it is advisable to access your overall credit profile. In the United States, this information is available by the top credit reporting bureaus: TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax and scaled based on the FICO methodology. Additionally, you can utilize tools like myBankrate to access your profile all for free.

It goes without saying that you are required to do more than just check your credit score. Take action. Make intentional moves to repair your credit score including making overdue payments. If necessary, seek expert advice all aimed at getting you in a favorable position with auto loan lenders. 

Research, research, research 

Before you begin to shop for an auto loan or make a final decision on which auto loan fits your needs best, embark on extensive research. 

Your first task before approaching a lender is understanding what you can afford. Use online tools like the auto finance calculators to estimate what you can easily pay for. The calculator will provide you with a bigger picture including the loan term, annual percentage rates, and the down payment needed. Input these estimates into an affordability calculator to further breakdown just how much you can spend servicing you automobile loan. 

Next is choosing a vehicle. As in most cases, you may want to go with an older model than a newer one with high consumption. Even with budget considerations, make sure you take into account your personal needs and preferences. 

Once you have a vehicle in mind, take a look at your insurance options. This will be part of your overall monthly expense so it’s critical to get a gauge on how much you’ll have to pay for insurance on top of your car loan.

Lastly, shop around. Approach banks, credit unions, finance companies, and dealerships just to ensure you get the very best deal. Go online and look through direct-to-consumers lenders.  

Down payment plus trade in 

When faced with a bad credit profile, choosing to have a hefty down payment and trading in the older automobile may significantly improve your position. By going for either option, you are assured that the principal amount is lowered. Additionally, trading in the old car shows the lender your commitment to the current deal. 

Get a cosigner 

Nothing improves your position during the negotiations for an auto loan than having a cosigner. The consigner, hopefully one with a better credit profile, serves to improve the lender’s confidence. By cosigning the auto loan, they agree to repay the loan on your behalf in the case that you are incapable of servicing the loan or default. 

Find a dealership 

The right dealership will mean a swift process. It is important to remember that there is no pressure even with the poor credit profile. Go for reputable firms that are certified. Be upfront with the management and present all documentation. Most importantly, commit to fulfilling your end of your deal. 

A bad credit score does not have to mean the end of the road for auto mobile shoppers. With some research, a willingness to correct your credit score and expert advice, you can be on your way to partial or full financing of your automobile. 

Types of Dentures and Implants

A perfect smile never fails to attract attention. Each time we see a person with a great smile and perfect set of teeth he or she always evokes a good impression.  Having good oral health allows you to enjoy life to the hilt. Unfortunately, decay and cavities that lead to tooth extraction and missing teeth can’t be avoided entirely.  However, there’s no need for you to despair as there are dentures and implants to restore your confidence and perfect smile. 

What are Dentures?

Dentures are removable replacement teeth, also called false teeth. The design is made of either a plastic or metal plate and prosthetic teeth are attached to it. The size, shape, and color of the prosthetic teeth resemble your existing natural teeth. 

Types of Dentures

These are the three types of dentures that help replace missing teeth:

  1. Partial Dentures

These are removable dentures that are used when there are remaining natural teeth in the upper or lower jaw. This type of dentures is attached to a gum-colored plastic base and with a metal framework that holds it in place. Aside from replacing missing teeth, partial dentures also keep other teeth from shifting positions. 

  • Complete Dentures 

This type of dentures consists of a complete set, both on the upper and lower part and it’s best recommended for people who don’t have any natural teeth left. It has two kinds, conventional and immediate. Conventional dentures are made after teeth are removed and when gum tissue is already healed while immediate dentures are positioned as soon as teeth are removed. The immediate kind is usually used only as a temporary solution as it requires many adjustments to fit properly. 

  • Fixed Dentures 

This type of tooth replacement is surgically fixed in your mouth and includes implants and bridges. A fixed bridge is an artificial tooth cemented alongside the remaining natural teeth while an implant functions like an artificial tooth and surgically placed into the jawbone. 

Benefits of Dentures 

Dentures are a popular choice because it offers many advantages. These include:

  • Restores tooth function.

Dentures allow you to chew, bite your food and speak properly again since it functions just like natural teeth. 

  • Improves speech.

One of the struggles, when you have missing teeth, is the difficulty in pronouncing certain words and making the right sounds.  With dentures, you can enunciate words more clearly and your manner of speaking becomes normal again. 

  • Improves facial appearance.

Missing teeth results in a sagging face and make you look older way beyond your years. Dentures significantly uplift your face and you’ll look significantly younger as well. 

  • No dietary restrictions.

With no teeth to bite or chew your food on is definitely depressing and you’re sure to miss out on your favorite recipes.  Dentures solve this problem as it functions just like natural teeth and allows you to eat and enjoy your favorite food without restrictions.

  • It is durable.

Dentures can last from five to 10 years with proper care and maintenance. It’s basically long-lasting and durable. 

  • Restores confidence.

If you have missing teeth it has a great effect on your self-esteem. With dentures, your appearance will improve and it will also boost your confidence. 

What is a tooth implant?

Tooth or dental implants are Titanium metal posts which are positioned in the jawbone and with which replacement teeth can be mounted. The implants fuse with the jawbone and provide strong support for replacement teeth like dentures and bridges. 

Types of Tooth Implants 

These are the types of tooth implants which are recommended safe to use by the American Dental Association:

  • Endosteal implant

This type of implant is implanted directly into your jawbone and the most commonly used type by dentists. It requires a second surgery to connect a post to the original implant once the surrounding tissue has already healed.  On the second surgery, the artificial or replacement tooth is attached to the post. 

  • Subperiosteal implant

This implant is positioned under the gums, on or above your jawbone. This is the type that’s most recommended for patients who doesn’t have enough healthy jawbone and unwilling to undergo a bone augmentation surgery. 

Benefits of Tooth Implants

Just like dentures, there are many advantages with tooth implants. These are just some of them:

  1. It lasts for a lifetime.

Tooth implants are durable and could last for a lifetime with proper care. 

  • You’ll have improved oral health.

It improves your oral health as more of your natural teeth are left intact and not altered to support the implants. 

  • You can enjoy your food more.

Tooth implants function like your own natural teeth and allow you to enjoy your favorite food without restriction. 

  • Provides more comfort.

Since it’s placed permanently you’ll feel comfortable as compared to wearing removable dentures that tend to slip and fall from your mouth. 

  • Improves your appearance and speech. 

A tooth implant allows you to speak normally again and also improves your overall facial appearance.

What You Need to Know about Mesothelioma

The quest for a healthy and fit body is always a priority for everyone. We only have one physical body so we should take good care of it.  However, illnesses such as cancer can strike anytime, regardless of age, stature, and gender.  What’s scary is that cancer is still not totally treatable and while there are treatment options like chemotherapy, there is no total assurance that you can survive from it.  The common types of cancer include breast, colon and lung cancer but there are lesser known or rare types of cancer that are similarly dangerous like mesothelioma. 

What is Mesothelioma?

This type of cancer happens in the lining that extends over the outer surface of the internal organs or mesothelium.  These are some of the types of mesothelioma by location:

  • Pleural mesothelioma – cancer of the protective lining of the lungs or pleura
  • Pericardial mesothelioma  – cancer of the protective lining of the heart
  • Peritoneal mesothelioma – cancer of the protective lining of the abdomen 
  • Testicular mesothelioma – cancer of the membrane lining of the testes 

Causes of Mesothelioma 

The primary cause of mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos, which is a mineral naturally found around us.  Asbestos is widely used in brakes, shingles, insulation and in construction which puts people such as construction workers at great risk. Its microscopic fibers penetrate the lungs and other vital issues of the body, eventually leading to mesothelioma which typically develops at least 20 years after one is exposed to asbestos.  Some of the people with higher risk of contracting mesothelioma include electricians, plumbers, brake mechanics, shipyard workers, home remodelers and pipefitters. There’s also a greater chance that you’ll have mesothelioma if you have a family history of this type of cancer and if you were exposed to chest radiation therapy.

Symptoms of Mesothelioma 

Unlike other types of cancer, the symptoms of mesothelioma gradually develop over a period of years after asbestos exposure. These include:

  1. Pleural mesothelioma – painful coughing, pain in the chest, unexplained weight loss, tissue lumps under the skin of your chest, loss of appetite, swollen fingertips 
  2. Peritoneal mesothelioma – abdominal pain and swelling, nausea and unexplained weight loss, loss of appetite, diarrhea or constipation 
  3. Pericardial mesothelioma –  heart palpitations, cough, fatigue, shortness of breath, chest pain, fever 
  4. Testicular mesothelioma – pain in the testes or groin, inflammation and cyst of the epididymis, lump or mass in the testicles, excess fluid in the scrotum 

How is mesothelioma diagnosed?

These are the procedures that are made to determine if you have mesothelioma:

  • X-ray of your suspected internal organ like the chest or lungs
  • CT scan
  • Fluid drainage – done by inserting a needle through the skin to get a fluid sample for analysis
  • Laparoscopy –  done by inserting a thin camera through a small incision in your chest or lungs to obtain a tissue sample for biopsy and analysis 

Possible Treatments for Mesothelioma 

While there is still no known cure for cancer, there are some possible treatments for mesothelioma. These include chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and surgery.  

How to find legal representation, file a claim and get reimbursed if you have mesothelioma 

If you contracted mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure in your workplace, then you should seek the help of an asbestos attorney or mesothelioma lawyer.  These are some of the qualities that you should look out for in searching for the right one:

  1. He/she should have empathy and who listens and understands what you and your family are experiencing.
  2. He/ she should be an expert in the field of asbestos litigation. 
  3. He/she should be experienced and has a vast experience when it comes to mesothelioma lawsuits.
  4. He/she should be comprehensive and collects vast resources and information to come up with a viable and strong case. 

There are at least five options when filing for a mesothelioma claim and these are:

  1. Mesothelioma personal injury claim – You can file for this type of claim if you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma. This claim aims to seek compensation for loss of income, pain and suffering and medical expenses. 
  2. Asbestos bankruptcy fund claim – You can file for this type if the company responsible for your mesothelioma has filed for bankruptcy but still has money in a trust fund.  Your mesothelioma lawyer will assist you in going through the claims process so you’ll be compensated. 
  3. Wrongful death claim – This type of claim may be filed if you have a family member who died due to mesothelioma. It aims to assist the bereaved family to secure funeral and burial costs as well as medical expenses. 
  4. Veterans’ benefits claim – This type is intended for military personnel who were diagnosed with mesothelioma.  
  5. Workers’ compensation claim – You can file for this type of claim and entitled to compensation benefits if you contracted mesothelioma while on the job and had to quit work after the diagnosis.