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Getting Rid Of Those Pesky Credit Cards Is Harder Than You Think

  

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These days just about everyone has some kind of credit card debt. Whether we’ve hit some bad luck and needed the help or we’re just plain lazy and bad with money, we all know what debt looks like. In fact, a recent report estimated that the average American family has around $8,000 in credit card debt alone. That’s well over a trillion total!

Kind of makes you want to throw your credit card in the ocean, doesn’t it? Well, as much as we’d all like to get rid of our credit cards, it’s not as easy as you think. I know this because I actually tried it! And while I’m happy to be rid of my debt and won’t likely build anymore, it was still a lot harder than you’d think. Here’s everything I learned from the experience.

The Hassle

First and foremost, the most important thing I learned is that getting rid of your credit card (or credit cards) is very, very hard. Mostly because so many things these days require that you have one! Booking hotels and flights, setting up accounts online, putting down a deposit or a “soft hold,” etc, etc. Sure, debit cards work sometimes, but not all the time. So, if you’re thinking about pulling this off yourself, just be prepared to put in the work.

The next major lesson I learned that should be blatantly obvious to all of us, is that if you can’t pay for something with cash, you can’t afford it! Now, I’m not saying you should only keep your money in cash form and just constantly walk around with thousands of dollars in your pockets. That, of course, would be very stupid.

Basically, it means, if you can’t pay for something using the real money you have in your bank account (check, debit card, cash), then you really shouldn’t be buying it all. So many of us convince ourselves that we can put a charge on our card and we’ll definitely pay off the card at the end of the month. No problem. But then, come the end of the month, all of a sudden we don’t have the money to pay off the credit card and now we’ve got a bunch of fun, new debt! So if you’re really looking to get rid of some debt, stick to your checking account.

At this point, many you reading this might be thinking, “Yeah, I hear ya. Debt is scary and easy to rack up. But I just love my rewards!” And, trust me, I hear you. The benefits that come from credit card purchases can be great! Emphasis on can. More often than not, our credit cards are already so full that we’re facing pretty steep interest charges. So if you’re getting a sweet $35 reward on a given purchase, but you’re paying $85 a month in interest charges, you’re not exactly saving yourself any money, are you?! (Hint: No. You’re not.)

Then there are the ever-dangerous store cards. You know, those credit cards you can start that are specifically for H&M or Victoria’s Secret or Old Navy? I’m not going to beat around the bush here, folks: if you open one of these cards you are terrible with money. The interest rates on these cards are typically higher than any other credit card and the rewards are rarely worth it. So if you’re still struggling with the idea of ditching your proper credit cards, at least do me the favor of getting rid of these foolish cards.

And now it’s time for one of the greatest benefits I found when I got rid of my credit cards: I actually started being as frugal as I always wanted to be! When you can put something on your credit card that you promise yourself you’ll pay off later, what’s another couple hundred bucks?! Just go for it – buy both of those sweaters you love!

And therein lies the basic problems with credit cards. It so rarely even feels like real money. So when you get rid of them and start actually using real money, it turns out you’re much smarter about how you spend it and only spend exactly what you need! And when it’s all said and done, I promise you, the things you wanted to buy, and would have bought if you had a credit card, will not be missed whatsoever. In fact, you’ll probably be happy you didn’t bother.


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Destinations

Traveling Across All 7 Continents in a Wheelchair

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For many, traveling across all 7 continents is an ultimate goal. For Cory Lee who is also a traveler, however, it’s his most fervent wish. So, he found a way to reach his dream destinations.

A Traveler with Skeletal Muscle Atrophy

Lee has been using a wheelchair ever since he was 4 years old. Diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy, a genetic disease that causes weakness and skeletal muscle atrophy, Lee was raised by his single mother who was a teacher. He says that he developed his love for traveling because of the numerous road trips they did together across the US.

Visiting Antarctica before Covid Travel Restrictions

Right before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Lee and his mother were able to visit the last continent on his list, Antarctica.

In his interview with “Good Morning America,” Lee shares that the trip “was surreal. There were icebergs, mountains of ice, penguins. It was everything you would imagine and more. I was moved to tears.”

Advice on Travel Essentials

When asked about how he got to execute those trips despite being in a wheelchair, Lee shares that traveling in a wheelchair requires systematic and extensive planning. He adds that his recent Antarctica trip was already booked 2 years prior. He said that each trip needed in-depth research of what various tour companies had to offer including the possible destinations he and his mother could go to and the transportation required to those places.

To help other travelers who may want to visit those destinations, Lee began writing a travel blog, “Curb Free by Cory Lee,” enlisting all the travel essentials based on his travel experiences.

He shares that, out of the 37 nations he visited, Morocco and Antarctica are his best choices. Lee mentions that he did not really have “high expectations of Morocco but the alleyways of Marrakesh, the snake charmers, it blew me away.”

Traveling on a Wheelchair

Lee insists that traveling while using a wheelchair is entirely possible. Doing in-depth research helps people discover the multitudinous conveniences that travel companies have to offer. To further encourage younger travelers to start their own dream destinations list, Lee launches his new children’s book entitled “Let’s Explore with Cor Cor.”

The book narrates the story of a young boy who travels the world using his power wheelchair. Lee asserts that children must not only learn about the different travel destinations but also about those who may be entirely different from them.

Lee’s book was released on 26 July which coincided with the 30th anniversary of the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) which was successfully passed after he was born.

Limitless Possibilities

In closing, Lee shares that “traveling to all seven continents wasn’t something I was sure was going to be possible, but if you stay determined and keep a positive attitude, the opportunities are limitless.” Indeed, having a disability does not prevent anyone from reaching their goals. Travel restrictions are not solely based on the present quarantine measures practiced all around the world. They can include personal issues that may prevent easy mobility, as well. Nonetheless, Lee serves as a credible inspiration for everyone as he points out that nothing can really stop us if we persevere and continue to reach for our dreams—and our desired destinations.

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8 Tips for Buying Better Boots

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8 Tips for Buying Better Boots

Whether they’re primarily designed as a work accessory or a piece of beautiful fashion, it pays to buy the right boots. But with so many different styles of boots on the market, it’s hard to make the best decision.
How do you begin your search? And how can you tell which boots are perfect for you?

How to Buy Better Boots

Follow these tips if you want to buy better boots for yourself or for someone you love.

  1. Know your goals. Before you visit a store or start looking at different boot options, you should take a moment to think about your goals. There are many types of boots, many different materials, and many different brands to choose from.
    Accordingly, most boots have both strengths and weaknesses. You’re only going to choose the correct pair of boots if you know what your goals actually are. Are you looking for something for work? Something fashionable? Something that will last for decades?
  2. Choose the right material. Next, choose the materials you want for your boot. Leather boots, for example, are known for their durability, ruggedness, and versatility; they look great, they’re resistant to most types of damage, and they’re suitable for a wide variety of applications. Most boots also incorporate other materials; for example, you might find steel in the shank for extra support and protection.
  3. Compare brands. When you know what type of boot you want, start shopping around with different brands. Look at the different styles of boot that each brand has available, and make sure you read critical reviews.
  4. Read the reviews. What do customers have to say about each brand? This can be an excellent source of information, even if there aren’t many reviews to work with. Don’t just look at a star rating or numerical score; look at the specific comments that people are making about each pair of boots.
  5. Examine the sole and grip. Assuming you have the opportunity, closely examined the sole and the grip of the shoe. Does this seem sturdy? Does it provide ample traction?
  6. Test the shank. The shank is a piece of hard material that rests between the layers of the sole of the boot. It provides protection for your feet, so it’s important to get something that resists or prevents most types of damage.
  7. Try them on. Always try on boots before you finalize your purchase. In many cases, it pays to get a half size bigger than usual, in case your feet swell when working or walking. Additionally, boots that are slightly too big are usually more comfortable than boots that are slightly too small.
  8. Get the right socks. This is technically advice for buying socks, not boots, but boots and socks are both important for the best overall experience – and some socks are simply better than others. Buy a pair of socks that provides plenty of cushioning, absorption, and flexibility.

Taking Care of Your Boots

Buying boots is just the first part of the equation. If you want your boots to last, and if you want to get more value out of them, you have to take proactive care of your boots.

Here’s how you can do it:

  • Protect your boots. If appropriate, protect your boots by applying a protective spray to the exterior. You could also make sure to store your boots properly, so they aren’t subject to the elements or damaging conditions.
  • Condition your leather. If you have leather boots, make sure you condition your leather. Occasional rounds of leather conditioning can make the leather more beautiful, more durable, and longer lasting.
  • Treat snow and salt stains. Some of the biggest threats to the appearance and longevity of your boots are treating snow and salt stains. If you live in an area that gets harsh winters, make sure to wipe down your boots and treat these stains proactively whenever you come home for the day.
  • Wipe your boots down regularly. Even if you don’t live in an area with harsh winters, you should wipe your boots down regularly. Removing dirt, dust, and debris can help your boots look their best and keep them in proper condition.
  • Watch the sole. The sole of your boot is a great indication of the boot’s current state and ability to function properly. If you notice the sole is being worn down consider making repairs or fully replacing the boot.

Buying boots isn’t always straightforward, especially if you’re picky, but if you follow a consistent strategy and think through your decision properly, you’ll be in a better position to get the boots you’ve always wanted. Hopefully, you won’t have to buy boots often, but having more experience in this area also helps.

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Destinations

Discussing the Future of Travel and Leisure Industry

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Hold your horses! The future of travel and leisure activities may change. Hotels.Com is offering a glimpse of how an intergalactic vacation may look like.

The COVID-19 pandemic made a catastrophic impact all across the globe. Because massive lockdowns were put in place to help halt the rapid increase of transmission, travel and leisure activities were temporarily stopped.

Honoring the National Aerospace Week

To honor the National Aerospace Week, however, Hotels.Com announces its mission to lead intergalactic space travel bookings. Avid travellers can now visit their site to check out the different space destinations that may be offered in the future.

Space travel will have to wait, however. These space destinations have to be prepared and hotels there have to be built first. Nonetheless, earlier this summer, NASA and SpaceX sent astronauts outside the planet to begin their “Launch America” initiative. Virgin Galactic featured its new spaceship design, as well.

Possibility of Travel and Leisure in Space

Josh Belkin, VP of global brand at Hotels.Com says that the site is proud to showcase the top properties on Earth. Due to the current conditions, they are now thinking of ways to make space travel and leisure activities a possibility, however. “This announcement is our hope to encourage and move forward the concept of space tourism, while revving up excitement for that aspect of the travel industry that is sure to come sometime in the near future,” he shares.

While awaiting this venture to push through, the company decides to give travellers a glimpse of what space travel and leisure can be. The company created offers that depict how travelling in space could look like. Travellers are provided with space-themed vacations complete with implements including moon-boot slippers, spacesuit robes, space snacks, Martian martinis, and robot bellhops.

20 Lucky Winners

To further complete this future project, the site is providing 20 travellers the chance of a lifetime. Twenty travellers will be awarded $250 travel gift cards that they can use in the future. Note, though, that these destinations will be on Earth, for now.

The catch, though, is that this space travel and leisure contest is only open to anyone who is named after one of the 8 planets. So, contestants must have a first, middle, or last name that is synonymous to one of those 8 planet names. This could be a problem as not many people have planet names, although with the extreme diversity in today’s world, there may be a good number of visitors with names depicting the said astronomical objects.

Summary

Travel and leisure activities may have halted due to the on-going pandemic. However, travellers need to remember that this COVID-19 situation doesn’t have to stop future vacation plans entirely. Notwithstanding the fact that domestic and international travels are greatly reduced at the moment, future ventures are still possible. If you are dreaming of intergalactic travel in the near future and you have a planet first, middle, or last name, then join the said Hotels.Com contest. You may be one of the lucky 20 who gets to receive a $250 gift card to experience a future space-themed vacation.

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