Automotive

Lemon Law
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Overview of Remedies Available from the North Carolina Lemon Law

NC Lemon Law permits the owner of a new vehicle that was purchased or leased in North Carolina and weighs less than 10,000 pounds to petition the manufacturer for a replacement vehicle.

car dealership
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Just How Accurate Are CARFAX Vehicle History Reports And The Data They Contain?

If you've ever purchased or looked into purchasing a used car, you've probably either seen or at least heard of CARFAX, a service that provides historical information on used vehicles. But how accurate is it?

changing oil
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Let's Bury the 3,000 Mile Oil Change Myth. You're Changing Your Oil Too Often!

Are you changing your car's oil too often? The days of changing your oil every 3,000 miles are gone, yet many consumers are still wasting money on far-too-frequent oil changes.

driving a rental car
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Avoiding Charges for Damage to Rental Cars That You Didn't Cause

It sometimes happens to the best of us. You pick up a rental car, sign the paperwork and drive off only to notice that there was some damage that you didn't see. Will you be charged for it? Sometimes you might.

auto emissions
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Federal Emissions Warranties Are Often Forgotten or Overlooked

Many consumers pay for or put off needed auto repairs because they don't realize the problem is covered by this warranty. So what is the federal emissions warranty and what exactly does it cover?

buying a new car
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How to Buy a New Car: Surviving the Sales Process with Your Wallet Intact

Buying a new car? No one really enjoys talking to salespeople or the negotiation process, and many feel compelled to buy more when pressured by a salesperson looking for a higher commission.

car mirror at sunset
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New Vehicle Registration Late Fees in North Carolina Causing Confusion

Since July 1, 2016, North Carolina vehicle owners have been charged late fees for not renewing their vehicle registration on time—though many consumers remain confused about the late fees.

car vent
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The New Car Smell We Love Can Be Toxic, Studies Say

That new car smell can be causing serious health problems for drivers, such as headaches, lung irritations, an inability to focus and a feeling of fatigue.

car dealership
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Can a Car Dealer Deny Warranty If Someone Else Works on Your Car?

Can a dealer void your car's warranty if you have someone else do routine maintenance on the vehicle? What if you use aftermarket parts? What if you have had upgrades done to the car? Yes and no.

nc auto inspection
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North Carolina Vehicle Safety Inspection Checklist

The annual vehicle and emission inspection process in North Carolina can be a simple 30 minute inconvenience for most consumers, or a nightmare for others. This checklist can help!

Toothpaste
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Does Your Car's Paint Have Small Scratches? Use Toothpaste to Remove Them!

Have you ever considered using toothpaste to polish out a few of those small scratches in your car's clearcoat? We're guessing that you haven't. So, the next time your car gets a small 'scratch,' consider reaching for a damp cloth and your favorite tube of toothpaste.

Extended Auto Warranty
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The Pros and Cons of Extended Auto Warranties

Do you really need an extended warranty on your new car? A decade ago, the answer was simple. You probably didn't need an extended warranty unless you were getting a vehicle known for problems.

gas pumps
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Increasing Fuel Economy: Tips, Tricks and Myths

Looking for ways to save money on fuel costs? These days, it seems that everyone is trying to stretch a gallon of gasoline. There are a number of ways you can get better fuel mileage!

car refueling
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Getting a Higher Octane Fuel Doesn't Mean Better Performance

Your vehicle's owner manual and gas cap says to use regular unleaded. Will you get better mileage and results by using a higher octane fuel?

totaled car
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What Does It Mean for Your Car to Be "Totaled?" And What Happens After That?

When it comes to car crashes, you hear the term "totaled" thrown around quite a lot. But what does it really mean for you and your vehicle?

Finance

buying a new car
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Low Interest Auto Financing Might Not Be The Best Deal If There Are Other Incentives Available

Buying a car? Don't fall for low interest 'teaser' rates. Most low interest auto loan rates are nothing more than gimmicks to get you into the dealership, where you get hit with high pressure sales tactics.

credit card close up
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How Late Can You Make a Payment Before It Goes on Your Credit Report?

Most people know that late payments affect their credit. However, few know exactly when late payments will go onto their credit reports and when they will hurt their credit scores.

mandatory arbitration contract agreement
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Mandatory Arbitration Clauses Are Everywhere But Aren't Good For The Consumer

You may have heard of arbitration, but you may not know what it means. Arbitration is another method of resolving disputes where parties present their sides of a complaint to an independent person.

Lecture Hall
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Did You Know that You Can Negotiate College Tuition? Here's How to Do It

The cost of a higher education often prevents many people from trying to get one. What most people don't know is that the financial aid offer they receive from schools is not the last word—tuition is negotiable.

behind on car loan
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Behind on Your Auto Loan: Tips to Get You on the Road to On-Time Payments Again

Are you behind on your loan payments? You're not alone. According to the CFPB, about 6 million people in the U.S. were at least 90 days behind on their auto loan payments near the end of 2016.

Credit Card
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Planning a Trip Outside Country? Here's What You Need to Know about Credit Cards

If you're planning to take a trip out of the country, your credit cards may not be at the top of your list of things to consider. If you're not careful, however, you can rack up more fees and charges than you meant to, putting a damper on your trip.

Gift Cards
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Were You Given Any Unwanted Gift Cards Lately? Here's How to Cash In on Them

Gift cards are the perfect go-to gift for the people in your life whom you don't know well or who are particular in what they buy. But what happens when you get a card to a store you never go to or that you can't use?

Desk
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How to Give Your Budget (and Yourself) Breathing Room When Paying Bills

Many Americans are living paycheck-to-paycheck, including some who earn six figures. This can make it hard to both pay bills on time and still have money left over. Fortunately, there are some steps that can give you—and your budget—a bit of breathing room when it comes to paying bills.

Bills
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Feel Like You're Drowning in Credit Card Debt? Here's How to Get and Keep Control of Your Finances

If you decide to try to get your finances in order this year, it may take some trial and error. Keep in mind that you have not failed if one method doesn't work. You simply need to try a different approach.

Credit Cards
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Want to Help Your College-Bound Child Obtain a Credit Card? Weigh the Risks and Benefits

It is still possible for unemployed young adults to obtain a card, but they will need the help of their parents to do it. Although wary parents may question the wisdom of such an act, helping their child to get a card may have several benefits.

Online Ordering
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How to Cancel Automatic Recurring Payment Subscriptions

Don't want the hassle of keeping up with which bills are due when? Automatic bank drafts mean you don't have to. But what happens when you cancel a service that has been billing you automatically and you keep getting charged?

Health

flu season
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Antibiotics are Not Always the Answer During Cold and Flu Season

Most infections that circulate during cold and flu season are viral, not bacterial. Though sometimes it can be difficult to determine which is which, or the best means of treating your symptoms.

Mesothelioma body scan
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Mesothelioma Info: What You Need to Know About This Cancer Linked to Asbestos

You may have heard of mesothelioma from a law ad on television, or you or someone you know may have unfortunately been diagnosed. But what exactly is mesothelioma?

Pills in Hand
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Saving at the Pharmacy Counter: How to Lower Your Prescription Drug Costs

If you're a budget-conscious consumer, you're always on the lookout for new ways to reduce your expenses on everything from insurance to groceries to utilities. But did you know that you can also lower the amounts you pay for prescription drugs?

Pills in Package
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Cleaning Out Your Medicine Cabinet? Dispose of Old and Unused Medications Properly

When it comes time for spring cleaning, many people discover expired and forgotten medications collecting dust in their medicine cabinet. Unless they have pharmaceutical training, most don't know how to dispose of them properly.

School Bus
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How to Head Off Head Lice at the Start as Kids Go Back to School

As parents around the country send their kids back to school for another year, few think about the problems they may soon face as a result, including one widespread bug that is the bane of parents everywhere: head lice.

Dogs
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How to Check for Fleas and Get a Handle on your Flea Problem

It goes beyond pets and enters into the realm of family. When they hurt, we hurt and we want to do whatever we can to make them feel better. So, what do we do when our furry little friends are under siege from a tiny army of fleas?

Acetaminophen
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How to Protect Yourself Against Over-the-Counter Drug Tampering

U.S. nonprescription, over-the-counter (OTC) medicines are among the most safely packaged consumer products in the world. Most of these OTC products, by law, are sealed in tamper-evident packaging for your protection. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a 100-percent tamper-proof package.

Blood Pressure
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Want to Get Your High Blood Pressure Under Control? Here's How to Do It

A recent report issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services states that only around half of the 75 million Americans suffering from high blood pressure have it under control.

Home and Household

Apartment balconies
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North Carolina Tenant Rights: Relationships Between Tenants and Landlords Can Be Complex

The laws governing the relationship between a landlord and a tenant are complex and come from several different sources in North Carolina. Most disagreements occur because of misunderstandings.

Home sold sign
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Selling Your Home: Stand Out With Tips to Sell Quickly and for Top Dollar

Have you finally made the decision to sell your home? Is it ready for the market? You can make your home stand out from the others, sell quickly and sell for the highest dollar with some simple tweaks.

bathroom tub
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Are Tankless Water Heaters a Worthwhile Investment, or Just a Lot of Hot Water?

For some consumers, a tankless water heater can pay itself off quickly. There is, however, more that goes into making the decision to replace your bulky water heater with a slim tankless model.

Money
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How to Save Money by Making Common Household Products Last Longer

If you're trying to stick to a budget, you may not be surprised to learn that stretching out the lifespan of items you already have will help you to spend much less on buying new products.

Clothes Drying
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Are You Using Bleach Correctly In Your Laundry to Get The Whitest Whites?

Consumers have written us about the commercials they see promising the whitening powers of bleach for their laundry. They ask whether they should believe the commercials or simply stick to only using detergent. Well, it all comes down to how you use the bleach and the type of bleach you use.

Toilet
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To Bleach or Not to Bleach: Should You Use Bleach Tablets in Your Toilets?

Using bleach tablets to clean the toilet is one way to save time, not to mention avoiding the gloves, brush, and cleaner. But it turns out that bleach tablets can slowly cause damage to the rubber seals inside your toilet, causing unexpected leaks and repair bills.

Insurance

sewer backup endorsement
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Sewer Backup Endorsement From Your Insurance Company Can Save Money Later

Most people don't know that homeowners insurance and renters insurance typically doesn't cover your losses if something causes sewage to back up into your home. These damages can add up quickly.

working on car brakes
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Don't Let Your Insurance Company Steer You From Genuine Parts and Glass to Aftermarket Parts

The last time you needed body work done to your car or needed a new windshield, did you get Original Equipment Manufacture (OEM) parts or did you get parts from a mystery parts manufacturer?

Dollar Bills
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Cheap Auto Insurance Quotes: Cheap Insurance Doesn't Always Mean Bad Coverage

Are you looking for auto insurance? Getting a cheap auto insurance quote is exciting. But there are ways to make sure you get the cheapest auto insurance quotes possible while still maintaining good insurance coverage!

wrecked car insurance
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Your Auto Insurance Premium Changes Based Upon Insurance Points When You File A Claim

Filing a claim with your auto insurance company will usually leave you paying higher premiums. But it might not be so bad depending upon your auto insurance company and several other factors.

cars keys / rental car insurance
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Credit Card Rental Car Insurance Can Pick Up Where Traditional Coverage Stops

Credit cards typically offer perks to get you to sign up, like cash back and rewards. But you, like many people, probably don't know that many credit cards also offer free rental car insurance.

broken windshield
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Don't Be Fooled by the 'Not Responsible for Windshields' Claim on Dump Trucks

We've all seen the dump trucks with signs stating that the company isn't responsible for damage to your windshield. But it's mostly just a scare tactic.

Scams

online security passwords
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Create Stronger Online Passwords to Protect Your Personal Information

It's National Password Day! When is the last time you reviewed the passwords to your bank account, email, or credit card accounts? Are your online passwords strong enough to protect your information?

Tech support scam
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Don't Click That Link! How to Protect Yourself from Tech Support Scams

From robocalls to emails claiming to be from Nigerian royalty, internet scammers are coming up with all sorts of new and creative ways to try to steal your money. One such way is the tech support scam.

using an iPhone
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Use Mobile Banking? Follow These Tips to Keep Yourself and Your Information Safe

Mobile banking is extremely convenient for most people, but it can also leave you wide open to hacking and identity theft if you aren't careful. Follow these tips to help keep your information safe!

stop sign
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Tax Professionals Warned of New Scam Aiming to Steal Their Passwords and Client Information

The IRS is warning tax professionals to beware of a new phishing email scam impersonating tax software providers and attempting to steal data.

Lecture Hall
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Off to College? Going Back to School? How to Spot Scholarship Scams

There are more than 1.5 million scholarships available for college students. If you're one of them, make sure you know what to look for so that no one will take your money or sell your personal information.

Anonymous People - ID Theft
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Protect Yourself from Identity Theft by Keeping Your Private Information Private

Social media has become so prevalent in our day-to-day lives that we often give little thought to privacy. In reality, it is more important than ever to safeguard personal information from the dangerous threats of identity theft.

Cap Toss
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Applying for a Student Loan? Learn How to Identify and Avoid Loan Forgiveness Scams

If you have to take out a student loan or if you have just graduated and are now wondering how best to pay back your student loans, make sure to avoid loan forgiveness scams so you won't fall further into debt.

Taxes

What Will Really Happen If You Don't Pay Your Federal Income Taxes?
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What Will Really Happen If You Don't Pay Your Federal Income Taxes?

The thought crosses our minds every year at tax time. What would happen if I didn't pay my income taxes? We never find out, however, since we always end up paying. But what WOULD happen if you didn't pay?

elderly couple
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Get A Federal Income Tax Credit To Care For Your Aging and Elderly Parents

If you are caring for an elderly parent, you already know that it can get quite expensive. But you can qualify for a some tax credits and tax deductions from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for the financial support you provide.

Income Tax Deductions For A Larger Tax Refund
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Don't Miss These Common Income Tax Deductions For A Larger Tax Refund

Getting ready to file your taxes? Are you looking for the biggest tax refund you can get? Keep reading. You don't want to miss out on a number of common tax deductions often overlooked at this time of year.

Money
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10 Percent? 25? 35? 39.6? How to Understand Your Income Tax Bracket

Many people seek the help of professional tax preparers during tax season for just this reason. And federal income tax brackets are the basis of this complex system.

filing taxes
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Here Are The Most Common Income Tax Return Errors And How To Avoid Them

There are a number of common tax return errors you should look out for when preparing your 2018 tax return! Many errors are caused by carelessness or not double checking the info you enter.

Scam Alert
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IRS Warns of New Phone Scam, Reminds Consumers to Remain Vigilant

The IRS is warning consumers to be on the lookout for a scam where fraudsters call to demand an immediate tax payment through a prepaid debit card.

tax forms
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Thinking About Asking For an Advance on Your Tax Refund? Think Again

If you're short on money and know that you will be getting a tax refund this year, you may be tempted to get an advance on the refund. However, the fees and interest should make you think twice.

job search tax deduction
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Job Search Expenses Can Be Tax Deductible, Even if You Don't Get the Job

If you've been looking for a new job in the same line of work as your last job, you may be able to deduct some of your job search expenses on your federal income tax return. It doesn't even matter if you get the job.

Technology

iPhone
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You Can Boost Your Cell Phone's Weak Signal For Better Reception And More Reliable Calling

There are many reasons signal strength on your cell phone is poor-- a problem with your carrier, the materials in your home that block the signal, or something as simple as a bad battery.

Business Interview
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How to Make Sure Your Job Interview via Skype, FaceTime, or Other Video is Successful

If you've got a job interview coming up that will be conducted via Skype, FaceTime, or another video program, follow these tips to make sure the conversation goes as smoothly as possible.

Smartphone
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Slow iPhone? How to Refresh iPhone Memory Without Having to Reboot

Have you noticed your iPhone slowing down at all since its last update? If it's slow to respond, crashing, or freezing on random screens, it may be a problem with the device's memory.

Smartphone
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To Charge or Not to Charge? How to Extend the Battery Life of Your Mobile Device

Today's mobile devices are usually run on lithium-ion batteries, which is good news for consumers who want to stretch out the life of the battery as much as possible. Although you can't make it last forever, you can make the battery life last as long as possible.

Television
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Here's How to Stop Your Smart TV from Reporting Back Everything You Watch

There is generally some way to opt out of having all or at least some of your personal information collected or reported. However, the method depends on the manufacturer.

Laptop
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Having Trouble Connecting to the Internet? Figure Out and Fix the Problem

The messages may be different, but they all amount to the same thing: your device is having trouble connecting to the Internet, and it may—frustratingly—be up to you to figure out the problem and fix it.

Hard Drive
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How to Keep Your Computer Clean and Working Efficiently on the Inside

Many of us know all about the importance of keeping our software up to date, but how many of us really look inside our computers to make sure that they are breathing properly? Not many, most likely.

Keyboard
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Reset a Dell Laptop Battery Not Being Detected

Have you ever pulled out your laptop at your local coffee shop and pressed the power button only to discover that nothing happened? Well, it's happened to us before and we're pretty sure it's happened to you, too!

Cell Phone
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Want to Boost Your Cell Phone Signal at Home? Here's How to Do It

There are numerous causes for poor signal strength. It could be a problem with the carrier, or it could be that materials in the walls of your home are blocking the signal. Regardless of the cause, there is a way to boost your cell phone's signal to get the most possible at home.

Travel

booking cheap airfare
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Low Cost Airline Tickets: Book the Cheapest Airfare for Your Next Flight

If you want low cost airline tickets, you'd better plan ahead. Travelers who book airline tickets at least six weeks in advance typically pay less than those who book closer to the time of their flights.

Baggage Claim
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How to Make Sure Your Luggage Goes Wherever You Go on Your Next Vacation

If you've ever lost a bag when flying, you know how frustrating it is trying to get it back. It is particularly irritating because there is so little that you can do yourself to find the luggage.

Combo Lock
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Taking Valuables with You on Vacation? Here's How to Keep Them Safe

When you go on vacation, do you take your valuables with you or leave them at home? If you take them with you, there are some things you can do to make them more secure.

Jet at Gate
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Did an Airline Lose Your Luggage? Here's What You Should Do Immediately

You can't believe it. You've finally landed after a long flight only to find that your luggage didn't land with you. This is one of a traveler's worst nightmares, and unfortunately it happens from time to time.

Airline Cabin
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Want to Fly First Class? Here's How You Can Get a Flight Upgrade for Free

The people sitting in first class or business class may have paid for their tickets since the cost for those seats has fallen, but some of them may have gotten a free upgrade. How can you get a free first class or business class upgrade?

Airline at Gate
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Air Turbulence: What to Know and How to Protect Yourself

If you've traveled by plane and experienced air turbulence, you know that sometimes it can be a little scary. While no one likes turbulence, sometimes it is unavoidable. It can even occur seemingly out of nowhere on a perfectly clear day.