YOUR Travel

Is this vacation package a good deal or a scam?

Scammers often target vacationers with faxes, emails or phone calls offering an incredible price for what sounds like a dream vacation. Or they offer a “free” vacation if you join a travel club or attend a promotional seminar for their timeshare. As with all offers that sound too good to be true, it’s important to read the fine print. In many cases, travelers arrive at their destination to discover the accommodations aren’t quite what they were promised. Vacation-goers may also be hit with hidden fees or extra charges like bed fees, meal fees, or even fees for sheets and towels.

Offers that seem too good to be true almost always are. Instead of being pressured by sales representatives or promised deals and discounts, it is better for you to initiate the transaction. Do careful research. Many online travel sites offer ways to compare prices and travel options. You can also work with a local, trusted travel agent.

Read the fine print

Before purchasing a vacation package, study the agreement carefully. Make sure you clearly understand all charges and fees. Also, be sure to check refund policies on airfare and hotel rooms, in case you have to cancel.

You should also consider using a credit card to pay for the purchase. In many cases, credit card companies offer fraud protections and you maintain the ability to dispute any charges you did not agree to. Many credit card companies also include travel and rental car insurance in your credit card agreement. Check with your credit card company to see if these options are currently available to you.

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