5 Ways to Avoid Travel Scams

  • Book With a Trusted Source
  • Verify Your Reservations
  • Read the Fine Print
  • Avoid Cold Callers and Time Shares
  • Pay With a Credit Card

Everyone deserves a vacation now and then, and you want to make sure that you get what you pay for. You may come across some deals that seem too good to be true when planning your next trip. Use these top five tips to avoid travel scams no matter where your adventure takes you.

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1. Book With a Trusted Source

An ad from a travel agency that you have never heard of before might not be the best way to invest your whole vacation budget. You may be better off booking your cruise or tour through a trusted source. Many associations offer group tours. You could also arrange your cruise directly through the cruise line instead of through a third party. If you do choose to book a vacation through a small travel agency or a similar third party, be sure to do plenty of research, verify their license and read reviews from consumers before making your non-refundable deposit.

2. Verify Your Reservations

If you do choose to book through a third party or an online vendor, call the hotel directly in order to verify your reservations. You would not want to arrive at the hotel only to find that there is not actually a reservation in your name. When you make reservations, ask if you are talking to a third party or the actual hotel. You may need to know this in the future.

3. Read the Fine Print

Whenever you sign a contract for a vacation, the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) suggests that you read all of the fine print. If you need to cancel your trip, the fine print might include details such as a non-refundable deposit, cancellation fee or other terms. The fine print might also include details about claims if you become injured or ill during your vacation. If you were to have a family emergency, the fine print contains pertinent details that you would need to know in regards to getting any of your money back.

4. Avoid Cold Callers and Time Shares

Cold callers are people who call you in order to pitch a vacation deal. You have never done business with them before this. Chances are good that you have never heard of them before. You might also come across people offering a timeshare. It is best to avoid these pitches. The people offering these “vacations” are likely to be scam artists. Only do business with companies that you have called or reached out to on your own.

5. Pay With a Credit Card

Credit cards have some built-in protections against fraud and scams. If you pay for your vacation with a credit card, you may also get some additional insurance in case anything goes wrong. If the vacation turns out to be a travel scam, your credit card’s issuing bank may help mitigate your losses. Paying by credit card also ensures that a scam artist cannot clear out your bank account, which could happen with debit or checks.

These steps allow you to plan a vacation and have peace of mind knowing that you have done the necessary research. It is always important to be diligent and pay attention for potential scams. Now that you know how to spot and avoid the top five travel scams, you can enjoy your next vacation.