Travel Scams and
How to Avoid Them
Unlike Most Products, travel services usually have to be paid for before they are delivered. This creates opportunities for disreputable individuals and companies. Some travel packages turn out to be very different from what was presented or what the consumer expected. Some don't materialize at all! If you receive an offer by phone or mail for a free or extremely low-priced vacation trip to a popular destination (often Hawaii or Florida), there are a few things you should look for:
Some other advice: If you are told that you've won a free vacation, ask if you have to buy something else in order to get it. Some packages have promoted free air fare, as long as you buy expensive hotel arrangements. Others include a free hotel stay, but no air fare.
If you are seriously considering the vacation offer and are confident you have established the full price you will pay, compare the offer to what you might obtain elsewhere. Frequently, the appeal of free air fare or free accommodations disguises the fact that the total price is still higher than that of a regular package tour.
Get a confirmed departure date, in writing, before you pay anything. Eye skeptically any promises that an acceptable date will be arranged later. If the package involves standby or waitlist travel, or a reservation that can only be provided much later, ask if your payment is refundable if you want to cancel, and don't pay any money you can't afford to lose.
If the destination is a beach resort, ask the seller how far the hotel is from the beach. Then ask the hotel.
Determine the complete cost of the trip in dollars, including all service charges, taxes, processing fees, etc. If you decide to buy the trip after checking it out, paying by credit card gives you certain legal rights to pursue a chargeback (credit) if promised services aren't delivered.
Safety While On The Go
Tourists make tempting targets for thieves and hustlers because they often carry expensive cameras, jewelry, and large amounts of cash. Worse, travelers often find themselves in unfamiliar territory where they are frequently lost or confused or simply preoccupied with seeing the sights. Here are some popular scams- and how to avoid them (but remember that your best protection is to be prepared for anything).
Avoiding Scams When Planning Your Trip
When planning a trip, here are some additional tips: