Escaping to warmer climes sounds like a good plan after the winter we’ve all weathered. Arizona! Hawaii! Jamaica! Get me on the first plane!
And that’s why travel schemes, scams and fraud are so prevalent. Most of us are in such a hurry to get where we are going that we don’t take time to check out the travel provider or to read the fine print before handing over our credit card information.
BBB offers these travel tips to help you plan a fraud-free get-away:
Gather Information. Don’t be fooled by professional-looking travel websites or emails. And don’t be fooled by prices that are too good to be true. If booking online, check the website for a physical address in addition to the Web address. Look for trustmark seals – such as the BBB Accredited Business Seal – that indicate the business is reliable. Don’t stop there. Go to the company’s BBB Business Review to see it’s BBB rating, if there’s a history of complaints and customer reviews.
Ask detailed questions and get everything in writing. Get names of airlines, hotels, car rental companies and travel providers. Consider contacting these businesses directly to verify arrangements. Always ask for confirmation of your travel arrangements in writing and ensure you receive copies of cancellation and refund policies.
Consider investing in travel insurance. Travel insurance can provide protection in the event of an accident, an illness, lost luggage or a cancelled or interrupted trip. Read the insurance contract to understand coverage and exclusions. Investigate trip cancellation policies and determine what they cover to see if it would be worthwhile to purchase the insurance.
Always pay with a credit card. It’s easier to dispute charges and get your money back. Beware of travel offers that require you to book 60 or more days in advance because that’s the time limit for disputing credit card charges at many banks.
Start With Trust. For more consumer tips and information, please visit our BBB NoCo Website or call 970-488-2044.
Luanne Kadlub is BBB’s Communications Editor in Fort Collins.