There’s no better time than now to book your last-minute spring break trip. Temperatures across the country are still frigid and winter appears as if it’s going nowhere anytime soon, so today’s the day to plan your spring break escape. As you search for the best travel deal that fits your vacation budget, take caution – spring break travel scams are easy traps to fall into. Thankfully, there are some ways to avoid spring break scams plaguing students nationwide.
If something seems too good to be true, it probably is. That’s one red flag to look out for when you’re booking your spring break. You can determine the difference between a legitimate trip and a travel trick by proceeding with caution as you consider deals that offer luxury vacation packages that include a lot of premium add-ons for a very low price. If an affordable five-star hotel deal is on the table, but the company requires immediate payment to retain the stellar rate, than you’re probably being duped.
Here are a few other signs of scams to remember when on the search for a good travel deal:
1.) Search online. Enter the company name online along with the word “complaints” to determine just how trustworthy this company actually is. There’s no harm in crowdsourcing information.
2.) Get recommendations from those you trust. If your family or friends trust the company you’re looking to purchase a deal from, then chances are you’re going to be in good hands.
3.) Ask questions. Lots of them. If they don’t – or can’t – give you specifics about the promises of a “luxury” trip they’ve made to you, then they’re less likely to be true. Ask for specifics, get them in writing and make sure to check out the addresses of all hotels and other attractions they’ve said they’ve hooked you up with.
4.) Pay by credit card only. You’ll have better luck disputing faulty charges with your credit card company. If you pay by cash or check, you’re going to run into evidence issues. Remember never to give your account number away unless you’ve verified a business’ validity.
5.) Confirm all reservations and arrangements yourself. Call all of the airlines, car rental company and hotel businesses you’ll be using to ensure that your trip is actually booked.
6.) Check, double check and triple check the company’s cancellation and refund policies. Always read the fine print. Always.
7.) If you’re told you “won a free vacation” and have to pay some fees associated with the giveaway first, stay away. A legitimate company would never have you pay anything for a prize, according to the FTC. Figure out the costs before you agree to anything.
8.) Question “resort fees.” These pesky little things known as “resort fees” can result in some excessive costs you never planned for – like unexpected fees for Internet access and on-site fitness facilities. These fees are mandatory, so find out before you arrive at the hotel what the total price of your stay actually amounts to before you make your trip.