JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Memorial Day Weekend is one of the busiest travel times of the year. Triple-A says airports will be the busiest they have been in nearly two decades. But whether you planning to fly or hit the road this weekend it’s important to keep an out eye out for travel scams, especially for spur-of-the-moment trips.
So far this year, Americans have reported more than 265-thousand dollars lost to travel scams. Last year, the average loss was $600. Now, the Better Business Bureau is sharing advice to help you have an enjoyable vacation while avoiding being conned.
First, Plan ahead. Typically, the earlier reservations are made, the better the deals and the lower the risk of the destination being booked solid. This also locks in rates and prevents higher prices later.
Avoid broad internet searches. Entering phrases like ‘best deals’ into a search engine can sometimes bring up websites that look official but are designed solely to rip people off.
Be alert for travel scams. Watch out for phone calls or letters claiming a ‘free trip’ or websites offering prices that appear too good to be true.
Do your homework.
Before paying for a hotel or any service research the business and read customer reviews.
Before making a final payment, get all the trip details in writing. This should include the total cost, restrictions, cancellation penalties, and names of the airlines and hotels. And consider travel insurance. Travel insurance covers things like trip cancellations or medical emergencies.
Finally, pay with a credit card. Paying with a credit card provides additional protection if something should go wrong with the travel reservation.
The Better Business Bureau also suggests not posting photos and videos of your trip while you’re away.
The BBB says this lets thieves know that no one is home.
Instead, resist temptation and wait to post when you get back.