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Planning a summer vacation? You may be looking for deals on cheap flights or discounts at hotels and resorts – but some promotions may come with strings attached, and others can be downright scams. Before you pack your bags, keep these travel tips in mind.

  • Avoid “free” trips that require you to pay. A company that offers you a free vacation – but then pressures you to buy extras or add-ons, or to verify your identity with a credit card number – is probably trying to scam you.
  • Say no to robocalls. If you get a cold call trying to sell you something, ignore it. Robocalls are usually illegal. If you get an unwanted call, report it to the FTC. Also, avoid offers that come through text or an unexpected email.
  • Know the cancellation policies. Ask about the refund policies for flight reservations, car rentals, and rental properties, and get them in writing.
  • Pay by credit card. When it’s time to buy, paying by credit card gives you more protection than paying with a debit card, cash or check. There are laws to protect you if your credit card information is lost or stolen. And, in case you don’t get what you paid for, you may be able to dispute the charges with your credit card company.

For more information, visit And if you’ve spotted a travel scam, report it to the FTC.

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The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.

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Well Traveled
June 12, 2018
Be careful of vacation packages with change restrictions, even those offered by big name companies like AA Vacations. Review your itinerary very carefully, particularly if your international flights arrive after midnight. You might be left without a hotel for that night because you arrive after midnight, technically the next day. This happened to me in May, 2018 from Phx, AZ to Singapore. So, be careful, try to get a email with full itinerary before you pay. What you might save in a package can be lost with just one gap in the travel plans.
June 12, 2018
Use a reputable travel tour group company if traveling abroad or even domestically. They know the ins and outs of traveling the country, speak the language, and add another level of protection against ripoffs and thugs. Buy trip and medical travel insurance -it's cheap compared to the alternative.
June 13, 2018
Thank you!