Nothing puts a damper – and added stress – on a relaxing vacation like experiencing financial issues or becoming the victim of fraud. As you choose where to stay, how to get there and what adventures you’ll pursue, consider some of these tips to lessen the financial risks.
- Know the cancelation policies. No one wants to call off a long-awaited vacation, but we all know life happens and plans change. Review copies of the travel agency, hotel, resort and/or airline’s cancelation and refund policies before purchasing services.
- Check before you book. Opt for making reservations through a trusted travel website or travel app on your smartphone. It’s typically safer to go straight to the airline or hotel’s website directly when making purchases. Ask family and friends for recommendations, and look online to see what people are saying about their service and prices. Avoid agencies you have never worked with or that seem fishy.
- Pay by credit or debit card. This will make it easier to dispute charges and potentially get your money back if you don’t get what you paid for. Plus, when you’re on the road, lost or stolen cards are easier to “get back” than cash or checks.
- Let your bank know you are traveling. The bank will place a travel notice on your card so it does not get turned off by the fraud team when transactions are made in unfamiliar locations.
- Beware of travel scams. Broken taxi meters, spills on your clothes and fake WiFi are just a few of the tactics crooks deploy to take advantage of unwitting tourists. Before you leave on your trip, familiarize yourself and your family with common travel scams like the ones in this infographic.
For more travel safety tips, visit the Federal Trade Commission’s Travel Scams page.