As of recently, BBB has seen a spike of both consumer inquiries on and complaints against a handful of travel companies. Whether due to consumers planning their last trip of the summer, or preparing for a winter holiday trip, finding the right travel company to work with can be a daunting task, and one that can make or break your vacation.
From traditional travel agents, clubs and packages, to internet sites like travelocity.com, orbitz.com, and expedia.com, BBB advises consumers to weigh the risks and benefits of each option.
BBB offers the following tips to keep in mind when booking your vacation:
- Check with BBB first. Visit bbb.org to check the BBB Reliability Report™ of any company. BBB Reliability Reports are available free of charge and will tell you how the company responds to any consumer complaints received by BBB and the company’s overall letter-grade rating with BBB.
- Read all terms and conditions. Before finalizing your trip, make sure you have read and understand all the terms and conditions, including any refund and cancellation policies.
- Gather information. Don’t be fooled by professional Web sites or e-mail invitations. Few legitimate businesses can afford to give away products and services of real value that substantially undercut their competitor’s prices.
- Request everything in writing. Get the names of airlines, hotels, car rental companies and other recreation services associated with the travel package, and contact them individually to verify reservations. Ask for a copy of the travel company’s cancellation and refund policy and do not sign the final contract without reading over it carefully.
- Pay with a credit card. It is possible to dispute a charge on a credit card within 60 days of a purchase. Take advantage of this protection and be wary of any travel company that requires booking of a vacation package 60 days or more in advance.