BBB says: Don’t get burned this spring break–book your vacation wisely!

ID-100287969It might be cold where you are right now, but spring is just around the corner. Now is the time to start making your vacation plans.

Planning your trip may require making reservations with multiple businesses whether online or on the telephone. A travel agency can make the process of booking your spring vacation quick and easy. But using the wrong one could turn your vacation into a nightmare.  Your BBB advises you to do your research before you book your next vacation.

In 2014, BBB received nearly 8,000 complaints nationally against travel agencies and bureaus. Most complaints alleged consumers felt misled by travel offers that failed to deliver on promises. In some cases, consumers paid money for travel arrangements that were never made.

Follow this advice from your BBB to ensure your trip will be worry free:

  • Use a travel company you trust. Ask family and friends to recommend a company they’ve used and go to org to see the company’s BBB Business Review. You can also utilize BBB Member Pages to find a BBB Accredited Business for your travel needs.
  • Get all vacation details in writing. Get all the details of your vacation in writing, including travel itineraries and booking confirmations. Get a copy of the company’s cancellation and refund policies.
  • Verify reservations. Get the contact information for the airline, rental car company and hotel. Call to confirm all arrangements with them. Don’t only rely on the word of your agent.
  • Consider travel insurance. Travel insurance is designed to cover such things as trip cancellations or medical emergencies. Certain companies and policies have different levels of coverage based on whether you purchase the car rental, hotel, or flight. Ask a lot of questions, and always read the fine print to see what’s covered.
  • Pay with a credit card. Paying with a credit card gives you additional protection if something were to go wrong with the travel reservation.
  • Be alert for travel scams. Unsolicited mail, email and websites offering deeply discounted travel packages could leave you out of a vacation and money if you’re not careful. Watch out for scams saying that you have “won a trip.”  Generally if you’ve truly won something, it will be given to you as a gift. Be especially leery if the offer is unsolicited.