Travel Tips

How To Spot and Avoid Travel Scams

Scam

Ok, so you’ve found a great travel package, dealing everything from transportation to lodging to food to travel guides, at a unbelievable low cost. Well lucky you, but before you blindly follow into the deal, consider that some things are too good to be true, or as i like to call them: scams!

 

PAY NOW, TRAVEL LATER …

 

Usually, scam agent won’t give you full and complete information, regarding your travel plan, in writing until after you’ve given them a credit card number, certified check or money order. Once you do get further information, there will be restrictions and conditions which may make it more expensive, or even impossible, to take your trip.

While getting a refund is sometimes possible, it’s better to avoid paying anything in the first place. While there is the remote chance that you might miss a legitimate deal, chances are you will save yourself time and money in the long run.

To help avoid being a victim of a travel scam, the American Society of Travel Agents provides the following suggestions when evaluating travel offers:

» Be extremely skeptical about postcard and phone solicitations which say you’ve been selected to receive a fabulous vacation;

» You should receive complete details in writing about any trip prior to payment. These details should include the total price; cancellation and change penalties, if any; and specific information about all components of the package;

» If you insist on calling a 900 number in response to a travel solicitation, understand the charges and know the risks;

» Walk away from high pressure sales presentations which don’t allow you time to evaluate the offer, or which require that you disclose your income;

» Be suspicious of companies which require that you wait at least 60 days to take your trip.

Coastal Vacations a Scam? Facts About Coastal Vacations

With so many things being said about Coastal Vacations, its travel packages, and its business opportunity, people on the internet could get confused about what Coastal Vacations really is and if it really is a legitimate home based business and travel package.

First of all, Coastal Vacations is an association of entrepreneurs that have purchased a travel package at any of the three levels available and market these same packages at wholesale prices or as a business opportunity.

Below is a list of questions people are wondering about Coastal Vacations:

How do I know this isn’t a scam and shut down tomorrow?

All of the companies that are represented in this package are some of the most respected and ethical companies in the vacation and travel industry including Carnival Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Wyndham, Quest Cards, Alamo Car Rental, Access, etc.

 

See also: Ten Common Travel Scams (And How to Avoid Them)

 

How is it possible for Coastal Vacations to sell so many valuable vacations for such a low price?

First you have to understand how the Vacation & Travel Industry works. The price of a resort stay, cruise, or an airline ticket depends entirely upon projected capacities and vacancy rates.So it is to their advantage to have full rooms. This is why they let Coastal’s vendors give away these free vacations and cruises- to fill out the rooms, and of course, they know these people will spend money in other areas even if they get a free room.

 

SPORTS TRAVEL PACKAGES

 

Often you will find advertisements for travel packages to major sporting events, like the Super Bowl, the Daytona 500 or the World Series. Due to the limited time window, in which sporting events are held (same goes for any scheduled large event like concerts, festivals, conference), people will often look for fast and cheap ways of getting there, the thought of scams never cross their minds. Many of these offers are legitimate, but there have been instances in the past where consumers have been scammed by unscrupulous vendors who never had tickets to the event.

“Every year, we hear reports of sports fans whose travel plans were ruined by a questionable organization with an offer that sounded too good to be true,” said ASTA President and CEO Cheryl Hudak, CTC. “A good travel agent knows which questions to ask and what to look for in a legitimate sports travel package. Many people aren’t aware, for instance, that under the U.S. government’s ‘Truth in Ticketing’ rules, a tour operator advertising a Super Bowl travel package that includes a flight and game tickets must have the game tickets in hand or have a written contract for the tickets before they can even advertise.”

Before you buy a sports travel package, be sure to carefully read the tour brochure and any other solicitation material and pay by credit card, where possible, so you can be protected under federal fair credit practice laws.

 

AGENT CREDENTIALS FROM ‘CARD MILLS

 

[digg-reddit-me]Beware of offers from companies that sell questionable travel agent credentials. Consumers may be led to believe that such cards allow them to travel at free or reduced rates.

Organizations making these offers are known throughout the travel industry as “card mills” because they routinely offer credentials by the thousands in the form of an identification card that is sold for a significant fee. In turn, these cards would presumably be accepted by every segment of the travel industry. Many suppliers of travel, however, do not accept them.

 

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9 Comments

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    Excellent article and good advice. As a member of Coastal Vacations I believe you covered that explanation perfectly Tiberius. With the Internet sometimes there is so much miss information. Your post are always informative as it relates to the Travel Industry. Thank you.

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