INDIANAPOLIS — The Federal Trade Commission issued a warning this week to anyone planning a summer vacation.
Before you book, do some research and ask for a copy of the cancellation and refund policies before you put any money down.
- Before responding to offers — get recommendations from family and friends on travel agencies, vacation rentals, hotels and travel packages.
- Look up travel companies, hotels, rentals and agents with the words “scam,” “review,” or “complaint.”
- Look for extra costs. Resort fees (also known as destination, facility and amenity fees) can add $50 or more to your nightly cost.
- Ask about taxes, which may be significant in many locations.
- If you’re buying travel insurance, be sure the agency is licensed .
- Bring copies of any confirmation details that show the rate and amenities you were promised. This also helps if the hotel or host says your reservation is “lost.”
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No legitimate company will ask you to pay for a prize, according to the FTC.
You should also look for catches to resort or timeshare offers such as taxes and fees, timeshare presentations to attend, and high-pressure sales pitches to endure.
Don’t sign on the dotted line until you know the exact terms of the deal, and feel free to say no.
Use a credit card, which will give you more protection than cash, check or debit card — and it will be easier to dispute charges.
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Protect your identity and account information while you’re traveling.
- Take only the IDs, credit cards and debit cards you need. Make copies so, if someone steals your bag, you’ll know exactly what was lost.
- Make a copy of your insurance card to take with you.
- Leave all other important documents safe at home.
- Learn how to protect your mobile devices and personal information from hackers and malware.