4. Deceptive Pricing
Read all the fine print. Does the package include transportation, hotels and meals? Is the airfare round-trip? (Indeed, the airlines are very good at not giving you the whole story upfront with their "airfares from $250" ads. When you look closely at the details, most flights cost more thanks to taxes, fees and other factors.) Investigate to make sure you're buying what you think you're buying. Before you pay, ask the agent for written confirmation about what is and isn't included in the price. Get documentation for everything. Everything includes: receipts, itinerary, company cancellation policy, company refund policy, etc.
5. Things That Aren't What They Seem
Never call 900 phone numbers (or area codes with 809, 758 or 664). You could be dialing an unregulated toll phone number in the Caribbean. Also be very careful of an event packager who promises everything (from air to hotel to the sporting event) but does not actually have the tickets to the event. Finally, avoid the old "become a travel agent" offer. For a fee, say $495, a company will offer to make you a travel agent and give you travel agent identification that will lead to "free or greatly reduced airfares." Baloney.
Also of interest:
- Protect yourself: How to research a travel agency first.
- Save money with these tips to avoiding higher food prices.
See the AARP home page for deals, savings tips, trivia and more.