BBB offers vacation planning tips


By John North

Better Business Bureau

Warmer weather is quickly approaching and it’s time to start planning your perfect summer trip. Between booking flights, hotels and things to do, planning a vacation can be overwhelming and time consuming.

According to The Vacationer, 85%, which equates to nearly 219 million, American adults planned to travel in summer 2023. With many Americans planning getaways, it’s important to do your research before booking a trip and avoid travel scams.

The Better Business Bureau offers these tips when planning a vacation:

• Do your homework. Make a list of potential destinations and research the areas, climates, cost of hotels and travel, and activities available.

• Avoid broad internet searches. Entering phrases like ‘best deals’ into whichever search engine you use can sometimes bring up websites that look official but are designed solely to rip people off.

• Research and read reviews. Before booking a hotel, tour or other travel accommodations, research the company’s website and read reviews. Sometimes the photos and descriptions aren’t accurate.

• Book early. Start planning your trip early before your desired destination and accommodations are booked. Booking early also allows you to get better deals and lock in rates before the prime travel seasons.

• Think about travel rewards and points. If you travel frequently, it might be beneficial to sign up for rewards at hotels and airlines. However, read the fine print before signing up.

• Check refund and cancellation policies.

• Consider travel insurance, which can protect you from trip cancellations and unforeseen circumstances.

• Be aware of travel scams. Do business with reputable websites when booking rentals, airfare and other travel. Proceed with caution when booking through third-party websites. Never confirm name, address or banking information over the phone.

• Pay with a credit card. It’s easier to dispute fraudulent charges and you have a better chance of getting your money back if something goes wrong.

• Save any documents related to your booking. Save copies of your receipts and correspondence from rental companies.

• Remember, a great deal probably isn’t the truth. Scammers lure in targets by guaranteeing an amazing tip at a very low price.

The BBB wants you to be as safe as possible when traveling. Take extra precautions:

• Alert a close family member of your travel plans. Make sure someone close to you knows your expected arrival and return. Include the contact information for your accommodations in case of emergency.

• Don’t post on social media while away. Posting on social media while on a trip may alert thieves the house is empty.

Visit for a list of BBB Accredited Businesses and Business Profiles for companies you’re considering. If you believe you have been a victim of a travel scam, report it to BBB Scam Tracker (

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