Are you ready to travel again? Due to COVID-19, we had to find creative ways to travel and experience the world.
Now that summer’s here and people are comfortable traveling again, it’s time to book your next vacation. It’s also a time to avoid scams.
Travel scams have cost people more than $75 million since the beginning of COVID-19. On top of that, the costs of travel are increasing because demand is high.
How can you save money on your vacation and avoid travel scams? Keep reading to find out.
1. Travel In the Off-Season
Do you want to feel like you have a place to yourself? You’ll love to travel in the off-season. Not only do you avoid the tourists, but you can get a cheap vacation in the process.
When are the best times to travel? January is often a time for a cheap vacation. People are still recovering from the holidays. They also don’t want to mess up their New Year’s resolutions, so they’re not eager to travel.
Other times are right after Labor Day and early spring. The weather is still very favorable at these times. They also are outside of peak travel times. Right after Labor Day is good because kids are back at school.
In the early spring, you do have good weather, but it’s also a time for Spring Break. Not all destinations are worth the visit during this time.
You’ll find that demand is low, so you’ll have cheap flights. You’ll find that there are no long lines for rides, and the trip is more enjoyable without the large crowds.
2. Don’t Stay In a Hotel
Depending on where you are, the average meal costs between $9-$12. It’s probably even higher at major tourist destinations like New York or Florida.
That doesn’t include drinks and appetizers. The next thing you know, dinner for the whole family is over $100.
If you stay in a hotel, your only option is to eat out the entire time. That empties your wallet and piles on the extra pounds.
You can balance that out by staying in an apartment or vacation rental. These come with fully-stocked kitchens so you can have meals at home, which are much cheaper than eating out.
That doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy the local cuisine. Plan out which meals you’ll have out and which ones to have at the vacation rental. You’ll end up saving money.
3. Know the Most Common Travel Scams
You need to learn how to avoid scams when booking vacations and traveling. Scammers are always looking to take advantage of travelers.
Have you ever come across a social media post or email about a free airline giveaway? If you enter your information, you could win free a trip. Yes, it’s too good to be true.
Scammers get your information and they sell it on the black market. Your information gets used for fraudulent purposes.
Another common scam is to pay money to hear a presentation about vacation opportunities. You end up paying money for a vacation that doesn’t exist.
Once you get to your destination, you need to keep your guard up. Stay aware of your surroundings at all times. Scammers operate on teams, where one person distracts you while the other picks your pocket.
Another scam offers a photo with cartoon characters. You take the picture and then you’re expected to pay $10.
4. Use Legit Travel Booking Sites
The Better Business Bureau recently warned that more people are falling for travel scams that involve booking websites.
These booking websites will have you book the flight online or by calling customer service. They’ll take your payment information and send you an email. There’s not a flight ticket attached to the email.
Other booking sites have you book your family vacation, then call you for more money because of a price increase.
Always research websites before you do business with them. You should also check for website redirects. For example, if a site’s URL is one thing, then redirects to another, it might be a scam.
You should also look at reviews and information online. One popular site for vacation packages is Undercover Tourist. They sell discounted tickets, hotels, and car rentals for major vacation destinations across the United States.
It seems too good to be true, so you should question whether the site is legit or not. It is, and you can find more information here.
5. Get an All-Inclusive Vacation
If you don’t want to cook on vacation, there is a way to avoid spending a ton of money on meals. You can get an all-inclusive vacation package.
These packages include everything under the sun – room, meals, beverages, and activities. Some packages include flights, too.
These can be real money-savers if you book at the right place at the right time. You can save quite a bit of money if you travel in the off-season and months in advance.
You’ll have offers to add other things to the all-inclusive package, such as insurance. Your credit card company might offer travel insurance, so it may not be necessary.
You’ll also want to avoid alcohol during your vacation. Alcoholic beverages are outside of the all-inclusive package.
You Can Avoid Scams and Save Money On Vacation!
Can you save money on vacation and avoid scams at the same time! Yes, you can! Cheap vacations don’t have to be scams, you just need to know where to look.
You do need to know how to spot scams so you don’t lose the money you saved for your family vacation. It takes research and planning, but you know that your next vacation will be unforgettable.
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