Avoiding Travel Scams

Older couple having picnic on beach.

Photo by Kampus Production on Pexels.

Most individuals look forward to their retirement because it is when they have planned to start or continue traveling. There is no more PTO to request. And hopefully, money is no longer an issue because you have accumulated a hefty nest egg to fund these trips. The only thing left to do is book your dream vacation, right? Unfortunately, that is not always the case because one must always stay vigilant of common travel scams.

Signs of Travel Scams

Free Vacation. These scammers know just how to entice people. One of the ways they will do that is by offering a free vacation. The proverbial red flag appears when scammers attempt to reel you in with this seemingly great opportunity. But then they try to make you pay to get it. If you must pay, then it’s not free!

No Details. Make sure you are getting all the information. If someone advertises a “luxury” resort or “five-star” cruise without any addresses or company names, it’s time to walk away.

Too Cheap. Follow your intuition if something seems too good to be true. Scammers try advertising vacations and rentals way below market price to get you to buy in. Do your research, and ensure the official websites of the properties promote all discounts and deals.

Avoiding Travel Scams

Research. If a travel agency has reached out to you, do your due diligence and look up those companies to find out if customers lodged complaints or negative reviews against them. Guarantee the property exists and confirm any information in the contract with the resort reception.

Know Before You Sign. Scammers try to push the booking process along in hopes that you do not take the time to read over contracts and merely sign their paperwork. Verify that you have copies of cancellation and refund policies. If a seller refuses to provide these items, do not sign with that person or company.

Beware of How You Pay. Wire transfers, gift cards, and others types of payment are not appropriate ways to pay. If someone asks you to pay in any of those ways, that is a positive sign of a scam. With those forms of payment, it is nearly impossible to get your money back should there be an issue.

In Conclusion

Ultimately, you want to guarantee that you only work with trusted sources as you shop around for your next trip. Ask your family or friends who have already traveled if they have any recommendations. Additionally, you want to affirm that you are using accredited websites for booking. Older individuals are usually at higher risk of scams, but by following the steps above, you should be able to protect yourself. If you enjoyed these travel tips, please read about how you can travel more frequently.

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About Kayla Gonzalez

Kayla Gonzalez is a graduate of Texas A&M University and joined the Empower Brokerage marketing team in early 2021. She creates content for the company websites and assists with various marketing campaigns. LinkedIn Profile

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