BBB has the following tips for college students and their parents to find good deals and avoid travel scams:
- Book through a reliable travel agent or travel site. Check its BBB Business Review at www.bbb.org or find a BBB Accredited Business. Accredited Businesses must adhere to the BBB’s 8 standards of trust, requiring that they advertise honestly, be transparent and honor promises.
- Get details about your trip in writing. Be sure to confirm the details, such as total cost, any restrictions, flights, hotel reservations and car rental.
- Pay with a credit card. Paying by credit card offers the most protection should something go wrong because you can challenge the charges.
- Consider purchasing travel insurance. Travel insurance provides coverage for particular perils which are specific conditions under which it will pay claims. Be sure to shop around and read the terms and conditions before purchasing.
- Use caution when considering deals. If a deal or package offers a lot for a very low price, be wary. If something seems too good to be true, it usually is. If a site is offering a hotel deal, take time to call the actual hotel to verify that the company offering the deal has a relationship with the hotel and to make sure the room exists.
- Be wary of claims you “won” a trip. Generally if you’ve truly won something, it will be given to you as a gift and there are no hidden fees. Be especially leery if the offer is unsolicited. Check on any unsolicited offers by calling BBB at 314-645-3300.