How to Avoid Being Ripped Off on Free and Discount Travel Deals

Traveling can be fun and a great getaway from the normal stresses of life. But since traveling can also be very expensive, many people look for travel deals and discounts to make it more affordable.

The problem is some of these discounts and offers are bogus and can end up causing major disappointment and serious cash.

This article will let you in on some of the on-going scams and how to avoid them, saving you money and your sanity.

1. Vacation Clubs – These clubs offer membership in return of buying vacations at cheaper prices. The problem is that some of the travel packages may not really be discounted. You can perhaps make comparisons of other travel packages from other places but the details tend to get in the way as they can be complicated and may vary so much that it’s hard to compare. Also, membership fees for some vacation clubs are through the roof. It makes no sense to pay outrageous fees if you are not even getting a real discount in your travels in the first place. If you are planning to sign up with a vacation club then do so with one that charges moderate prices and that services your social needs.

2. Become a Travel Agent – Some people are fooled by the “become a travel agent and get travel discounts and freebies” scam. They make you pay a fee and then you get the title of travel agent. Of course you know that travel agents can get deals on vacations and traveling but that applies to ones that are employed to a legitimate travel agency and persons in associations such as the Cruise Line Association. Another thing to keep in mind is that travel perks for travel agents aren’t as grand as they once were anyway so if you see anything resembling this make a b-line and don’t look back. I guarantee you that this is a scam.

3. Low Prices – Prices offered may look good but the truth is that there are hidden costs and fees that you may not even know about. As a result the cost gets higher and chances are you’ve already locked yourself into making the purchase. Ensure to read the fine print and find out all the costs linked to the vacation before you decide to pay.

4. Free Trips – You have to ask the question, ‘Why would I be getting a 100% free trip and I didn’t even enter a contest or go on a game show?” If you are offered a free cruise for instance, then chances are you will have to pay your way to get to the cruise ship which may be across the country, then you end up paying the cost of the room they assign to you, the food and drinks, gratuity and entertainment fees. As a result, the cruise ticket was free but with all the other expenses you’ve racked up, you may have spent more than a person that didn’t win a free trip.

There are a lot of scams in the travel industry but with proper precautions, you won’t fall prey to their tactics. You have to be skeptical when something seems too good to be true.

There are places you can check out in order to investigate claims made by these scam artists such as American Association of Travel Agents or Cruise Lines International Association.

Also, keep an eye out for the Better Business Bureau Certification on internet travel businesses as good-standing businesses care about their reputation and this seal of approval assures their customers that they are indeed legitimate. In addition, customer reviews will tell you a lot about the operations.

Do they seem too good to be true or do they entail bad occurrences as well?


Tips to Finding the Best Travel Deals

It is good to book a sale to get the best travel deal. People travel during their honeymoons or just to get away from the drudgery of working life. They need to be refreshed and get a taste of what other countries can offer. From beautiful sights, alluring beaches to monumental and iconic buildings, they make a splendid attraction to bring in the tourist dollars.

For instance when you travel to Thailand, you get to taste spicy tom yum soup, visit temples, ride on elephants’ backs and watch kickboxing. You get the experience the culture and way of living of the local people. After all, the exchange rate to Thai currency, the baht, is very attractive and makes Thailand one of the most affordable places to visit.

Or you can visit China and walk on the Great Wall of China, taste the local fried food and dishes, watch cultural shows, famous acrobats, visit Tiananmen Square and buy silk pajamas and comforters. The Chinese are also famous for their embroidery work and carvings. You can also buy jade bangles, jade pendants and the list goes on when you visit a jade factory. You can also purchase fridge magnets with cultural designs to bring back as souvenirs. The exchange rate to the remimbi is also very good from your local currency. China is a place for you to bargain to get the best deal from your money.

If you have extra money, you can make a visit to the land of freedom, USA, and take photos with one of the wonders of the world, the Grand Canyon. You could also try seafood with big crabs in San Francisco and see the Golden Gate Bridge. Or stay in Las Vegas and experience the colorful neon lights at night that are lighted up in the various hotels like MGM, Riviera, The Sands, Caesar’s Palace, and so much more. Even if you don’t gamble, you can take a peek at the casinos and many jack pot machines. Las Vegas used to be a desert, which was transformed into one of the world’s greatest man-made attractions ever conceived.

So, it is always wise to look for travel deals either in the brochures or on the Internet listed in the websites. Most travel deals can save you marginally a lot of money. You could choose to travel within the country by express bus to a nearby popular tourist destination and stay in moderately cheap hotel. There will certainly be many types of packages for you to choose from. If you are traveling with your spouse and kids in a group, it makes economic sense to choose travel deals that are much cheaper.

Since these packages have been worked out and arranged to save you the most money for popular trips to selected destinations, it is wiser to choose and pay for them. That is why, when people have the extra cash or savings, they normally would love to spend it on traveling places that they have never been before. You can find travel deals from newspapers, brochures, from the Internet or during travel fairs held once in a while.


5 Handy Hints on Packing For a Trip With Care and Forethought Pays Dividends

Packing for a trip is always considered to be an onerous chore, but done correctly, with time and thought, it can make a lot of difference to the outcome of your journey, be it for business or pleasure. It’s not until you discover that you’ve left certain things behind that you realize how much of a hassle it can cause. So, getting it right in the first place can you save you an awful lot of grief later.

1) Planning ahead- Whether you’re a frequent traveler or not, it always a good idea when packing for a trip to plan your packing carefully. Start off by creating a basic check list. There are two advantages. Firstly, you are thinking in advance (not in panic at the last minute) so you can consider what you will need more carefully. Secondly, your check list can also act as a packing list that you can tick off each time you pack an item, making sure nothing you need gets left behind.

2) Documents – Documents are always a concern. The number of times people end up double check and triple checking to make sure they’ve got airline tickets or passports or whatever, is amazing. There’s nothing worse than realizing an hour after leaving home on your way to the airport that you’ve left your passport behind. Once again, when packing for a trip, planning is the key. Write yourself that all important check list well in advance. Remember that documents can vary depending on the country of destination (e.g. a Visa). Typically your check list should include: Passports, Drivers licenses, Travel tickets, Boarding passes (if checked in online), Visas, Vaccination certificates, Travel insurance certificate, Traveler’s checks or foreign currency, Bookings confirmations, Maps, and Guidebook/Phrasebook. It’s always handy to have a pen and some writing paper too.

3) Cleanliness and health – If you are flying, and carrying any liquids/creams, check the restrictions on such items with your airline. You may need to “decant” these into smaller containers to be able to take them on board. If flying to warmer countries you can take: Malaria tablets, Insect repellant, Sun Lotion, Sun glasses, Condoms (or whatever your preferred method contraception is), Toiletries, Hairbrush/comb, any medications you may be taking, first aid kit (including diarrhea tablets), Water purification tablets, and if appropriate, travel sickness pills.

4) Clothing – Clothing is obviously a very personalized affair. Ensure you take plenty of underwear (especially if you are not going to be doing any washing). Take something warm for the cooler evenings, and some sort or waterproof should it rain. It always a good idea to have casual shoes (trainers etc) as well as something smarter for nice restaurants etc. If you’re going somewhere cold, pack some thermals and thick socks

5) Electronics and others -These are not essentials, but you may consider: Electric razor, Heated hair rollers, Portable hair dryer, Mobile phone, Phone Charger, Mains adaptors, Corkscrew, Can opener, and Penknife (not in hand luggage),