Forget Christmas Packages! Vacation Packages are the Best!

July 28th, 2014 by Jason Hartman | Comments Off on Forget Christmas Packages! Vacation Packages are the Best!

vacationpackageBooking a vacation for a family can be a difficult task–there are a ton of things to consider, and you may feel a bit overwhelmed. Choosing a vacation package can depend upon a number of things, including price. You may find, once you’ve narrowed down the type of vacation you want, that there are a variety of discounted packages suddenly available and being advertised to you–but beware!

If it sounds to good to be true, it probably is.

Detecting fraud

As the economy struggled, the number of fraudulent vacation packages increased. Scammers began appearing everywhere, which means you’ve got to be extra careful. Knowing how to identify a legitimate vacation package is a useful skill to have, and we’re here to give you a little bit of advice!

Look out for these vacation scams, no matter the season!

Credit card requests

If you have a cell phone, you’ve probably received a phone call letting you know that you’ve won some extravagant prize. They probably followed the claim with a request for your credit card number, to be provided over the phone. Hopefully, you realized (before it was too late) that such a request was a scam.

This type of scam is becoming very popular as it relates to vacation giveaways. The most common variation of the scam involves a telemarketer asking for your credit card information in order to reserve your spot on the free vacation package at some point in the future. The scam manages to capture the credit card information from a number of people who end up with no vacation and less money.

You must buy now!

Some vacation booking businesses will ask that you make your decision and book immediately. A good business will never ask or require this of you–you should be given plenty of time to think about your vacation package before committing.

Real deals will be around for longer than a day or an hour–so wait for them!

Hidden fees

When you go to book your vacation package, make sure that you are aware of the full cost associated with the deal. Scammy companies will try to hide extra fees into your total cost, which can significantly increase the amount of money that you’re paying.

If may appear that you’re getting a good deal, but (to make up for the pretend discount) another fee may be incurred. Look carefully over all documentation before you hand over your credit card.

Call me maybe

If you’re booking a vacation remotely, make sure that the company offers a reputable phone number. 1-800 numbers aren’t that hard to get, so don’t trust every company who has one. You should never be redirected and there should be a voicemail available.

You should also always hear back from the company when you leave a message. A lack of communication is typically a red flag, so watch out. Also be aware that you should be able to reach a real person at least 25% of the time–any less, and we’re inclined to think “scam.”

Payment requests

Even if a company seems put together and legitimate, avoid giving your credit card information over the phone when you purchase your vacation package. Good companies almost always have offices or websites where you can make your payments. Requests to send cash, check, money orders are probably scams.

Trust companies that allow you to input your own financial information when you make a purchase.

Make sure that every vacation package you encounter passes the smell test–if it seems fishy, steer clear.

Instead, look for these things….

With all of these scam warnings, it might seem that booking your vacation as separate items is the way to go. While it works for some people, others find it frustrating and costly. If you haven’t been scared away from vacation packages, there are many great ones to choose from.

Anywhere to do anything

Fortunately, vacation packages offer a little something for everyone and every type of family or traveler.

For the family

Family vacations are hectic, so booking a vacation package just might make the whole process a little more palatable. Because it can be hard to settle on one spot, try to focus on finding a destination that appeals to the whole group. Disneyland or Disneyworld are good because they’ve got a theme park and surrounding attractions.

You might also look at places like Las Vegas that offer a ton of shows, concerts, food, etc. Versatile cities tend to offer activities for the whole family, and are easy to navigate. Cities of this nature tend to be around other things to do too, and can easily be both fun and educational.

Luckily, there are a lot of vacation packages geared specifically toward families.

Winter Wonderland

Ski vacations can be fun for both skiers and non-skiers alike, as they are typically located in beautiful landscapes. Sitting beside a fire in a warm lodge with a book makes for a pretty appealing vacation for some, while racing down the freshly powdered slopes can really hit the spot for someone else.

Ski vacations are great for honeymoons because they tend to be more romantic. The combination of warm cuddle time and freezing cold adventures builds lasting memories and relationships.

Cruise

Vacation packages often include a cruise that makes one or many stops because of the self-contained nature of such a vacation. They are all-inclusive, which makes them an easy choice for any traveler. Cruise ships include a lot of modern luxuries–movie theaters, ballrooms, tennis courts, pools, shopping, fancy restaurants, casual restaurants, etc. There’s usually a variety of fun social activities available too, making them great if you’re looking for a little bit of everything in your vacation package.

Cruises also offer the opportunity to explore some other parts of the world while still having a secure home base. For many, they are the ultimate in luxury vacationing.

The Wildcard

Another option for the adventurer is the “wildcard” vacation. You might go to a travel agency with a budget in mind and see what they’ve got to offer. Take the option that seems like the best deal and see where life takes you!

Vacation packages come in all shapes and sizes–unwrap yours today!

(photo credit: Christian Lambert Photography via photopin cc)

Read more from Jetsetter: 

Planning Your Luxury Honeymoon

Don’t Let Your Bucket List “Pail” in Comparison 

The Jetsetter Team

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