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Avoiding “Vacation Busters”

Avoiding “Vacation Busters” - The Beacon


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By: Susan

Avoiding “Vacation Busters”

With more and more Americans working longer hours and feeling the pinch to their wallets, vacations of the past are becoming tougher to acquire. At very least, many families are paring back on their vacation plans or may go every couple of years on a big trip versus scheduling an annual excursion.

Once you finally earn those precious extra vacation days and a few extra dollars to devote to your trip, carefully protect your investment and look out for “vacation busters”. You know, those unexpected glitches or expensive hang ups that can turn your plans for relaxation into a costly nightmare.

 To help you hit the road without the glitch, your BBB has a few tips to consider for smart vacation planning, we hope will help.

 1). Travel Agents – if you are using a travel agent to plan your trip, consider your options. Travel Agencies are businesses, providing a service like many other service industries. For that reason, it is wise to check out the company’s review on your BBB’s website. Also, as with any other product or service, make sure you read the fine print, for both the vacation and the agency services provided. Know exactly what you are going to pay for each service or product and if you have questions, ask in advance. Also learn about cancellation policies, deposits due and where to turn if problems on your vacation should occur.

2). Road Trips – do you plan to use your own vehicle for this vacation? Have it checked out to determine it is in good working order prior to your trip, to avoid costly tows and repairs. If your vehicle is older or poses mechanical concern, you may want to consider the cost of a rental car. Either way, check out the companies you consider at

 3). Authorization Holds – a recent topic on our BBB blog, “authorization holds” are the amount of dollars a business may “hold” on your credit card to cover an expected charge PLUS possible incidentals, tips and the like. “Holds” for items not used or purchased typically drop off a couple of days later, once your actual charges go through, but in the meantime, these “holds” can go against your total credit line or even send you into overdraft, if you are near your credit max. BBB advises consumers to keep tabs on their credit and bank accounts online, especially when traveling, and read the fine print on agreements. Additionally, it is helpful to keep a “cushion” of extra funds, when possible, for this purpose.

 4). Natural Catastrophe and Weather issues – Mother Nature doesn’t always cooperate with our travel plans. Deposits and other advance expenses can be costly if your trip is canceled, so travel insurance may be worth consideration. These plans can help you recoup or reschedule your vacation, when disaster occurs. Also read the fine print, understand the terms and again, check out the company providing the insurance with your BBB.

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Susan is Director of Media Relations for the Tri-State Better Business Bureau. She is a contributor to the blog as well as to the online News Center, found at Susan also helps to produce an annual accredited business recognition banquet.