5 steps to verify a deal just like the pros from Travelzoo's Senior Editor Gabe Saglie:
- Do Your Homework: Call the travel provider and ask for details on final pricing, including all taxes and fees. Also, compare that final number against other market pricing to the same destination to make sure the offer is really a deal.
- Know Exactly What Is Included: Does that free three-night stay come with a requirement to attend a high-pressure 90-minute timeshare sales pitch? Does that drastically reduced rate come with a pricey daily "resort fee?"
More and more, hotels are tacking on additional fees such "resort" or "housekeeping" fees that aren't included in the featured price of a deal. Also, double check that the destination you are flying into doesn't have a "departure tax" at the airport. While typically minimal, better to be prepared before arriving at the payment desk.
- Check References: From word-of-mouth to the Better Business Bureau's database, do research on the travel provider, especially when it comes to paying up to companies you may not know.
- Verify website Security: Before entering credit card information online, check to make sure the web address starts with "https", and not just "http" or anything else. The extra "s" in https signifies a secure a site for credit card purchases and personal information.
- Confirm What You Buy: When possible, pay with a credit card. This is the safest way to pay for travel online since you can dispute charges for services you don't get.
The trick is reporting fraudulent charges promptly. Once you've booked through a vacation company, confirm directly with the travel provider (i.e., airline, hotel, transportation, etc.) to make sure your itinerary matches their records. Make sure to print out all the details of your trip, including confirmation numbers and contact information for all companies that are part of your travel.
Travelzoo's Senior Editor Gabe Saglie is a leading expert on travel deals, travel tips and trends. He has appeared on dozens of highly-rated national and local news programs including CNN, NBC's Today Show, CNBC's On the Money, ABCNewsNow and Meredith Corporation's Better TV, as well as numerous affiliate stations in major markets around the country including New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Miami and many others.
Gabe has uncovered hundreds of valuable travel deals and has become an authority on topics such as tips for finding great travel deals, family travel, golf getaways, culinary vacations, cruises, island adventures, gaming vacations and ski getaways.
Gabe has an extensive journalistic background. He earned a Master's Degree in Broadcast Journalism from USC in Southern California, and then worked as a news writer and field producer for KGTV (ABC) in San Diego and as anchor and weathercaster for KEYT (ABC) in Santa Barbara.
Gabe resides with his wife Renee and sons Gabriel and Greyson in Santa Barbara.
For more information visit www.travelzoo.com