They say you should never look a gift horse in the mouth, but if the gift horse is offering you a travel “deal,” seriously scrutinize its back molars. When you’re off the clock and planning a fun weekend getaway, you may think your corporate travel management company isn’t as resourceful as you are in finding the same deals via internet searches, direct mail offers or the ads on Facebook. But what you see isn’t always what you’ll get. At AmTrav, we’re bigger fans of travel treats than we are of travel tricks. So here are five things to be on the lookout for in those travel offers before you commit to them.
- Refundable airline tickets. There are plenty of online offers to re-sell you someone’s unused, refundable airline ticket. But beware: you have no recourse once you’ve paid for them – the seller has already gotten a refund from the airline and they’ve also been paid by you.
- Super-cheap airline tickets. Do a quick search on Skyscanner.net or Google.com/flights if you want to see what travel to a city really There are some airlines like Spirit, Frontier and Allegiant that seem to have really low fares, but then there’s the fine print. Travelers are nickeled and dimed to death. These airlines are charging for your carry-on, your checked baggage and your seat assignments. They may even charge you for booking online. Spirit and Allegiant will charge you to print your boarding passes. Even United is now charging for a second carry-on. Compare and contrast with the other airline fares by factoring in those hidden costs.
- Hawaii’s hidden resort fees. That daily rate they offered you for your Hawaiian hotel forgot to mention the resort fee, the valet fee and the parking fee. These hidden fees can add up to $150 a day. The state of Hawaii charges hotels an 18% tax, which you will absorb, one way or another. Watch out for hidden resort fees in many other places around the country too, they’re nothing short of scary.
- You won a “free” trip. This is routinely a come-on for sitting through a timeshare pitch. They’ll tell you it’s just 90 minutes of your time in exchange for a wonderful getaway, but you become a captive audience for timeshare pitches that can go on for five hours, just to wear down your resistance to signing on the dotted line. Take a look before you book at sites like cruisecritic.com, complaintsboard.com or ripoffreport.com.
- All-inclusive resorts. Do your homework and read the online reviews. Typically, the drinks are watered down, the food is mediocre and oftentimes, these resorts are located a little off the grid in an unpopulated area where you’d feel unsafe venturing off the resort grounds to explore the local flavor. Few people want to just stay holed up in their hotel for six days straight.
When you’re ready to book your personal (or leisure) travel, AmTrav is always here to guide you and help with booking cost-effective travel options.
By: Denise D.