6 Vacation Deal Mistakes That Can Cost You Money

Lost couple of tourists searching location in a guide and smart phone with a port in the background

Are you in the process of planning what will hopefully be a dreamy getaway? Or, maybe you're contemplating jet-setting to a faraway destination full of warm sunshine and endless umbrella drinks? Hopefully your answer is yes, as everyone needs to put up the "on vacation" sign from time to time. Just make sure you read the fine print before you say yes to any money-saving deals.


Sure, your vacation package might look pretty -- a little too pretty -- and yes, you might be able to save a coin or two. But what happens if your trip turns out to be a dud, and you're unable to get your money back? (Did you get travel insurance?)

Yeah, you might want to take a look at these tips before you commit to any vacation deals.

1. Do your research. "It may sound obvious, but you'd be surprised how many people do not do any research before booking a vacation," notes Greg Geronemus, travel expert and co-CEO of smarTours. Before you send any money or sign any contract, it's important to put your Nancy Drew skills to the test by finding out all there is to know about the deal in question and the company providing it.

2. Beware of scams. Geronemus also advises travel hopefuls to keep their eyes peeled for scams. Sadly, there are cruel people in this world who aren't afraid to dupe you -- and take your hard-earned money. "We're hearing more and more about people who show up at a vacation rental home, for example, and find someone else there (double-booked) -- or worse, the home doesn't exist at all!" warns Geronemus.

Yeah ... Google is your friend. (Don't be afraid to use that lifeline.)

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3. Don't be afraid to go old-school. "One way to assure that great deal is legit is to travel with a reputable company," suggests Geronemus. As convenient as booking online can be, there's nothing wrong in dealing with a real-life human -- aka a travel agent. Plus, it never hurts to get quotes from multiple sources.

4. Phone a friend. Should you decide, however, that the Internet is the way to go, always check the booking company's reviews (e.g., Facebook, Yelp, TripAdvisor). It also doesn't hurt to inquire with buddies about their personal experiences with using Internet deals for vacation.

5. Factor in transportation. Now that you've decided on a vacation, everything is good, right? Wrong. One big mistake many people make is not thinking about getting all the way to your destination. "One of the things that often slips through the cracks is the cost of transportation from the airport, and getting to your resort," mentions J.R. Duren, personal finance expert at HighYa. "Depending on where your resort is located, you could be looking at a $100 charge for a round trip to and from the property," says Duren.

6. Don't assume everything is included. Did you find a flash vacation deal you really want to take? How sweet. Before you click Buy, Duren strongly recommends that you take a look at the fine print -- specifically if you're planning to travel to an all-inclusive resort. "When you're looking at dozens of vacation deals in an area where all-inclusive is common, you could easily fall into the trap of booking a resort you assumed was all-inclusive -- simply because most nearby packages include that perk," informs Duren.

Here's to finding your dream vacation (and dream deal!).



Image via Antonio Guillem/Shutterstock; unsplash/Thomas Lefebvre

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