How to Avoid Being Ripped Off on Free and Discount Travel Deals

Traveling can be fun and a great getaway from the normal stresses of life. But since traveling can also be very expensive, many people look for travel deals and discounts to make it more affordable.

The problem is some of these discounts and offers are bogus and can end up causing major disappointment and serious cash.

This article will let you in on some of the on-going scams and how to avoid them, saving you money and your sanity.

1. Vacation Clubs – These clubs offer membership in return of buying vacations at cheaper prices. The problem is that some of the travel packages may not really be discounted. You can perhaps make comparisons of other travel packages from other places but the details tend to get in the way as they can be complicated and may vary so much that it’s hard to compare. Also, membership fees for some vacation clubs are through the roof. It makes no sense to pay outrageous fees if you are not even getting a real discount in your travels in the first place. If you are planning to sign up with a vacation club then do so with one that charges moderate prices and that services your social needs.

2. Become a Travel Agent – Some people are fooled by the “become a travel agent and get travel discounts and freebies” scam. They make you pay a fee and then you get the title of travel agent. Of course you know that travel agents can get deals on vacations and traveling but that applies to ones that are employed to a legitimate travel agency and persons in associations such as the Cruise Line Association. Another thing to keep in mind is that travel perks for travel agents aren’t as grand as they once were anyway so if you see anything resembling this make a b-line and don’t look back. I guarantee you that this is a scam.

3. Low Prices – Prices offered may look good but the truth is that there are hidden costs and fees that you may not even know about. As a result the cost gets higher and chances are you’ve already locked yourself into making the purchase. Ensure to read the fine print and find out all the costs linked to the vacation before you decide to pay.

4. Free Trips – You have to ask the question, ‘Why would I be getting a 100% free trip and I didn’t even enter a contest or go on a game show?” If you are offered a free cruise for instance, then chances are you will have to pay your way to get to the cruise ship which may be across the country, then you end up paying the cost of the room they assign to you, the food and drinks, gratuity and entertainment fees. As a result, the cruise ticket was free but with all the other expenses you’ve racked up, you may have spent more than a person that didn’t win a free trip.

There are a lot of scams in the travel industry but with proper precautions, you won’t fall prey to their tactics. You have to be skeptical when something seems too good to be true.

There are places you can check out in order to investigate claims made by these scam artists such as American Association of Travel Agents or Cruise Lines International Association.

Also, keep an eye out for the Better Business Bureau Certification on internet travel businesses as good-standing businesses care about their reputation and this seal of approval assures their customers that they are indeed legitimate. In addition, customer reviews will tell you a lot about the operations.

Do they seem too good to be true or do they entail bad occurrences as well?

The Northwest Trek Wildlife Park in Washington – A Great Vacation and Travel Destination

If you enjoy wildlife and plan on heading to Washington State then you will definitely want to check out the Northwest Trek Wildlife Park. The park is situated on 723 acres on there is something for everyone from animals to meadows and lakes to trails. Animal enthusiasts and children will especially enjoy seeing the 200 North American animals that call the park home.

The Northwest Trek Wildlife Park is not like every other wildlife park you may have visited in the past. You can ride trams and tour the free-roaming area where you will be able to see woodland caribou, Roosevelt elk, deer, bighorn sheep, bison, mountain goats, and more. You can also see natural exhibits by walking the forested pathways where you will be able to see wolves, bobcats, cougars, owls, wetland animals, grizzlies, black bears, lynx, eagles, owls, and more. You can get a great deal of exercise by walking the nature trails that stretch five miles and your family will also enjoy the Cheney Family Discovery Center where kids can get hands-on.

The Northwest Trek Wildlife Park is open year round and each season provides a new experience. The animals have thick winter coats during the winter and play in the cool air. If it snows then the park is absolutely gorgeous and something you will want to see. During the spring the weather is warming up and everything begins to turn green. It’s baby season, which means by summer you will be able to see baby spotted elk, little fawns, bison calves, and more. The fall is a special time at the park, too, and the leaves are gorgeous as they change to gold, orange, and red.

You may want to pack a picnic basket or eat at the Fir Bough Café. There is a gift shop, behind the scenes programs, group rates, school programs, educational workshops and more. Parking is free and the trails and all facilities are ADA Accessible. If you are in the Seattle area you can easily make a day trip as it is only 55 miles south of the city. The park is open year round, but the schedule varies depending on the season. The park is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the last week of the year.

Finding the Best Savings on Travel Deals

Taking a vacation can be expensive, yet you may be tired of the typical staycation. Instead, consider taking a travel vacation that you can afford. If you plan ahead you will be able to have a wonderful vacation using travel deals and discounts to keep you within budget.

Get a Deal Online

The Internet offers a great way to find some of the best prices on travel. You can easily compare prices until you find the one that works best for you. Keep in mind that the travel options and deals that are offered change often. You’ll want to return to the site several times to see all that they have to offer. Check various travel sites to find the latest special deals that are offered.

Reserve Early

There are often some good price savings to be had when you book your trip early enough. The prices may go up but if you’ve already booked your trip you’ll be able to pay the lower rate. Be sure that you check to see if extra charges apply for making date changes or if you cancel. You can also pre-pay for your hotel and meals so that you’ll have fewer charges during the trip.

Wait Until the Last Minute

If you’re considering a last-minute trip you may be in luck. You’ll often be able to find really good prices on airfare and hotel rates when you book at the last minute. This works the best during the off season. If the hotel is under-sold they will often try to reduce rates on the rooms to increase their occupancy. You may be able to get a room upgrade for a lower price as well.

Look for Savings

Good preparation will ensure that you’ll find the best deals. For example, if you need to park at the airport consider choosing an offsite parking lot rather than the airport lot. You’ll often be able to get a substantial savings. If you plan your trip well, you should be able to locate several such savings options throughout your vacation. If you have kids, consider choosing a suite hotel. You’ll be able to save money by cooking light breakfasts and keeping snacks on hand.

Group Savings

Traveling as part of a group is often much cheaper than going it alone. Group travel packages are a great way to find savings on your trip. One of the biggest areas of savings will be on airfare since groups may use a charter flight. Of course, be cautious of any changes. Most of these trips are for specific dates and cannot be changed or refunded.

Set a Budget

It’s always a good idea to set a travel budget. Determine the total amount that you can spend on the trip as well as the daily spending allowance for food and incidentals. Be aware of your budget so that you don’t overspend. It’s very easy to end up going way over budget and spending more than you should on your trip. Plan some activities that don’t cost anything so that you’ll be sure to save money for other activities.