Beware Of Free Cruise Scams By Phone And/Or Internet PDF Print E-mail

The old adage about there’s no such thing as a free lunch applies to crooked travel offers. You get a message saying you have “won” or “been selected for” a free cruise. What it really involves are costs including piled on charges and taxes you must pay while aboard. Plus you must sit through a high-pressure timeshare pitch meeting of four to five hours.

If you accept the so-called free cruise, when you go aboard, you’ll find you’re on an creaky old ship heading for a dingy little island port. Meanwhile, the pitch is still pushed to upgrade and pay more as you sail for food, drinks, shore excursions and other costly features. Just ignore the original pitch and book your cruise through a trusted travel agent and/or upscale cruise line.

Q: How Do I Find The Lowest Airline Fares? PDF Print E-mail

I know Southwest frequently offers special deals, but it seems every time I need to book, there are no cheap SW flights in effect. TSF, Roanoke VA

A: Of course, the first rule for best fares is not to book to fly on busy weekends, and never on holidays, when airports are jammed. And be willing to fly late night, so-called red eye flights. Before booking, always comparison shop online and/or with a trusted travel agent. Airlines routinely match one another's fares on competing routes, and you’ll find Southwest isn't always the cheapest.

There may be a better deal or flight schedule on another airline, or snag a Southwest deal one way and a deal on the return on a different airline. Search on airline websites, travel search sites like Google Flights and online travel agencies like Priceline and Expedia. Southwest tickets can only be booked on its website, or through its reservations center (800-435-9792).

Don’t Be A Dangerous Selfie Cruise Passenger PDF Print E-mail

Selfies while traveling can be fun. Smiling in front of the Eiffel Tower, hugging at the Trevi Fountain and strutting in front of the Kremlin are all ok. However, if you’re on a cruise and climb up to point your camera or smartphone while standing on the ship’s railing is a no no.

Despite warnings, a couple did it while on a recent Royal Caribbean cruise. They were kicked off at the next port and had to pay all return home expenses. Additionally, Royal Caribbean banned them from ever sailing again on the cruise line. Simple solution: With or without your smartphone camera, when traveling, always be aware of personal dangers you may encounter, aboard cruise ships, high buildings and elsewhere, and follow all safety rules.

Save Time & Money On Flights: Lug Your Luggage PDF Print E-mail

With baggage fees and other airline charges ever rising, consider carrying everything on you. Shop for jackets with four or more roomy inner and outer pockets.

Clothing companies, including Jaktogo and Bagket, offer wearable luggage, some with protective locking flaps. For example, Jaktogo sells a jacket that can also convert into a large bag. Wear it loaded as you go through security, while you save money, avoid long lines and potentially lost luggage.

Glowing Online Travel Reviews: Truth Or Planted? PDF Print E-mail

Of course, some are legit opinions by actual customers who enjoyed the experiences. However, in today’s tough marketing battles, many hotels, restaurants, resorts, cruise lines and other travel-related businesses create and post fake positive testimonials.

Las Vegas, where reality rarely happens, is an example of fake customer testimonials. Ongoing resort and hotel ads in many media should serve senior travelers as good examples of fake ads. Included in the exaggerations are vacation packages, hotel rooms, dining, entertainment and other features.

Rule of travel testimonials: Take it all with a grain of salt. Before you book one of the alleged fantastic offers, check with friends and relatives who have recently actually experienced the destinations.


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