7 Tips To Avoid Costly Surprises When Travelling Abroad

==> Try to buy your vacation travel package from a business you know.

If possible, deal with businesses that belong to professional associations such as the American Society of Travel Agents, the National Tour Association or the United States Tour Operators Association. If you're not familiar with a company, get its complete name, address and local telephone number.

==> Be cautious if the names of the seller and travel provider differ.

You may be dealing with a telemarketer who has no responsibility to you after the sale. And be wary of ads in the newspaper, on the Internet or that you receive by unsolicited fax that offer deeply discounted vacations. These "deals" often contain hidden costs or don't tell you that you may have to attend a sales presentation to qualify for the discount or the travel. Avoid buying from a firm that wants to send a courier for your payment or asks you to send your payment by overnight delivery. The business may be trying to avoid detection and charges of mail or wire fraud.

==> Verify arrangements with your travel agent before you pay.

Get the details of your vacation in writing and a copy of the cancellation and refund policies. Ask if the business has insurance and whether you should buy cancellation insurance. Get the names, addresses and telephone numbers for the lodgings, airlines and cruise ships you'll be using. Don't accept vague terms such as "major hotels" or "luxury cruise ships." Call to verify specific reservations, too.

==> Use a credit card to make your purchase.

If you don't get what you paid for, you may be able to dispute the charges with your credit card company. Some telemarketers may claim they need your account information for identification or verification. They don't. Your account number should be used only to bill you for goods and services.

==> Be wary of prepaying for long-term arrangements.

Timeshares, campgrounds or travel clubs may offer to sell membership vacation accommodations for five years or more, or until you resell your interest. Unless you're certain you'll stay healthy, both physically and financially, and that the company selling the memberships will stay in business, prepaid vacations may not be right for you. In addition, annual membership and maintenance fees may rise. If the seller claims the fees will stay the same, beware. Beautiful properties today may be run-down in five or 10 years without sufficient maintenance. If you decide to buy a timeshare or membership in a vacation club, be aware that resales are difficult, if not impossible, because there's no secondary market. As for timeshares as investments: they rarely appreciate in value.

==> Learn the vocabulary.

"You have been specially selected to receive our SPECTACULAR LUXURY DREAM VACATION offer" doesn't mean you'll get a free vacation. It means you'll be offered an opportunity to pay for a trip that may fit your idea of luxury - or not. "Subject to availability" means you may not get the accommodations you want when you want them. "Blackout periods" are blocks of dates, usually around holidays or peak season, when no discount travel is available.

==> Watch out for "instant travel agent" offers.

Companies may offer to sell you identification that will "guarantee" you discounted rates. These companies have no control over discounts. Only suppliers of travel - cruise lines, hotel companies, car rental companies, or airlines - can decide to extend professional courtesies, and to whom.

For more information and resources related to travel check out our web sites at http://www.Finest-Cruises.com and http://www.Greatest-Travel-Resources.com.

In The News:

Vacation rental company Vacasa buys Sterling Resorts  Inman.comVacation rental startup Vacasa announced that it has purchased vacation rental management company Sterling Resorts this week.
Google expands hotel searches to include vacation rental properties  TOPHOTELNEWSGoogle has now expanded its hotel searches to also include vacation rental properties, a move that some experts believe could have big implications for the ...
Paso Robles drafts new vacation rental rules  KCBXA task force charged with coming up with new rules regarding vacation rentals in Paso Robles has wrapped up its work, at least for the time being. On.
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Save on your summer vacation rental  WTOPSummer is just around the corner, and it's time to get organized with summer vacation planning. Here are some ways to save.
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Google expands vacation rental search as competition heats up  Inman.comGoogle is currently expanding its travel booking *service* to include vacation rentals from a wide variety of third-party companies.
MAP: Call issued for focus on unlicensed vacation rentals in White Rock  Peace Arch NewsDespite a one per cent rental vacancy rate in the City of White Rock, a number of property owners across the city appear to be turning a profit off renting their ...
Explore Ranches offers growing stable of vacation rentals  Travel WeeklyAs travelers increasingly seek off-the-beaten-path experiences, one company is looking to appeal to adventure and outdoor enthusiasts with a curated inventory ...
The battle against vacation rentals spreads beyond Madrid  EL PAISThe web of legislation surrounding short-term vacation rentals in Spain keeps growing: the city of Madrid has just approved new regulations to curb a practice ...
Vacation Rentals On Oahu May Face Tough Enforcement And New Limits  Honolulu Civil BeatTwo bills being considered by the Honolulu City Council are generally bad news for many operators of the short-term vacation rentals that have proliferated on ...
How to choose a vacation rental  The Washington PostHeeding industry designations and doing due diligence are among the strategies for avoiding disappointment.
Google Expands Travel Searches to Include Vacation Rental Properties  Search Engine JournalGoogle is expanding hotel search results to include a greater number of vacation rental properties.
Vacation rentals spike as Bar Harbor grapples with shortage of affordable housing  MainebizIn 2018, there were 79 new vacation rental registrations in Bar Harbor, a 295% increase over 2017.
Google is getting into the vacation rental business  The Real DealOn the heels of launching its new hotel platform, Google is adding new vacation rental offerings to the business.
Letter: Politicians need to make deal on vacation rentals  Honolulu Star-AdvertiserAnother good column by Richard Borreca (“Lawmakers must try, try, and try again until they forge needed law on vacation rentals,” Star-Advertiser, On Politics, ...
The Big Island's Scheme To Shut Down Vacation Rentals  Honolulu Civil BeatLike many people on the Big Island, I have been an active participant in the campaign against Bill 108, the punitive and restrictive bill that was put forth by the ...
Vacation rentals: 50 best places to buy a property in 2019  USA TODAYLooking to invest? Rented.com compiled a list of which cities in the U.S. provide the best return on investment. Click through to discover the top 50, starting off at ...
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Seminole looks at rules for Airbnb, vacation rentals: 'This is for the protection of the residents'  Orlando SentinelSeminole County commissioners on Tuesday will consider rules for homeowners who list their homes on Airbnb or short-term vacationers.
Vacation Rentals  South JettyBAYTREE CONDOMINIUMS SPRING/SUMMER RENTALS AVAILABLE Daily, weekly, monthly. Call 361-749-5859 for rates and availability, or go online at ...
Amid St. Johns Countys vacation rental debate, owners tout operations  St. Augustine RecordPaul and Omy Morris didn't plan on renting part of their property when they moved to St. Augustine from Mississippi.They were looking for a place to retire, and ...
Meet The New Vrbo: The Inside Story Of How A Vacation Rental Site Got Remodeled  ForbesIf you click on Vrbo to find a summer vacation rental, you'll find something new. There's a suite of new online tools to help you plan your next getaway. There's a ...
Florida legislators want to take away local authority over vacation rentals  Sarasota Herald-TribunePornographic film actors using cocaine in a residential neighborhood and dozens of high school students partying at a rental property were used as examples ...
The Consistency of a Hotel Chain With the Coolness Factor of an Airbnb? This Hospitality Startup Is Hitting That Sweet Spot  Inc.Airbnbs can be full of character but uneven in quality. Hotels offer a standard experience but can be too cookie-cutter. Sonder wants to offer travelers something ...
Senate, House measures to take control of vacation rentals appear to be in trouble  Tallahassee.comPeople opposed to legislation that would pre-empt local control of vacation rentals were surprised to see the measures falter in both Chambers.
Collier County's decision to crack down on vacation rentals stirs opposition  Naples Daily NewsWhile some are happy about the Collier County Commission's vote to clamp down on vacation rentals, others fear it could hurt their livelihoods.
Short-term vacation rentals are all about property rights. But whose?  Florida PhoenixJennifer Riley has lived for the past four years in a residential area a few blocks away from the water in Indian Rocks Beach in Pinellas County. For the first two ...
Let the buyer beware when booking a vacation rental property  Tribune-ReviewWith staged photos and flowery language, the vacation rental descriptions you find online often promise everything you could possibly want. But the rentals don't ...
Florida vacation rental reform bills dead – but not buried  Watchdog.orgProposals to pre-empt local regulations with state oversight of Florida's $31 billion short-term vacation rental industry are unlikely to advance this session with ...
Orlando residents question fairness, safety of apartment vacation rentals  WFTV OrlandoWould you be OK with a vacation rental being in your apartment building?
Lawmakers weigh heightened vacation rental regulations  Travel WeeklyThe legislation would require websites such as VRBO and Airbnb to collect taxes on behalf of the short-term rental hosts.
Collier County to crack down on vacation rentals  Naples Daily NewsCollier County commissioners voted Tuesday to have staff enforce rules that ban owners from renting their homes for less than six months in the unincorporated ...
Best Places To Own A Vacation Rental Property In 2019  ForbesRented.com's 4th annual short-term rental report looks at the potential for the best ROI at vacation destinations around the country.
Collier commissioners signal desire to reconsider short-term vacation rentals vote  Naples Daily NewsTwo weeks after a majority of Collier County leaders asked county staff to crack down on vacation home rentals, some commissioners Tuesday signaled they ...
Florida is the best state for investors to own vacation rentals: report  The Real DealA new report by Rented.com ranked 150 cities in terms of the returns investors could make with vacation rentals and the Sunshine State nabbed the first 19 ...
Novato council moves to crack down on vacation rentals  Marin Independent JournalFollowing the lead of other Marin communities, Novato is looking to begin cracking down on vacation rentals to ensure owners are paying their taxes.
April 24: HEX holds public hearings on vacation rentals, dock, picnic pavilion  SanJuanIslander.comThe Hearing Examiner holds hearings once a month. The next hearing begins at 10 a.m. Wednesday, April 24 in the Legislative Building. The agenda inclu...
Hawaii lawmakers pass vacation-rental tax legislation  Washington PostHawaii lawmakers eager to gather tax revenue from the state's flourishing but mostly unpermitted vacation rental sector are considering legislation that would ...
Here’s what to tell your clients about vacation rental taxes  Inman.comVacation rental company Vacasa has compiled a useful list of tips to make tax season more efficient for owners of vacation rentals.
First Vacation Rental Data and Revenue Management Conference to be held in Atlanta, August 6-7  VRM IntelWith the creation of comparative data and pricing tools, the science of revenue management for the vacation rental industry is quickly evolving and has become ...
Vacation Rental Tax Guide from Vacasa  VRM IntelIt's officially nine days until tax day in the U.S.; and while many might be ahead of the curve, there are millions of Americans who will wait until the last week to file ...
PADZU Vacation Rentals Acquires Desert Princess Vacation Rentals in Palm Springs  PRNewswireSCOTTSDALE, Ariz., April 9, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- PADZU, a vacation rental management company based in Scottsdale, Arizona, has announced the ...
Powell River vacation rental license fee to go down  My Powell River NowPOWELL RIVER, BC- Powell River Council are bringing down the fee for vacation rentals. Under the city's business license bylaw, it is a $2,000 fee for vacation ...
Hawaii Cracking Down on Illegal Vacation Rentals  TravelPulseA recent California ruling on vacation rentals may be what Hawaii needs to push their bills through the capitol.
Google Enhances Hotel Search With Vacation Rentals  pymnts.comGoogle has added an option to search for vacation rentals in its Hotel Search user interface, and has updated the UI so it is easier to use.
This is what happens when you hate your vacation rental and leave  ElliottWhat if you really hate your vacation rental? Can you leave and get a refund? After Mary Shaw's recent horrible vacation rental, she wants to know!
Is an extended-stay hotel better than a vacation rental?  ElliottThere have always been extended-stay hotels. But now extended-stay hotels are the fastest growing industry segment in the United States.
Permit applications include: 5 vacation rentals, 3 hangars  SanJuanIslander.comPermits recently applied for at the San Juan County Community Development Department include five for vacation rentals - two on San Juan Island, two o...
Ten million Florida homeowners are watching vacation rental bills  TCPalmAt worst, these bills — House Bill 987 and Senate Bill 824 — violate deed restrictions for entire neighborhoods.
Vacation rental restrictions move forward in Legislature, but some homeowners demand more  AZCentral"I'm really not happy … You don't live there and you don't deal with this crap," one homeowner told lawmakers about vacation rentals.
Look beyond the hype before booking a vacation rental  The Business TimesTHE BUSINESS TIMES Real Estate - WITH staged photos and flowery language, the vacation rental descriptions you find online often promise everything you ...
Proposal updates Big Isle's vacation rental rules  Honolulu Star-AdvertiserHILO >> An updated draft of rules for short-term vacation rentals has been published by Hawaii County's Planning Department. The list of regulations published ...
Supervisors discuss vacation rentals in Mt. Shasta area  Mount Shasta HeraldVacation rentals have become a point of contention in Mount Shasta, where many residents living in the Holiday Lane subdivision in particular are complaining ...
Jacksonville may start regulating short-term vacation rentals like Airbnb  ActionNewsJax.comThe city of Jacksonville may start regulating short-term vacation rentals such as Airbnb. The idea is to protect neighbors and guests, but some say the proposal ...
Vacation rental rules updated  Hawaii Tribune-Herald (subscription)After taking community input during two public hearings last month, the county Planning Department last Wednesday published what may become its final draft ...
Letter: Vacation rentals can work for everyone  Honolulu Star-AdvertiserIs it possible for the state and the city to work together to recognize those without permits, acknowledge the contributions of merchants, the visitors and the ...
More restrictions needed for vacation house rentals: your say  The News-PressVacation rentals. I have next door to me such a rental for almost 10 years and wish that there would be some kind of restrictions in the case of renting a house to ...
Local News Collier County board votes to crack down on short-term vacation rentals Karl Fortier  Fox 4Owners of short-term rental homes will soon experience a crackdown from code enforcement in Collier County. Tuesday, county commissioners voted to have ...
Petition created to push vacation rentals out of Paso Robles neighborhoods  KSBY San Luis Obispo NewsPaso Robles has seen an increase in short-term vacation rentals. There are 344 of them licensed within city limits. “Our tourism industry and hospitality is kind of ...
Experts: Watch out for cameras in vacation rentals  WDTN.comRental site AirBNB says hosts are allowed to have surveillance devices in common areas and in plain sight.
Hawaii County holds final hearing on vacation rental rules  Hawaii Tribune HeraldHawaii County planning officials heard from residents on all sides of the short-term vacation rental issue during the final hearing before new rules are adopted.
How to Check Your Vacation Rental or Hotel Room for Hidden Cameras  Travel+LeisureHere are three ways to check to see if your vacation home rental — or your hotel room — has any hidden devices.
Oxnard looks to tighten reins on Airbnb, other vacation rentals  Ventura County StarProperty owners who rent out to vacationers in Oxnard through websites like Airbnb will likely see new fees and regulations. The Oxnard City Council on ...
GuestReady Acquires BnbLord in European Vacation Rental Rollup  SkiftVacation-rental management company GuestReady Group said on Thursday that it's acquiring Paris-based homesharing company BnbLord in an effort to ...
As applications for vacation rentals surge, Bar Harbor rejects a moratorium  Bangor Daily NewsThe deluge of applications prompted a surprise request from town staff late last week for an emergency 60-day moratorium on new applications for vacation ...
The Transformation of Today's Vacation Rental Industry: What is going on out there? By Simon Lehmann  VRM IntelIf you can keep track of everything that is happening in our fast-transforming vacation rental industry, then you are a genius. Let's face it, for all of us in the ...
New vacation rental scams enter the scene just in time for spring break  ConsumerAffairsFlorida Attorney General Ashley Moody is warning consumers to watch out for two variants of the vacation rental scam that are popping up in the state.
Mainsail Lodging & Development launches vacation rental business  Travel Daily News InternationalTAMPA, FLA. – Mainsail Lodging & Development announced the activation of a new business under the name Mainsail Vacation Rentals. Primarily focused on ...
Generation Start-Up: Dubai property market and tourists drive vacation rentals for Maison Privee  The NationalEmpty luxury apartments in Dubai are finding a new lease on life with Maison Privee, which manages short-term home rentals that provide returns exceeding ...
Hawaii closer to forcing Airbnb to collect taxes on vacation rentals | News, Sports, Jobs  Maui NewsThe Associated Press HONOLULU — Hawaii lawmakers eager to gather tax revenue from the state's flourishing, yet mostly unpermitted, vacation rental sector.
Hotelier demands 'prohibitive zoning' on vacation rentals  Bahamas TribuneA Family Island resort operator yesterday suggested the government consider introducing a license fee for vacation rentals based on the number of bedrooms ...
Exclusive Quicken Loans Program Unlocks Vrbo Rental Income, Which Can Now Be Used to Qualify for a Mortgage  RisMedia.comDetroit-based Quicken Loans has announced a strategic partnership with Vrbo®, a world leader in vacation rentals, to allow rental income earned through Vrbo ...
Airbnb removes host after family finds hidden camera in their vacation rental  USA TODAYAirbnb says they have removed a host from their website after a family reported finding a hidden camera in their vacation rental in Ireland.
St. Augustine officials head to Tallahassee over vacation rentals  St. Augustine RecordSt. Augustine officials have put off a discussion on local vacation rental regulations to focus on Tallahassee, where proposed legislation is threatening the city's ...
Choosing the best vacation rental online  Born2InvestWith staged photos and flowery language, vacation rental descriptions online promise everything you could possibly want. But they don't always deliver.
Vacation rental scams: What you need to know  WJXT News4JAXFlorida is a hot spot for vacation rentals and the state's top attorney wants you to be on your guard -- because scammers are hoping to take advantage.
Online Vacation Rental Show Showcases St. John  Saint Croix SourceThe latest episode of "The Vacation Rental Show," a series streamed in partnership with hotel booking giant Booking.com, showcases the beaches, sights, ...
InsureMyTrip Launches New Accidental Property Damage Coverage For Vacation Rentals To Meet Market Demand  PRNewswireWARWICK, R.I., April 8, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- In response to a growing vacation rental market, InsureMyTrip has taken an innovative step to expand its product ...
'Why is it even their business?' Readers react to enforcement rules for Collier County vacation home rentals  Naples Daily NewsNaples Daily News Facebook readers had plenty to say after Collier County commissioners agreed to crack down on vacation home rentals.
Hear from short-term rental owners about their experiences  Gainesville TimesKeith and Margaret Platt have gotten to meet people from all over the world, including China, Ireland, Poland, Africa and Canada — all without leaving their ...
How to spot hidden cameras in hotel rooms and Airbnb vacation rentals  KomandoCamera technology has advanced immensely in the past few years. They keep getting smaller and smaller, making it possible to conceal them any which way.
Vacation Rentals in Corsica with Gîtes de France  FranceToday.comSpecialists in vacation rentals in Corsica and also a travel agency, Gîtes de France Corsica is the best bet for great holidays in Corsica.
Analysing Googles New Booking Engine For Hotels And Vacation Rentals | By Matt Tutt  Hospitality NetMost travel booking engines are likely to be well aware of Google's push into providing an all-encompassing booking experience within its search engine, but it ...
The Weirdest Vacation Rental House Rules Guests Have Ever Seen | realtor.com®  Realtor.com NewsThese strict—and borderline strange—vacation rental regulations will make you go, "Huh?" Here are stories from people who actually rented these places.
Will James Grant bill bring checkout time for vacation rental debate?  Florida PoliticsVacation rental debates booked an annual trip to the halls of the Florida Capitol for the last few legislative sessions. But can legislation by state Rep. James ...
Interview with Joe Liebke, CEO of Villaway; Luxury Vacation Rentals  TechBullionVillaway the World's Most Trusted Marketplace for Luxury Vacation Homes and Private Villa Rentals. Villaway offers exceptional Concierge *Service* in the best ...
London-Based Luxury Vacation Rentals Marketplace The Plum Guide Raises $18.4 Million  CTechLondon-based vacation rentals marketplace The Plum Guide Ltd. has raised GBP 14 million (approximately $18.45) million in a series B funding round led by ...
Monaker's Booking Engine Goes Live with Two Major Vacation Rental Distributors, Brings Total to 11 Travel Distributors With Access to Company's 2.6 Million Vacation Rental Properties  NasdaqWESTON, FL, April 02, 2019-- via NEWMEDIAWIRE-- Monaker Group, Inc., a technology leader in the travel and vacation rental markets, today reported.
Tampa hospitality group creates vacation rental business for Anna Maria Island  Tampa Bay Business JournalTampa-based Mainsail Lodging & Development group has created a new business focused on rental homes on Anna Maria Island. Under the name Mainsail ...
5 reasons you need a vacation at ResortQuest in South Walton Beach. Book by May 1 for 15% off! Enter to win a two-night stay here.  Bham NowHere are five reasons to book a beach-cation through ResortQuest by Wyndham Vacation Rentals in South Walton, Florida.
CaliStays.com Offers California Vacation Rental Travelers Best Rate Guarantee!  PRUndergroundCalifornia Vacation Rental Travelers Save Hundreds in Traveler Fees When They #BookDirect.
Vacation Rental bill appears dead  Historic City NewsLegislative efforts to pre-empt local regulations statewide of vacation rental homes may have died again this year on Wednesday as the Senate bill seeking to do ...
Vacasa Acquires Sterling Resorts  VRM IntelVacasa has acquired Sterling Resorts, one of the largest vacation rental management companies on the Florida Gulf Coast. Previously purchased by Pacifica ...
Vacation rentals in Waikiki rival largest hotels  Honolulu Star-AdvertiserTo hotel companies, the growth of the shared economy — specifically vacation rentals — poses a serious threat. How they respond to losing market share varies ...
15 vacation rental permit applications filed in the past 6 weeks  SanJuanIslander.comIn the past six weeks permit applications have been filed for three Aircraft Hangars on Stuart Island, eight vacation rentals on Orcas Island, seven v...
New no-host rentals allowed, moratorium rejected  Mount Desert IslanderBAR HARBOR — Property owners hoping to begin renting to vacationers this summer will be able to do so with proper registration, following a Town Council.
Monmouth talks ADUs and short-term vacation rentals  Polkio.comMONMOUTH — The Monmouth City Council directed city staff to prepare ordinances for accessory dwelling units, vacation rentals and street trees.
Letter: Level playing field for vacation rentals  Honolulu Star-AdvertiserVacation rentals support small businesses and provide rental income to local families who struggle with the high cost of living. Read more ...
On Politics: Lawmakers must try, try and try again until they forge needed law on vacation rentals  Honolulu Star-AdvertiserHawaii's Legislature and the administration of Gov. David Ige find themselves in a familiar place, searching but not finding a resolution to the skyrocketing ...

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