Planning to go on spring break vacation? Don’t fall for a scam

YORK COUNTY, Pa -- Hanging out on the beach could be an ideal spring break for some of us and it's no surprise that this relaxation comes with a price tag.

Vickie Everhart works for Krouse Travel in York County.

She says, too many times, people fall for deals that are way too good to be true.

"If you saw it advertised for $299 to go on a cruise, it's a really good idea to check it out in terms of the source of this offer."

Aa travel scam is one reason Everhart got into the travel business to begin with.

That was 25 years ago, when her parents booked what they thought would be a relaxing vacation.

"After they paid for the entire Hawaii trip, which was a lot of money, their phone calls were no longer returned and they found that the person had left town."

She says  in the past 25 years, travel scams and dupes have become more advance and it's a lot easier to get overwhelmed or confused when searching online for a good deal.

"Until you get there, you really don't know."

One way to avoid a scam, Everhart says, is to do your research before clicking book now.

"You need to check to see who it is that you're calling, do they have a history, do they have longevity, that there's no complaints against them. Ask for their credentials."

Last year, the Better Business Bureau had thousands of reports of people saying the travel packages they booked wasn't exactly what they got.

"They're going to find there are other charges that will come along the way or they're going to find themselves in a roach infested motel."

So, what about when you search travel websites and get a bunch of different rates.

Everhart says that's all about inventory and it can change in a minute.

Here's an example: CheapTickets.com says a round trip flight and hotel for the Rui Palace Peninsula in Mexico will cost a little over $3,000 for two people.

Then just 12 hours later, we checked the website again and the price dropped by 3 bucks.

When we went on the actual website for the hotel and just the price of the room with taxes come out to a total of almost $3,000
and the flights alone were more than 400 bucks a person.

In some cases, it is sure that when you buy things in a bundle, like transportation and hotel together, it can be cheaper.

That's why Everhart says you need to double check what website or company you're using.

"Are there any kind of complaints against them from the better business bureau? Do they have accreditation? Do they belong to travel industry organizations?"

The travel agent also suggests not falling for the 'only 4 tickets left at this price' gimmick.

"Sometimes on airlines sites you will see that there are two seats or three seats left at that price and that's very possibly true, but when everybody suddenly has limited inventory, another red flag."

The Federal Trade Commission has some advice when it comes to booking spring break travel, like call and verify to make sure your reservation actually exists.

Check cancellation and refund policies and get them in writing before you pay. get it in writing before you pay.

Pay with a credit card, you will likely have more fraud protection that way and ask why you are paying mandatory resort fees.

Travel agents say March is a very expensive month to travel because schools and colleges go on spring break.

So, if you're seeing a price that you think is a steal, just check all of your sources.