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How not to let a travel agent take you for a trip

In 2012 the Better Business Bureau received more than 7,000 complaints against travel agencies across North America.

If a winter getaway, or any vacation, is in your plans, and you plan on using a travel agent, then the BBB urges you to do your research to find a trustworthy travel agency.

Your Better Business Bureau offers these tips:

• Find a travel agency you can trust. Ask family and friends who they use. If they’re happy with who they’ve used, most likely you’ll be happy too.

• Look for a travel agency that belongs to a professional organization such as the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA).

• Get everything in writing. Make sure you include travel itineraries and booking confirmations. Get a copy of the cancellation and refund policies.

• Confirm your reservation directly with the airline, car rental company, hotel, etc. prior to your trip.

• Consider investing in travel insurance. Travel insurance can provide protection in the event of trip cancellation or medical emergency, among other things.

• Don’t be a victim. Scam artists will use high-pressure sales tactics to get you to seal the deal. A reputable and trustworthy travel agency will give you plenty of time to make a decision.

• Pay with a credit card, so you can dispute any unauthorized charges with your credit card company.

• Don’t sign anything until you’ve read it carefully. Before signing, make sure details are clearly explained including pricing, dates of travel and any fees you may encounter.

• Ask if you’re not sure about something.

It’s important to beware of great deals. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Always check out companies with your BBB before making a decision. Go online to or call (937) 222-5825 or (800) 776-5301.

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