Do you have summer plans? Lying on the beach or heading to cooler climates? I've taken care of the family's lodging for our summer trip. And I have some warnings for you, if you're going through the same process.
Let's start with hotels-beware of extra charges. I found resort fees, internet and parking fees that weren't fully explained until you dig.
Also, check out online hotel reviews on numerous sites. You want to know about bedbug complaints or if it's near a loud highway.
If you're searching for a rental, be even more suspicious. In some cases, scammers just take online photos, draw up a rental listing and use their email for deposits.
Even on sites like Homeaway, VRBO and Airbnb, I look up the property addresses, see the place on Google Earth and talk to the owner.
And you may think it's over the top, but I've looked up tax records for the address to make sure I'm communicating with the real owner.
Scam warning signs include, a false sense of urgency to pay now, asking you to wire money and wanting gift cards in exchange for payment.
When you can, use your credit card instead of a debit card or check. You have much better protections if something does go wrong.