Whether you are flying or gearing up for a road trip to visit relatives, Better Business Bureau has advice to help ensure safe travels during the cold and unpredictable winter season.If you plan on driving, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends getting your car serviced before you hit the road, especially if you anticipate traveling in inclement weather, like snow and ice. Visit your mechanic for a tune-up and have your entire vehicle thoroughly checked.
Before you hit the highway or tarmac this holiday season, BBB recommends that travelers:Check out the business first. Whether you’re looking for a trustworthy travel agency, hotel, resort or auto mechanic, check out a company’s BBB Business Profile
Create a vehicle safety kit. Prepare for bad weather by creating your own safety kit. Basics for the kit include blankets, a flashlight with extra batteries, a radio, a first aid kit, jumper cables, non-perishable foods like granola bars and nuts, bottled water, an ice scraper and warm gloves.Research last-minute travel deals. Bargains on airfare or a hotel may be tempting, but be cautious when booking on an unknown travel website or through an online advertisement. Common travel-related complaints to BBB reported trouble with reservations, online advertisements and incorrect charges. Be sure you understand all anticipated charges, so you can compare prices with confidence.
Consider travel insurance if flying. You may want to purchase travel insurance when booking a flight for peace of mind, protection from the unexpected and concern over losing the financial investment in a trip. Also, check with your credit card company, as some offer travel insurance as a perk if you use the card when booking a flight.Understand extra fees.
- Baggage fees: Some airlines charge to check bags. If a bag check-in is free, bags weighing over 50 pounds may cost you more.
- Pet fees: Most airlines accept pets if they are kenneled, but the charge is usually around $100.
- Ticket changes: Plans can change, but keep in mind that your travel cost was determined by your original departure and arrival times. Changing your plans may cost extra.
- Hotel fees: Some hotels charge extra fees for room service and Wi-Fi. Read the fine print when booking a hotel, and save your receipts.
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