Consumer Affairs https://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/4809/all en-US How to Protect Yourself from a Home Improvement Scam https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-protect-yourself-from-a-home-improvement-scam <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-protect-yourself-from-a-home-improvement-scam" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/young_adult_woman_holding_working_tools_in_hands.jpg" alt="Young adult woman holding working tools in hands" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>From a small task like new sod, to a major job like a finished basement, home improvement projects can become a nightmare if you fall victim to a scam. Even the savviest consumers can get taken for a ride if they don't know how to spot the red flags. So before you commit to any kind of home remodel or upgrade, make sure you know how to protect yourself from the scammers.</p> <h2>Don't get work done that you didn't seek out</h2> <p>This happens all the time, even though door-to-door salesmen seem to be a thing of the past. You'll get a knock on the door and a friendly face will tell you that the recent hailstorm means your roof is in major trouble. Or, their firm is in the area replacing windows, and because so many of the neighbors have signed up, you'll get a great deal. The patter revolves around the same kind of setup, but the result is always the same &mdash; they won't go away until you agree to sign something and hand over a deposit.</p> <p>Now, in all fairness, reputable companies will go door-to-door sometimes as well, but they won't use high-pressure tactics. The scammers will use every trick in the book to get invited inside and throw the hard sell at you. Don't ever get work done that you didn't actively seek out yourself; you're just asking for trouble.</p> <h2>Do your research, and do it well</h2> <p>When you take on any kind of home improvement project, it's not the same as getting a car overhauled or a gadget repaired. This is your home. Your safe space. Before you let anyone near it, let alone into it, you want to know they are reliable and trustworthy. A simple recommendation from a friend or work colleague isn't enough.</p> <p>You have the vast resources of the internet and a community of clients to tap into, so use them. Start with the Better Business Bureau and Yelp. Get yourself a membership to a site like Angie's List (which is free now) and scour reviews. You may even want to do a Google search for the contractor's name followed by a phrase like &quot;rip-off&quot; or &quot;scam.&quot; If there are overwhelmingly negative reviews, avoid them. If there are no reviews, avoid them. You want glowing reviews from at least a dozen people before you commit to anything. (See also: <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-and-hire-a-reliable-contractor?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Find and Hire a Reliable Contractor</a>)</p> <h2>Get free estimates from multiple sources</h2> <p>If you're any kind of savvy shopper, you won't buy anything without doing a little price comparison. The same applies to a contractor, only this is a much bigger and more important purchase.</p> <p>Once you have researched the best three firms for the job, ask them to each give an estimate for the cost of the service, and ask them to itemize it as well. Next, compare the estimates side-by-side and look to see who is giving you the best value for money. Remember, this is not about the lowest price but the best investment in your home. The lowest price may come with cheaper materials and no guarantee.</p> <p>You want to balance cost with quality, and if one firm is giving you everything and more for a surprisingly low cost, investigate it. If it looks too good to be true, it usually is. (See also: <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/8-questions-to-ask-contractors-before-hiring-one?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Questions to Ask Contractors Before Hiring One</a>)</p> <h2>Make sure this isn't a job you can easily do yourself</h2> <p>You'd be amazed at how many homeowners are willing to pay thousands of dollars in labor for a job that requires just a little research, elbow grease, and $50 in parts. And some unscrupulous contractors are quite happy to do that simple job and charge an arm and a leg for it.</p> <p>Again, you live in the information age, and it's easy to not only identify a problem, but find multiple online videos and walk-throughs showing you just how to do the work yourself. Anything from replacing a washer to an entire furnace is now something within reach of many DIYers.</p> <p>Of course, if you're just not comfortable doing any kind of work around the house, that's your call. But it you're willing and able, and can get some help from a handy friend, you could save a whole lot of money. What's more, check the status of the warranty if you're looking at a repair job. You may discover that you don't even need to pay for service. (See also: <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/10-things-to-know-before-you-start-a-home-improvement-project?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Things to Know Before You Start a Home Improvement Project</a>)</p> <h2>Get a contract, and get it checked before you sign</h2> <p>A contract is a vital piece of protection for a consumer and you must demand one. Even if it's just a small job costing a few hundred dollars, you should get the project down on paper and get it signed. List everything that needs to be done, the costs you have both agreed upon, any materials that need to be purchased, any permits that need to be pulled (permits offer additional protection against shoddy work), and the start and completion dates.</p> <p>Ideally, you should have a legal mind look at it, be it a professional or someone who can help you out for free. Read every word, including the small print that can hide traps. You don't want to sign anything that could leave you high and dry. This contract will be your protection should anything go wrong and you need to take it to court.</p> <h2>Don't give more than 33 percent as a down payment</h2> <p>A contractor will ask for a down payment to secure the work, make sure you're serious about committing, and purchase materials. All this is absolutely business-as-usual. But if the down payment starts climbing above the 33 percent mark, you should proceed with extreme caution. Give away too much money at the beginning, and you may never see it or the contractor again.</p> <p>You should hold off on paying the bulk of the money until the job is completed to your satisfaction, and even then that final payment should only be handed over when you receive something called a lien waiver, stating all supplies and any additional subcontractors have been paid for. Otherwise, you could find yourself getting harassed for extra money. (See also: <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/9-home-improvements-you-should-always-negotiate?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Home Improvements You Should Always Negotiate</a>)</p> <h2>When possible, choose a credit card over cash payments</h2> <p>Not all small businesses accept credit cards. But if your contractor offers the option, paying with a credit card can provide a degree of purchase protection you wouldn't otherwise have with cash. Should the project have issues, you can call your credit card company and dispute the charges. They employ teams of professionals that will work on your behalf to get this issue sorted. (See also: <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/12-times-your-credit-card-has-your-back?ref=seealso" target="_blank">12 Times Your Credit Card Has Your Back</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-protect-yourself-from-a-home-improvement-scam&amp;media=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Protect%2520Yourself%2520from%2520a%2520Home%2520Improvement%2520Scam.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Protect%20Yourself%20from%20a%20Home%20Improvement%20Scam"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Protect%20Yourself%20from%20a%20Home%20Improvement%20Scam.jpg" alt="How to Protect Yourself from a Home Improvement Scam" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-protect-yourself-from-a-home-improvement-scam">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-apartment-hunt-on-craigslist-without-getting-scammed">6 Ways to Apartment Hunt on Craigslist Without Getting Scammed</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/10-red-flags-to-look-out-for-when-renting-your-first-apartment">10 Red Flags to Look Out for When Renting Your First Apartment</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-vet-your-mortgage-lender">7 Ways to Vet Your Mortgage Lender</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/8-questions-to-ask-contractors-before-hiring-one">8 Questions to Ask Contractors Before Hiring One</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-protect-yourself-from-predatory-lending">How to Protect Yourself From Predatory Lending</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs Real Estate and Housing contractors home improvement red flags remodeling research reviews scams vetting warning signs Thu, 05 Jul 2018 08:30:18 +0000 Paul Michael 2153720 at https://www.wisebread.com 5 Destinations in Mexico That Are Safer Than Playa Del Carmen and Cancun https://www.wisebread.com/5-destinations-in-mexico-that-are-safer-than-playa-del-carmen-and-cancun <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-destinations-in-mexico-that-are-safer-than-playa-del-carmen-and-cancun" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/puerto_vallarta_bay_from_the_air.jpg" alt="Puerto Vallarta bay from the air" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Despite its decades-long history of trouble and violence, Mexico has remained a popular vacation destination. One of the main reasons is that tourist hubs like Playa Del Carmen and Cancun have largely been protected from the worst of the unrest.</p> <p>Recently, this has started to change and there have been gruesome and shocking incidents occurring in areas once thought unaffected. A bomb recently detonated on a passenger ferry from Playa Del Carmen that injured over 20 people. Cancun has seen various incidents of gun violence, including multiple murders on its white sand beaches and even a gunman firing at the beach from a jet ski. Another popular tourist area, Los Cabos in Baja California, has also felt the effects after a spate of grisly murders over the past year.</p> <p>Despite the fact that it does have a serious crime problem, with more than 29,000 murders in 2017, Mexico is still generally very safe for visitors. There are other amazing destinations throughout Mexico that have not been hit by the same problems, and would make an excellent choice for a vacation. Here are five destinations in Mexico that are safer than Playa Del Carmen and Cancun at the moment. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-most-affordable-beach-towns-in-mexico?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Most Affordable Beach Towns in Mexico</a>)</p> <h2>1. Guanajuato</h2> <p><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/basilica_de_nuestra_senora_de_guanajuato_mexico.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>The picturesque city of Guanajuato, which lies right in the center of Mexico, is still famed for its silver production in particular. At one point during the 18th century, it was one of the biggest producers of silver in the world, which meant it was flooded with wealth. This is clearly visible in the colonial mansions and ornate churches that you'll come across when wandering the narrow streets, many of which are so tight that cars can't navigate them.</p> <p>The city meanders its way right up into the surrounding mountains, which are dotted with a mish mash of vibrantly colored buildings. Among them you'll discover museums, theaters, plazas surrounded by outdoor cafes, and various interesting marketplaces. The atmosphere in Guanajuato is laid back, making it the perfect relaxing city break with a cultural leaning.</p> <h2>2. San Cristóbal de las Casas</h2> <p><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/san_cristobal_de_las_casas.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Tucked away in the mountains of Chiapas in southern Mexico, San Cristóbal is relatively cold due to the altitude, and far away from either coast, so you won't be getting any beach time. However, what San Cristóbal does have in abundance is character, culture, and colorful colonial architecture, which combined with its rich history, make it one of the most fascinating towns in the country.</p> <p>The local population here has a uniquely high proportion of indigenous people from two main groups, the Tzotzil and the Tzelta. In the center, pastel colored buildings with red tile roofs line narrow cobbled streets, making it a picturesque place to explore. The mix of traditional and modern provides an interesting dynamic, with lively markets and street sellers offering handmade crafts. Those sit alongside bustling contemporary bars, cafes, and restaurants.</p> <h2>3. Puerto Vallarta</h2> <p><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/puerto_vallarta_bay_from_the_air.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Puerto Vallarta is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Mexico and has a sizable expat population, thanks to its modern amenities, lovely beaches, and a lively night life. But despite the similarities it shares with the likes of Cancun and Playa Del Carmen, it's actually got a completely different feel to it. There are two faces to Puerto Vallarta, the old and the new, with one boasting vast resorts and visitor-oriented attractions, the other filled with cobbled streets and the feel of a long-established Puebla.</p> <p>A wide and busy boardwalk runs from the heart of the old &quot;Romantic Zone&quot; along the seafront out toward the newer part of the city. Along its edges you'll find restaurants, bars, and shops selling everything from craft tequilas to souvenirs usually found in popular beach towns. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-travel-destinations-that-are-cheaper-due-to-a-strong-us-dollar?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Travel Destinations That Are Cheaper Due to a Strong U.S. Dollar</a>)</p> <h2>4. Oaxaca City</h2> <p><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/church_of_santo_domingo_de_guzman_in_oaxaca_mexico.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Oaxaca City is currently enjoying something of a moment, having been billed by those in the know as Mexico's culinary epicenter. Regional delicacies hailing from this part of the country include the complicated and rich mole sauce; Tlayudas, which has been likened to a Mexican version of pizza; and chapulines (aka grasshoppers), which are widely used in various dishes. But there's more to Oaxaca than top notch noshes.</p> <p>The entire historic center of Oaxaca city has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site thanks to the historic monuments found within its meticulously planned boundaries. Despite the historic buildings, it's a modern city with cool cafes, trendy bars, and boutique hotels belying their antiquated facades. There are colorful markets filled with locally crafted goods, smoky food halls serving up delicious treats, and numerous festivals throughout the year during which the city explodes into colorful parties. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-incredible-unesco-world-heritage-sites-right-here-in-the-us?ref=seealso" target="_blank">11 Incredible UNESCO World Heritage Sites Right Here in the U.S.</a>)</p> <h2>5. Tulum</h2> <p><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/tropical_beach_carribean_tulum_mexico.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>This laid-back former hippy haven on the Yucatán Peninsula is actually in Quintana Roo, the same state where both Playa Del Carmen and Cancun are located. However, it couldn't be more different. It's a beach town that isn't actually located on the edge of the coast, and lies a couple of miles inland with a large, green national park separating the two.</p> <p>The wide beaches nearby are fringed with boutique hotels, spa retreats, and easy going restaurants, so you can comfortably spend the day without heading into town. There are also some extremely well-preserved Mayan ruins inside the national park that provide spectacular views of the sea. The town itself is centered around a single main road that&rsquo;s populated by traditional restaurants and bars.</p> <p>A bit further out, there are also spectacular cenotes, natural sinkholes formed when limestone bedrock collapses, exposing the ground water beneath. They&rsquo;re a little slice of Eden. Gran Cenote is the most impressive, with turtles and colorful fish surrounding you as you snorkel. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-travel-destinations-for-introverts?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Travel Destinations for Introverts</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F5-destinations-in-mexico-that-are-safer-than-playa-del-carmen-and-cancun&amp;media=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%2520Destinations%2520in%2520Mexico%2520That%2520Are%2520Safer%2520Than%2520Playa%2520Del%2520Carmen%2520and%2520Cancun.jpg&amp;description=5%20Destinations%20in%20Mexico%20That%20Are%20Safer%20Than%20Playa%20Del%20Carmen%20and%20Cancun"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/5%20Destinations%20in%20Mexico%20That%20Are%20Safer%20Than%20Playa%20Del%20Carmen%20and%20Cancun.jpg" alt="5 Destinations in Mexico That Are Safer Than Playa Del Carmen and Cancun" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/nick-wharton">Nick Wharton</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/5-destinations-in-mexico-that-are-safer-than-playa-del-carmen-and-cancun">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/5-of-the-safest-countries-to-visit-in-2018">5 of the Safest Countries to Visit in 2018</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/yes-its-still-safe-to-visit-hawaii-during-the-volcanic-eruption">Yes, It&#039;s Still Safe to Visit Hawaii During the Volcanic Eruption</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/8-places-to-travel-where-the-dollar-is-still-strong">8 Places to Travel Where the Dollar Is Still Strong</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/8-travel-warnings-you-shouldnt-ignore">8 Travel Warnings You Shouldn&#039;t Ignore</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/4-affordable-destinations-that-are-safer-than-you-think">4 Affordable Destinations That Are Safer Than You Think</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs Travel cancun getaways mexican destinations mexico playa del carmen safe travel travel safety tips travel tips tropical vacation Tue, 26 Jun 2018 12:40:59 +0000 Nick Wharton 2151397 at https://www.wisebread.com Yes, It's Still Safe to Visit Hawaii During the Volcanic Eruption https://www.wisebread.com/yes-its-still-safe-to-visit-hawaii-during-the-volcanic-eruption <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/yes-its-still-safe-to-visit-hawaii-during-the-volcanic-eruption" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/scenic_waipio_valley_big_island_hawaii.jpg" alt="Scenic Waipi&#039;o Valley, Big Island, Hawaii" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Reports of the ongoing volcanic eruption on the Big Island of Hawaii have been upsetting and dramatic. So far, the spewing and oozing lava from Kilauea has destroyed hundreds of homes and obliterated a scenic bay once popular for snorkeling. Near the volcano, residents have evacuated, not just because of the lava itself, but also because of air filled with ash, hydrochloric acid, and even particles of volcanic glass.</p> <p>The destruction has many mainlanders wondering if they should avoid making Hawaiian vacation plans this summer. Clearly, if you had plans to tour the volcano, you'll have to change your itinerary, since most of Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park is closed. However, most of the Big Island and the rest of the Hawaiian Islands remain safe.</p> <p>&quot;Visitors to Hawai'i can be assured that the volcanic activity is having no effect whatsoever on the other islands, O'ahu, Maui, Moloka'i, Lāna'i, and Kaua'i,&quot; said Governor David Ige in a news release. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-amazing-hawaiian-resorts-you-can-book-with-rewards-points?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Amazing Hawaiian Resorts You Can Book With Rewards Points</a>)</p> <p>Now is actually a great time to plan a trip to Hawaii. Here's why:</p> <h2>1. Air quality is safe everywhere that you're allowed to go</h2> <p>Before leaving on your trip, you can check the Environmental Protection Agency's <a href="https://www.airnow.gov/index.cfm?action=airnow.local_state&amp;stateid=12&amp;mapcenter=0&amp;tabs=0" target="_blank">AirNow website</a> or its interactive <a href="https://response.epa.gov/site/map_list.aspx?site_id=12766" target="_blank">Air Monitoring Viewer</a>, created to track air quality during the eruption. The combination of ash and fog is referred to as vog, and although it's usually not dangerous, it can ruin a sunset.</p> <p>&quot;Consider Kīlauea has been erupting for 35+ years &mdash; with ocean entries on several occasions. Vog is, therefore, not something new. However, with the current increased activity, [it] may be more visible than normal depending on wind strength and direction,&quot; the Hawaii Tourism Authority states.</p> <p>Currently, neither site indicates that any areas of the Big Island have pollutant levels that would cause the general public harm. If you have a pre-existing medical condition that makes you more sensitive to pollutants in the air, consult these sites with your doctor before deciding to go. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-save-the-most-during-a-hawaii-vacation?ref=seealso" target="_blank">15 Ways to Save Big During a Hawaii Vacation</a>)</p> <h2>2. The Big Island is huge and the lava area is small</h2> <p>It's certainly wise to look at a <a href="http://www.hawaiitourismauthority.org/default/assets/File/news/06-04-2018.pdf" target="_blank">map of the volcanic activity</a> to find out how far your chosen lodging is from the evacuation area. You can also check with your hotel or host. Officials are urging tourists not to try to get close enough to see the lava flow, for their own safety and to avoid further straining public safety resources.</p> <p>But chances are, you'll be staying miles away from the danger zone. Most hotels are in Kailua-Kona on the island's west coast or Hilo on the east coast, about 30 miles north of the lava area. The lava covers less than 10 square miles, or about 0.2 percent of the island.</p> <p>&quot;Let's put this into context,&quot; said Hawaii County Managing Director Wil Okabe in a news conference. &quot;All the islands in the Hawaiian chain can fit on the Big Island.&quot; He blamed the media, and confusion between the island of Hawaii and the state of Hawaii, for giving some mainlanders the impression that all of Hawaii is affected, instead of a tiny portion of one island.</p> <h2>3. On the other islands, it's paradise as usual</h2> <p>The tourism board says no other islands in the state are affected. If you're staying in Waikiki, you'll be 200 miles away from the volcano; Kauai is more than 300 miles away. If you wouldn't cancel a trip to Las Vegas because of a natural disaster in Los Angeles, don't cancel a trip to another island because of what's happening on the Big Island. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cut-these-9-expenses-in-one-year-to-get-a-10-day-hawaii-vacation?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Cut These 9 Expenses in One Year to Get a 10-Day Hawaii Vacation</a>)</p> <h2>4. Summer is one of the nicest times to visit Hawaii</h2> <p>While there is no <em>bad </em>time to visit Hawaii, many people (other than surfers) prefer June through September, when the ocean is warm and calmer than in winter months. There is also a lower chance of rain than in October, November, March, and April.</p> <h2>5. Hawaii needs you</h2> <p>Tourism is the largest single industry in Hawaii's economy, and on the Big Island, 30 percent of private sector workers are employed in tourism. The Big Island is already suffering due to the closure of the national park and because some cruise ships have stopped calling there. &quot;There are cancellations of vacations that affect the economy,&quot; said Okabe, who worried that mainlanders seeing volcanic eruption images in the media and on social networks were deciding not to go to Hawaii.</p> <p>Officials say the effect on tourism revenue going forward will be difficult to predict, but the Island of Hawaii Visitors Bureau is projecting a potential 50 percent decline in business. Even more worrisome, some travel companies report that bookings to the entire state of Hawaii have declined, even though the other islands are not at all affected by the volcano.</p> <h2>6. You might benefit from smaller crowds on the Big Island</h2> <p>It's not clear whether volcano fears will lead to discounts for braver tourists this summer. But at the moment, July airfares from San Francisco to Kona, for example, look low &mdash; starting at $268 round-trip &mdash; compared to July averages in the $800 range, according to Kayak.com. Flights from the Bay Area to Honolulu can be had for as low as $258 in July.</p> <p>Whether or not you save money, you might enjoy fewer crowds, especially if you visit the Big Island. Fewer cruise ships calling at the ports of Kona and Hilo and less-full flights landing at the airports could mean more beach space for you &mdash; something to keep in mind especially if you're the type of traveler likely to be annoyed when a large ship pulls in.</p> <p>And if you think it's unseemly to head for an island enduring a natural disaster just to have a less-crowded holiday, consider all the people on the Big Island who rely on tourism to put food on their tables. They'll be happy you came.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fyes-its-still-safe-to-visit-hawaii-during-the-volcanic-eruption&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FYes%252C%2520It%2527s%2520Still%2520Safe%2520to%2520Visit%2520Hawaii%2520During%2520the%2520Volcanic%2520Eruption.jpg&amp;description=Yes%2C%20It's%20Still%20Safe%20to%20Visit%20Hawaii%20During%20the%20Volcanic%20Eruption"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Yes%2C%20It%27s%20Still%20Safe%20to%20Visit%20Hawaii%20During%20the%20Volcanic%20Eruption.jpg" alt="Yes, It's Still Safe to Visit Hawaii During the Volcanic Eruption" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/yes-its-still-safe-to-visit-hawaii-during-the-volcanic-eruption">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/5-destinations-in-mexico-that-are-safer-than-playa-del-carmen-and-cancun">5 Destinations in Mexico That Are Safer Than Playa Del Carmen and Cancun</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-about-a-terrible-airbnb-stay">What to Do About a Terrible Airbnb Stay</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/your-hotel-room-has-bedbugs-now-what">Your Hotel Room Has Bedbugs. Now What?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/7-common-travel-myths-that-people-need-to-stop-believing">7 Common Travel Myths That People Need to Stop Believing</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/5-of-the-safest-countries-to-visit-in-2018">5 of the Safest Countries to Visit in 2018</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs Travel Big Island hawaii Kilauea safe travel travel safety tips travel tips volcano Wed, 13 Jun 2018 08:30:20 +0000 Carrie Kirby 2148434 at https://www.wisebread.com How to Stop Those Annoying Robocalls https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-stop-those-annoying-robocalls <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-stop-those-annoying-robocalls" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/skeptical_woman_talking_texting_on_phone.jpg" alt="Skeptical woman talking texting on phone" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Your phone rings, the number on the screen starts with your local area code. Of course you're going to pick up. What if it's the school nurse calling about your children? What if it's your dentist's office calling to reschedule an appointment?</p> <p>Then you pick up and a recording tells you that you've won a free cruise to Alaska or that you owe money to the IRS.</p> <p>Yes, you've been hit by a robocall. These obnoxious recorded messages are used by companies to persuade you to buy something you usually don't need. Not only are they annoying, but robocalls can be dangerous, too. Plenty of scammers use them to trick people into giving up their Social Security numbers, credit card digits, or other personal information. Worst of all? These robocalls are increasing, and so are complaints from consumers who have been harassed by those prerecorded pitches and scams.</p> <p>Fortunately, there are steps you can take to stop at least a chunk of these calls and to protect yourself from any automated scams targeting your phone number.</p> <h2>We're answering a LOT more robocalls lately</h2> <p>The Federal Trade Commission reported that in 2017, consumers filed more than 4.5 million complaints with the commission about robocalls. That ranks as the highest number of complaints in any year, and is a sharp increase from the more than 3.4 million robocall complaints consumers filed with the FTC in 2016.</p> <p>The most common topic of these robocalls is debt reduction. Robocalls about vacations and timeshares were the second most common, while those about warranties and protection plans came in third. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-spot-a-hotel-booking-scam?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Spot a Hotel Booking Scam</a>)</p> <h2>How to stop them</h2> <p>If the number of robocalls bombarding your phone has increased, you're not alone. How do you stop, or at least slow down, these intrusions? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-protect-elderly-loved-ones-from-financial-scams?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Protect Elderly Loved Ones From Financial Scams</a>)</p> <h3>Register your number on the Do Not Call list</h3> <p>Your first step is to sign up for the <a href="https://www.donotcall.gov/" target="_blank">National Do Not Call Registry</a>, offered by the FTC. Telemarketers are prohibited from using automated dialers to call cellphones or landlines on the list, unless the owners of these numbers give them consent first.</p> <p>Unfortunately, listing your number on this list doesn't stop all robocalls. That's because many of the companies or scammers behind these calls won't hesitate to ignore Federal Communications Commission regulations.</p> <h3>Use call-blocking apps</h3> <p>Once you've listed your number on the Do Not Call Registry, it's time to download call-blocking apps that can help you prevent repeat robocalls from the same number. The <a href="https://mrnumber.com/" target="_blank">Mr. Number app</a> is a popular one, and allows you to block any number that has sent you a robocall and calls from known scammers. You can also block calls from numbers not in your contact list.</p> <p>There are competitors out there, including apps such as <a href="https://www.truecaller.com/" target="_blank">Truecaller</a> and <a href="http://www.shouldianswer.com/" target="_blank">Should I Answer</a>. These will help you greatly reduce robocalls.</p> <p>Wireless providers understand that robocalls are a nuisance, too. So it's not surprising that some of these providers offer their own call-blocking apps. AT&amp;T offers the <a href="https://www.att.com/features/security-apps.html" target="_blank">AT&amp;T Call Protect</a> app that lets you block calls from suspicious numbers and past robocallers. T-Mobile provides its own <a href="https://explore.t-mobile.com/callprotection?irgwc=1&amp;cmpid=WTR_AF_&amp;clickid=Vue3dj0vtTZuRm5WE2wp73T-UkjyWCRLETRN1Q0&amp;iradid=187812&amp;irpid=27795&amp;ircid=3290&amp;sharedid=&amp;aam=aam_uuid&amp;invoca=invoca_experience&amp;irmpname=VigLink" target="_blank">Scam Block</a> tool that allows cell users to block all known scam calls before they ring up their phones. And Verizon offers its own suite of <a href="https://www.verizon.com/support/residential/homephone/calling-features/stop-unwanted-calls" target="_blank">call-blocking services</a>, including call block, caller ID, and anonymous call rejection.</p> <h2>What to do if you still get robocalls</h2> <p>What if, despite the measures you've taken to prevent them, you still receive a robocall?</p> <p>First, if your call is coming from a number you don't recognize, don't answer. If the call truly is important, whoever is calling will leave you a voicemail. If you do answer, hang up as soon as you realize you're dealing with a robocall.</p> <p>Some robocalls will request that you hit the number &quot;1&quot; to speak with a live operator. Never do this. You'll just be connected with someone trying to sell you something or scam you. Others might ask that you press a certain number on your phone to stop receiving calls. Don't press that number, either. You'll usually be connected to another operator who wants to sell you or scam you.</p> <p>In short, the best way to deal with robocalls that slip through is to never engage with them. Robocallers can't scam you if you don't answer. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-ways-to-ban-spam-and-stop-junk?ref=seealso" target="_blank">3 Ways to Ban Spam and Stop Junk</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-stop-those-annoying-robocalls&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Stop%2520Those%2520Annoying%2520Robocalls.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Stop%20Those%20Annoying%20Robocalls"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Stop%20Those%20Annoying%20Robocalls.jpg" alt="How to Stop Those Annoying Robocalls" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-stop-those-annoying-robocalls">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/phishing-scams-continue-to-plague-social-media-sites">Phishing Scams Continue to Plague Social Media Sites</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/netspend-the-story-of-the-visa-debit-card-we-did-not-apply-for">netSpend: The Story of the Visa Debit Card We Did Not Apply For</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-protect-yourself-from-a-home-improvement-scam">How to Protect Yourself from a Home Improvement Scam</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/8-vile-craigslist-scams-to-watch-out-for">8 Vile Craigslist Scams to Watch Out For</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-apartment-hunt-on-craigslist-without-getting-scammed">6 Ways to Apartment Hunt on Craigslist Without Getting Scammed</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs Technology blocking calls phone scam robocalls scammers scams spam calls Fri, 08 Jun 2018 09:00:18 +0000 Dan Rafter 2146888 at https://www.wisebread.com 7 Common Travel Myths That People Need to Stop Believing https://www.wisebread.com/7-common-travel-myths-that-people-need-to-stop-believing <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-common-travel-myths-that-people-need-to-stop-believing" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/female_tourist_looking_in_venice_italy.jpg" alt="Female tourist looking in Venice, Italy" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Many people hold misconceptions about travel that are born out of rumors, misinformation, and a fear of the unknown. Most imply that you need to be rich, that only certain privileged people can travel, and that common life situations make it impossible to see the world. But safe and affordable travel is actually possible. Here are seven common travel myths that are flat-out wrong.</p> <h2>1. Traveling is too expensive</h2> <p>There's no doubt about it, traveling can absolutely be expensive. But that doesn't mean it <em>has </em>to be. If you're booking luxury cruises and five-star hotels every time you go on vacation, then yes, you'll need lots of cash. There are endless ways to make traveling easier on your budget, though, and all while enjoying a fantastic standard of living.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-wisely-choose-your-next-travel-destination?ref=internal" target="_blank">Choosing the right destinations</a> is key, and outside of the U.S., many places are far cheaper on everything from food to accommodation. You can use travel rewards credit cards to save hundreds of dollars per year and get free travel perks. And <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-timing-is-everything-when-saving-money-on-travel?ref=internal" target="_blank">timing your trip</a> is another way to keep costs down, simply by traveling outside of peak seasons.</p> <h2>2. Travel credit cards are bad for your finances</h2> <p>Credit cards are only as dangerous as the person wielding them, so it's completely inaccurate to assume that the cards themselves are dangerous for your finances. When used correctly, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">travel rewards cards</a> can actually be of huge benefit for travelers. They&rsquo;re a great way to earn free bonuses just for doing your everyday spending, and savvy travelers use them to score everything from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-tools-that-help-you-find-free-award-flights?ref=internal" target="_blank">free flights</a> to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-credit-card-should-you-use-to-get-free-hotel-stays?ref=internal" target="_blank">free hotel stays</a>.</p> <p>Rewards credit cards are most suitable for people who are already debt-free and able to pay off their balance each month. It's also important not to increase your spending in order to gather rewards, as this will rarely make financial sense.</p> <h2>3. Couchsurfing is unsafe</h2> <p>Couchsurfing sometimes gets a bad rap, and people tend to focus on the few horror stories that appear in the news. The reality is that most people have a fantastic experience when couchsurfing, and trouble with hosts or guests is extremely rare. <a href="https://hippie-inheels.com/tips-for-safe-couchsurfing/" target="_blank">Travel blogger Rachel Jones</a> is a fan of couchsurfing, and has found that it gives her a more immersive local experience. She has even made long-lasting friendships through it. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-ways-to-get-free-travel-accommodations?ref=seealso" target="_blank">13 Ways to Get Free Travel Accommodations</a>)</p> <p>There are precautionary steps you should take as a guest when looking for a couchsurfing opportunity that is right for you. First, read the host profiles carefully, particularly the reviews, as these will give you an insight into the person you'll be staying with. Second, always give a friend or family member the address you're heading to before you go, and arrange to check in with them throughout your stay. Finally, don't be afraid to walk away. If alarm bells ring in your head, listen to your instincts and leave.</p> <h2>4. Traveling with kids is a nightmare</h2> <p>Traveling with kids can be difficult, and it's certainly more complicated than traveling alone. But that doesn't mean that it should stop you from doing it. There are plenty of families successfully navigating the world with multiple kids in tow, and absolutely loving the experience.</p> <p>Some destinations are more child-friendly than others, so it pays to do your research before choosing. It will also take a bit more planning to find suitable accommodations and ensure you have packed everything you need to make the trip enjoyable for everyone. But there are lots of useful resources filled with great information to help you out. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-handle-world-travel-with-your-family?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Handle World Travel With Your Family</a>)</p> <h2>5. Traveling solo is too dangerous for women</h2> <p>There's an entire genre of travel blogging that has grown out of the desire to crush the belief that solo travel is inherently dangerous for women. Not only is it outdated and sexist, but it's also incorrect. There are female solo travelers making their way to every corner of the globe, safely and expertly.</p> <p>That's not to say that there aren't precautions that solo female travelers should take to keep themselves safe. But they're exactly the same ones that apply to any kind of solo traveler, regardless of gender. Stay alert, do your research, don&rsquo;t tell strangers where you&rsquo;re staying, do let close friends and family know where you&rsquo;re going, and consider joining a tour group if you&rsquo;re uncomfortable on your own. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-unexpected-benefits-of-solo-travel?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Unexpected Benefits of Solo Travel</a>)</p> <h2>6. You can't work overseas</h2> <p>While it's not as simple as packing up, boarding a flight, and finding a suitable position in your chosen country, it's not impossible to work overseas. For 18&ndash;30-year-olds, there are working holiday visas that the U.S. government has set up with New Zealand, Ireland, South Korea, Singapore, and Australia that allow you to work overseas for up to two years with relatively few restrictions.</p> <p>If you don't qualify for one of those, then you can still work overseas as long as you have the correct visa. You should also be aware of U.S. tax regulations, meaning you'll likely still have to file returns. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-tax-myths-that-can-be-costly-for-expats?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Tax Myths That Can Be Costly for Expats</a>)</p> <h2>7. You have to have enough money for your whole trip before you leave</h2> <p>If you're planning on traveling for a long period of time, it can be daunting to save up the exact amount of money you need to cover your whole journey. But the truth is, you don't <em>have</em> to. It's entirely possible to set off with a limited amount of cash and earn money as you make your way around the world.</p> <p>There are countless ways to make money while you travel that are open to anyone, and if you have some skills that enable you to work remotely, then even better. From hospitality work to web design, there are lots of occupations you can do from anywhere in the world. Just make sure you've saved enough to get yourself started before hitting the road. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-make-money-while-you-travel?ref=seealso" target="_blank">15 Ways to Make Money While You Travel</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F7-common-travel-myths-that-people-need-to-stop-believing&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F7%2520Common%2520Travel%2520Myths%2520That%2520People%2520Need%2520to%2520Stop%2520Believing.jpg&amp;description=7%20Common%20Travel%20Myths%20That%20People%20Need%20to%20Stop%20Believing"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/7%20Common%20Travel%20Myths%20That%20People%20Need%20to%20Stop%20Believing.jpg" alt="7 Common Travel Myths That People Need to Stop Believing" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/nick-wharton">Nick Wharton</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/7-common-travel-myths-that-people-need-to-stop-believing">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/4-affordable-destinations-that-are-safer-than-you-think">4 Affordable Destinations That Are Safer Than You Think</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-a-family-of-4-can-see-italy-for-1000-or-less">How a Family of 4 Can See Italy for $1,000 or Less</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-big-on-last-minute-travel">How to Save Big on Last-Minute Travel</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/8-places-to-travel-where-the-dollar-is-still-strong">8 Places to Travel Where the Dollar Is Still Strong</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-take-a-7-day-cross-country-road-trip-for-350-or-less">How to Take a 7-Day Cross Country Road Trip for $350 or Less</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs Travel affordable travel common misconceptions travel budget travel myths travel safety travel tips Wed, 06 Jun 2018 08:30:29 +0000 Nick Wharton 2146780 at https://www.wisebread.com 8 Travel Warnings You Shouldn't Ignore https://www.wisebread.com/8-travel-warnings-you-shouldnt-ignore <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-travel-warnings-you-shouldnt-ignore" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/smile_woman_holding_yellow_umbrella_on_rainy_day.jpg" alt="Smile woman holding yellow umbrella on rainy day" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Whether you're traveling for a much-needed vacation, a business trip, or just want to see family and friends, you cannot presume that everything is going to go off without a hitch once you reach your destination. While some issues are unavoidable (the hotel room isn't ready, the rental car breaks down, someone gets sick), there are others that can be avoided if you pay close attention to travel advisories. These warnings are given days, or even weeks, in advance, and can save you time, money, and in extreme cases, can even mean life or death.</p> <h2>1. Extreme weather</h2> <p>Weather is one of the easiest vacation issues to predict. Advances in meteorological science mean that weather experts can predict major problems with a reliable degree of accuracy. That means hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, torrential rain, extreme heat, blizzards, and even dangerous hail are literally on the radar for meteorologists.</p> <p>If they warn you of these weather conditions before you are set to travel anywhere, rethink your plans. Extreme weather shifts like this can ground planes, cause car crashes, wipe out roads and buildings, and lead to serious injury and death. Don't mess with mother nature; you'll lose. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-times-travel-insurance-is-worth-it?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Times Travel Insurance Is Worth It</a>)</p> <h2>2. Civil unrest and political upheaval</h2> <p>Most of us are fortunate enough to live in a land of (relative) peace. It's easy to forget that in some parts of the world, citizens are in a fight for justice, and their lives, on a daily basis. If you are not up on the latest news from around the world, you could be in for a rude awakening when you get to your destination. For example, the U.S. government is currently advising you to reconsider travel to the Democratic Republic of Congo, Venezuela, and Sudan, among others, due primarily to crime and civil unrest in these regions.</p> <p>If you must travel to these areas, perhaps for work or a family emergency, you should exercise extreme caution and take the necessary steps to stay safe when you arrive. Consider a local trusted guide or escort who can advise you on where to go and, more importantly, where to avoid. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-of-the-safest-countries-to-visit-in-2018?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 of the Safest Countries to Visit in 2018</a>)</p> <h2>3. Health and disease</h2> <p>While modern medicine safeguards us and helps us recover from all kinds of communicable diseases, you cannot take any risks when traveling abroad. That's why you should always check with the <a href="https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices" target="_blank">Centers for Disease Control and Prevention</a> (CDC) before taking any kind of trip.</p> <p>Current notices at the time of this writing include an outbreak of malaria and listeriosis in South Africa, and malaria and yellow fever in Brazil. And since June of 2017, over 2,000 cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) have been identified in multiple countries in the Arabian Peninsula. You can get additional vaccines before you travel, or if you are really concerned, change your plans to a different location. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-stay-healthy-on-vacation?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Ways to Avoid Getting Seriously Sick on Vacation</a>)</p> <h2>4. Terrorism</h2> <p>Since September 11, 2001, terror attacks have increased substantially in some parts of the world. The State Department currently has Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Mali, North Korea, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria, and Yemen on the <a href="https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories.html" target="_blank">Do Not Travel list</a>, primarily due to incidents of terrorism.</p> <p>Many other countries get a Reconsider Travel notice for terrorism dangers, including Pakistan, Burkina Faso, Chad, and Lebanon. These terrorism warnings are constantly updated, so if you know you may be traveling to a part of the world that has been home to terrorist activity, check the list and consider your alternatives.</p> <h2>5. Crime and personal safety</h2> <p>While the two often go hand in hand, there are some distinctions to be made here. For example, many countries have a crime rate far in excess of anything you've experienced in the United States, and as such, you will not be prepared for the dangers without first researching the area. El Salvador, Burundi, Guatemala, Nigeria, and Mauritania are all flagged right now for problems with crime. Take the following precautions in places known to have a high crime rate:</p> <ul> <li> <p>Consider hotels that offer secure parking, doormen, and a dedicated and professional security staff.</p> </li> <li> <p>Request security escorts, available for tourist groups.</p> </li> <li> <p>Be aware of your surroundings.</p> </li> <li> <p>Avoid walking or driving at night.</p> </li> <li> <p>Do not physically resist any robbery attempt.</p> </li> <li> <p>Do not use public ATMs.</p> </li> <li> <p>Do not display signs of wealth, such as wearing expensive watches or jewelry.</p> </li> </ul> <p>While crime can certainly result in physical danger, there is another kind of personal safety issue you need to be aware of. It's known as &quot;risk of arrest and detention,&quot; and happens in places that have a volatile relationship with the U.S. North Korea is a prime example, and if you do not have special validation from the Department of State to travel in, or through, North Korea, you may find yourself in deep trouble.</p> <h2>6. Airline issues</h2> <p>Perhaps one of the most obvious, but often overlooked, travel warnings come from the airlines themselves. When we think of a travel advisory, we think of weather issues, health and disease, crime, and civil unrest. But one surefire way that your vacation can come to a grinding halt is when the airline has an issue. Anything from a computer system going down, to problems with labor negotiations and strikes, or mechanical malfunctions and serious delays, can put a serious dent in your plans.</p> <p>Every airline has its own alert page, so if you know which airline you plan on taking, check out that alert page regularly.</p> <h2>7. War</h2> <p>We live in turbulent political times. While some wars have been raging for decades, others could break out at the drop of a hat. If you're not following politics closely, you should take notice if the region you are traveling to is about to go to war (or is actually at war and you didn't even know it). The most infamous places right now are Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Darfur, Myanmar, Nigeria, Libya, Sudan, Yemen, and the Central African Republic.</p> <p>Other danger zones closer to home are some regions of Mexico. Since 2006, the Mexican drug war has had over 106,000 casualties, with almost 15,000 of those coming in 2017 alone. The Mexican states of Colima, Guerrero<strong>, </strong>Michoacán, Sinaloa, and Tamaulipas are all currently on the Do Not Travel list due to crime. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-affordable-destinations-that-are-safer-than-you-think?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Affordable Destinations That Are Safer Than You Think</a>)</p> <h2>8. Geological disasters</h2> <p>This is a broad term, because you could easily put extreme weather into this category. But in this instance, it's reserved for natural disasters. For example, when Iceland's volcano Eyjafjallajökull blew in 2010, massive clouds of ash made travel impossible for millions of people. An earthquake warning, or the threat of a volcanic eruption or a landslide, should be taken very seriously. If you're planning on traveling to a place known for these kinds of natural disasters, and there's evidence that you could be caught in something horrific, change your plans.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F8-travel-warnings-you-shouldnt-ignore&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F8%2520Travel%2520Warnings%2520You%2520Shouldn%2527t%2520Ignore.jpg&amp;description=8%20Travel%20Warnings%20You%20Shouldn't%20Ignore"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/8%20Travel%20Warnings%20You%20Shouldn%27t%20Ignore.jpg" alt="8 Travel Warnings You Shouldn't Ignore" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/8-travel-warnings-you-shouldnt-ignore">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/5-of-the-safest-countries-to-visit-in-2018">5 of the Safest Countries to Visit in 2018</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/5-destinations-in-mexico-that-are-safer-than-playa-del-carmen-and-cancun">5 Destinations in Mexico That Are Safer Than Playa Del Carmen and Cancun</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-eat-street-food-safely-while-traveling">How to Eat Street Food Safely While Traveling</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-provide-proof-of-onward-travel-during-an-open-ended-trip-abroad">How to Provide Proof of Onward Travel During an Open-Ended Trip Abroad</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/4-affordable-destinations-that-are-safer-than-you-think">4 Affordable Destinations That Are Safer Than You Think</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs Travel international travel safe travel travel abroad travel tips travel warnings vacation destinations Fri, 18 May 2018 08:00:36 +0000 Paul Michael 2141993 at https://www.wisebread.com Do You Need Credit Monitoring to Protect Your Credit? https://www.wisebread.com/do-you-need-credit-monitoring-to-protect-your-credit <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/do-you-need-credit-monitoring-to-protect-your-credit" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/turn_your_visitors_into_active_participants_on_your_website.jpg" alt="Turn your visitors into active participants on your website" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>While the internet has improved our lives in numerous ways, technology has also made our personal information more vulnerable than ever. If data breaches from big stores like Target and Home Depot several years ago didn't convince you of this fact, the 2017 Equifax data breach, which may have released the sensitive data of up to 145 million consumers, probably helped you realize how much peril your personal information could be in.</p> <p>If you've seen ads for credit monitoring services like LifeLock or Identity Guard, you may have wondered if signing up is worth it. You may have also heard about credit freezes and fraud alerts and wondered how those work. Before you take any steps to protect your credit and your identity, here's what you should know. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-panic-do-this-if-your-identity-gets-stolen?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Don't Panic. Do This Instead If Your Identity Gets Stolen</a>)</p> <h2>The difference between credit monitoring, credit freezes, and fraud alerts</h2> <p>During the Equifax data breach, consumers' names, Social Security numbers, addresses, and, in some cases, credit card numbers were accessed by hackers. To control damages after the breach, Equifax created a special website where you could enter your information and <a href="https://trustedidpremier.com/eligibility/eligibility.html" target="_blank">find out if you were affected by the Equifax breach</a>. It also began offering a year of free credit monitoring and other identity theft services to all U.S. consumers, whether their information was accessed during the data breach or not.</p> <p>In addition to taking advantage of credit monitoring, Equifax and consumer advocates suggested consumers consider several other steps to protect their credit right away: freezing their credit reports and placing a fraud alert on their reports.</p> <p>But what's the difference between these options? While each service has the same goal of protecting your identity and your credit, they all work differently and some may be better for some consumers than others.</p> <h3>Credit monitoring</h3> <p>Traditionally, credit monitoring is a service people pay for. With LifeLock, for example, you can pay a monthly fee to have the company continually check for fraud or threats to your financial accounts and credit reports. Other credit monitoring services work similarly, although they may offer different features.</p> <h3>Credit freeze</h3> <p>With a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-freeze-your-credit?ref=internal" target="_blank">credit freeze</a>, you usually pay up to $10 per credit reporting agency to make your credit report inaccessible to lenders, thereby making it impossible for hackers and scammers to open new accounts in your name. Note that you usually also pay a fee every time you want to unfreeze your credit. For now, credit freezes and unfreezes are free with Equifax.</p> <h3>Fraud alerts</h3> <p>If you don't want to freeze your credit completely, you can place three different types of fraud alerts on your credit report instead. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-a-free-fraud-alert-on-your-credit-report?ref=internal" target="_blank">Fraud alerts</a> are free, and they require lenders to verify your identity before issuing new credit in your name. As the <a href="https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0497-credit-freeze-faqs#difference" target="_blank">Federal Trade Commission</a> notes, options include:</p> <ul> <li> <p>Initial fraud alert: This type of fraud alert is best for someone whose identity hasn't been stolen yet. It protects your credit from unverified access for up to 90 days.</p> </li> <li> <p>Extended fraud alert: An extended fraud alert protects victims of identity theft for up to seven years.</p> </li> <li> <p>Active duty military alert: This alert protects active duty service members from identity theft for up to one year while they are on deployment.</p> </li> </ul> <h2>Should you pay for credit monitoring?</h2> <p>Whether you should pay for credit monitoring depends on your situation. Gerri Detweiler, education director for Nav, a company that makes tools for managing business credit, says that while there are more opportunities than ever to monitor your credit for free, there are times when paying for a more comprehensive service could be advantageous. &quot;The monitoring on these platforms can be more robust,&quot; she says.</p> <p>If you know that you will not take the time to monitor your credit accounts yourself, or you just want the peace of mind of knowing someone else is doing it for you, then paying for a subscription service may be worth it.</p> <p>Freezing your credit report can also make sense, says Detweiler. But if you're doing it to prevent identity theft, you need to know the drawbacks. &quot;It can be a hassle when you go to apply for credit, insurance, or even try to get a new cellphone,&quot; says Detweiler, mostly because you will have to unfreeze your credit report any time you want to apply for new credit. That can get costly.</p> <p>Detweiler says she also worries that credit freezes create a false sense of security. While a freeze can prevent someone from opening new accounts in your name, it can't prevent hackers from using your existing accounts fraudulently or stealing your information.</p> <p>As far as fraud alerts go, Detweiler chose this option when she was a victim of identity theft in 2017. While a credit freeze locks down your new credit, fraud alerts allow creditors to access your credit report as long as they are able to verify your identity. For this reason, fraud alerts may be a better option for someone who opens new credit regularly and still wants some protection against identity theft.</p> <h2>Other ways to keep your credit safe</h2> <p>If you are preparing for a crucial loan like a mortgage, new auto loan, or small business loan, for example, you want to make sure your credit is as solid as possible, says Detweiler. That's because lower credit scores may mean you won't get approved for the loan or you'll pay more in interest charges.</p> <p>Plus, you'll want to keep your identity and personal information safe from hackers and scammers no matter what. If your identity is stolen, it can take months or even years to get the situation cleared up.</p> <p>Detweiler says you should take advantage of the fact that you can get a free copy of your credit report from the three credit reporting agencies &mdash; Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion &mdash; once per year at <a href="http://www.annualcreditreport.com" target="_blank">AnnualCreditReport.com</a>. By accessing your full credit report regularly, you can check for errors or fraudulent activity and report them immediately if you find them. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-read-a-credit-report?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Read a Credit Report</a>)</p> <p>There are also plenty of places where you can get a free credit score. Many credit card issuers give out <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-that-offer-free-credit-scores?ref=internal" target="_blank">free credit scores</a>. Other free services such as Credit Karma give you an estimate of your credit score year-round and set up notifications to let you know when a new account is opened in your name.</p> <p>Trevor Buxton, Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) and assistant vice president of fraud prevention at PNC Bank also suggests the following actions to keep your credit safe:</p> <ul> <li> <p>Keep a close eye on your bank accounts. &quot;If you notice unauthorized activity on your account, immediately call the number on the back of your debit, ATM, or credit card, or stop by your local branch,&quot; says Buxton.</p> </li> <li> <p>Sign up for alerts on your accounts. Many banks let you set up your credit and debit accounts so you're notified any time a purchase is made.</p> </li> <li> <p>Spread your free credit reports over the course of a year. Since you can get a free report from the three credit reporting agencies once per year, Buxton suggests spreading those out by accessing one free report every four months.</p> </li> </ul> <p>Notify credit reporting agencies of any false reporting. If you find any errors on your credit report, notify the credit reporting agency in question and dispute the information right away. You can find out more about how to dispute errors on your credit report on <a href="https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0151-disputing-errors-credit-reports" target="_blank">the FTC website</a>.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fdo-you-need-credit-monitoring-to-protect-your-credit&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FDo%2520You%2520Need%2520Credit%2520Monitoring%2520to%2520Protect%2520Your%2520Credit_.jpg&amp;description=Do%20You%20Need%20Credit%20Monitoring%20to%20Protect%20Your%20Credit%3F"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Do%20You%20Need%20Credit%20Monitoring%20to%20Protect%20Your%20Credit_.jpg" alt="Do You Need Credit Monitoring to Protect Your Credit?" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/holly-johnson">Holly Johnson</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/do-you-need-credit-monitoring-to-protect-your-credit">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/once-bitten-twice-shy-what-is-credit-security-worth-to-you">Once Bitten Twice Shy: What is Credit Security Worth to You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/someone-took-out-a-loan-in-your-name-now-what">Someone Took Out a Loan in Your Name. Now What?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/7-apps-that-monitor-your-credit-for-you">7 Apps That Monitor Your Credit for You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/dont-panic-do-this-if-your-identity-gets-stolen">Don&#039;t Panic: Do This If Your Identity Gets Stolen</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-protect-your-credit-after-the-equifax-breach">How to Protect Your Credit After the Equifax Breach</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Consumer Affairs credit card tips credit monitoring credit protection credit score identity theft Tue, 15 May 2018 08:30:24 +0000 Holly Johnson 2138232 at https://www.wisebread.com How to Spot a Hotel Booking Scam https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-spot-a-hotel-booking-scam <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-spot-a-hotel-booking-scam" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_working_on_laptop_looking_confused_at_computer_screen.jpg" alt="Woman working on laptop looking confused at computer screen" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>While families wishing to see the world once relied on travel agents for their glossy brochures and recommendations, the internet has ushered in a new wave of travel planning independence. These days, more and more people are using the web to research destinations, plan itineraries, and book their own hotels.</p> <p>The freedom to research independently is a good thing, but there's also a problem: The American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) reports that 55 million hotel booking scams are perpetrated against unsuspecting consumers each year.</p> <p>The organization acknowledges that the internet has offered great conveniences in the travel space, but says hotel booking scams continue popping up all the time. Rogue third-party online booking sites imitate legitimate hotel websites, taking advantage of the huge volume of online travel searches. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-airbnb-scam-will-ruin-your-vacation-and-your-budget?ref=seealso" target="_blank">This Airbnb Scam Will Ruin Your Vacation &mdash; and Your Budget</a>)</p> <h2>The anatomy of a hotel booking scam</h2> <p>According to the AHLA, many hotel booking scams are set up so consumers don't even know they've been tricked. Most of the time, it starts with a hotel scam website being created and promoted so that it shows up in internet search engines right alongside legitimate hotel websites and third-party booking sites.</p> <p>&quot;These rogue sites trick consumers by mirroring the look and feel of the actual hotel website &mdash; using copyrighted images, trademarked logos, and many times, even similar URLs &mdash; to take consumers for a ride,&quot; writes the AHLA in a report about online booking scams.</p> <p>From there, the fraud committed can take on several different forms. The fraudulent website may steal the victim's money completely without making a hotel reservation on their behalf. Or it might charge the consumer an inflated rate that includes a giant commission the consumer shouldn't have to pay.</p> <p>At the very least, you may miss out on hotel loyalty points or perks you thought you were going to receive if you believed you were making a reservation directly with a hotel.</p> <h2>How to avoid hotel booking scams</h2> <p>The AHLA has partnered with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to raise awareness about hotel booking scams with the goal of protecting consumers. According to Beverly Baskin, CEO of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, certain types of consumers are especially at risk for these scams, including travelers ages 55 and up and members of the military. Baskin says that travel and vacation scams cost the average victim around $847.</p> <p>If you're eager to ensure your travel plans aren't ruined by thieves, consider these tips from the BBB and the AHLA:</p> <h3>Book directly with the source</h3> <p>Before you book a hotel stay online, make sure you are booking on the hotel's website. While a lookalike hotel website may have the hotel's name in their URL, double check the website address to endure it's not a third-party website trying to steal a hotel's identity.</p> <p>If you're booking with a large hotel chain, one way to do this is to visit the chain's website and make your reservation from there. If you're booking the Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik Hotel in Croatia, for example, go to Hilton.com and book your reservation on the main hotel website.</p> <p>If you do an internet search for &quot;Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik,&quot; you will see several lookalike sites like this one:</p> <p><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/1_1.png" width="581" height="217" alt="" /></p> <p>You should avoid these third-party imposters at all costs.</p> <h3>Use reputable third-party websites</h3> <p>It's OK to use third-party websites like Expedia, Travelocity, and Priceline. Legitimate <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-hotel-booking-websites-can-save-you-money-and-headaches?ref=internal" target="_blank">hotel booking sites can save you money</a> and headaches. But you should beware of thirty-party booking sites you have never heard of. The BBB says you should never trust a website just because it looks legitimate. Take the extra step to check the company out with BBB.org and read online reviews before you book.</p> <h3>Take advantage of hotel loyalty programs</h3> <p>If you're someone who likes staying with the big hotel chains (e.g. Hilton, Marriott, IHG Rewards, etc.), it makes sense to sign up for the related <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/breakdown-of-benefits-and-value-of-the-best-hotel-rewards-programs-and-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">hotel loyalty program</a>. These programs are free to join and they typically offer the lowest rates to loyalty members who book direct.</p> <p>Not only will you have a secure loyalty account you can make your bookings through, but hotel loyalty programs let you earn points for free hotel stays, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/easy-ways-to-get-elite-status-for-free-hotel-upgrades?ref=internal" target="_blank">hotel room upgrades</a>, and more. Some <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-credit-cards-for-hotel-deals-and-rewards?ref=internal" target="_blank">hotel credit cards</a> also let you earn large <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-with-sign-up-bonuses-for-hotel-stays?ref=internal" target="_blank">sign-up bonuses for hotel rewards programs</a>, which make it easier for you to rack up enough points for free rooms quickly. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-credit-cards-for-hotel-deals-and-rewards?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Best Credit Cards for Hotel Deals and Rewards</a>)</p> <h3>Pay for your hotel with a credit card</h3> <p>Using a credit card is one of the most secure ways to make any online purchase, mostly because credit cards come with zero percent liability for fraudulent charges. If you find you are the victim of a travel scam or hotel booking scam where they kept your money without making a hotel reservation, you can <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-awesome-credit-card-tricks-that-will-save-you-money?ref=internal" target="_blank">ask for a &quot;chargeback&quot;</a> on your account and get a refund. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-win-a-fraud-dispute-with-your-credit-card-company?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Win a Fraud Dispute With Your Credit Card Company</a>)</p> <h3>Keep your eyes wide open</h3> <p>One of the best ways to avoid becoming the victim of a travel scam is to know what to look for. The BBB says you should avoid conducting internet searches for broad terms like &quot;best travel deals&quot; or &quot;cheapest rates&quot; since those type of searches tend to bring out the worst offenders among lookalike travel websites.</p> <p>If something seems off, the BBB says you should call the hotel and ask plenty of questions.</p> <h3>Make sure you know the hotel's refund policy</h3> <p>The BBB says you should read all the fine print before you agree to a hotel charge being placed on your credit card. Will you need to pay upfront, for example? Or will your card be charged upon arrival? Is the hotel booking refundable if you need to cancel for any reason?</p> <p>While some big hotel chains and legitimate third-party booking websites offer discounts for non-refundable fares, it's more common for hotels to use your credit card to secure the reservation but wait to charge the rate until your hotel stay is completed. Hotel cancellation policies vary by chain, however, so make sure you know the policy ahead of time.</p> <h3>Plan ahead</h3> <p>Last but not least, you may get the best price on your hotel stay and other travel arrangements if you book far in advance. Planning ahead will also give you time to compare options, research hotel booking websites, and lock in a good rate.</p> <p>On the other hand, a last-minute, hasty search for a hotel may put you at greater risk for encountering a scam and losing money.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-spot-a-hotel-booking-scam&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Spot%2520a%2520Hotel%2520Booking%2520Scam.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Spot%20a%20Hotel%20Booking%20Scam"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Spot%20a%20Hotel%20Booking%20Scam.jpg" alt="How to Spot a Hotel Booking Scam" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/holly-johnson">Holly Johnson</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-spot-a-hotel-booking-scam">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-about-a-terrible-airbnb-stay">What to Do About a Terrible Airbnb Stay</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/your-hotel-room-has-bedbugs-now-what">Your Hotel Room Has Bedbugs. Now What?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/stay-secure-in-your-hotel-with-this-8-point-safety-check">Stay Secure in Your Hotel With This 8-Point Safety Check</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/this-airbnb-scam-will-ruin-your-vacation-and-your-budget">This Airbnb Scam Will Ruin Your Vacation — and Your Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/watch-out-for-these-10-red-flags-with-vacation-rentals">Watch Out for These 10 Red Flags With Vacation Rentals</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs Travel accommodation AirBnb booking scams hotel booking hotels travel scams travel tips Fri, 11 May 2018 08:30:20 +0000 Holly Johnson 2136757 at https://www.wisebread.com 4 Affordable Destinations That Are Safer Than You Think https://www.wisebread.com/4-affordable-destinations-that-are-safer-than-you-think <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-affordable-destinations-that-are-safer-than-you-think" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/the_monastery_al_deir_temple.jpg" alt="The Monastery (Al Deir Temple)" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There are countless corners of the world that are completely misunderstood and labeled as &quot;unsafe,&quot; when the reality is far from that simple. Violence, wars, terrorism, and drugs can all destroy a country's image and leave lasting negative consequences for its tourism industry.</p> <p>But if you're looking for a budget vacation that's a little out of the ordinary, then consider exploring countries that for one reason or another haven't always enjoyed the best of reputations. Here are four affordable destinations that are actually less dangerous than you might think. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-of-the-safest-countries-to-visit-in-2018?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 of the Safest Countries to Visit in 2018</a>)</p> <p>*All cost estimates are taken from Numbeo.com, a trusted source of user contributed data for the cost of living in countries, and leading hotel site Booking.com.</p> <h2>Rwanda</h2> <p><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/model_resettlement_village%20in_northern_rwanda.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Rwanda's recent history has been deeply shaped by the brutal civil war that was waged here in the early 1990s, and in so many ways it's still struggling to overcome the devastating aftermath. Up to a million people are estimated to have been killed during the unrest and the genocide that followed. Though this war ended over 20 years ago, for many it's still the first thing that springs to mind when Rwanda is mentioned, deterring some potential visitors.</p> <p>Today, the landscape in Rwanda is very different, and though the scars remain, it's beginning to build a reputation as one of the continent's finest tourist destinations. It's now widely regarded as one of the safest and most politically stable countries in Africa. At the time of publishing, the U.S. State Department rates it as having the lowest possible travel advisory level, with no current security alerts.</p> <p>Despite its diminutive size, it packs a punch far above its weight in terms of attractions. Known as &quot;The Land of a Thousand Hills,&quot; its undulating terrain is home to some incredible scenery and rare animals. This includes the famous National Volcanoes Park where you'll find some of the world's last remaining mountain gorillas.</p> <p>Rwanda is also rated as one of the most affordable countries to visit in the region. A meal at an inexpensive restaurant will set you back just $2.88, and a room in a budget hotel will start at around $30 depending on which area you're in.</p> <h2>Morocco</h2> <p><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/ait_benhaddou_moroccan_ancient_fortress.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>North Africa has developed a less than stellar reputation in recent years having been blighted by numerous acts of horrific terrorism. Morocco has also experienced terrorist-related incidents in the past, and it should be pointed out that the U.S. State Department says that &quot;the potential for terrorist violence against U.S. interests and citizens exists.&quot;</p> <p>However, the State Department&rsquo;s travel advisory level for Morocco is currently at level 1, the lowest possible level, and there have not been any terrorist attacks in Morocco since 2011. It's widely considered one of the safest countries in the region and its continued high levels of tourism bear testament to this.</p> <p>Exquisite architecture intricately decorated with tiled mosaics, bustling marketplaces full of vibrantly colored spices and fabrics, and swathes of sand dunes stretching out for miles on end are just some of the reasons to visit Morocco. The cuisine is also a huge draw, with richly spiced dishes mixing sweet and savory to mouth watering effect.</p> <p>Thanks in part to the large numbers of tourists it receives, Morocco is one of the most reasonably priced countries in the region. Budget rooms are available starting at around $30 and a meal at an inexpensive restaurant will cost a little more than $3.</p> <h2>Colombia</h2> <p><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/clock_tower_gate_0.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>The shadow cast by drug kingpins like the notorious Pablo Escobar still lingers over Colombia, and these associations have proved difficult for the South American country to eliminate. Potential visitors still sometimes fear accidentally getting caught up in the drug trade, being kidnapped by guerrilla fighters, and becoming the victim of organized gang violence. This hasn't been helped by the recent release of popular movies and TV series on the subject.</p> <p>While these fears would have been well founded in the '80s and '90s, Colombia has worked hard to free itself from the clutches of organized crime. In the process, it's begun reinventing itself as a favored tourist destination for travelers wanting a taste of this previously unexplored South American country.</p> <p>Colombia has an attractive mixture of cutting edge modernity and a diverse range of breathtaking, untouched landscapes. This is showcased in cities like Medellin, whose stunning scenery includes swathes of lush jungle and a Caribbean coastline filled with pristine beaches.</p> <p>Colombia is also one of the most affordable countries in South America. That&rsquo;s one reason it's currently enjoying a wave of popularity among young backpackers. Even in the bigger cities, budget rooms are available for less than $25 per night and a meal at an inexpensive restaurant will cost less than $4.</p> <h2>Jordan</h2> <p><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/red_sand_in_wadi_rum.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>The Middle East is widely regarded as a no-go zone by many people who view the entire region as dangerous. This opinion is fueled by the political instability and well-publicized conflicts that are still ongoing in countries like Syria, Iraq, and Palestine. Because of this, the Middle East in general is not considered your typical vacation destination, and there's a lot of fear around visiting.</p> <p>The tiny country of Jordan, however, is trying its hardest to buck the trend and has become something of an &quot;it&quot; destination in recent years. Though there are safety warnings for the areas close to the borders it shares with some of its neighboring countries, it's stable politically and generally safe to visit.</p> <p>The main reason that people come to Jordan is to visit the famous archaeological wonder and UNESCO World Heritage site, Petra. This ancient city is made up of buildings that were meticulously carved into the red sandstone rock face over 2,000 years ago, when it was the epicenter of a vast empire.</p> <p>But that's not all there is to Jordan. Modern cities like Amman and exciting adventure activities available make it a diverse location. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-incredible-unesco-world-heritage-sites-right-here-in-the-us?ref=seealso" target="_blank">11 Incredible UNESCO World Heritage Sites Right Here in the U.S.</a>)</p> <p>Budget hotel rooms come in at less than $30 in many areas, or for even less you can spend the night under the stars in a traditional Bedouin camp. An inexpensive meal will cost around $7.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F4-affordable-destinations-that-are-safer-than-you-think&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F4%2520Affordable%2520Destinations%2520That%2520Are%2520Safer%2520Than%2520You%2520Think.jpg&amp;description=4%20Affordable%20Destinations%20That%20Are%20Safer%20Than%20You%20Think"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/4%20Affordable%20Destinations%20That%20Are%20Safer%20Than%20You%20Think.jpg" alt="4 Affordable Destinations That Are Safer Than You Think" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/nick-wharton">Nick Wharton</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/4-affordable-destinations-that-are-safer-than-you-think">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/7-common-travel-myths-that-people-need-to-stop-believing">7 Common Travel Myths That People Need to Stop Believing</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/5-of-the-safest-countries-to-visit-in-2018">5 of the Safest Countries to Visit in 2018</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-manage-your-travel-anxiety">7 Ways to Manage Your Travel Anxiety</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/5-destinations-in-mexico-that-are-safer-than-playa-del-carmen-and-cancun">5 Destinations in Mexico That Are Safer Than Playa Del Carmen and Cancun</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/8-places-to-travel-where-the-dollar-is-still-strong">8 Places to Travel Where the Dollar Is Still Strong</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs Travel affordable travel safe travel safety advisory travel destinations travel safety travel tips Thu, 26 Apr 2018 08:30:15 +0000 Nick Wharton 2135304 at https://www.wisebread.com 3 Ways Millennials Can Avoid Financial Fraud https://www.wisebread.com/3-ways-millennials-can-avoid-of-financial-fraud <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/3-ways-millennials-can-avoid-of-financial-fraud" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/furious_man_with_empty_credit_card.jpg" alt="Furious man with empty credit card" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We tend to think of financial fraud as a retiree problem. After all, older adults are more likely to be sitting on a large nest egg and are often resistant to getting financial help from others for fear of losing independence. Both of those traits make them tempting targets for scammers and con artists.</p> <p>However, just because scammers traditionally like to hit up Nana and Poppy does not mean that young adults are shielded from the problem. In fact, according to a recently released Federal Trade Commission study, more adults aged 20&ndash;29 reported losing money to financial scams in 2017 than did any other age group. The study found that 40 percent of adults in their 20s lost money to fraud, as compared to only 18 percent of people over the age of 70 &mdash; although the median amount lost was lower among 20-somethings than among the elderly.</p> <p>We've done a great job of helping to alert older adults to the dangers of financial fraud. Now we need to make sure everyone else also knows what they need to do to steer clear of scams. Here is what you need to know about protecting yourself from financial fraud.</p> <h2>The most common types of fraud</h2> <p>Of the types of fraud reported to the FTC, the three most common scams were debt collection (23 percent), identity theft (14 percent), and impostor scams wherein the scammer pretends to be either a government official, a loved one in trouble, or someone else the victim knows (13 percent).</p> <p>Although debt collection was the issue most commonly reported to the FTC, impostor scams were the type of fraud that cost victims the most money. Consumers reportedly lost $328 million total in 2017 to this type of scam.</p> <p>Each of these types of fraud requires a different protection strategy, and savvy consumers should use all of these approaches to make sure they are covered in case of any type of fraud.</p> <h2>1. Know your debt collection rights</h2> <p>Getting a phone call from a debt collector can be nerve-wracking for anyone, and debt collection scams rely on your natural fear of financial consequences. The best way to avoid becoming a victim of such a scam is to know your rights as a borrower. According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, any debt collector who contacts with a claim that you owe payment is required by law to tell you the following information:</p> <ul> <li> <p>The name of the creditor.</p> </li> <li> <p>The amount you owe.</p> </li> <li> <p>The fact that you can dispute the debt.</p> </li> <li> <p>The fact that you can request the name and address of the original creditor if it is different from the current creditor.</p> </li> </ul> <p>If a debt collector doesn't provide this information when first contacting you, he or she is required to send you written notice that includes this information within five days of that initial contact.</p> <p>It is a red flag if you receive a call from a debt collector who balks at providing you with this information. In addition, while debt collectors have the right to be persistent and can tell you the potential consequences of failing to pay your debt, intimidation tactics to get you to pay what they claim you owe are also a common scheme from con artists.</p> <p>You also have the right to refuse to discuss any debt until you receive a written validation notice from the creditor, which must include the amount of the debt, the name of the creditor, and a description of your rights under the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.</p> <p>Asking for this notice will protect your rights with legitimate debt collectors and scare off any scam artists who are trying to make a buck off your fear. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-debt-collectors-dont-want-you-to-know?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Things Debt Collectors Don't Want You to Know</a>)</p> <h2>2. Freeze your credit to protect yourself from identity theft</h2> <p>Identity theft is the 21st Century boogeyman, and for good reason. Our information is only as secure as the company that has collected it. No product or service can wholly protect you from the possibility of someone using your identity.</p> <p>However, you can make it more difficult for hackers and scammers to get hold of your identity by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-freeze-your-credit?ref=internal" target="_blank">freezing your credit</a>. With this process, you pay a small fee to each credit reporting bureau (which has been waived by Equifax in the wake of their recent data breach), and no one, including you, can open new credit in your name until the freeze is lifted.</p> <p>This is one of the most effective tools in fighting identity theft, since you take out the possibility of human error. The most common method identity thieves use to steal your information is by calling and asking you. Such a thief will pretend to be from your bank or another institution you trust and will request things like your Social Security number and birth date. Even if you fall victim to this kind of fishing scam, a credit freeze can ensure that the thief is unable to live large on your credit. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-signs-your-identity-was-stolen?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Signs Your Identity Was Stolen</a>)</p> <h2>3. Ask for specifics to prevent impostors from getting your money</h2> <p>Impostor scams come in two common varieties: impostors pretending to call from the IRS or another government or official agency, and impostors pretending to be a loved one who is in trouble. In both cases, the impostor will play on your emotions &mdash; fear of an audit, fear for a loved one &mdash; to get you to wire money to their account.</p> <p>In both cases, the more specific information you can ask for, the better your chance of scaring off the impostor. For instance, if you are contacted by someone claiming to be an IRS agent, you can request the caller's name, badge number, and callback number and say you will get back to him or her. Then, you can contact the U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) at 1-800-366-4484 to find out if your caller is an actual IRS employee who has a legitimate reason for contacting you. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-tax-scams-you-should-know-about-for-2018?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Tax Scams You Should Know About for 2018</a>)</p> <p>You can use this same strategy for any caller who claims to be a representative from an institution or agency you deal with. If someone calls claiming to be from your bank, ask him or her for a name and callback number, and get in touch with your bank via their main phone number to determine if the issue is legitimate.</p> <p>Similarly, the loved one impostor scam can be stopped in its tracks by asking the caller (or emailer) to verify certain information that only your relative would know. If you are still feeling unsure, ask for a callback number in this case, too, and contact another family member to find out if there is any possibility your cousin Emma is stuck in a hospital in London before you start wiring money. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-when-you-suspect-a-scam?ref=seealso" target="_blank">What to Do When You Suspect a Scam</a>)</p> <h2>Keep their hands off your money</h2> <p>Scammers, con artists, and identity thieves all have your number. Every single one of us can be vulnerable to their tactics. But knowing your rights, taking your credit out of circulation, and asking for specific details can help you keep your information and your money secure.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F3-ways-millennials-can-avoid-of-financial-fraud&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F3%2520Ways%2520Millennials%2520Can%2520Avoid%2520Financial%2520Fraud.jpg&amp;description=3%20Ways%20Millennials%20Can%20Avoid%20Financial%20Fraud"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/3%20Ways%20Millennials%20Can%20Avoid%20Financial%20Fraud.jpg" alt="3 Ways Millennials Can Avoid Financial Fraud" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/3-ways-millennials-can-avoid-of-financial-fraud">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-keep-your-private-info-private">10 Ways to Keep Your Private Info Private</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-protect-elderly-loved-ones-from-financial-scams">How to Protect Elderly Loved Ones From Financial Scams</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/5-tax-scams-you-should-know-about-for-2018">5 Tax Scams You Should Know About for 2018</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-protect-your-retirement-account-from-a-hack">How to Protect Your Retirement Account From a Hack</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-protect-your-child-from-identity-theft">How to Protect Your Child From Identity Theft</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Consumer Affairs Consumer Financial Protection Bureau debt collectors emails federal trade commission fraud identity theft phone calls protections scams Wed, 25 Apr 2018 08:30:10 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 2131421 at https://www.wisebread.com 6 Easy Ways to Protect Your Debit Card From Skimmers https://www.wisebread.com/6-easy-ways-to-protect-your-debit-card-from-skimmers <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-easy-ways-to-protect-your-debit-card-from-skimmers" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/swipe_it_off_my_cheque_account.jpg" alt="Swipe it off my cheque account" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You've no doubt heard news reports about debit card skimmers being found at certain retail or banking establishments. Card skimmers can be installed at ATMs, restaurants, gas payment terminals, and even store check-out lines. The phony equipment is small and can be hard to spot. Some card skimmers even include a phony keypad that fits over the real one to steal your PIN.</p> <p>Your debit card account number can be stolen if you swipe your card in a skimmer. Unlike credit card transactions, debit cards may not offer much protection against fraudulent purchases. Your checking account could be emptied, and you might not be able to reverse the charges.</p> <p>Your best defense against debit card skimmers is vigilance and awareness. Here are a few ways to protect yourself.</p> <h2>1. Spot a skimmer before you swipe</h2> <p>When using a card terminal, look it over before you swipe. It can be difficult to spot a well-hidden skimmer, but some clues can help.</p> <p>If the terminal you are about to use does not match the other ones at the location, you might be looking at a skimmer. Number pads that look mismatched or are an odd size are a red flag. Press on the card receiver and wiggle the keypad; skimmers are designed to be retrieved quickly by thieves and may have loose parts. A keypad that is sitting on top of the machine rather than flush with the surface of it can also be a sign of a skimmer. If you're at a gas station, look at the card scanner at the pump you're about to use; ensure that the security tape is still intact over the panel before you insert your card.</p> <p>When you're choosing a payment terminal or ATM, go for one that is close to store employees, a security camera, or is in an open and well-lit area. These are less likely to have been tampered with by thieves that do not want to be noticed. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-tips-to-save-you-from-an-atm-skimmer?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Tips to Save You from an ATM Skimmer</a>)</p> <h2>2. Dip, don&rsquo;t swipe</h2> <p>If you have the option to insert your card into the payment terminal rather than swipe, do that. Chip cards, otherwise known as EMV cards, are much more secure since they do not pass your actual account numbers to the retailer. Even if someone steals the numbers from an EMV transaction, it is not useful to thieves since a unique number is generated for each transaction.</p> <p>Some stores have not yet adopted chip readers and will still ask you to swipe your card through a magnetic card reader. If you swipe your debit card instead of dipping it, you risk your account information to skimmers. Some thieves have taken to &quot;shimming&quot; rather than skimming; tampering with chip reader machines by installing a paper shim to block the chip reader, forcing people to swipe their cards instead. If in doubt, pay with cash. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-chip-credit-cards-make-life-easier?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Ways Chip Credit Cards Make Life Easier</a>)</p> <h2>3. Don&rsquo;t let your debit card out of your sight</h2> <p>At restaurants, the normal payment procedure is to give your debit or credit card to the waitstaff who takes it away to swipe it. If you hand your debit card to someone else to process, they can run your card through a second card reader and steal your information. Or, someone could simply write down your account number and the security code from your card and use it for fraudulent transactions. The best security practice is to never let your debit card out of your sight and pay for your restaurant meals with cash.</p> <h2>4. Monitor bank statements</h2> <p>You can monitor your bank statements regularly to spot suspicious activity early in case a criminal does get your account information by skimming your debit card. If you do find fraudulent transactions, work with your bank to close your account right away and minimize your losses. Your bank may offer automatic account alerts to make monitoring your account easier.</p> <h2>5. Withdraw cash at the bank, not the ATM</h2> <p>I prefer to withdraw cash at the bank a couple of times a month instead of stopping by an ATM every time I need cash. I show my driver&rsquo;s license at the bank to make a withdrawal &mdash; no debit card is required. Not only does getting cash at the bank eliminate the risk of debit card skimming, but you avoid any ATM fees as well.</p> <h2>6. Pay with a credit card instead of debit card</h2> <p>Of course, the best way to protect your debit card from skimmers is not to use your debit card. It is safer to use a credit card for transactions since credit cards offer protection from fraudulent purchases. If you don&rsquo;t want to pay interest to use a credit card, simply pay off the credit card balance every month. Using a credit card provides a barrier between your checking account and thieves who could skim your account information from your debit card. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-reasons-credit-is-safer-than-debit?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Reasons Credit Is Safer Than Debit</a>)</p> <p>Another option is to pay with cash to avoid the risk of skimming altogether. I use an <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-comprehensive-guide-to-the-envelope-system?ref=internal" target="_blank">envelope budgeting system</a> and pay for all food expenses with cash. This greatly reduces the number of card transactions I make each month, and therefore reduces my risk of having account information stolen by a skimmer.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F6-easy-ways-to-protect-your-debit-card-from-skimmers&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F6%2520Easy%2520Ways%2520to%2520Protect%2520Your%2520Debit%2520Card%2520From%2520Skimmers.jpg&amp;description=6%20Easy%20Ways%20to%20Protect%20Your%20Debit%20Card%20From%20Skimmers"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/6%20Easy%20Ways%20to%20Protect%20Your%20Debit%20Card%20From%20Skimmers.jpg" alt="6 Easy Ways to Protect Your Debit Card From Skimmers" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/dr-penny-pincher">Dr Penny Pincher</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/6-easy-ways-to-protect-your-debit-card-from-skimmers">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/five-quick-and-simple-scams-that-could-happen-to-you-today">Five quick and simple scams that could happen to you today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-freeze-your-credit">How to Freeze Your Credit</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-when-you-suspect-a-scam">What to Do When You Suspect a Scam</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-protect-elderly-loved-ones-from-financial-scams">How to Protect Elderly Loved Ones From Financial Scams</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/3-ways-millennials-can-avoid-of-financial-fraud">3 Ways Millennials Can Avoid Financial Fraud</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Consumer Affairs ATM card skimmers debit cards fraud gas stations payment security stores theft Wed, 18 Apr 2018 08:30:09 +0000 Dr Penny Pincher 2129586 at https://www.wisebread.com This Airbnb Scam Will Ruin Your Vacation — and Your Budget https://www.wisebread.com/this-airbnb-scam-will-ruin-your-vacation-and-your-budget <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/this-airbnb-scam-will-ruin-your-vacation-and-your-budget" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/searching_for_accomodation.jpg" alt="Searching for accomodation" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Recently, I came close to falling for an Airbnb scam in which I would've lost $3,300 on an apartment booking in Lisbon. Fortunately, I realized something wasn't quite right and backed out at the last minute, but there are many people who haven't been as lucky. After a bit of research, I came across dozens of travelers who have fallen for it &mdash; one who even lost $30,000 attempting to book a luxury villa for six months. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-about-a-terrible-airbnb-stay?ref=seealso" target="_blank">What to Do About a Terrible Airbnb Stay</a>)</p> <p>Here's how this particular scam works, and what you should always look for when booking through Airbnb.</p> <h2>The scam</h2> <p>There are numerous ways this scam can occur, but they all start when you begin communicating with the host about a property that seems like a great deal. Perhaps you send them a question via Airbnb, and they ask you to email them instead, as it will be easier or more convenient. Or maybe you've found a property on a different site like Craigslist and you begin with an email conversation. Either way, once you take the communication off the Airbnb messenger, they will begin to hook you in by being helpful and friendly.</p> <p>They will answer any queries you may have and tell you a convincing story as to why their property is slightly below market value. Once you reach the stage of being ready to book, they will send you a link to the Airbnb listing asking you to complete the booking through the site as it offers protections for both of you. So far so good, right?</p> <p>When you click the link, you'll be taken to a site that looks and feels like Airbnb, and for all intents and purposes seems totally legit. You'll be able to read reviews of the property and enter the dates that you want to book it for, and even the URL will look genuine. You'll then complete the next stage of entering your dates and making a payment to secure the booking. But if you do, you will immediately lose all of the money.</p> <p>As a seasoned world traveler, there are subtle differences that I picked up on before paying the $3,000 dollars to secure the property I was interested in, but that many other people might miss. The first red flag was that the property's full address was listed on the property page, but Airbnb only shows the exact address once you've booked and paid. Then I noticed a live chat function at the bottom of the page that I used, but I&rsquo;m familiar enough with Airbnb that I know it doesn't offer a live chat function. This was clearly not the real Airbnb site.</p> <p>The best way to avoid falling for this ruthless scam is to always make sure you book directly through Airbnb, either through their secure app, or by manually entering the URL directly into your browser.</p> <h2>Other common Airbnb scams</h2> <p>Here are some other common Airbnb scams to watch out for.</p> <h3>Advance fee scam</h3> <p>This is where someone will offer to give you a discount or something else in return for paying in advance and not using the Airbnb payment method. They'll probably justify it by claiming you'll both save on fees and they'll pass part of that savings on to you. While it may sound great, you'll more than likely lose that money and the payment will be untraceable.</p> <h3>Phishing scam</h3> <p>You'll be sent an email that looks as though it's from Airbnb, asking you to click on a link and enter some personal details such as passwords or payment methods. Scammers will then potentially use this information to gain access to your other accounts. Phishing emails can also contain malware that can harm your computer and also be used to record things like passwords to sites you frequent. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-protect-elderly-loved-ones-from-financial-scams?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Protect Elderly Loved Ones From Financial Scams</a>)</p> <h3>Wire transfer deposit</h3> <p>You'll be offered a fantastic savings on your booking for paying the deposit using a wire transfer service rather than the Airbnb payment process. Once that payment is received, the property will be taken down and you won't receive your money back.</p> <h2>Golden rules for booking Airbnb properties</h2> <p>In order to remove any potential for being scammed on Airbnb, follow these safety rules every time you book.</p> <h3>Keep all communication on the site</h3> <p>Never communicate with hosts outside of the Airbnb messaging portal. If they email you or send you a private number to contact them, this should set alarm bells ringing immediately. If they insist on not messaging through Airbnb, cease contact and report them to Airbnb.</p> <h3>Read all the reviews</h3> <p>Check the reviews carefully and look out for patterns of cancellations or lots of undetailed, poorly worded reviews.</p> <h3>Pay on Airbnb only</h3> <p>Always make payments through Airbnb and never respond to any requests to transfer money via bank transfer, credit card, or anything else. Paying outside of Airbnb will make it more difficult to trace the payment or prove that it was acquired fraudulently.</p> <h3>Look closely at the URL</h3> <p>Double check that you are definitely on the official Airbnb site when you're completing your booking. The best way to do this is to type the site name directly into your browser.</p> <h3>Don't trust cheap listings</h3> <p>Don't trust properties that are advertised at way below market value. While you can find great deals on Airbnb, unfortunately, if it seems too good to be true, it more than likely is. Hosts want their listings to be competitive and priced similarly to other properties in the area. If a property is listed cheaper than it should be and there's not a clear reason why, it's best to avoid the risk and move on.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fthis-airbnb-scam-will-ruin-your-vacation-and-your-budget&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FThis%2520Airbnb%2520Scam%2520Will%2520Ruin%2520Your%2520Vacation%2520%25E2%2580%2594%2520and%2520Your%2520Budget.jpg&amp;description=This%20Airbnb%20Scam%20Will%20Ruin%20Your%20Vacation%20%E2%80%94%20and%20Your%20Budget"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/This%20Airbnb%20Scam%20Will%20Ruin%20Your%20Vacation%20%E2%80%94%20and%20Your%20Budget.jpg" alt="This Airbnb Scam Will Ruin Your Vacation &mdash; and Your Budget" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/nick-wharton">Nick Wharton</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/this-airbnb-scam-will-ruin-your-vacation-and-your-budget">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-about-a-terrible-airbnb-stay">What to Do About a Terrible Airbnb Stay</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/your-hotel-room-has-bedbugs-now-what">Your Hotel Room Has Bedbugs. Now What?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/stay-secure-in-your-hotel-with-this-8-point-safety-check">Stay Secure in Your Hotel With This 8-Point Safety Check</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-spot-a-hotel-booking-scam">How to Spot a Hotel Booking Scam</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/watch-out-for-these-10-red-flags-with-vacation-rentals">Watch Out for These 10 Red Flags With Vacation Rentals</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs Travel accommodations AirBnb airbnb scam airbnb tips booking an airbnb scams travel tips Thu, 12 Apr 2018 08:30:05 +0000 Nick Wharton 2128969 at https://www.wisebread.com How to Provide Proof of Onward Travel During an Open-Ended Trip Abroad https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-provide-proof-of-onward-travel-during-an-open-ended-trip-abroad <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-provide-proof-of-onward-travel-during-an-open-ended-trip-abroad" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/waiting_for_my_departure.jpg" alt="Waiting for my departure" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you're traveling overseas on a one-way ticket, but haven't booked a journey out of the country you're visiting, you may be in for a shock at the airport. As a precaution against tourists overstaying their visas, many countries require that you prove your intention to leave. Usually they pass the responsibility of checking this onto the airlines, meaning you'll probably be asked for what's known as &quot;proof of onward travel&quot; when you're checking in at your departing airport. If you don't have a ticket to demonstrate how and when you'll be leaving the country, you may be prevented from boarding the aircraft.</p> <p>But what if, like many long-term travelers, you don't have an exact itinerary or solid idea of how and when you're going to leave? Here are six ways to provide proof of onward travel without having to compromise on the spontaneity of your trip.</p> <h2>1. Buy a refundable ticket to depart</h2> <p>By booking yourself a fully refundable ticket to anywhere outside of your destination, you'll have irrefutable proof that you intend to leave the country when you say you will. Even in the unlikely event that the airline checks your reservation, then you have a ticket that is legitimately valid.</p> <p>Print the travel details before arriving at the airport so you have them, if requested. Once you're safely in your new destination, cancel the ticket and redeem your refund.</p> <p>This is probably the safest way to provide proof of onward travel, but you need to pay close attention when reading the terms and conditions before finalizing your booking. While some airlines claim to offer refundable tickets, what they actually offer is the price of your ticket returned in voucher or credit form. These tend to only be redeemable with the same carrier, and the cash that you've forked over won't be coming back to you. Also, refundable tickets tend to be significantly more expensive than a regular fare, so be prepared to pay extra up front.</p> <h2>2. Book a 24-hour refundable ticket</h2> <p>Under the 24-Hour Reservation Requirement, mandated by the U.S. Department of Transportation, all U.S. airlines and foreign air carriers marketing to U.S. customers are obligated by law to &quot;allow a reservation to be canceled within 24 hours without penalty.&quot; Many other carriers and flight brokers offer the same terms when purchasing flights with them.</p> <p>There are two ways to use this 24-hour cancellation period to your advantage. First, you can book a ticket, wait for your reservation details to come through, and print them off before immediately canceling. You run the risk that the airline you&rsquo;re flying will check your return reservation and see it canceled, of course, though it's rare they do anything more than look at the documents you provide. If you choose this option, book with a different company than the one you're flying with so it's not as easy for them to check the reservation.</p> <p>Alternatively, you can purchase the onward ticket on the day of your flight so it's valid regardless, and as long as you arrive at your destination within that 24-hour period, you can cancel the departing flight when you land. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-money-on-flights-using-fare-alerts?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Save Money on Flights Using Fare Alerts</a>)</p> <p><strong>Bonus tip:</strong> Expedia.com offers free one-click 24-hour cancellation on most flights. You don't have to call the airline or talk to a representative, as there's an easy cancel button that will allow you to get a full refund with no questions asked. Just make sure that the flight says &quot;Free 24-Hour Cancellation&quot; during the booking process at Expedia.com.</p> <h2>3. Use fare rental sites</h2> <p>An entire industry has arisen because of the need to provide onward travel, with companies like BestOnwardTicket offering a fare rental. For a fee of around $12, companies like this will purchase your chosen tickets based on the details you provide. They will then automatically cancel them within 24 to 48 hours, depending on the option you select.</p> <p>It's similar to booking a ticket yourself, but you don't have to worry about canceling it as that responsibility falls to the fare rental company. There are no concerns around having the funds in place for the ticket in the first place, and you don't have to do anything to secure that refund. You also don't have to spend time looking for a carrier that offers a refund or searching for suitable flights yourself.</p> <p>Note that some companies offering this service should not be trusted, so make sure to read customer reviews and thoroughly vet their terms and conditions before paying any fees.</p> <h2>4. Get a pre-booked itinerary from a travel agent</h2> <p>Pre-booked travel agent itineraries are more commonly used for visa applications where it's important to show not only your onward travel details, but also your timetable for your entire journey. As part of this, many travel agents offer a service where they will hold airline tickets for a certain period of time for you, usually between seven and 21 days.</p> <p>It's similar to the fare rental services, but they tend to be slightly more expensive at $35 and up. The benefit of these itineraries is that they can be used by people traveling to multiple countries because you're able to put more than one flight on them. Companies such as Flight Reservation for Visa and Visa Reservation offer competitive services.</p> <h2>5. Purchase a cheap ticket</h2> <p>In some instances, the most hassle-free option may be to purchase a cheap ticket to another country. It will give you peace of mind knowing you have an authentic ticket in your possession, and depending on where you are in the world, tickets can be extremely low-priced. Budget airlines regularly do flash sales, and many have routes that are always affordable.</p> <p>Remember, proof of onward travel doesn't have to be a flight, either, so you have many options to find an affordable ticket out of the country. Bus journeys or ferry crossings are commonly cheaper than flights, and you can often book them online in advance. This option also comes without the inconvenience of having to go through a refund claim. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-flight-booking-hacks-to-save-you-hundreds?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Flight Booking Hacks to Save You Hundreds</a>)</p> <h2>6. Sign off</h2> <p>Some airlines allow you to sign a contract at the departing airport saying that you don't have valid proof of an onward journey, but you do have means to leave the country. If you arrive at your destination and are turned away by the immigration officers, this contract simply relieves the airline of any responsibility or liability for bringing you into the country, and you'll be required to pay for a deportation flight ticket yourself.</p> <p>I recently signed a document like this flying with Air China from Tokyo to Manzanillo, Mexico. Upon arriving at the airport, I was not asked about onward travel and was allowed into the country as usual.</p> <p>If you arrive at the airport without proof of onward travel, you may want to speak to a manager at the check-in counter and request to sign a contract that will allow you to risk the journey.</p> <p>Note: This is still a risky way to go, because if you don't know the regulations in the country you're arriving in and you do get turned away, it could be a costly endeavor.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-provide-proof-of-onward-travel-during-an-open-ended-trip-abroad&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Provide%2520Proof%2520of%2520Onward%2520Travel%2520During%2520an%2520Open-Ended%2520Trip%2520Abroad.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Provide%20Proof%20of%20Onward%20Travel%20During%20an%20Open-Ended%20Trip%20Abroad"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Provide%20Proof%20of%20Onward%20Travel%20During%20an%20Open-Ended%20Trip%20Abroad.jpg" alt="How to Provide Proof of Onward Travel During an Open-Ended Trip Abroad" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/nick-wharton">Nick Wharton</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-provide-proof-of-onward-travel-during-an-open-ended-trip-abroad">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-10"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/8-travel-warnings-you-shouldnt-ignore">8 Travel Warnings You Shouldn&#039;t Ignore</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/3-things-you-should-do-immediately-after-losing-your-passport">3 Things You Should Do Immediately After Losing Your Passport</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/5-destinations-in-mexico-that-are-safer-than-playa-del-carmen-and-cancun">5 Destinations in Mexico That Are Safer Than Playa Del Carmen and Cancun</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-about-a-terrible-airbnb-stay">What to Do About a Terrible Airbnb Stay</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/your-hotel-room-has-bedbugs-now-what">Your Hotel Room Has Bedbugs. Now What?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs Travel customs international travel onward travel Passport travel tips travel visa traveling overseas Wed, 28 Mar 2018 09:30:21 +0000 Nick Wharton 2123637 at https://www.wisebread.com 4 Times a Handwritten Letter Can Save You Big Bucks https://www.wisebread.com/4-times-a-handwritten-letter-can-save-you-big-bucks <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-times-a-handwritten-letter-can-save-you-big-bucks" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/portrait_of_a_cheerful_blonde_woman_writing_diary.jpg" alt="Portrait of a cheerful blonde woman writing diary" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When's the last time you sat down and wrote a letter? Letter writing is becoming extinct, but before kissing your stationery goodbye forever, consider these money saving benefits of sending handwritten letters. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-life-skills-that-are-now-completely-obsolete?ref=seealso" target="_blank">11 Life Skills That Are Now Obsolete</a>)</p> <h2>1. To get your dream home</h2> <p>When you find a home you love, there is a good chance that other potential buyers want to slap a welcome mat down, too. This is especially true when the market is a seller's market and good homes sell quickly. When my husband and I were looking for a large one-story home in 2016, the listings were slim. When we finally found our dream home, our realtor suggested we send a personalized letter along with it.</p> <p>I wrote a genuine letter about how beautiful the house was and that it was the perfect spot for our growing family. The letter worked, and we got our dream home instead of settling for a spot that might make us want to move a year or two later.</p> <p>A heartfelt letter only takes about 20 minutes to write, so why not spend the extra time penning one before sending in your offer? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/score-your-dream-home-with-the-perfect-offer-letter?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Score Your Dream Home With the Perfect Offer Letter</a>)</p> <h2>2. To save your credit score</h2> <p>When your credit report has a negative mark, such as a missed or late payment, sending a goodwill letter to the creditor can help solve the issue. An effective goodwill letter will get the creditor to empathize with your situation &mdash; perhaps you just had a baby or experienced a job layoff &mdash; while also pointing out that you are a good credit user. This is easy to prove when you have a track record of on-time payments and have been with the creditor for several years. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-a-goodwill-letter-can-save-your-credit-score?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How a Goodwill Letter Can Save Your Credit Score</a>)</p> <p>In many cases, the creditor will refund your late fee. In the best cases, they will remove the mark on your report, which should cause an uptick in your score. Though you might have to follow up after the letter with persistence to get a creditor to reconsider removing the mark.</p> <h2>3. To get the job you want</h2> <p>It should be common practice to send a thank-you note immediately after a job interview, but many applicants don't. The letter should be a short read that genuinely thanks the interviewer for their time in the first paragraph, reminds them how much you want to use your skills to enhance their team in the second paragraph, and finally emphasizes how grateful you are for the opportunity in the last paragraph.</p> <p>Even if you don't get the job, you will have made a good impression, and you increase your chances of future employment opportunities with that company. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-you-must-do-after-the-interview-to-land-the-job?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Things You Must Do After the Interview to Land the Job</a>)</p> <h2>4. To get better service</h2> <p>In 2012, I bought a washer and dryer, but when it was installed, the installer cut the water line and flooded the hallway and my baby's nursery. The company fixed the issue with some repair work and by placing industrial fans in my home for several days. However, the whole experience left a bad taste in my mouth for trusting that company with installing another home appliance.</p> <p>I decided to write a letter to the corporate office, and they passed down the letter to my local store manager. In this letter, I explained what had happened and how I was in the market for a new refrigerator, but felt like I couldn't trust the company due to the horrible experience.</p> <p>Shortly after they read my letter, the local manager reached out to me and offered me a huge discount on a fridge. We ended up getting a $3,000 fridge for $1,250 after the discount and also because it was a floor model. The manager also offered next day delivery with their staff instead of outsourcing the delivery to a third-party company like they had done with the washer and dryer.</p> <p>Reach out to companies with letters whether you have received poor or amazing service. A professional complaint letter (i.e. not whining or full of cussing) is valuable to companies, and they are more likely to reach out to you to either fix the problem or offer a gift card or discount. Similarly, a positive letter for good service or your love of a product could result in free swag, too.</p> <p>What makes a handwritten letter so effective in saving money is that it rarely happens in today's go, go, go lifestyle. Shooting off a complaint on Twitter or sending an impersonal LinkedIn message just doesn't have the same touch that a handwritten letter does.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F4-times-a-handwritten-letter-can-save-you-big-bucks&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F4%2520Times%2520a%2520Handwritten%2520Letter%2520Can%2520Save%2520You%2520Big%2520Bucks_0.jpg&amp;description=4%20Times%20a%20Handwritten%20Letter%20Can%20Save%20You%20Big%20Bucks"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/4%20Times%20a%20Handwritten%20Letter%20Can%20Save%20You%20Big%20Bucks_0.jpg" alt="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/4%20Times%20a%20Handwritten%20Letter%20Can%20Save%20You%20Big%20Bucks.jpg" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/4-times-a-handwritten-letter-can-save-you-big-bucks">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-11"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/10-classic-impulse-buys-we-need-to-stop-falling-for">10 Classic Impulse Buys We Need to Stop Falling For</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/5-times-coupons-trick-you-into-spending-more-money">5 Times Coupons Trick You Into Spending More Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-women-can-avoid-paying-the-pink-tax">4 Ways Women Can Avoid Paying the &quot;Pink Tax&quot;</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/8-price-match-policies-you-should-be-wary-of">8 Price Match Policies You Should Be Wary Of</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/the-disappearance-of-real-america-my-guest-post-at-zen-habits">The disappearance of real America - my guest post at Zen Habits</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs Shopping handwriting old school customs pen pal saving money stationery writing letters writing utensils Thu, 08 Mar 2018 09:30:09 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 2112854 at https://www.wisebread.com 8 Places to Travel Where the Dollar Is Still Strong https://www.wisebread.com/8-places-to-travel-where-the-dollar-is-still-strong <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-places-to-travel-where-the-dollar-is-still-strong" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/landscape_of_coron_busuanga_island.jpg" alt="Landscape of Coron, Busuanga island" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The dollar is weaker in general than it has been in some time. In 2017, the greenback recorded its first drop in five years against the basket of currencies that make up the U.S. Dollar Index: the euro, Japanese yen, British pound, Canadian dollar, Swedish krona, and Swiss franc.</p> <p>That trend looks set to continue over 2018, with analysts predicting further decreases throughout the year. While a weak dollar is great for U.S. companies selling to overseas markets, it's bad news for many travel lovers looking to head overseas. Put simply, you're likely to get less when you exchange your dollars into the local currency.</p> <p>The euro and the Chinese yuan, in particular, are two currencies that have seen huge rises over the past year, meaning now's not the best time to visit these regions. Despite this general trend, there are some countries where the dollar has either continued to make gains or maintained its former strength and will still give you great bang for your buck. Here are nine places to travel in 2018 where the dollar is still strong. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-of-the-safest-countries-to-visit-in-2018?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 of the Safest Countries to Visit in 2018</a>)</p> <p><em>*All exchange figures have been taken from </em><a href="http://xe.com/currencycharts/" target="_blank"><em>XE Currency Charts</em></a><em>, a trusted authority in currency exchange.</em></p> <h2>1. Mexico</h2> <p><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/san_miguel_de_allende_mexico_0.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Mexico has always been a go-to for American vacationers on the lookout for bargains, thanks to its convenient location and relatively low cost of living. It's also a stunningly diverse destination perfect for city breaks, beach holidays, adventure getaways, and everything in between.</p> <p>While a decade ago a dollar would have bought you around 10 Mexican pesos, today you'll receive almost double that. Though 2017 saw unbelievable highs of over 21.5 MXN at the exchange booth, current rates of over 18.5 still mean your dollar will go much further than in years past. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-countries-where-you-can-travel-on-30-a-day-or-less?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Countries Where You Can Travel on $30 a Day or Less</a>)</p> <h2>2. Argentina</h2> <p><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/iguazu_falls_on_the_border_of_argentina_and_brazil.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Argentina makes a fascinating travel destination, boasting some of the best wine and beef in the world, as well as the sensual tango dance. That said, it's not a place that's always been associated with great value, particularly when compared to some of its South American neighbors.</p> <p>Not so today, at least for travelers carrying U.S. dollars. The Argentine peso plummeted 34 percent against the U.S. dollar in 2015, and has continued to fall ever since. As of the time of publishing, you'll receive more than 20 Argentine pesos per dollar, whereas 10 years ago you'd have only gotten around three. That gives you much greater purchasing power. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-wisely-choose-your-next-travel-destination?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Wisely Choose Your Next Travel Destination</a>)</p> <h2>3. Brazil</h2> <p><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/christ_the_redeemer_in_rio_de_janeiro.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Brazil has a vibrant and colorful culture borne of a fascinating and mixed history that's completely unique to South America. With a land mass that's nearly as large as the United States, Brazil presents endless opportunities to explore some of the most exciting wildlife on the planet. It's packed full of iconic attractions such as Rio de Janeiro's Christ the Redeemer statue, a large chunk of the Amazon rain forest, and some of the world's most famous beaches.</p> <p>While a decade ago, Brazil was considered to be a relatively expensive destination, it's become far more affordable over the past few years. The exchange rate has hovered above three Brazilian reals to the dollar since mid-2016, providing visitors with favorable exchange terms to explore this South American behemoth.</p> <h2>4. Colombia</h2> <p><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/la_piedra_del_penol_medellin_colombia.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Colombia is enjoying a moment in the spotlight, having been touted as a must-see destination by numerous travel writers over the past few years. No longer widely considered a prohibitively dangerous country, visitors are beginning to discover a different place from the stereotypes often portrayed.</p> <p>Since 2015, the U.S. dollar has been performing consistently well against the Colombian peso, and this year hasn't seen any significant drop. The dollar's been hovering at around 3,000 pesos. That's a lot more value for U.S. travelers compared to the five years leading up to 2015, when it languished below the 2,000 peso mark.</p> <h2>5. The Philippines</h2> <p><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/landscape_of_coron_busuanga_island.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Made up of more than 7,000 individual islands, the Philippines possesses some of the most idyllic tropical paradises in Southeast Asia. White sand beaches, warm turquoise waters, and picturesque rice terrace landscapes are just a few of the reasons that it's one of the most exciting destinations in the region.</p> <p>The start of 2018 has seen the best exchange rates available against the Philippine piso in a decade, with a dollar buying you more than 52 pisos. That rate has been rising steadily since mid-2012 and doesn't appear to show signs of slowing down anytime soon.</p> <h2>6. Costa Rica</h2> <p><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/arenal_volcano_in_wispy_clouds.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>With stunning beaches on both its Caribbean and Pacific coastlines, jungles alive with eye-catching wildlife, and plenty of adventure to be had, the volcanic landscapes of Costa Rica are well known to visitors from the U.S. Not only is it a popular vacation destination, but there's an established expat community here as well.</p> <p>Since 2014, the dollar has been fairly steady against the Costa Rican colon, and now trades at about 570 colon to the dollar. Five years ago, $1 would have only gotten you less than 500 colon. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-overseas-wedding-destinations-anyone-can-afford?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Overseas Wedding Destinations Anyone Can Afford</a>)</p> <h2>7. Laos</h2> <p><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/buddha_park_in_vientiane_laos.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>This Southeast Asian gem is one of the region's most underrated destinations, which means it has been largely untouched by mass tourism. It may not offer the variety of neighboring Cambodia, Vietnam, and Thailand (in particular there are no beaches or islands). But there are swathes of lush, green jungle, an interesting capital city called Vientiane, and delicious cuisine on offer.</p> <p>Since 2013, the strength of the dollar has steadily risen against the Laotian kip, meaning you'll receive around 8,300 kip to the dollar. The dollar went as low as around 7,600 in 2013, so today's figures give you a significant amount more. Rates have been holding pretty steady since the turn of the year. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-easy-ways-to-get-free-travel?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Easy Ways to Get Free Travel</a>)</p> <h2>8. Nicaragua</h2> <p><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/guacalito_beach_aerial_view.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>This Central American country has been developing a reputation as something of an adventurer's paradise in recent years. Exciting outdoor adventures include volcano surfing, underwater cave diving, and activities like hiking, zip lining, and horseback riding. There are also numerous pristine beaches and beautiful colonial towns to be discovered.</p> <p>Over the past decade, the exchange rate has risen steeply on a straight path in favor of the U.S. dollar. Ten years ago, you'd have gotten around 19 Nicaraguan córdoba to the dollar, whereas now you'll get more than 30, with the trend seemingly only improving.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F8-places-to-travel-where-the-dollar-is-still-strong&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F8%2520Places%2520to%2520Travel%2520Where%2520the%2520Dollar%2520Is%2520Still%2520Strong.jpg&amp;description=8%20Places%20to%20Travel%20Where%20the%20Dollar%20Is%20Still%20Strong"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/8%20Places%20to%20Travel%20Where%20the%20Dollar%20Is%20Still%20Strong.jpg" alt="8 Places to Travel Where the Dollar Is Still Strong" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/nick-wharton">Nick Wharton</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/8-places-to-travel-where-the-dollar-is-still-strong">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-12"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/5-destinations-in-mexico-that-are-safer-than-playa-del-carmen-and-cancun">5 Destinations in Mexico That Are Safer Than Playa Del Carmen and Cancun</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/7-common-travel-myths-that-people-need-to-stop-believing">7 Common Travel Myths That People Need to Stop Believing</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/6-affordable-kid-free-vacation-ideas">6 Affordable Kid-Free Vacation Ideas</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/5-of-the-safest-countries-to-visit-in-2018">5 of the Safest Countries to Visit in 2018</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-to-machu-picchu-and-back-for-30">How to Get to Machu Picchu and Back for $30</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs Travel affordable travel currency destinations dollar exchange rate getaways travel tips usd vacation tips Wed, 07 Mar 2018 09:30:06 +0000 Nick Wharton 2113553 at https://www.wisebread.com