Travel Club Gotchas 1/25/15

Travel Clubs can be enticing, but can also be a bad deal.

Expensive vacations to exotic places often seem out of reach. So many people join travel clubs, which promise years of discounted airfare, hotels and dining. But Consumer Reports has found that hundreds of those dream vacations have turned into nightmares.

Problems with travel clubs have been found throughout the country. The attorneys general of several states have gone after at least six of these clubs obtaining settlements from $50,000 to $7,000,000. And in at least one case, an owner was sentenced to prison.

Some red flags you should watch out for:
-an unsolicited offer, like a postcard promising free airfare
-a high-pressure sales presentation
-expensive up-front costs
-offers that seem too good to be true

Before you spend any money on a travel club, Consumer Reports recommends researching it online at the Better Business Bureau website And check customer reviews online. They can be really useful.

If you think you’ve been the victim of a travel scam you should contact the Better Business Bureau to see if you can get your money back. You can also file a complaint with your state’s consumer protection office.

All Consumer Reports Material Copyright ©2015 Consumers Union of U.S. Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Consumer Reports is published by Consumers Union. Both Consumer Reports and Consumers Union are not-for-profit organizations that accept no advertising. Neither has any commercial relationship with any advertiser or sponsor on this site.