I'm always up for a great warm-weather vacation, preferably near the ocean somewhere. There's nothing better than relaxing on the beach with an ice-cold beverage in hand.
Getting to that perfect, refreshing moment can be a scary prospect for some, though. With all of the scammers in the world, you need to be particularly cautious when getting ready for your next trip.
Travel scams aren't just about stealing your luggage or selling upgrades that you don't need. If you're not looking closely, it's easy to fall for rackets that can really cost you financially.
That's why you need to know about these three online travel scams, some of the most serious out there.
Visa application scam
Different countries have different rules for entrance. Some require visitors to have a visa before entering their country.
A visa is normally a stamp or sticker placed inside your passport that authorizes you to be in certain countries.
Many nations only require a valid passport to visit. Others, like India for example, require a valid passport AND a valid visa to enter and exit for any purpose.
Some people might feel that they need help applying for one of these visas. There are companies, that for a relatively high fee, offer to help speed up this process.
Warning: this is a scam!
These companies do not have special tricks to expedite the visa application process. You need to go through the proper channels.
The safest way to get a visa is to go through your destination country's consulate. You should be able to find visa application forms online. Print them, fill them out and either mail them or hand deliver them to the nation's local consulate.
Once the documents are processed, you will be sent a visa in the mail that attaches to your passport. This can take up to two months, so make sure that you plan well ahead.
If you do need help acquiring a visa, ask your travel agent. They will be able to assist you with this.