We’re moving into summer, which means (socially distanced) barbeques, picnics and maybe a getaway is right around the corner. You might even want to plan a family vacation because the last few months have been tough.

As more people are being vaccinated, we can slowly start doing the things we love again. That includes traveling to our favorite destinations, soaking up some sun and maybe an adult beverage or three. Before jumping online to book your next flight, there are some fake travel sites to watch for. Tap or click here to see how scammers are ripping travelers off.

Once you have safely booked your trip, it’s time to do some security housekeeping. Before heading out for your well-deserved vacation, follow these important safety travel tips to stay protected.

Here are the details

Planning a getaway takes more than just packing the car and hitting the road. Where are you going to stay overnight? Can you spot a scam or find your way around?

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is warning about viral travel scams this summer. It says scammers target people looking for great deals online by offering tempting vacation packages at unrealistically low prices.

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The Better Business Bureau’s website is a good resource to find reputable travel agents, recommended hotel chains, or businesses to support. Don’t be fooled by an online deal that seems too good to be true.

There is a reason why the adage holds up. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Do independent research on places and establishments before booking or paying a deposit. And where possible, stick to well-known chains, especially if you are traveling out of state.

Stay safe this holiday

The BBB offers other pieces of advice before packing your bags:

Nothing will spoil your holiday faster than knowing that you have been swindled out of your vacation budget. “Watch out for phone calls or letters claiming a ‘free trip.’ It’s easy to extend questionable offers like these, but most of them leave hopeful travelers in limbo — and out money,” warns the BBB.

  • Avoid broad internet searches

Entering phrases like ‘best deals’ into whichever search engine used can sometimes bring up-websites that look official, but are designed solely to rip people off.

  • Don’t rush to social media about your trip

You might be very excited to take your first trip in over a year, but so are criminals. Don’t announce to the world that you won’t be home for a couple of days, and don’t mention when you will be back. It is OK to post vacation photos but wait until you’re home. That way, you won’t come home to find burglars have ripped you off.

  • Don’t connect to public Wi-Fi

Make sure that you have enough mobile data to last until your next destination. Saving some megabytes by connecting to public Wi-Fi can be dangerous. Cybercriminals lurk on public Wi-Fi, waiting to rip unsuspecting victims off. Always use a VPN to keep criminals away. Use the VPN that Kim uses and trusts, our sponsor, ExpressVPN. Get 3 months free when you sign up for one year at ExpressVPN.com/Kim.

  • Syncing your phone to devices

Getting around, you can opt for a rental car with all the bells and whistles. But there is one thing that you shouldn’t do: sync your phone to the car by Bluetooth. Some vehicles can store your personal information, and if you forget to reset the connection, the next renter will be able to see your details.

Following these travel tips will help keep you protected while you’re on vacation. You can see even more travel safety precautions from the BBB here.

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