May has arrived and Galway is still experiencing dreadful bouts of rain, wind, and cold.
It has been a particular bad year for those wishing to obtain natural levels of vitamin D as the sun makes only fleeting appearances. The weather has many of us dreaming of faraway lands where the sun splits the rocks everyday, beaches can be strolled along in shorts or bikinis, and there is no need to worry about having to bring a coat along just in case the weather turns.
In spite of the options of being able to book a holiday from your own laptop, many still use the reliable travel agent for their getaways. But for those who decide to do it on their own, there is always a fear that the dream holiday may turn out to be a nightmarish scam.
Here at the advertiser.ie we provide top tips on how to spot holiday scams.
1 Book with a reputable site
It is highly advisable to book holiday accommodation through a well known website. The likes of Hotels.com and Booking.com verify that the accommodation does indeed exist before putting it up for public consumption. Websites like Airbnb and Homestay have many levels of security which requires owners to provide national identification as well as other means. All communications plus the big ones, payments, are channeled through the website so if the "owner" was paid directly stay away, far away.
We all want a great holiday bargain when we go abroad. Sure the reason we book privately is that we do not have to pay a travel agent's administration fee. However, if you find the perfect accommodation for a steal be very vigilant. Check to see if the property is on other websites and also what other properties charge in the area. If one property says it charges €1,800 for five nights and another property on the same street is €400 for the same time period, it is likely to be too good to be true.
3 The property
Check the date when the property was first advertised on a website. The longer the property has been up the stronger the likelihood it is a legitimate accommodation option.
Have a look at the reviews. Now this is not foolproof but if every single review is glowing and does not have one minor bad thing to say, it could be that it is a scam. Even if the property is the best in the world, there is likely it will have at least one negative comment from an auld bag of misery.
Avoid wired transfers through the likes of Western Union as these may be untraceable. The safest option is a credit card as it is the bank's money and they will hunt a fraudster to the ends of the earth for their money. If you do not have a credit card, choose the option of pay when you stay, as you cannot lose cash that you have not handed over.
So there you have it. Enjoy your trip away.
You can advertise your holiday accommodation on Advertiser Classifieds for just €4 per month, CLICK HERE to place your ad now.