Month: March 2017

Don’t Fall for the “Can You Hear Me?” Travel Scam

Don’t Fall for the “Can You Hear Me?” Travel Scam

About five years ago I wrote about a travel scam that typically came by letter or postcard and offered free airfare and a hotel stay any city served by an airline (pick an airline, any airline).

The scammers’ plan was to lure you to a meeting where they would aggressively push you to join a “travel club” with the promise of discounted travel is you would pony up the membership fees.

Over the next three years I updated the story whenever I read about “travel club” promotions of this kind taking place, and I continued to receive postcards and letters with “free” airfare and hotel stays, some involving airlines, others offering travel on cruise ships.

It was quite easy to spot these less-than-forthright offers when they arrived in the mail and then toss them in “the round file.”

But last Thursday I encountered the latest travel scam which came not in the mail, but in a phone call.

Here’s what happened.

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Planning Your National Park Vacation

Planning Your National Park Vacation

As winter wanes and spring waxes, summer isn’t far in the future.

But if you want a visit to a national park in the Western U.S. to be in that future, and haven’t already booked your accommodations, you may find that there is no room at the inn, lodge, or cabins.

This isn’t a new phenomenon. Vacationing in national parks during summer, and sometimes in late spring and early fall, has long been feasible mostly for those who can plan ahead, perhaps as long a year in advance.

So, if your employer won’t let you request vacation time off until the beginning of January, you may discover that every bed in the national park you really want to see has long since been reserved.

And if you dilly-dally around until early to mid-March of 2017, what is room availability likely to be in summer? Here’s what I discovered.

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