Educational Consumer Tips

Vacation Certificates

Author: Better Business Bureau

Vacation certificates are often the prizes offered in various contests and promotions. To receive the certificate, you may be asked to attend a sales presentation, often at a timeshare resort or membership campground. In addition, there may be other factors for acceptance, such as age or income requirements, or attendance with your spouse. You may also have to bring the notice you received from the company, and proof of your identity.
Recipients of vacation certificate offers are advised to find out exactly what the package contains in terms of transportation and accomodations and for how many people (many offers include lodging or include transportation for only one person and require the second person to purchase a full fare airline ticket, if deposit is refundable, and how much is later required.

You should know the exact name of the hotel or airline that the certificate includes. Personally confirm all reservations, and get written verification of everything, including cancellation and refund provisions.
Never agree to purchase anything over the phone or through the mail until you see the written contract. Once you receive the contract, make sure the written material confirms everything you were told over the phone or received in the mail. Always check with the BBB before you commit to anything. Simply tell the company that you would like the opportunity to check this out and to call you back, or you can call them back in a few days.

Don't be pressured by any company to give them an immediate decision until you are sure that the vacation offer is as good a deal as it seems.