32 years in business5640 Nicholson Ln Ste 215
Rockville, MD 20852-2952
Additional Phone Numbers
- (202) 349-7506
- (877) 867-2247
- (202) 349-7579
Additional Email Addresses
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BBB File Opened: 12/19/1999
Business Started: 10/10/1984
Business Started Locally: 03/01/2012
Business Incorporated: 02/09/2012 in MD
Type of EntityCorporation
- Mr. Rafael A. Checa, CEO
- Ms. Maria Checa, President
- Ms. Marybell E. Montes, Operations Supervisor
- Travel Agencies & Bureaus
- Travel Packages A travel package is a prearranged vacation. Usually, these packages are assembled by an independent tour operator and are sold through travel agents. Purchasing a travel package has the advantage of convenience and, in many cases, v...
A travel package is a prearranged vacation. Usually, these packages are assembled by an independent tour operator and are sold through travel agents. Purchasing a travel package has the advantage of convenience and, in many cases, value. Paying attention to the following can help you choose wisely:
Small Print or Asterisks: Make sure that asterisks or small print are not used as a means of altering the meaning of any advertising statement. Asterisks are commonly used to indicate restrictions -- required length of stay, particular days and/or times of departure or additional charges.
Availability: Make sure that the travel services are currently available at advertised prices. If the travel service at the advertised price is not immediately effective, availability should be stated in the advertisement.
Extra Charges: Any extra charges such as port taxes, service charges or single supplement charges should be clearly and conspicuously disclosed.
Features: If the brochure/advertisement states, for example, that you can play golf or that you can visit an amusement park nearby, it does not necessarily mean that these attractions will be included in the travel program for the advertised price. Make sure to look for the following:
What features are included in package price? Ask about:
car rental mileage
The total number of nights in each city and hotel, as well as the amount of free time you will have on the tour.
The daily itinerary/schedule of events.
The name of each hotel and the type (grade) of accommodations offered by each.
Is the tour escorted and to what degree?
Conditions: You should pay special attention to the contents of the "conditions" clause, usually found in fine print on the last page of the brochure:
How firm is the price? (i.e. does the tour operator have the right to increase the fare?)
What are the cancellation penalties? What is considered a valid reason for either you or the tour operator to cancel the trip?
What are the conditions under which you can receive a full refund?
Abbreviations: Common abbreviations used in travel ads and brochures include:
AP (American plan) -- hotel rate includes bed, breakfast, lunch and dinner.
CP (continental plan) -- hotel rate includes bed and continental breakfast.
FIT (frequent independent travel) -- a prepaid, custom-designed travel package with many individualized arrangements.
GIT (group inclusive tour) -- a pre-paid tour of specific group size, components and value.
single supp. (single supplement) -- extra charge for a single accommodations tour.
pp. dbl. occ. (per person double occupancy) -- price per person for a room to be shared.
OW (one way) -- one way airfare.
RT (round trip) -- round trip airfare.
dep. (departure date) -- date of departure.
Quick Check List
Before finalizing any vacation or travel plans, you should do the following:
Deal with a business you know or have checked out with the BBB or other reliable groups like those listed on the back of this brochure;
Verify everything before you pay.Be cautious about prepaying for multiple years. Timeshares, campgrounds or travel clubs may offer to sell membership vacation accommodations for five years or more. Take into account your physical and financial health, a company’s solvency, potential rising membership and maintenance fees, and the often poor appreciat ion of such investments;
Watch out for instant travel offers. If a company offers special identification that they say will guarantee discounted travel rates, be wary. No company has control over discounts. Only suppliers of travel such as cruiselines, hotel companies, car rental companies, or airlines can decide to extend such professional courtesies.
Vacation Scam "Red Flags"
Be alert to the following "redflags" that may signal fraudulent vacation promotions:
Salespersons who use high pressured tactics such as:
demanding your credit card number before explaining all the conditions of an offer;
requesting that you identify yourself by your credit card number (a sign of possible misuse of your card);
or refusing to provide all the information about the total cost of a vacation or travel offer.
Post card or fax promotional mailings that require you to pay a fee or to purchase membership in a travel club, in order to claim a vacation or travel prize.
Low rates on air travel that require you to purchase an additional ticket for a companion.
Offers by companies attempting to subvert U.S. postal authorities by requiring a messenger or courier to deliver the travel package to you in exchange for your payment.
How to Protect Yourself
To avoid falling prey to a vacation or travel scam, heed the following advice:
Be wary of “great deals” and low- priced offers.
Be suspicious of companies that require you to wait at least 60 days before taking your trip.
Ask detailed questions.
Get all information in writing before you agree to buy.
Don’t give your credit card number or bank information over the phone unless you have confidence in the company you are dealing with.
Don’t send money by messenger or overnight mail.
Check out a company with the Better Business Bureau before you buy.
Don’t be pressured into buying.
If in doubt, say “NO.”
To learn more about vacation and travel issues, contact the following:
Your Local Better Business Bureau
AMERICAN SOCIETY OF TRAVEL AGENTS at 703.739.8739
THE FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION at 202.382.4357
NATIONAL TOUR ASSOCIATION at 606.226.4444
U.S. TOUR OPERATORS ASSOCIATION at 212.599.6599
* If you find any of the web sites listed above to be inactive, please contact the respective organization. Also, be aware that the above phone numbers may be subject to change without notice.
Alternate Business Names
BBB Reason for Ratings
Licensing information is provided in the BBB Business Profiles to inform the public about industries that may require professional licensing, bonding, or registration. Better Business Bureau encourages you to check with the appropriate agency to be certain any requirements are currently being met.
BBB promotes truth in advertising by contacting advertisers whose claims conflict with the BBB Code of Advertising. These claims come to our attention from our internal review of advertising, consumer complaints and competitor challenges. BBB asks advertisers to substantiate their claims, change ads to make offers more clear to consumers, and remove misleading or deceptive statements.
BBB reports on known significant government actions involving the business's marketplace conduct.
Out of Business
BBB reports on a company that is out of business for three years from the date the company closes its doors or ceases to do business.
Misuse of Better Business Bureau Name/Logo
BBB reports on unauthorized use of the Better Business Bureau's name and/or logo for as long as the business continues to use it in any advertising, or for one year after the business ceases any repeated unauthorized uses.
BBB reports on a business’s bankruptcy as long as the business remains in bankruptcy.
BBB reports when mail sent to the business was returned by the Postal Service.