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Media > Newsletters > Consumer Advocate > August 2023 > Travel safety tips

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Travel safety tips

Vacations are an ideal time to rest and relax – and to explore new locations and enjoy family adventures. Follow these tips to protect your physical safety as well as your personal identification, financial information and digital devices:
  • Research companies before doing business with them. Look for complaints filed with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office and the Better Business BureauSearch for lawsuits that the Ohio Attorney General has filed against individuals and businesses that violate the state’s consumer laws. And search online for reviews using the company’s name and words such as “reviews” and “complaints.”
  • Double-check any travel website you use to make sure you’re on the correct site. Some third-party booking agents may have websites and URLs that make it appear as if you’re booking directly through an airline, hotel or rental car company.
  • If you use a search engine, carefully review your search results. Be cautious of sponsored ads, often found at the top of your search-engine results. Search engines often first list results that are paid for, then results based on popularity, usefulness and such. A purchased listing usually contains the word “ad” or something similar to indicate that the result is paid for/sponsored.
  • Use secure Wi-Fi. Look at the address bar in your internet browser; secure sites typically begin with https (the “s” stands for secure). Depending on the browser, the address bar may turn green or show a padlock to indicate that you’re doing business on a secure website.
  • When booking with an AirBnB or other short-term rental company, compare the final price of each listing. Different rental companies may apply additional charges for cleaning or additional guests. A rental with a higher up-front cost may actually be less-expensive after the additional charges are included. An AirBnB or other company also might charge a service fee for providing the booking platform.
  • Be cautious of companies that ask you to pay before confirming reservations. Most reputable travel agents will confirm before payment.
  • Get verbal promises in writing. Otherwise, they’re not guaranteed.
  • Consider paying with a credit card. You generally have stronger protections to dispute credit card charges if something goes wrong. 
  • Be wary of vacation offers that are “good today only.”
  • Verify your reservations. If you book a trip through a third party, call the resort or hotel where you will be staying to confirm your reservation. 
  • Make your financial institution aware of your travel plans, to prevent any confusion over charges that might otherwise look fraudulent.
  • Avoid oversharing. Consider waiting until after you have returned from vacation to post pictures of your trip on social media. Posting in real time alerts potential thieves that you’re out of town.
  • Pack a digital wallet. A digital wallet is an app you can use to store your debit and credit cards. A digital wallet will not replace your cards but is a good way to organize your financial information while traveling.
  • Keep printed travel documents secure. Travel documents can contain personal identifiable information and may leave you exposed to identity theft if they fall into the wrong hands.
Ohioans who suspect unfair or deceptive business practices should contact the Ohio Attorney General’s Office at or 800-282-0515.