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How to Protect Your Investment When Planning a Vacation During the Pandemic

What to look for while booking flights, rental cars, and places to stay

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With vaccines available and warmer weather around the corner, you may be itching for a getaway.

But in uncertain times it's important to plan for anything.

That’s something the Cheung family has learned firsthand.

“We actually had a trip to Canada canceled for last summer,” Ming Cheung said. “Airbnb was actually pretty good about refunding our money. And we got site credit.”

The Cheung’s are planning to use that credit in June. They’re driving to a lake house in Virginia.

The family says they’re looking forward to some R-and-R, which means letting the kids run around in the fresh air.

Whether you’re booking a place to stay or a rental car: travel experts say you should pay attention to the cancelation rules as Cheung did.

“Make sure that you can always cancel up until the last day-- your hotels, you can cancel your rental cars and so on,” Charlie Leocha, the President of Travelers United, told NBC10.

Before you book a flight, it’s important to understand the airline’s policies for cancelations. Getting the money back may not necessarily mean cash in your pocket.

“The airlines have eliminated the change fees. And so you can change your tickets, but you still can't really cancel them," Leocha explained.

According to Department of Transportation rules, you can only get your money back if it’s the airline that cancels the flight. If the passenger cancels the flight, they’re entitled to a future travel credit.

When traveling outside of the country, Leocha recommends “evacuation insurance." It covers the cost of getting your home in an emergency medical situation.

If you run into a problem with an airline or travel agent that you can’t resolve on your own, you can always file a consumer complaint with the Department of Transportation. They will act as a mediator.

Travelers United says you should expect a response from the DOT within 30 days.

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