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Spring Break Tips

Jan. 18, 2001

The following are steps adapted from the American Society of Travel Agents and the Federal Trade Commission to assist travelers.

* Find a company that has been in business for at least 10 years and is familiar with each individual hotel it uses. Some companies overbook to make up for last minute cancellations.

* Ask the operator to send information about the business along with names of satisfied customers.

* Watch out for companies that have been or are currently under investigation and have reopened under different names. Law enforcement actions have already been taken against Student Tours, Mexico Tours, Surf & Sun, Island Tours, Uncle Gimpies, and Student International Travel. Ask a company how long they have been in business under their current name.

* Call the Better Business Bureau to confirm the company's information. If the company does not belong to the BBB or the ASTA there is probably a reason.

* Pay by credit card. It gives you more protection than cash or a check.