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Tour package precautions

Lots of travelers book vacation tour packages this time of year.

People are attracted to them because they're convenient and save time. These packages often bundle air, hotel, and sightseeing trips into one (hopefully low) price.

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But before you pull the trigger on an all-inclusive deal, read the brochures carefully, then consider the following:

*What airline would you fly? If the airline is subject to change, what alternate carrier would you fly at the time of your trip?

*What is the cancellation policy? How early must you cancel for a full refund?

*What is the change policy? Is there a fee to change your departure date?

*When will you receive your tickets, travel documents, and vouchers?

*Are meals included?

*What hotels will you stay in? Tour operators have the right to substitute "comparable" properties. So be sure to ask for the actual hotel names and then investigate the hotels on your own.

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