Hello…you have been specially selected to receive our SPECTACULAR LUXURY DREAM VACATION offer!
Have you ever been tempted to sign up to win a `free` trip at a fair, trade show or restaurant? If so, you may get a phone call, letter, unsolicited fax, email or postcard telling you that you’ve won a vacation. Be careful. It may be a `trip trap.` The vacation that you’ve `won` likely isn’t free. And the `bargain-priced` travel package you’re offered over the telephone or Internet may not fit your idea of luxury.
While some travel opportunities sold over the phone or offered through the mail, Internet or by fax are legitimate, many are scams that defraud consumers out of millions of dollars each month.
The word `offer` can be a clue to hidden charges. When you get the phone call, or place the call in response to a postcard, letter, fax or Internet ad, you also get a sales pitch for a supposedly luxurious trip – one that you could pay dearly for.
The salesperson may ask for your credit card number to bill your account for the travel package. Once you pay, you receive the details of the `package,` which usually include instructions for making trip reservation requests. Your request often must be accompanied by yet another fee. In addition, many offers require you to pay upgrade costs to receive the actual destinations, accommodations, cruises or dates you were promised. Some offers may require you to pay more for port charges, hotel taxes or service fees.
See a pattern developing? New charges are being added every step of the way. You may never get your `bargain` trip because your reservations may not be confirmed or because you must comply with hard-to-meet hidden or expensive `conditions.`
Telemarketing travel scams usually originate out of `boiler rooms.` Skilled salespeople, often with years of experience selling dubious products and services over the phone, pitch travel packages that may sound legitimate, but often are not. These pitches usually include:
Oral Misrepresentations. Particular schemes vary, but all fraudulent telemarketers promise you a `deal` they can’t possibly deliver. Unfortunately, you won’t know it until your money’s gone.
High Pressure/Time Pressure Tactics. Scam operators often say they need your commitment to buy immediately or that the offer won’t be available much longer. They typically brush aside questions or concerns with vague answers or assurances.
`Affordable` Offers. Unlike fraudulent telemarketers who try to persuade people to spend thousands of dollars on an investment scheme, fraudulent travel telemarketers usually pitch club membership or vacation offers in a lower price range. The offers sound reasonable and are designed to appeal to anyone who is looking for a getaway.
Contradictory Follow-up Material. Some companies may agree to send you written confirmation of your deal. However, it usually bears little resemblance to the offer you accepted over the phone. The written materials often disclose additional terms, conditions and costs.
How To Protect Yourself
Unpleasant surprises can ruin a vacation, especially when they cost money. That’s why it pays to investigate a travel package before you buy. But it can be difficult to tell a legitimate sales pitch from a fraudulent one. Consider these travelers’ advisories:
Be wary of `great deals` and low-priced offers. Few legitimate businesses can afford to give away products and services of real value or substantially undercut other companies’ prices.
Don’t be pressured into buying. A good offer today usually will be a good offer tomorrow. Legitimate businesses don’t expect you to make snap decisions.
Ask detailed questions. Find out exactly what the price covers and what it doesn’t. Ask about additional charges. Get the names of the hotel, airports, airlines and restaurants included in your package. Consider contacting these businesses directly to verify arrangements. Ask about cancellation policies and refunds. If the salesperson can’t give you detailed answers, hang up.
If you decide to buy, find out the name of the travel provider – the company that is getting your reservations and tickets. This company usually is not the telemarketer.
Get all information in writing before you agree to buy. Once you receive the written information, make sure it reflects what you were told over the phone and the terms you agreed to.
Don’t buy part of the package – the air fare or hotel stay – separately from the rest. If the deal is not what you expected, it may be difficult to get your money back for the part of the package you purchased.
Don’t give your credit card number or bank information over the phone unless you know the company. One easy way for a scam operator to close a deal is to get your credit card number and charge your account. Sometimes fraudulent telemarketers say they need the number for verification purposes only. Don’t believe them.
Don’t send money by messenger or overnight mail. Some scam artists may ask you to send them a check or money order immediately. Others may offer to send a messenger to pick up your payment. If you pay with cash or a check, rather than a credit card, you lose your right to dispute fraudulent charges under the Fair Credit Billing Act. If you charged your trip to a credit card, you may dispute the charges by writing to your credit card issuer at the address provided for billing disputes. If possible, do this as soon as you receive your statement. In any case, the law gives you up to 60 days after the bill’s statement date to dispute the charge.
Check out the company before you buy. Contact the Attorney General in your state or where the company is located to see if any complaints have been lodged against the travel firm or the travel provider. Be aware that fraudulent businesses often change their names to avoid detection.
If in doubt, say `no.` Trust your instincts. It’s less risky to turn down the offer and hang up the phone.
Where to Complain
Several organizations can provide additional information and help you with complaints.
Your state Attorney General or the Attorney General in the state where the company is located probably has a division that deals with consumer protection issues.
The American Society of Travel Agents, Consumer Affairs, at 1101 King Street, Alexandria,VA 22314, may be able to mediate your dispute with an ASTA member.
The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint or to get free information on consumer issues call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357); TTY: 1-866-653-4261. The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft, and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.
In the coming three holidays, this route of Rishikesh may remain jammed, you can also choose this route.
Route 1: New Delhi – Meerut – Muzaffarnagar – Roorkee – Haridwar – Rishikesh via NH 334
For those who choose Route 1, it takes about 6 hours to reach Rishikesh via NH 334. Rishikesh is 235 km away from New Delhi. On this route, the road will take you through some important places like Meerut and Muzaffarnagar. The roads are in very good condition, it is easy to walk a short distance from here. In the coming 3 days holiday this place between Rishikesh and Nainital will be better, which place would you like to visit?
(Image credit: TOI.com)
Route 2: New Delhi – Hapur – Chandpur – Najibabad – Haridwar – Rishikesh Via NH 9
If you choose route 2, it will take you around 7 hours to reach Rishikesh via the NH 9 and the total distance from New Delhi to Rishikesh is around 288 km. You can plan to visit here on the weekend, leave on Saturday morning and then rest in the evening and start your trip the next day. Then you can come to Delhi at night on Monday ie 15th August. These 6 countries will fulfill the dream of living abroad, lakhs of rupees will be given to the citizens upon their settlement
(Image credit: Economic Times)
Short stop in Meerut and Haridwar –
Coming from Route 1 you will see many Punjabi dhabas in Meerut. Here you can stop to have some breakfast water. This stopover is perfect from where you can eat delicious parathas. Once you reach Haridwar you can have your lunch by stopping here and also visit some ghats and famous temples here. This place is one of the holiest places in the country and large numbers of pilgrims come here to wash away their sins and seek blessings. Rishikesh is 25 km from here which you can reach in 45 to 60 minutes. Now that you have seen the place to visit, book a government guest house for less than Rs 1800
(Image credit: indiatimes.com)
How to reach – How to reach
Apart from the road, if you are thinking of traveling by train and plane, you can go this way.
By plane: Jolly Grant Airport is the nearest airport at a distance of 21 km. This airport is connected to many places across the country.
By train: Rishikesh railway station is well connected to the rail network and trains run from all over the country. I have seen many hill stations near Manali, Mussoorie, now see these magnificent hill stations near Dehradun
Places to visit in Rishikesh – Places in Rishikesh
There are many places to see in Rishikesh but there are some places you can visit in a 1 to 2 days trip such as Beasi, Kaudiyala, Mun ki Reti, Bharat Mandir, Rishikund, Terah Manzil Temple.
Why You Should Travel To Rajasthan In August
Jaipur: The long weekend is just around the corner and if you haven’t planned a trip yet, add a visit to Rajasthan to your plans. With the onset of the monsoon season, the scorching heat of June and July is behind us and the weather is pleasant to visit the “Desert State of India”. In fact, the month of August is one of the best times to experience Rajasthan in all its verdant splendor that surrounds the state’s historic forts.Also read – Rajasthan: Woman fills in well with 4 children, all die; she survives
Why you should travel to Rajasthan in August
In August, Rajasthan enjoys light rains and comfortable temperatures of around 33 degrees Celsius due to the advent of monsoon rains. During this period the weather is just perfect – not too hot or not too cold. Also read – Explained: What is Lumpy Skin Disease That Killed Over 3,000 Cattle in Rajasthan, Gujarat?
Plus, the rain showers turn the state’s barren and arid land green, making up for the spectacular views. During this time, the view from the top of the forts and historical sites is one of lush greenery – a sight not to be missed. In addition, the rain and pleasant weather make the hard work to climb the summit worthwhile. Also read – Tina Dabi shares images showing Jaisalmer’s monsoon beauty after Rajasthan receives its heaviest rainfall in 66 years
Sightseeing in Rajasthan in August
Udaipur – the city of lakes – is a sight to behold in August. The city has seven lakes including Fateh Sagar Lake, Lake Pichola, Swaroop Sagar Lake, Rangsagar and Doodh Talai Lake which are recharged by the monsoon rains. Travelers can book a stay at the Taj Lake Palace right in the middle of Lake Pichola for breathtaking views of the city. Aside from these beautiful lakes, the city is home to some of the country’s grandest palaces, which are major tourist attractions.
Tucked away in Aravallis, Jalore is another great place to visit during the monsoons. During this period, the Aravalli forest is particularly spectacular after fresh rain showers. Jalore is also called the city of granite and majesty. Sundha Mountain, just outside the city limits, is a great place to visit and the views from the top are stunning. Make time for Jalore Fort and Swarn Giri Fort as well, they are some of the city’s top attractions.
A grand spectacle, Bundi is all about magnificent forts and ancient baoris (stepped reservoirs). During the monsoon these step reservoirs are filled with fresh water and make for a breathtaking view. Also, the hills around Bundi are revived with green vegetation and the rivers have swelled again after the rains.
The beautiful hill station in Rajasthan always enjoys pleasant weather and it’s even better during the monsoons. Mount Abu offers countless activities for tourists like trekking, hiking, zip lining to name a few. But if you want it to be a peaceful vacation, you can visit places like Guru Sikhar, Nakki Lake, Mount Abu Sanctuary, Toad Rock Viewpoint, Dilwara Jain Temple, among others.
The Pink City shines in all its glory in August. After the monsoon showers have washed away all the dust and dryness of summer, Jaipur’s fantastic architecture looks like it has had a fresh coat of paint. The colors of the red sandstone monuments emerge after rain and Jantar Mantar, Hawa Mahal, Mandir Palace, Laxmi Narayan Temple, City Palace, Amer Fort, Jaigarh Fort, Rambagh Palace and other places look like they have get a new life.
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Top Things To Do In Jodhpur
Located on the edge of the Thar Desert in western Rajasthan, Jodhpur continues to be a global tourist magnet. Jodhpur has been given several epithets such as Blue City and Sun City. The Rajasthanis affectionately call it Jodhana. The former capital of the Marwar kingdom is home to Rajasthan’s largest fort and several grand palaces, temples, gardens and markets full of old world charm and offers an amazing travel experience. Here we present you the best things to do in Jodhpur. By Karan Kaushik
Things to do in Jodhpur
Walk through the pages of history at Mehrangarh Fort
Mehrangarh, often touted as the citadel of the sun, stands tall and proud as Rajasthan’s greatest fortress. It was built by Rao Jodha in 1459. Perched on a sheer bluff 400 feet above the city, this burnished red sandstone structure is backed by many stories. Its beauty has attracted many admirers such as Rudyard Kipling; he called it “the work of giants.” Today it is widely regarded as one of the best preserved forts in India. The main attraction of the fort is its Museum. Miniature paintings, palanquins, weapons and valuable mementos of the royal family are on display here. The main attractions of the fort are Sangar Chowki, Zenana Mahal and Phool Mahal.
Go ziplining over the Blue City
The Flying Fox Zipline Tour in Jodhpur is an exciting experience that will stay in your memory forever. Former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson described this zip line as Jodhpur’s best part. “The zip lines send you around the moats and pinnacles like Batman,” he had said. The zipline takes you over two desert lakes and the Rao Jodha Ecopark, offering stunning views of Mehrangarh and the Blue City.
Rao Jodha Desert Rock Park
Located near the famous Mehrangarh Fort, this 72-hectare ecologically restored desert came back to life in 2006 after careful reconstruction. Rao Jodha Desert Rock Park, once an arid, decaying, barren land of vegetation, now boasts a local nursery, convenience store and cafe. Visitors can even hike trails amidst the 250 native plant species here and embark on a mission to spot several species of reptiles and over 200 birds along the way.
Revel in the Umaid Bhawan Palace
The magnificent Umaid Bhawan Palace has hosted prolific figures from around the world over the past few decades. The palace is a fine example of Indo-Saracenic architectural style and was named after and built by Maharaja Umaid Singh. It is also known as the Chittar Palace due to the use of Chittar sandstone in its construction. Interestingly, no mortar was used in the entire construction. Instead, hand-carved blocks of sandstone were interlocked. Today is part of the palace doubles as a hotel, while the others house model airplanes, guns, antique clocks, and priceless crockery for the public.
Admire the architecture of Rajasthan at Mandore Garden
Like Jodhpur itself, Mandore Garden has many names. Maddodara, Mandowar, and Mandavyapura-Durga are some of the oldest names all believed to have descended from Rishi Mandavya. Locals believe that the gardens were originally tended by Nagas, followed by Pratiharas, Chahamanas, Sultans of Delhi and finally Rathores. Today the garden is the site of many magnificent antiques temple, monuments and high rock terraces. The monoliths here date from the early fifth century. Indeed are two intricately carved monoliths depicting scenes from Krishna Leela were excavated in 1909-10. On the other side, the hilltop Mandore Palace and Fort date back to the sixth century. The highlight at Mandore Gardens, however, is the government-run museum, which houses artifacts and relics of historical importance.
Explore the twin lakes of Ranisar-Padamsar
These interconnected pristine waters are considered the twin lakes of Jodhpur and are located near Mehrangarh Fort. Both lakes date back to 1459 and were built with the intention of natural water conservation. Although it’s in a largely deserted area Condition, these lakes have a very unique quality – they rarely run out of water. Head here at the height of dawn to enjoy the water in all its glory and watch the towering fortress dance in the waves.
Take gram worthy photos in Jaswant Thada
Dating from 1899, Jaswant Thada is a famous cenotaph. While it now serves as the cremation ground for the Marwar Rajput royal family, it was originally built by Maharaja Sardar Singh of Jodhpur in memory of his father, Maharaja Jaswant Singh II. That cenotaph is built entirely of thin and intricately carved marble slabs. They have been polished to shine under the summer sun. The main cenotaph – that of Maharaja Jaswant Singh – is surrounded by portraits of rulers. In addition, the Jaswant Thada site features pavilions, a tiered garden, three other cenotaphs and a small lake.
Shop at the Clock Tower Market
No trip to Jodhpur is complete without going on a Shopping Spree. Enjoy hot Pjas Kachoris and Mirchi commander before you start splurging on everything Rajasthani. The Sardar Market in Girdikot is centered around the famous Ghantaghar or Clock Tower. The market sells everything from Jodhpuri mojaris to Lehariya Sarees, Dupattas, Safas, ethnic jewelry and more.
Plan a detour to Osian
Ossian or Osiyan is an oasis town in the Thar desert of Jodhpur district. Often referred to as the Khajuraho of Rajasthan, this historic city is famous for its Hindu and Jain temples. While here, visit the Jain Mahavira Temple which houses an idol of Mahavira made of cow’s milk, mud and a gold cloak. Then there is the Sachayee Mata Mandir, the most important Hindu temple in Osian. You may also fancy a camel safari or an ATV ride in the sandy terrain of Osian.
Feature Image Credit: Shutterstock; Hero photo credit: Makm Photography/Unsplash
- In the coming three holidays, this route of Rishikesh may remain jammed, you can also choose this route.
- Why You Should Travel To Rajasthan In August
- Top Things To Do In Jodhpur
- Here’s Why Hotels In Manali And Shimla Might Be Charging You More Right Now!
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