HONOLULU (KHON2) — Summer is here, and you may be thinking of taking a family vacation.

But the BBB said travel scams are on the rise as COVID worries ease.

The BBB said U.S. travelers have lost over $80,000 this year to travel scams, up 187% compared to the same time in 2021.

One of the first tips to avoid losing money is to plan ahead.

“The reason, and especially now, there are shortages across the board,” Roseann Freitas, BBB Hawaii Marketplace Manager. “Planning ahead allows you to go ahead and line everything up you’re going to need on a vacation from that flight to any rental cars to hotels.”

Experts said booking early will lock in your price as well, so you aren’t stuck during peak travel seasons.

Get your trip details in writing.

“So you really want to make sure that you have everything in writing,” said Freitas. “That you know that everything is included that you expected.”

Another suggestion from the BBB, avoid using internet search phrases like best deals, which can sometimes lead to shady websites.

“Before you start to click and go through that, what is the name of the company first?” Freitas said.”Do you know them? How long have they been in business? How many complaints? How many reviews? Do they have a good track record?”

Other tips to stay head of travel scams, look into purchasing travel insurance, which can cover cancelations or emergencies.

Read the fine print of any  itinerary to make sure all your bases are covered.

Wait to post on social media. Photos of the family having a blast also could let theives know the house is empty.

Our Action Line volunteers are here to help. Call them weekdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 808-591-0222.

You can also send an email to actionline@khon2.com or go to the Actionline tab on our website and fill out the form.