Friday, July 19, 2013

How to not get scammed this spring break by a rent by owner type of website

There are several reasons why renting a house or condo via an online "rent by owner" type of website in a popular spring break destination like South Padre Island, Texas; Panama City Beach, Florida; Destin, Florida; Gulf Shores, Alabama; or many other popular college spring break destinations and why we suggest using a spring break tour operator.

  • You have unknowingly entered into an auction on a rental property

In this scenario, the Owner lists the property on the rent by owner website for an inflated price  of $4500 for the week for example with verbiage in the description "spring break discounts may apply please call." You call as this grabs your eye and are delighted to get the property for $3500. You book it with a $700 deposit (typically 1 nights' rent up front non refundable.)

This unscrupulous Owner does not remove the property from the site, nor block out the listing as being booked already by you. Then, they field other calls. Next call goes to $4000. They take that person's deposit, but fail to call you as hey...what's the rush to cancel you? This other person might back out. They might take a 3rd or a 4th deposited group as well for ever increasing amounts of money.

Finally, a week before you are to leave, this Owner calls you  and the other lessor bidders and says they have a maintenance issue, and cannot possibly check you in. "my apologies, I have refunded your deposit in full I am SO sorry!" YOU NOW HAVE ZERO RECOURSE and...good LUCK finding another place to stay this late when these destinations sell out tight.

  • The Owner of the Property can have very tight terms & conditions that guarantees you will be evicted without refund
"John," our rich property Owner has a lush $1.4 mil beachfront home that he won't rent to spring breakers. But wait...why not? He devises this spring break scam. He asks a fair price of $5500 for the week, sends you pics of the property or has them listed, it's awesome - 6 bedrooms sleeps 14. What a steal!

You put your $1500 deposit down, of course non refundable. He will send you his Nazi - esq rental agreement for spring break rentals stating something you don't catch something along these lines:

"If police are called to the property for ANY REASON for a noise complaint, whether real or not, you will be immediately evicted WITHOUT REFUND - NO EXCEPTIONS."

Generally, these types of people will say "hey we will take a credit card but when you arrive, we will refund your money, and need the cash for the entire amount." "If you don't show up, well it will stay on your credit card." Why? Well, if you have scammed someone, cash is your very best friend and the hardest way to get a refund with no recourse.

You sign his "rental agreement"  and send in the balance of the money. Now you are in $5500. Non refundable. Do we have to complete the story? Ok we will.

You arrive. John again takes everyone's ID and makes a copy. He also makes each person sign the rental agreement. Likely, he will again verbalize look guys, you can have fun, but if the cops come, well I have to evict you and you won't get your money back, ok?" What would you say other thank ok?

John's rich buddy Hank is also in on the scam, he has done this many times because he too has a Million dollar property and he is greedy wants the spring break money but not the students. So, provided the group drinks a little and makes a little noise...BAM! - Hank calls the cops on your for "noise." They come, say "well look we got a complaint settle down." Your group is bewildered.
Not an hour later the cops are back..this time with John the Owner. He's very apologetic but says look, you violated the rental agreement and I have to evict you, I'm sorry. My "partners" on the property just informed me that the police came on a noise complaint, therefore according to the rental agreement you already signed, I must evict you without refund."

John returns the deal for Hank.  The next day or a couple days later, guess what? They can either let property sit empty, OR even re rent it!!! You think..well, this is great but I used a credit card I'm going to dispute the charge! Good luck. You already agreed to everything in writing you dunce.

How do we know this occurs? Easy. We have been at this for 20 years and have an office onsite on South Padre Island and see crying students at our office homeless the next day asking if we can please help them, describing this situation to a T.

You can say "I will sue him!" On what grounds exactly? Have you ever sued anyone? You live in Missouri, they live in Texas. You have to sue them in Texas, for one. And are very likely to lose once this character produces a police report, your signed agreements, and even a copy of your IDs. You're screwed.

Remember, the rich don't always get rich playing fair.

  • The property is listed by a property management firm or manager or even an owner of several properties that does a clear bait and switch on you
 This is easily the most common spring break scam. You reserve a condo that is fabulous at say Summit Condos. Completely decked out to the "9s." Then, you arrive and the property manager or management company says "Oh, sorry, the unit you booked has a temporary maintenance issue so we have to move you to another unit." You can complain - but it is STILL the same property. The other one we love is "we lost that property as the Owner lost it to foreclosure last minute! So sorry but we have unit 101 instead!" "if you don't want 101 we can give you a refund!"

Of course you are NOT taking a refund. You are already  at a sold out destination. You settle. Likely this jerk has only his best 1 or  2 condos listed and has 10 to 20 at a complex...using the primo pictures to rent the duds.

Most common scam on rent to own websites or by property management companies. Be very aware of this.

  • The Owner double books the property and cancels you last minute to insure that if one of the 2 reservations cancels they are still 100% booked
We already covered this, but understand that most Owners offer a 30 day advance cancellation you may lose no money. So, to cover themselves, they re rent the same property 2, 3 even 4 times.
Then, see who pays in full first. Whomever does, they refund all the others money.

You might say.."well I got my money back." Great. Now 25 days before spring break at a sold out destination what rat hole are you supposed to book? You were just scammed.

How do I avoid this?

It's easy. Book with a tour company that specializes in college spring break like Inertia Tours. We are very upfront that we don't rent specific units, but rather specific complexes or even categories of complexes that just guarantee certain complexes within that category.

This matters - why? Easy. We think that you should be honest with young adults up front about the reasons why you don't want to book a specific unit. 

Sure, people get lucky. But with Inertia, as we have literally hundreds of condos, a complex could burn to the ground and you'd still be accommodated. You still get a trip, and people's dreams of a great spring break are NOT crushed.

Also..the fact that we have an onsite office matters.
You have someone to go to if there is a problem, not some cell phone to call some owner in Indiana that hates students anyway. We have a legacy in this business and doing things right to students matters to us.

Please call us 800 821 2176 we would love to earn your business! 

Monday, July 15, 2013

Best hotels in Puerto Vallarta Spring Break 2014 in depth by Chadillac

Inertia Tours has certain hotels we really recommend in Puerto Vallarta for Spring Break 2014 but it depends on your group size.

For Large Spring Break Groups, we recommend:

EP - not all inclusive
  • Best Western - in old town (South Puerto Vallarta) walk to malecon

    All Inclusive - all meals & drinks included
    •  Melia - while in the marina area, it is a Melia, a very well known name in Mexico on a nice stretch of beach. All meals and drinks included right at hotel

    We recommend these for groups of 17+ people for their a.) willingness to work with groups b.) price and c.) value. Willingness to work with groups means giving us big blocks of rooms located by each other.

    For small spring break groups, we recommend:

    EP - not all inclusive

    • Holiday Inn - great location, American name you can trust. This hotel epitomizes what you expect in a hotel...lobby bar, swim up bar, decent food, rooms standard but good and clean

    •  Las Palmas - great location, packed with students, value priced

       Expect prices for 4 nights EP with airfare, hotel, taxes and airport transfers for $699 to $899 per person. 5 nights for $799 to $1199 per person and 1 week for $899 to $1499 per person.

      All Inclusive - meals and drinks includes

      • Holiday Inn - great location, American name you can trust. This hotel epitomizes what you expect in a hotel...lobby bar, swim up bar, decent food, rooms standard but good and clean
      •  Las Palmas - great location, packed with students, value priced

      • Grand Pelicanos...(not standard Pelicanos). Great location, cool rooftop bar on ocean, really modern property just remodeled

         Expect prices for 4 nights all inclusive with airfare, hotel, tax & transfers for $799 to $999 per person. 5 nights for $999 to $1499 per person. 7 nights for $1099 to $1699 per person.

        We recommend these hotels for groups of 16 and under. They work well on pricing going with a 1 to 4 rooms, but tend to move the price up too far for multiple rooms to represent a superb value.

        Want it quiet, or are going on spring break with a boyfriend or girlfriend? Try the Barcelo Costa. It's my favorite hotel in Puerto Vallarta located on private Mismaloya Beach; however, it is 15 to 20 minutes to the Malecon and downtown, and from some clubs upwards of 45 minutes with traffic. For students, usually that doesn't bode well....but the hotel is fabulous for the price.

        Pic of Malecon downtown Puerto Vallarta Blvd:

        Inertia Tours teams up with the Party Team & Party Vallarta to host the wildest Red Carpet VIP Parties and events with nightly bottle service & table reservations suggested albeit not required.

        Strana Nightclub, Puerto Vallarta on the Inertia Tours Red Carpet VIP Party Package:

        For groups of 10 - 20 wanting private  homes & villas to after bar in, we direct you to Budgets per person need to be $2500+ per person for such a trip.

        Contact Inertia Tours 800 821 2176

        Thanks Rockstar Energy Group

        Thanks Rockstar for our lit SIGN for the Inertia Office, plus my new Nike Golf bag.

        This is going to make a great addition and create motivation for the Inertia Staff!Book Inertia:

        Thursday, July 11, 2013

        The Insiders' s Guide to booking a true VIP Spring Break Trip

        At Inertia Tours from time to time we get calls from people wanting to go absolutely all out on a spring break vacation package.

        Typically (though not always) these are 23 to 28 year old guy just out of college or working full time that have the disposable income to spend the needed money to pull it off.

        The first thing to know is yes..Inertia Tours has the know how, resources, and connections to do these sorts of trips for VIP clients.

        Its important to know about costs of course. You cant walk into the Ferrari dealer asking for one for the price of a Chevy. Quality costs get what you pay for...alll of these sayings and cliches are very real and need to be understood before you ask for Black Card style hookups.

        For trips to Cancun and Puerto Vallarta, budget $2500 to 4000 per person for 1 week with airfare, private transfers, tax, access to concierge staff we provide 24 hours a day, best of hotel suites or private villas and homes as well as nightly table and bottle servic at the right clubs on the right nights as well as exclusive access to VIP after.parties which in and of themselves carry more costs. This price generally will not be all inclusive nor include liquor at night as bottles are ala carte for 250 to 500 per bottle at night for large bottle service with mixers...but your table and reservations are all set up by us. We can go all inclusive at select hotel properties for additional fees; note top shelf liquor is not possible on all inclusive programs

        For South Padre Island Texas prices run 1500 to 2500 per person not including airfare. This would include the same as PV and Cancun however we provide VIP Areas with our Real World staff at each club. Accommodations are 1 to 3 million dollar condos and one nice upgrade is nightly super stretch Lincoln limo service to club plus on stage access to DJs

        These prices are based on 6 to 20 people.

        If you are interested in VIP service and travel this spring
        Break please contact us at 800 821 2176 and ask for Chad
        Or email

        Introduction from the Founder and President of Inertia Tours Inc.

        This is an intro post of sorts to introduce to you myself and my Company. My name is Chad Hart, I am the Founder and President of Inertia Tours Inc.

        Our Company is based on South Padre Island, Texas. This is something that is unique in the college spring break tour operator business line -- being based at one of the destinations you bring people to. This matters as I use the comparison of a fishing trip to Alaska. If you were to book a fishing trip to Alaska, it would make alot of sense of book with the local guide that lives there, versus some travel company in New York, correct? That's how it is with Inertia Tours. We are locally engrained in the South Padre business community. Not only are we members of the South Padre Business Owners Association, we are members of the local Chamber of Commerce as well.

        Personally, I have been engaged in the promotion of spring break travel packages since 1993. I started out with a Company called College Tours based in Phoenix Arizona. I was young, cocky, and thought I knew it all back then. I learned alot of great things from that Company, but also a great deal of things NOT to do. I also worked with Mazatlan Express and it's Founder, Kraig Loftquist. Kraig is my personal Mentor and one of the greatest human beings you could ever meet. It's my pleasure to tell you Inertia now runs Mazatlan Express! I also dabbled in high school graduation trips working for Student Tours (a division of College Tours), USA Student Travel, and Surf n' Sun Tours. I learned TONS working in Mazatlan, Cancun, and Puerto Vallarta. I ended by "working for other student travel companies" foray with Student Express. I still speak and am friends with the Founder of this now defunct Company, Jim Moldane. Another major guy there that taught me alot was Joe Bush....lots of the creative stuff you see Inertia doing he came up with someplace else, actually.

        I finished my Masters Degree in Business (MBA) and thought I should enter the Corporate world and was hired at Norwest (now Wells Fargo) DEX Telesales...was one of their top salespeople..then quit and started Inertia Tours. It was a struggle the first year, but consistently better.

        What is unique about Inertia Tours is that by working for all these other college spring break travel agencies, I gained knowledge I do not know of one person in my business line knows. Not just from a gad of Companies, but also from working all these destinations which all had unique/cool things going on. I tried to meld the best of the best into Inertia Tours, realizing a few obstacles about South Padre Island. For one, it's wild here, but it's not Mexico. You can't do open bar all you can drink parties. You can't break the law at will to pay off a cop for $100 if you do. The drinking age is 21 not 18 or even on existent. Most people don't fly here, they drive in. That might sound like a blessing have to set up obstacles / set of rules so that 25 people don't show up for a 2 bedroom condo :)

        I think our student travel clients will get more than they pay for. Not only will they meet me when they arrive for check in, we underpromise and over deliver I believe. Things like the Inertia Tours Onsite Discount Program I fight HARD for those 32 discounts Island businesses give our students, they also add massive value that NO ONE ELSE can get without our travel wristband. I think there is alot of credibility that if you are to meet the President of the Company, NO ONE will pass the buck on you as a customer. I may be busy, I may ask for you to set an appointment to have a meeting, but you can and will have the chance to speak directly to me if there is an issue.

        What is funny about our business is this - people either love us or hate us. 99% of our clients love us - as demonstrated by the fact that 75% of our business is straight repeat customers...1% hate us..because the $350 trips we sell are value based. This means it's not Filet Mignon for's a grilled chicken and fries. A spring break travel package is a great fit for Greeks (sorority spring break and fraternity spring break) but not a great value for 2 loving people on a romantic beach trip - I can't provide that. Our condo complexes are loud, wild, and nuts. Does this make sense?

        The one thing I hope to achieve here is to gain your trust, and ultimately the chance to earn your business for LIFE. You come with me on Spring Break - then you come back down to South Padre Island with as an adult with your family...or you go surfing with us in Nicaragua with our division....I'm not here to travel you ONCE, but to travel you 25 times.

        If you ever need personal, helpful advice, just pick up the phone. 800 821 2176 x 101. Leave me a message. I WILL call you back 100% or email me or hit me up on

        While I consider myself the Ambassador of Spring Break to South Padre Island DO NOT BE FOOLED...we travel thousands to Cancun, Puerto Vallarta, Panama City Beach, and ....ta da!...our Colorado Ski product is THE BEST IN THE BUSINESS thanks to my good friend Steve Smolinski's dedicated work in the Mountains...if we don't offer a destination, I don't pretend I do. I will hook you up with the best in the industry that does.

        Chad Hart
        Inertia Tours Inc.
        800 821 2176 x 101
        twitter: inertiachad

        Enjoy Inertia Tours In Cancun & South Padre

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