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Q: I hear that costs for flights and hotels are on the rise. How can I protect myself against price increases?

One way to avoid the jump is to buy now, especially for cruises and packaged holidays. Once you've paid for your trip, a company can't come back and ask for more. Also, look for airlines and travel agencies that guarantee the lowest fares--they will refund you the difference if the price goes up. Or try Yapta, which allows you to track flight costs and hotel rates. The site will alert you when prices drop and even pursue a credit or airline travel voucher for you if the fare you've already paid drops.

A travel writer extraordinaire, Michele Sponagle has visited more than 40 countries around the world. Click here to send her your questions.