It’s the time to be making plans and reservations for year-end holiday trips. Triple-A’s Darren Van Helden says when you pay for hotel rooms or tickets in advance, it’s important how you pay.Book it with a credit card instead of cash or a check, so you have tools to dispute charges if something isn’t what you paid for. Van Helden says the extra security of a credit-card company helps cope with the uncertainty that may be part of travel arrangements.He says it helps to avoid any doubts about getting paid back if a service isn’t provided. One more step you could take is buying travel insurance.If you couldn’t go on the trip after all or it were canceled, the travel planner went bankrupt or weather canceled the trip, insurance covers that. And it’s a good idea to avoid planning travel to spots where the current political situation has tensions high and danger likely.If you’re looking at certain parts of the world, take a good look at that and think about waiting till things calm down. The Auto Club is sending an advisory to members, says Van Helden, telling them to use plastic to plan travel, just for extra insurance.