There’s no feeling quite like touching down in a new country for a holiday! Experiencing the sights, culture and nightlife are all a part of what we love about getting away!
Unfortunately, our excitement and ignorance can lead to us being exploited by locals. This exploitation usually occurs in situations where we aren’t even aware we are being swindled. With this in mind, here’s our list of top scams to be aware of while you’re abroad!
One of the most common ways in which tourists are taken advantage of is by local taxi drivers. Even appearing like you’re not local can result in taxi drivers charging outrageous prices to bring you even short distances! A language barrier between you and the driver can also result in more money being added to the metre. To combat this, do your research before you leave or even better, download Uber or its local equivalent as this will determine your fare and you can review the route after before contesting any rip off charges.
This is another classic way in which tourists can be scammed regularly. From people being sold expensive fake tickets to shows and tours, to people being recommended needlessly excessive travel cards by pricey agents. Online vendors that are payment protected are your best bet here to avoid being ripped off. Also only consult with official tourist information desks on exactly the types of travel cards that will cater best to your itinerary.
Few things can make a person feel more alive than haggling the last few euros out of a market vendor for that “Polo Ralph Laurel” bag. Getting them down from their initial offer of €100 to the price of a pint may seem like a massive win at the time, but when the strap snaps and sends your Mother/Sister/Girlfriend flying, you’ll be paying for it in different ways! Avoid markets like these if you can as whatever is bought rarely lasts longer than the holiday itself.
The Photo Opportunity
A plague on any beachfront, boardwalk, main street or square, people dressed in novel outfits have been conning tourists since tourism began. With the explosion in comic book movies in recent years, the justice league have began to assemble on every tourist attraction there is. This catches parents unawares as their children rush to get a picture with their real life heroes. Once the snap has been taken, Spiderman will usually be looking for something in return. The same goes for buskers, magicians, break dancers, and some charities have even begun to impose themselves on tourists to make an easy few euros. Keep your eyes open and spot these people early enough to plan a safe route around them.
Many countries have a tipping culture in restaurants. This is perfectly normal in places like the USA but it also presents an opportunity for many waiting staff to prey on the ignorance of tourists. This is most often achieved by waiting staff presenting a bill that details the gratuity/service charge and tip on two separate lines. In many cases, a waiter/waitress will have circled the line that reads i.e. “20% Tip” on the bill despite there being an already existing gratuity/service charge. To combat instances such as these, do your research and examine food and drink bills closely to be clear on what you’re paying. Ask the waiter/waitress to explain the extras and ensure you don’t end up overpaying.
Renting a car can be an extremely costly experience. Rental companies will recommend what seems to be a million extras before you walk away with the keys to your vehicle. Be careful that you know exactly what you want and exactly how much you are willing to pay before you begin looking. Read our previous blog on the most common rip off charges from rental companies to help you with this. Also ensure you don’t need to pay rip off car hire excess charges by purchasing our carhirexcess Insurance from as little as 2.99 per day while you’re away.