Common Scams to Avoid while Traveling

Almost every travel destination has its own set of local scams. guided tours new zealand The more popular the destination, the more likely it is that people are trying to make money from gullible tourists. The things is, many travel scams are seriously sophisticated and it can be almost impossible to spot one unless you are already familiar with them. This post outlines a few of the typical scams you may come up against on your travels.

Sometimes you will be approached by a person offering something for “free.” It could be a piece of art or something simple like a sticker. They will typically try to give it to you as if it is a gift. Avoid this. Simply say “no thanks” or keep walking. The “gift” is usually an in for a conversation and the person will likely ask for money afterwards. What’s worse, however, is when the conversation leads to a coordinated theft. It serves as a temporary distraction and while you are talking to the “gift” giver, one or several people he is working with goes to work on your backpack or daypack.

Like the unsolicited gift from above, someone who approaches you in an overly friendly manner probably has ulterior motives. Judge each case individually, of course, but if someone approaches you out of the blue acting like they’re your new best friend, you should be automatically skeptical. I’d love to see that most people are in fact that good natured, but it’s simply not the case.

Always make sure you have directions to your hotel in addition to the hotel phone number. In many cases, taxi drivers will say that your hotel is “closed” or that you are mistaken about the location. They typically do this because they are being paid by another hotel to bring in clients. Often times these hotels will be similarly named (sometimes copied identically) and it can be difficult to determine if it is in fact your hotel. Always insist that your hotel is in fact open and that it is located at the address you specify. If they give you too much hassle, look for different transportation. It’s also a good idea to find out the best route from the hotel itself.

Here’s the scenario: someone carelessly walks into you and spills a drink all over your shirt. Stunned, you start to clean off your shirt and ask the guy what he was thinking. Meanwhile, the guy has a friend or two stealing your valuables from out of your bag. It’s hard to stay on your toes when something like this happens, but always try to stay alert and aware of your surroundings. Also, make sure you are taking steps to keep your passport, cash, and credit cards safe.

Some vendors are expert salesmen. They will entice you with offers that seem too good to be true. Well, guess what? They are. Vendors who are overly aggressive and excessively friendly should sound alarm bells in your head. While most businessmen are fair and honest, many will try to do whatever they can to get your money. Often, you won’t get something worthwhile in exchange. When shopping or trying to buy big ticket items, try to get a recommendation from someone first. This could be from someone at your hotel or it could be through a reliable website. Don’t expect to just walk around the streets and have a friendly and honest salesperson invite you into their shop for a fair deal.

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