How to Avoid Getting Ripped-Off During Travel

We have lessons learned from traveling the world and put them in a list to help your reduce the opportunities for danger when on your well-deserved vacation.

Do not take taxis in the street. Arrange taxi services with anticipation.

Take official taxis arranged by phone. Before you start the ride, set the price and/or make sure the meter is running. Finding out the average price in advance gives you confidence to negotiate (or protest). Train stations and airports are fertile ground for dishonest drivers, so make sure you choose pre-arranged services, with set prices. This will help you avoid travel scams.

Memorize and “study” the local currency exchange rates.

It is normal to get confused a bit, when having the first contact with a new currency, – and the smartest travelers know it. Before arriving to a new country, find out and write the usual value of local money and try to know how the bills will look like.

Research before changing money and choose the official establishments.

Exchange rates can be very different in each bank or exchange office. In addition, some companies charge an extra fee for operations. Learn well before closing the deal and avoid exchanging money with illegal operations that may have counterfeits and other tricks to steal money from you.

Beware of hotels and hostels’ “hunters”. 

Train stations and ports are the favorite places for these hotel representatives who hunt tourists promising them paradise. The rule of thumb is: do not pay anything (not even for transportation, if you are offered) until you see the place and verify it is as promised.

Beware of easy friendships. 

Do not accept drinks from strangers or bottles that come open to the table when in nightclubs and bars. There are malicious people putting sleeping pills into drinks to rob the victim when asleep. Also, be careful before inviting a new acquaintance to visit your hotel room.
 

Date of publication Nov 24 2013