Contributed by Donna Marie
Travel is one of my favorite activities. Besides long weekends throughout the year, I try to take a big trip (usually overseas) each year. In addition to learning about new parts of the world, I usually take this vacation with a group of friends who are simply amazing. Being around them makes these trips the highlight of my year. Well, this year my group vacation plan is taking me to Turkey. Even though it’s months away, from time to time, I escape by browsing one of my favorite travel sites, Lonely Planet. When I came across this article, Buyer beware: 10 common travel scams, authored by Tom Hall and Kylie McLaughlin, I found the information to be very interesting and decided to share it as you never know when these tips might come in handy.
Source: Lonely Planet
While you’re often safer overseas than you are in your hometown, a few scams seem to pop up all over the world. Repeat the mantra: if it looks too good to be true, it must be too good to be true…
1. Fake police
Sometimes also the real police, they’ll demand to see your passport and find something wrong with your visa, but then suggest your troubles will all be over if you pay a fine. To them. In cash. Right now. Standing your ground and offering to accompany them to the station will usually see the error ‘excused’.
2. Gem or carpet deals
On entry into a store, often prompted by an enthusiastic taxi or rickshaw driver, you will be offered a deal so preposterously lucrative that refusing it seems unthinkable. Think again – those gems are going to be worthless and the carpet you buy may not make it home at all. There are legitimate traders selling both jewels and rugs, and they don’t act like this.
3. Airport taxis
Drivers taking you into town might try every trick in the book, from asking you for an inflated fare to driving around the streets to raise the price higher. This is usually harmless, but you should only travel with licensed taxis and, if you can’t pay in advance, agree on a fee before starting out and don’t pay until you get where you want to be.
Have you ever been taken in by a scam while on vacation? We invite you share your experiences in the box below.