Traveling to a new place can be exciting, and tourism around the world helps bridge the gap between cultures. However, travel isn't without its risks. There are plenty of shady characters around the world who target and take advantage of tourists.
Knowing how to avoid travel scams is not only a good idea - it can also add to your enjoyment while abroad. Learn a little something about the culture and languages of the places you're visiting, then follow these steps for a fun and relaxing vacation.
Before You Enter A Taxi, Make Sure The Meter Is Working
Most taxi drivers are honest, hard-working people, but as with any profession, there are some folks out there who will take advantage of an out-of-towner. Before you get into a cab, check the meter to make sure it isn't already running or broken.
If the driver tells you the meter is broken and they will let you know the cost, get out immediately. It's a scam, and they will demand much more money than the ride would otherwise cost. This is a problem in cities all over the world, and travelers have been threatened by drivers that demand hundreds of dollars for a 15 minute ride.Is this a smart tip?
Don’t Let People Try To Help You At An ATM
ATMs are a great place to get local currency, but you may be stymied if the machine doesn't offer your preferred language. It's an unfortunate situation, but you should never ask someone to help you with the ATM, or accept help that is offered. You could luck out and find a good Samaritan, but more often than not, anyone who approaches you is planning to take your money or clone your credit card.
You wouldn't let someone handle your debit card in your home country, so practice that same level of security when you're traveling overseas. If you absolutely have to get cash and need help, it's okay to ask a police officer or go to your embassy or consulate.Is this a smart tip?
Check The Existence Of Vacation Rentals On Google Street View
If you book a vacation rental and the cost seems too good to be true, there's a chance that rental doesn't exist.
Before you book in an unfamiliar place, first request the address, then head over to Google Street View to investigate.Is this a smart tip?
Don’t Give An Uber Or Lyft Driver Cash For Tolls
Getting a ride in a foreign land can be intimidating, but there are probably options you are familiar with. Ride hailing services like Uber and Lyft exist in most countries you will visit, and if you trust those apps in your home country, it's okay to trust them elsewhere.
Most of the time, these kinds of rides offer no problems, but every now and then, you may be asked to pay cash for tolls. Don't do this anywhere. If you have to travel on bridges or roads requiring a toll, both Uber and Lyft automatically factor that into the cost. Any cash you give to your driver is money you already paid.Is this a smart tip?