Welcome back to Minute Hacks the series of contents that will revolutionise your life in one minute! This episode will touch a really hot topic: how to avoid travel scams. I did a selection of the most common scams I saw in the years with few tips on how to avoid them.
How to avoid a travel scam?
One of the first process that requires a bit of attention while travelling is the process of currency exchange. It is really easy, in fact, to be tricked when you are dealing with a currency that was totally unknown to you until 2 minutes before. Often, the “exchange offices” at the airports, train stations or touristic places are leveraging on this factor to trick tourists with less-valued money or currencies. Pointing on the fact that often the tourist are passing by those places for a short amount and of time or in a rush and they will never see them again. To avoid this kind of tricks the first advice is always to use ATMs, where available, as the scam rate on the machine is much lower. Moreover, doing so you will also be able to save some money on commissions fee, based on your credit/debit card. If you can not access any ATMs the solution may be always exchanging money into an official bank office.
Speaking of the airport, and busy places in general, another common travel scams are the taxi scams. Often, in fact, “fake” or real taxi drivers will insistently approach you trying to convince to board their taxi. Once you do so, they will charge 3-4 times the original ride value, just because you are a tourist. In this sense, I have two tips: first of all, always try to use an app, many countries in fact have one or more apps that could be used to call or reserve taxis (Uber, Grab, Lyft, Yandex, Dodo etc…) in this way, you will be able to know the price of the ride before to get inside the car. Alternatively, my tip is always to bargain hard for the price of the ride before even to get in the car. Those tips will help you to save a lot of money/time and avoid some troubles with taxi drivers.
As we have been speaking of taxi drivers, another common travel scam, especially in Asia is the: “sorry but today is closed”. What does it mean? Often, you will hear those words from taxi drivers, receptionist or guides that because their intention is to push you to give up your plans so they can sell you their tours, bring you to their restaurants or shops. Doing so, they will earn a commission. For this reason, my advice here is always to double-check with different people the information.
As said at the beginning of this post, those above are some tips on how to avoid travel scams, especially the most common ones. In general, while travelling there is always a golden rule that is good to follow “if something is too good to be true, it’s a scam” so be always careful and your trip will be perfect! If you would like to share more scams or some personal experience, feel free to leave a comment or to DM me (@giovfranco)