Safety first: Avoid tourist scams when you are on a travel journey
Traveling is a favorite pastime activity for people all over the world. Today, people are eager to travel and can access information from anywhere. From booking airline tickets, to researching tours to finding walking directions, all of your traveling needs are accessible at your fingertips.
While traveling, you’ll come across many beautiful and breathtaking sights. But be careful not to be taken advantage of when you are out and about in different cities. Here are come common travel scams that you can look out for while on your trip.
Prepare copies (electronic or print) of your travel documents
including: passport, travel insurance, embassy information. This way, in case of emergency (your whole bag got stolen, identity theft, etc.), you’d have your copies with you. Some would advise you to leave your passport in your hotel’s vault but in some countries, like in Japan for example, a police officer would randomly ask you for your passport even in tourist places so it is advisable to keep it with you all the time. Other travelers also move from one city to another so they carry all their belongings most of the time. Remember to hold your passport and travel documents when they ask to see it.
Be aware of your clothing choices!
Choose a shirt or vest with front pockets so you can put your wallet or ATM and credit cards in there for easy access. Pickpockets are a common problem of tourists especially in Europe. If you don’t feel safe putting them in your pocket, bring a much smaller bag and always put it in front of you especially in small alleys. Check it from time to time.
Don’t be too friendly and trusting.
In busy places or in famous tourist spots, there will always be people (local or not) who will take advantage of tourists. There are deals that are “too good to be true” and sometimes, they’ll ask you to pay huge amount for a food, drink, or any other item that don’t really cost much. In some European or South East Asian countries, there could be a lot of scams like this. Some would lure you into getting into their bar and restaurant saying that they can offer you discount for drinks but when your bill arrives, it’ll cost you so much more.
Stay alert when in market places.
If a vendor asks you to help them demonstrate their product, you might be asked to pay for it because he “used” it for you. If you are on a tour and your tour guide says it’s safe, it probably is. If you are traveling alone, be wary.
They try to blend into a crowd so don’t assume your well-dressed local isn’t paying attention to you. Looks can be deceiving. Hold your bags and other belongings carefully. Use a money wallet, have your friends watch your back if you need to get anything out of your bag or pockets. Try to avoid bringing out your wallet as well.
Traveling is pleasurable but to be safe, you need to be alert. Proper research and planning is important for your adventures to help you be prepared. The more comfortable you are with your research and planning, the more fun you’ll have while you are on your trip!