Stepping outside of your comfort zone and seeing the world is something everyone should experience. Travel broadens your horizons, allows you to meet interesting people, and make yourself a better person. However, one irritating part of international travel that affects tourists everywhere in the world is the proliferation of con-artists who are desperate to separate you from your hard-earned cash. Many scammers that target tourists use sophisticated methods to rip unsuspecting travelers off – methods that the uninitiated are rarely prepared for. Here’s how to make sure you’re not their next victim.
1. Know the Common Scams
The first thing you should do before flying out anywhere is to read up on the local tourist scams. Many of these scams target tourists as soon as they land at the airport; for example, there are fake taxi scams that could leave you hundreds of dollars out of pocket. What’s more, many of these scams are aimed specifically at male travelers, such as the all-too-common trick in which a pretty girl will approach you and take you to a bar before getting her gangster friends to shake you down for all you’ve got. Do your research before you go.
2. Be Prepared to Negotiate
If you’re coming from a Western country, you may be used to paying the exact price you are initially quoted for all items, no questions asked. However, in many other parts of the world, the initial price quote is simply the opening proposition before a lengthy round of haggling. Popular destinations such as Turkey, China, Egypt, Malaysia, and Thailand are all big on negotiating, so don’t feel like you need to accept the first offer thrown your way, especially if it seems absurdly high.
3. Look for Rewards and Bonuses
Whatever you do when traveling, whether it’s looking for hotels or playing casino games at the airport, remember that there is always a way to save money. Let’s take the online casino example, as this is fairly illustrative of what you should be doing. There are countless online casinos offering the same top-notch slots and table games on their sites. However, these all come with vastly different prices, free spins, and welcome bonuses. This is where you should use a rewards site. For example, the Casino Rewards Group manages 25 popular brands, making it one of the biggest casino groups in the world. This means that you can use the rewards site to compare all of the leading casinos to find the cheapest deal. Apply this to everything you do on your travels, and you’ll save a ton.
4. Learn Some of the Local Lingo
Finally, always brush up on the local language of your destinations. There is no need to become fluent in Thai before your big blowout in Bangkok, but knowing some basic phrases will go a long way and will likely save you money. Simple words such as “receipt”, “how much?”, and “too expensive” will get you far. In addition, simply learning phrases such as “hello”, “please” and “thank you” will endear you to the locals and guarantee you fairer treatment than some of the more ignorant tourists will be receiving.
With these simple tricks, you can protect yourself from ever being ripped off on vacation again.