Travelling Smart: Common Scams and How You Can Avoid Them

traveling in the city

If you’re a frequent traveler, then you know the ins and outs of traveling. You might be aware of the dangers and how to avoid them. But if you don’t travel often or have had a bad experience, it can be quite scary to go again.

But you shouldn’t let your negative experience dictate your whole life. Traveling is an amazing and fulfilling experience that everyone should enjoy. And if you’re worried about people wanting to take advantage of you, you can prepare yourself to make sure that never happens. Below are some tips to avoid scams and being taken advantage of whenever you’re traveling.

Research Beforehand

It doesn’t hurt to be extra vigilant before committing to your trip. Look up common scams on the internet. There’s quite a lot of them, and figuring out which ones are rampant in the country you’re visiting helps a lot. Be aware of how much the regular price of items should be and where to get them conveniently. It’s not that you’re expecting something terrible will happen to you. But it’s simply a way to ensure you (and perhaps your travel buddies) will be safe throughout your journey.

Learn How to Say “No, Thanks” in the Local Language

A practical way to avoid getting scammed is to learn how to say “No, thanks” in a language they understand, which is all the more critical if you’re visiting a non-English-speaking country. Many scammers and hawkers are after easy prey, and by showing that you’re not one, they’re more likely to get off your back. Of course, it takes persistence and a stern face, but keep saying no in their language, and they’re sure to leave you alone.

Book in Advance as Much as You Can

Here’s a tip that might sound blatantly simple: get reservations before going to the country. Book your hotels, restaurants, or tours. This way, you won’t fall prey to overpricing and scamming that many vendors or service providers might pull off.

Especially if you’re a medical tourist, you know full well how critical it is to book things in advance. Whether you’re looking for a dental laboratory for orthodontics, a specific surgery in a specialist hospital, or even cosmetic surgery, booking things in advance will make everything safer for you. Going to a foreign country without a concrete plan and simply relying on “deciding once you get there” will get you in trouble more often than not.

beggars in the street

Don’t Give Money to Beggars

Wherever you visit, a small, unkempt child might approach you and try to ask for money or even sell trinkets. And we understand that it’s difficult to say no? You feel like you want to help or do something for them. But often, an adult is pulling the strings behind them and is making them do that rather than sending them to school. It’s a relatively common racket, and the best thing you can do is not give them any money. If you want to help, giving them food is a better option.

When in Doubt, Ask Local Citizens

If a particular individual is pushy with something, you’re unsure of where you are, or you don’t know what’s happening, it’s perfectly fine to ask local citizens. It might sound counterintuitive because you might be thinking, “what if they’re in on it?” But the truth is, the locals probably dislike the scammers as much as the travelers do and will most likely offer actual help. A safe rule to go by is not to ask just one person; ask several people. The most common answer is most likely the one that’s going to be true.

Be Kind but Wary

Not everyone is out to get you, and the tips provided here are preventive measures to not be in a bad situation in the first place. Ultimately, the best way to keep yourself safe is to be wary. Be cautious, and learn how to protect yourself in practical ways. Remember these don’ts:

  • Don’t bring too much cash
  • Don’t carry valuables
  • Don’t keep your phone unattended

And alternatively, keep these dos in mind as well:

  • Do be aware of your surroundings
  • Do go to accredited and popular places only
  • Do enjoy your stay

Your experience shouldn’t be marred by paranoia and fear. You should be wary, but you should also be kind. Many locals appreciate tourists coming, as they help the economy and uplift the local businesses. Being kind, not being rude, and being congenial is a great way to get on everyone’s good side. That can do more than you think it does.

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