It only takes a momentary lapse when you let your guard down because you are relaxed and in holiday mode for all of that enjoyment to turn sour when you realize that you have been suckered into a holiday scam.
When you are first considering a particular trip and browsing sites, it is unlikely you are going to give much thought to anything other than where to go and what to do when you get there.
However, if you have prior awareness of some classic holiday scams that can quickly ruin a holiday, it should help you to enjoy a trouble-free trip.
Here are some of the most popular tourist scams that you need to watch out for.
Don’t Let Them Ruin Your Trip: 4 Classic Holiday Scams
It starts at the airport
Unfortunately, some scammers are lying in wait at the airport when you arrive to be first in line with their attempt to fleece you of some of your holiday cash.
If someone approaches you and offers you a taxi to your hotel, there is a good chance they are not part of the regulated and authorized taxi system that operates in most major airports.
The chances are that if you take up their offer, you will pay more than you need to for your trip, and you also put yourself at risk of being forced to hand over all of your cash if you are targeted by criminals posing as taxi drivers.
Only use the recognized and official taxi ranks at the airport and confirm the price before you agree to take the ride.
Making you pay for something you didn’t want
A typical scam that seems to operate in many major European cities, in particular, involves someone giving you a small gift, like a small bunch of flowers, and then demanding you pay an exorbitant price for the item.
Their aim is to make a scene and embarrass you into paying them something to go away.
If you are approached by someone on the street offering you a small gift or attempting to put a bracelet on your wrist (also known as the African Friendship Bracelet Scam read more on Corporate Travel Safety), for example, politely refuse and walk away.
If you hire a car or bike
Some parts of the world have a reputation for scamming tourists who rent a bike or car to explore the area.
When you return the vehicle, they then claim there is damage that you need to pay for.
A good safeguard would be to take photos of its condition beforehand so that you can argue against an unexpected and unwelcome demand for money.
Learn currency rates
It can be all too easy to get confused when trying to calculate the exchange rate of a local currency and too many tourists get scammed by unscrupulous traders who take advantage of this confusion.
Paying over the odds or being given the wrong change could be avoided if you do your research and understand the value of a local currency compared to the money you usually work with.
Don’t let scammers ruin your trip; enjoy yourself, but remain vigilant and aware of some of the tactics that are regularly used to rip tourists off.