Somehow amateur travellers always seem to wind up in bad luck situations when it comes to travelling abroad. If this sounds like something you’ve experienced or something you’re stressing about, then you need to take extra precaution when travelling to an unfamiliar area.
Travelling is supposed to be an adventure, not a headache. If you have the knowledge to tackle a negative situation, you will be able to avoid travel-ruining experiences. Before we get into the different scams and how to avoid them, it’s important to consider travel insurance through a reputable broker such as African Unity Life, to ensure that everything runs smoothly. While you are going to be visiting unfamiliar areas with people and habits that differ from yours, try and be wary of anything that feels suspicious.
Here are some of the most common scams to look out for while planning your vacation:
Although digital is convenient, you need to take extra care when searching online. The internet is a dangerous space, and so many people have been scammed by a deal that looks ‘too good to be true’. And, even though many of people know this, they still fall victim to digital scams. Make sure that any time you punch in your personal details online, you’re booking through a well-known, trusted company that has been operating for years. If you’ve come across a new business that is offering an affordable deal, take the time to verify the details of the company before you proceed with payment. Be it with a hotel, shuttle service or tourist centre, make sure you’ve checked the details of the deal or package at hand to ensure the credibility of the offer. This will make you feel more comfortable with your purchase.
Using your credit card is a risk, especially when busy with transactions on money that you’re wanting to change into the currency of the country you’re visiting. Before you visit the country, do your homework on how the money looks to avoid any note fraud or fake currency. Another tip is to always make sure that the transaction is done in front of you, and look out for any scanning devices around you when making a transaction at a local ATM machine. Do not share your card details or personal identity with anyone until their identity is verified.
When it comes to transport, there are always hidden costs that aren’t discussed. Until you’ve read the fine print, do not accept anything. Any transport that is organised from the airport can be expensive, so do your research beforehand and make sure you have a clear idea of what is expected. Not only do rental companies scam you with prices but so do public transport companies, so confirm a price before setting foot in the vehicle.
It’s best to secure your tour bookings once you’ve arrived at the hotel itself. As previously mentioned, bookings online can sometimes set you up for failure. And unless you’re booking through a trusted company, don’t insert your banking details anywhere unless it’s into a verified account. Another tip is that if you are booking online, make sure you’re receiving the service you paid for when you arrive. More often than not, people assume they’ve paid for five-star treatment, when it’s only a standard room.
Depending on the country you’re visiting, market areas are ideal spots for scams to take place. Often you get charged ridiculous amounts of money for an item that is fake. While you’re walking the streets and admiring the different attractions, keep your handbags and wallets in arms reach to avoid being pickpocketed or robbed. If something happens to your bag with all your passport and travel documents inside it, you’re going to have a hard time trying to leave the country. It’s advised that because of these issues, you don’t transport the original documents around with you and rather keep them locked up in your hotel room. Make photocopies of your documents, and don’t walk around with plenty of cash.
While these tips may concern you and frighten you about your trip, you just need to follow the right safety rules and always be wary. Travelling is a beautiful experience, but the reality is that you’re going to be visiting areas that you’re unfamiliar with and foreigners may try and take advantage of you. Do your research before you pay for your trip, and keep your eyes open about anything and everything that is happening around you. As recommended, take out travel insurance for your trip. It will certainly be able to get you out of many situations, so take the time to consider your options as this will be a great help if something does happen. It will also give you peace of mind to enjoy your stay.