Edition Maldives - EN

Travel Tips

It’s a trap!

15 May 2017 - 14:52

Aishath Sajuha

Travel enthusiast, amateur artist and blogger.

Congratulations! 

You’re the winner of a free flight, some huge amount of money or a VIP Hotel Suite! You may even get contacted by a legit person via phone, who claims to be from a well-known travel agency, and you tend to believe it. It sounds too good to be true – and because it most likely is. 

The sad reality is that there are a lot of people who target on our wanderlust. These schemes which are used to con tourist are becoming better each year. 

Luckily, there are ways you can prepare ourselves by taking the required precautions and avoiding being the victim of the tourist trap. Being alert, keeping valuables close and locked up at all times could help, and if something seems too good to be true…

It probably is – there is no such thing as fake these travel traps.

Thieves are looking out for the smallest distractions, even a second or two is just enough for them to snatch your belongings. Always secure your belongings first, before going on with your other tasks. 

However, somehow it’s easy to lose focus or get caught up in the moment, you let your guard down, hence allowing yourself to be vulnerable to these travel traps. To avoid such traps here are easy tips you could always keep in mind. 

There is no such things as free lunch, tickets for unusually cheap prices, there are countless fake travel agencies abroad who make a living out of just preying on innocent tourists. 

To avoid such scams always remember to make reservations through an online trustworthy website or – better yet, do it in person.

As heartless as it may sound. Avoid beggars. Yes! Many con artist would disguise themselves or even use kids as beggars, in order to get money out of tourists. If they aren’t disguised as beggars they would keep keen eyes on where you take your belongings from and where you keep it, and will try to pick you off later. 

Always remember to trust your gut instincts. If someone is approaching you, or is giving off an uncomfortable vibe, avoid them or just walk away. Because more often than ever, pickpockets would often hang in areas where tourists are most crowded, they would attempt to cause distractions – leaving them open and giving the pickpockets a chance to con you. 

When we go travelling, we often need someone to take a picture of us, avoid people who seem local to you. Ask a fellow traveler to take a picture and offer to do the same for them. 

The most common tourist traps are from the cab drivers. Make sure you know the exact route you want to take and ensure they have their meter ongoing. Because most times the cab driver would leave their meter off, and charge the tourists a hefty amount for a ride, or even take a large detour to increase the rates. Best way is to know your route and the estimated cost of the ride. 

Travelling is already expensive enough, don’t get tricked into spending more money than you should. Every country is different in terms of their tourist traps. So before travelling do your research about the local traps and street scams.  And on the off side if you do fall into a travel scam, analyze the situation and make sure you have extra paper work and necessary contact information on you, and try to solve the problem as soon as possible. 


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