Photo Credit: Marcelo Chagas
Beware: Travelers Share Tourist Traps Around The World
Discovering a new country can be absolutely thrilling. Checking iconic sites off your bucket list, chowing down on some sumptuous local cuisine, and just soaking in a new culture. Unfortunately, it’s not always smooth sailing, especially when you encounter tourist traps that exploit visitors.
A Reddit thread posed the question, “what are some of the worst tourist traps you have encountered? And, what can be done to catch it beforehand?”
Redditors went IN and shared the dark side of travel. Read on to learn some tourist traps to avoid around the world.
1. Hey! What's your name? -Fiji
“Walking along the street and friendly locals will greet you with “bula vinaka” (hello) and beautiful smiles. Sometimes one will start a conversation with you and ask you for your name. Before you know it, they are carving your name into ‘traditional’ wooden spears and shields, etc. then asking you for money for the work you never asked for.
They will look upset when you tell them you don’t want it, and they will explain that now they can’t sell the item because they carved your name into it already, and they will follow you down the street reducing their price until you finally agree.”
2. The queues are long today in Rome...
“If you go to Rome, and visit Vatican City, on the way to the Vatican, there will be people trying to sell you tickets, as “the queues are very long today.” They say that every day. All day, every day. Ignore them. You don’t even get to see the Pope.”
3. Your shoes are dirty- Turkey
“In Turkey, shoeshine operators “accidentally” dropping the brush in front of you, then offering to clean your shoes after you stop to pick them up. Followed by charging an extortionate price for the job.”
4. Tricky tour salesmen- Thailand
“In Phuket (Thailand) our taxi from the airport had to make “a quick stop” at a travel agency. He left us in the back of the cab, so he could “go to the bathroom”. We thought about getting out of the car, but had no idea where we were or how to get a new taxi (pretty scary situation to be in). One of the salesmen from the travel agency came out speaking perfect English trying to trick us into buying every type of tour, luxury hotel, dinner— you name it, and he was trying to sell it.
We were very adamant that we had our itinerary and were not looking to buy anything. He eventually gave up and our driver came back a few minutes later. It was pretty uncomfortable, but we were firm and acted like we knew what we were doing and that was the end of it.”
5. I can walk you to the club- United Kingdom
“I went to London with my friends for the weekend while I was still in uni. We wanted to go to a certain nightclub in London, so we pulled up Google Maps and were discussing the club. A local man (early 20s) overheard us and offered to bring us there. We were cautious and stayed a bit behind him while he walked us through the streets. He brought us to the nightclub, and we thanked him profusely. We joined the queue and on entry had to pay £15. While paying, we noticed this man had taken a few more girls to the club and winked at the doorman.”
“Later in the club, we were chatting with locals that were bewildered we paid £15 on entry. Apparently, the club had no entry fee.”
6. Can I take your picture?!- India
“In India, in a lot of popular tourist spots, photographers will compliment you and start taking pictures of you. They’ll ask you to pose this way and that, and then they charge an exorbitant amount for the pictures. You just have to be rude because they are very persistent and will start following you.”
7. Dollars or Yuan?- China
“We were warned by our hotel in Beijing that the taxi drivers can get pretty aggressive with money. The first time we took a taxi, we asked what the cost would be from where we were back to our hotel. The driver said, “100.” We asked whether that was in Yuan or Dollars. She kept repeating “100” until we decided to walk away, and then she clarified that it would be 100 Yuan (roughly 13/14 dollars). When we got to the hotel, she locked the doors and demanded 100 dollars (not Yuan). Luckily, the hotel staff were watching and came over and handled the situation for us. We were very careful with our taxi rides after that!”
8. Don't sleep on the airport food- Iceland
“Sounds counterintuitive but when you go to Iceland, pick an airport restaurant and have a decent meal there, and stock up at the duty-free shop. Don’t just sprint for the airport exit – Iceland will still be there in an hour.
Most people are in such a rush to get out of the airport, they don’t consider that the international terminal is their final chance to dodge Iceland’s impressively high tax on prepared foods and alcohol. The airport in Reykjavík has some pretty good food, and there’s no tax in the international terminal.”
9. Animal cruelty- Jordan
“Do not ride the donkeys or horses at Petra. They are terribly mistreated by their handlers and are often forced to carry more weight than they can handle.”
10. Scammers gonna scam- United States
“The Staten Island Ferry (New York) is FREE. If people are trying to charge you for tickets, they’re scam artists.”