Guys, this is a topic I feel like I could write a book about! However, you know I like to keep my posts short and sweet so rest assured you’ll get the insight in less than 2 minutes reading time, maximum 3.
–Number one, learn how to say ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ in the language of the country you visit. You can pretty much wiggle your way out of unpleasant situations by sounding like you have some level of understanding, even if you really don’t! I found this little tip to be one of the most beneficial when I travel solo.
–If approached by a street seller, play 20 questions if you are intrigued by what they are selling. Yes really. Now, I am quite street savvy. However, one time in NYC I was approached by a street seller who offered tickets to a comedy show. It seemed legit, but when I arrived to the location I could see it was some dodgy gig in a basement. Oh, and the line-up of comedians that were promised? Nowhere to be seen. If I had asked more questions, such as whether the line-up was guaranteed, or whether the location was close, I could have saved myself time and money.
–Take plenty of change. Of course not every market seller will try to scam you, but it seems more frequent in tourist hotspots. If you are buying something from a market, I highly doubt there will be a set price if you are waving around a shiny $10 bill. To add to this, if something doesn’t have a price tag, ask why. Yes, WHY. The truth is, we know lack of price tags are often so the seller can change their cost depending on audience but they don’t know that we know! It’s harder for sellers to trick you when you are one step ahead.
–Watch out for people saying you have a flat tire or broken suitcase. This is sometimes a method to distract you whilst another person swiftly digs into your pockets. I’ve personally had a similar experience in a restaurant, where a waiter comically spilled water on my jacket then offered to clean it for me. When the jacket was returned, some of my belongings were missing. Yikes. If this situation happens to you, don’t give your jacket over. Instead, say you’ll clean the item yourself in your own time.
–If you get offered a free item in the street, often a rose, then start running. At the very least, walk away very quickly. You won’t be left alone until you hand over coins. It’s stressful getting out of these situations, especially when you are alone, so best not to even get into them.
See! I told you my insights into avoiding tourist scams could be read within a few minutes 😉
See you in the post!