If you’re getting into a cab in Vietnam, know the general direction of your destination or follow the route on a map on your phone, if possible. I’ve had taxi drivers take me around the city for 45 minutes to rack up a fare, only to realize later that my hotel was just short walk away.
The Staten Island Ferry is FREE. If people are trying to charge you for tickets, they’re scam artists. If you’re traveling to New York, it’s worth visiting for the views, especially considering the cost, or lack thereof.
Do not go with the guy who says his friend is the owner of a nice hotel nearby. Most likely won’t be nice or nearby.
In Jamaica, we went on one of the guided hikes through the Dunn’s River Falls. The exit is completely covered in a maze of pretty typical touristy gift shop type tents selling cheap manufactured garbage. Of course we “coincidentally” had to wait for the buses so we had nowhere to go except the tents. My gf and I (both 18 at the time, & from America) meandered around with zero intention of buying anything but we were dumb enough to entertain the salesmen by letting them talk to us. One asked our names and when we answered, he carved them into the side of a wooden tiki head and tried handing it to us. We were taken aback because we obviously hadn’t asked him to do that but then he started demanding we pay him for it because otherwise he would lose his stock for nothing. I tried to lie about not having money to spend on it, and it was uncomfortable at most until one of the other salesmen blocked the entrance out of the tent and started saying that we were essentially shoplifting from them. We knew it was possible to give them the name of the hotel we were staying at have them charge us through there but there was no way I was a actually paying them or letting them know where I was sleeping so I just put one of the other resorts and a fake last name and told them to charge us. Luckily they let us go. Pretty freaked out through. I kept that tiki head for about 10 years as my “trophy” for swindling swindlers lmao
When you’re traveling somewhere new, learn how the public transportation system works and how late it stays open. When I was in China, we went bar hopping in Beijing and stayed out past when the subway closed. The taxi cabs knew they were our only way home so they charged us four times the normal fare.
We wanted to visit the Colosseum in Rome. All the way towards it from the tube station, there are dozens of people offering “discounted tours” – you join a group, they get you in for a reduced price, seems good. Except it isn’t. These tour tickets are about €20 per person, which seems reasonable until you get to the entrance to the Colosseum and see that it’s €12 for an adult, or €2 for a student. My wife and I got in for €14 because she still had a valid student ID.
The exact same thing happened on the way to the Vatican – people coming up to us insisting that it’s cheaper to get in if we buy museum tickets. It costs nothing to go into the Vatican! They rely on tourists who don’t know any better, see the queue for the Vatican museum and think it’s the queue to get inside the city. It isn’t.
Women, if you plan to visit cathedrals I highly advise you to bring a scarf to cover your head. It’s just a rule of thumb always pack a scarf. I’ve seen it too many times where there are people at the front doors charging some absurd price like 15 euros for a cheap little scarf to be allowed to enter the religious place.
In Portugal specifically Lisbon pick pockets were rampant through the public transit. A family member was almost picked 3 times in the matter of a couple of hours. Keep your eyes peeled for people moving in tight groups and look like they’re up to no good.
In some countries I’ve visited, restaurants in tourist areas will have an English menu and a native language menu with cheaper prices. I usually ask for a native language menu then google translate the menu. Works most of the time in getting a better price.
Prioritize what you want to see. All tourist sites are technically traps I guess. If there’s one site where admission is super expensive try and save the money so you can see more or try to have a nicer meal one day. If you really want to see that one thing to say you’ve been there by all means go for it.
Always pay in the local currency when you can. A lot of restaurants especially in Europe will ask if you want to pay in USD or Euros and it’s usually cheaper for your credit card to pay in Euros. Just know what your bank and credit cards do when you’re abroad.
Pay very close attention to signing for your hire car after a long flight. I told the server at Budget Car Hire in Miami twice that I didn’t want any extras and just to have what I’d paid for and he still sneakily slid on cover that I didn’t want nor need.
Same attempt by a different company in Ireland caught before I signed – sat nav for £100? I think not.
Read the print and question the numbers
If you’re flying Ryanair or a similar budget airline, familiarize yourself with the rules and hidden fees before you arrive at the airport. I once forgot to print my boarding pass ahead of time and was smacked with a hidden $80 fee.
If you go to Bangkok and are on the way to the grand palace, you will encounter very friendly guys falsely telling you that the grand palace is closed due to some ceremonies. They are very friendly and are good salesman. They offer to take you on a Tuk Tuk ride to other temples for a really good price. On the way to these other temples the Tuk Tuk driver will be very friendly and tries to win your trust.
After the second temple or so, he will start talking about some great promotion for a tailor that makes custom made suits, or about some promotion of emerald sales and will eventually drive you to one of those places and if you refuse to buy anything the friendliness changes. The Tuk Tuk driver will just take you the next temple and then disappears after you paid him.
How to avoid this scam: Be very suspicious of very friendly Thai people around the grand palace telling you that the grand palace is closed. The best is probably just to say thank you and not get involved into any conversation with them.