Business & EconomyVacation Budget Busters: How to safeguard your finances while traveling abroad

Vacation Budget Busters: How to safeguard your finances while traveling abroad

Vacationing in foreign lands is a dream come true, but it often comes with a price tag. Yet, even the most diligent budgeters can find their funds drained by crafty scams while abroad.

Here’s your guide to avoiding common travel scams and ensuring a smooth and scam-free gateway.

Gift Scams – You’re strolling through the streets of Montmartre in Paris, and suddenly, a friendly street vendor approaches and ties a colorful bracelet around your wrist, insisting it’s a cherished gift.

But here’s the catch: Once the bracelet adorns your wrist, they demand payment. Justin Albertynas, a seasoned travel industry expert and CEO of the hotel booking site Ratepunk advices “Firmly say ‘no thank you’ and keep walking. Don’t let them begin tying the bracelet.”

Taxi Scams – Across Asia, unwary travelers find themselves in a taxi, only to discover that the meter remains stubbornly off, replaced by an exorbitant flat rate quoted by the driver. Albertynas advises, “Always insist on using the meter. If they refuse, find another taxi.” Don’t let unscrupulous cabbies take you for a ride.

More travel scams while on vacation

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Currency Switch Scam – When exchanging your money on vacation in foreign lands, watch out for the currency switch scam. Albertynas explains, “When you hand a larger note, the person might quickly switch it with a smaller note, insisting you gave them the wrong amount.” Protect yourself by “always being attentive during money exchanges and confirming the denominations out loud when handing money over.”

Photo Favor Scam – While admiring iconic sights, a seemingly friendly local offers to take your photo, and you gladly hand over your camera. However, your smile fades when they demand money to give it back. “Politely decline offers from strangers to take your photo or ask someone whom you approached first,” advises Albertynas.

Fake Police Officer Scam – An unnerving scam involves criminals impersonating police officers. Edmund Jenkins, a travel expert at Time To Backpack, warns that these impersonators may demand to see your passport or wallet, accuse you of fictitious offenses, and even threaten arrest if you don’t comply. His advise is to remain calm, ask for identification, and if they refuse, calmly walk away.

By staying alert and informed, you can enjoy the wonders of the world without falling prey to cunning scams. Travel smart, travel safe!

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