What are some tourist traps to avoid

Safe on vacation: this is how you can avoid frequent tourist traps

Vacation time is relaxation time! But just then, when the mood has reached its peak, many holidaymakers fall into curious tourist traps and the well-deserved holiday feeling is gone. Many travelers have to deal with nasty tourist tricks and scams again and again during their vacation.

checkfelix, Austria's most popular travel search engine, has therefore put together ten particularly curious scams and gives holidaymakers helpful tips on how not to piss off the crooks.

“At checkfelix, we not only want to help our users to find the right offer for their trip, but also to make the journey as easy and relaxed as possible for them. That's why we took a closer look at the most common and curious tricks used by fraudsters so that holidaymakers don't fall into the trap and can enjoy their stay to the full, ”says John-Lee Saez, Regional Manager at checkfelix.

Ten curious tourist traps and scams

Tourist trap # 1: The monkey scam in Bali

Those who visit the numerous exotic temples and sights in Bali can often look forward to the company of gray long-tailed macaques. You can have a lot of fun with the cute monkeys, but you should be careful of the fluffy primates. Children's gangs have specially trained some of the little monkeys to steal handbags or jewelry from tourists.

As soon as the hairy thieves have disappeared in the treetops of the temple complexes, children selflessly agree to pluck the stolen goods from the tree again for a small fee. Unfortunately, the "small fee" is often anything but small and the whole show is a popular scam. Among the tourist traps in Southeast Asia, this is one of the most common.

Our tip: When visiting temples in Indonesia, tourists should always carry their valuables close to their bodies and keep a close eye on the little monkeys.

Tourist trap # 2: Supposed tourist discount for culture lovers in Rome

A visit to the venerable St. Peter's Basilica in the smallest state in the world, the Vatican, is of course an absolute must for Rome holidaymakers. On the forecourt of St. Peter's Basilica, dozens of tour guides vie for the favor of holidaymakers, advertise a wide variety of tourist attractions and sell tickets for all kinds of tourist magnets.

Some tour guides are even offering holidaymakers the world-famous Vatican tour at a greatly reduced price - countless tourists don't want to miss this bargain, of course. The problem: Admission to St. Peter's Basilica is free and the tour is fictitious.

Our tip: Vacationers should find out about the entrance fees and opening times before visiting popular sights. In this way you avoid the risk of being ripped off by fake tourist guides and you might even find a limited online offer.

Tourist trap # 3: Sweet "surprise" in Morocco

The Kingdom of Morocco, a state in northwest Africa, is known for its multitude of great spices and year-round mild climate - but also for some tourist traps. Hardly any tourist misses a visit to the market while on vacation in Morocco to buy unique souvenirs for loved ones at home or to stock up on local herbs or spices.

However, quality control is definitely appropriate for the bargains. It has already happened to one or the other tourist that he bought a whole bucket of honey at bargain prices. The scam: Unfortunately, honey lovers only found stones under a thin layer of honey.

Our tip: You should always be careful with culinary souvenirs. It is helpful to find out about the import and export regulations of the respective country before starting your journey and at the same time to find out about the common scams in the travel destination.

Tourist trap # 4: "The papers please" in Bulgaria

Every year numerous tourists in Turkey and Greece are stopped and checked when they are in transit through Bulgaria because of various traffic violations. The courteous officials inform the holidaymakers objectively about their violation, collect the fine directly on site and the matter is thus settled. The problem with this: Bulgarian police officers are generally not allowed to collect any cash for traffic offenses.

The friendly officials are disguised scammers who relieve uninformed vacationers from their cash. Of course it's illegal, but it's also a very common tourist trap.

Our tip: Tourists who are checked by the police in Bulgaria should always show their ID card, write down the official's service number and never pay in cash in the case of traffic offenses.

Tourist trap # 5: ripped off in Thailand

A cozy dinner on one of the famous white sandy beaches in Thailand is an absolute must for many travelers. Numerous restaurants and bars cavort along unique promenades and almost magically attract tourists with unbeatable cheap offers.

A particularly common scam in Thailand is to engage tourists in an intense conversation when paying so that they cannot control their change. So it can quickly happen that holidaymakers leave the restaurant, although full, but a few baht easier. Among the tourist traps in the world, this one is one of the boldest.

Our tip: Vacationers should always take enough time to pay and carefully check and count the change.

Tourist trap # 6: The tourist masquerade in Barcelona

Barcelona visitors naturally want to learn as much as possible about the numerous sights such as the famous Park Güell, the Sagrada Familia or the Casa Milà. And where could you find out more than a tour guide? However, vacationers should take a very close look at the other participants.

The trick with the local fraud gangs: the crooks only disguise themselves as vacationers, mingle with the tourist groups and thus get unnoticed at the valuables of the unsuspecting vacationers.

Our tip: holidaymakers should always be very vigilant in unfamiliar surroundings and always keep a close eye on their immediate surroundings and valuables.

Tourist trap # 7: unexpected refreshment in Venice

After a strenuous sightseeing trip, there is hardly anything nicer than having a little refreshment in a shady spot, completely relaxed. A particularly nice place for this is St. Mark's Square in Venice. Hundreds of vacationers settle down every day under the inviting parasols of the numerous cafes to enjoy an espresso and Italian specialties.

Few people are aware, however, that this decision will most likely be more expensive than expected. The problem: Many cafés charge almost twice as much for refreshing drinks as soon as the drink is not consumed at the bar but at the coffee table. If you sit outside, you will often be asked to pay for the background music from the orchestra on St. Mark's Square.

Our tip: vacationers should study the menu cards very carefully before going to the café so as not to fall into hidden tourist traps. Often, however, you have to search very carefully for the note, as it was printed extra small.

Tourist trap # 8: The clumsy team in Tenerife

For many tourists, extravagant shopping tours are simply a part of their vacation. Large shopping centers and gigantic malls invite you to almost limitless shopping pleasure. During the course of a shopping trip it can of course also happen that a passer-by asks whether you can change a coin for the shopping cart. As soon as the money has been changed, the shopping fun can go on. As soon as the vacationer enters the next shop, the passer-by stumbles impressively in the entrance area.

The vacationer helps the helpless clumsy, the unhappy fallen thanks and says goodbye and both go their separate ways. Unfortunately, with the clumsiness, your own wallet also says goodbye. The scam behind the rip-off: The "coin changer" has peeked out the tourist's wallet, while the stumbling trick leads to a moment of unrest and the wallet is fished out of the tourist's pocket. Very creative, very nasty and certainly one of the meanest tourist traps ever.

Our tip: keep all valuables tightly closed in a bag at all times. When on vacation, it is always advisable to keep your valuables as close to your body as possible.

Tourist trap # 9: Two are better than two in Budapest

A nice dinner in a Budapest restaurant with a direct view of the Danube, cozy music and excellent food - this is how many Budapest vacationers end an eventful day in the Hungarian capital. Of course, after an excellent dinner and great service, you want to show your appreciation with a decent tip.

The joke about it: Many restaurants in Budapest have already added a 10 percent “service charge” to the total bill. Tourists who do not know this often tip twice because the waiters do not point this out to them. This may not be one of the worst tourist traps, but it is a meanness nonetheless.

Our tip: Tourists should always look at the bill before paying to check whether they have already paid a tip. If you want to thank the waiter for the extraordinary service, you can of course give an additional tip.

Tourist trap # 10: The (un) catchy souvenir: Paris

No Paris holidaymaker is guaranteed to want to miss the impressive landmarks of the city of love. Whether Montmartre, the beautiful artists' quarter in the heart of Paris, the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame or the Sacré Cœur - Paris has a lot to offer. However, numerous crooks are also aware of this. Young souvenir sellers position themselves specifically in front of the popular tourist attractions and literally try to wrap the holidaymakers around their fingers.

First the traders engage ignorant vacationers in a short conversation, knotting a braided fabric bracelet around the wrist of the perplexed tourist in no time at all. The fabric bracelet is tied so tightly that it can no longer be removed. In the next step, the dealers demand a hefty price for the accessory.

Our tip: holidaymakers should simply ignore the sellers and, if necessary, just quickly put their hands in their own pockets to avoid tourist traps like these.

Tips from the State Department: How to Avoid Tourist Traps and Scams

“As a rule of thumb, the less you know a country, the more you should inform yourself about it. You should only change money in banks or exchange offices, not buy souvenirs in the backyard and only book holiday activities through official tour operators ”, according to the Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs.