There’s nothing quite like a trip on foreign land. You get to explore new places, soak up gorgeous sights, expand your horizons and experience a heap of exciting moments. Everything seems picture-perfect until you fall into one of those tourist traps.
The truth is, there are tons of people who make a living scamming naïve and inexperienced travelers. Luckily for you, we’ve got tons of tips to help you avoid these tourist traps.
Take public transport
Taking public transportation is indeed a sure-fire way to escape the tourist traps when traveling. Most can’t-miss destinations have amazing public transit, so there’s really no need to blow your money on car rentals and cabs. Take the train or subway.
And, when in doubt, go for a walk. It’s inexpensive and gives you a lot of local flavors as well. Even better, there might be some surprises you’ll stumble upon.
Skip the popular and touristy spots
If you’re visiting a tourist spot or landmark, you should look for restaurants, hotel, and shops that are a bit far from it. The further you are from the main tourist spots, the more authentic your experiences are.
And, since they are less popular than their mainstream counterparts, they most likely treat you better and serve you better food. As an added bonus, they are inexpensive.
Travel during the offseason
Sure, it’s fun and exciting to explore the hottest travel destinations, but certainly not on the peak seasons. When you travel during the peak season, you should expect seas of tourists and a whole heap of headaches.
Moreover, traveling during the peak season increases the likelihood of falling prey to con artists.
That’s why you should go for off-season trips. All in all, it will be less chaotic and more peaceful. Free from the crowds, it also lets you explore the place at your own pace.
Do some research and read guidebooks
One of the best and most effective ways to avoid a tourist trap is to do a lot of online research. While some travel guides are a bit biased, there are plenty of personal travel blogs that provide realistic reviews.
Spend some time reading tips on community forums on sites like Lonely Planet and TripAdvisor. Likewise, you can read the country or local city subreddits to find out which attractions and tourist traps to avoid at all costs.
And, don’t forget to check out translations and familiarize yourself with the common phrases. It will definitely come in handy when dealing with the locals of the area.
Watch for translations
If a restaurant or attraction is advertised in Mandarin, Spanish, French, and English, there’s a big possibility that it’s a tourist trap. Mainstream restaurants and activities that try to appease everybody normally don’t go an excellent job at appeasing anybody.
So, look for places that are solely advertised in the country’s primary language. For instance, Italian restaurants in Pisa with Italian menus are more likely to be authentic than their multilingual counterparts.