Photo of a taxi

It’s time to hack your life with travel hacks from Cover-More Travel Insurance. We’ve been around the globe and back again to bring you the smartest travel tips on avoiding scams.

Scams vary from country to country, but this comprehensive list will give you a look at how to avoid being taken advantage of, no matter where you travel. For more specific information, see our list of common scams by country:

Travel hacks for avoiding scams

  • Research exchange rates before entering the country. Common places for scam artists to prey are currency exchange kiosks. If the exchange rate looks too good to be true, it is. Often times scam artists will charge you hidden fees or steal money as they are handing it back to you. Stay away from places promising quick paydays.
  • Stay out of cabs without a meter. No matter where you travel, cab technology has become sophisticated enough to include a meter. If the cab does not have a meter, it is probably a scam designed to take your money. As best, you will lose some of your spending money, at worst cab drivers will act violently. These cabs are especially prevalent at airports, where they prey on tired travellers. Do you research on public transportation ahead of time and know how to leave the airport without a hiccup.
  • Don’t buy a timeshare if you are not explicitly planning to buy a time share. Timeshare salespeople offer outlandish rewards for sitting through short presentations, but often employ pushy sales tactics to get what they want. Even if they don’t steal your money, they will steal your time with sales pitches that often last hours.
  • Keep money and important items in your front pockets, with your hands on them at all times in crowded places. Pickpockets prey on tourists in nearly all cities. If you are in a crowded space, keep your hands on your belongings at all times and do not be distracted by any outlandish diversions.
  • Believe it or not, single men travelling alone are often victimized by local women in scam rouses. Locals usually befriend them and then stick them with a big bill. Avoiding these types of scams comes down to using your gut to determine who has good character and who does not. Listen to your gut instinct when interacting with locals.
  • Purchase travel insurance; while it can’t help you avoid scam artists, it can help you recoup your losses in the event you are scammed abroad.

Read our other articles in the Top Travel Hacks series to make planning your next trip easy and enjoyable.

Image courtesy of Flickr user Evan Blaser; cropped from original