How to Tell if You're Being Ripped Off in a Foreign Country | American Travel Blogger
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How to Tell if You’re Being Ripped Off in a Foreign Country

Traveling abroad is always an adventure, but unfortunately it’s not an adventure without its potential pitfalls and dangers. One of the biggest dangers to watch out for when you are in a foreign country is being scammed or ripped off. Here are some of the biggest scams to keep an eye out for when you are abroad. 

Exchange Your Money Ahead of Time

One of the biggest scams that can be easily avoided when you’re in a foreign country is where and when you exchange your money. Although it can be tempting to do this at the airport out of convenience, airports usually offer the worst rates, and you’ll end up losing money by making your exchange there. Instead, shop around for the best deals, and even cross-check the current exchange rate online from your phone.  

Watch Out for Taxi Scams

When you’re in a foreign country, it’s likely that you will have to travel by taxi at some point, even if it’s just to or from the airport. However, many taxi drivers take advantage of tourists by overcharging them for rides. You can avoid this when traveling from the airport by only getting in a cab that you are directed to by airport officials. You can also opt to use Uber or Lyft in many foreign countries, which will help you completely bypass the risk of being overcharged.

If you want to avoid scams from transportation completely, you can also look into cheap used cars to rent while you’re traveling, especially if you are going to be abroad for a while. 

Do Your Research on Hotels

One of your biggest expenses when you’re traveling is going to be your lodging: your hotel, your Airbnb, your hostel, or wherever you choose to stay. Many overseas hotel owners realize this and choose to hike their prices to rip off unsuspecting tourists. You can tell you’re being ripped off by simply doing some research online – scope out local hotels in the area and compare prices ahead of time. The internet will be your best friend here.

In addition, if a hotel isn’t listed on the internet, then you probably don’t want to move forward with booking it anyways! When it comes to hotels, a great rule of thumb is to always double, or triple-check your options. Use review sites like TripAdvisor to confirm the hotel exists and look up recent reviews to confirm that it had recent visitors. The last thing you want is to arrive at your booked hotel to see that it no longer is in operation! 

Investigate Your Credit Card Company

While there are many external factors that are culprits for being potentially ripped off in a foreign country, there are also some very avoidable internal culprits you should be aware of as well. For example, when you travel abroad, you will need a reliable debit or credit card to make purchases. However, according to many leading credit card companies will “make you pay a surcharge of about 3 percent when you use your bank card to make purchases in a foreign country.” You can avoid this unnecessary charge by setting yourself up with a credit card that won’t ding you on overseas transactions or penalize you with fees. 

Traveling abroad can be a wonderful, memorable experience. Make sure it’s memorable for the right reasons by protecting yourself from getting ripped off with these tips. 

Victoria Brewood
vbrewood@gmail.com

Although very much British, Victoria always felt like she was meant to be living the 'American Dream'. She loves the US and has travelled to over 14 states.

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