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News, Interviews and recommendations from High Spirit Bags.

 

Filtering by Tag: avoid tourist traps

How to Avoid Being a Victim of Theft in Greece

Josh okungbaiye

While Greece may currently have economic troubles, it remains as one of the most popular holiday destinations. Here are a few tips on how to avoid pickpockets in Greece.

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1)    Remember not to hang your belongings, including your handbag on the back side of the chair in restaurants, especially ones near the beach as they tend to be really crowded and the perfect spot for pickpockets to act.


2)    When sightseeing and taking photos, make sure not to get too distracted from your surroundings. Make sure to keep your belongings close to you in order to avoid anyone taking advantage of your hands being busy.


3)    Avoid leaving your belongings on the beach without constantly keeping an eye on them. Pickpockets love going to the beach in summer due to the high volume of tourists and therefore things to steal.  Do not leave them in sight, try and hide them under your towel or clothes.


4)   As many tourists enjoy renting a car when travelling around Greece, if you are one of them do NOT leave your bag on the seat next to you when the window is down as a pickpocket may stick their hand in when you are stationary.


5)   Lastly, beware of any scooter or bike noises coming up behind you as they may ride as your side and attempt to steal your bag or belongings. Furthermore, they may even snatch the whole bag if they are travelling at a high speed.

Safe travels!

Nicole Fernandez Medina

10 Easy Tips and Tricks to Avoid Tourist Traps

Josh okungbaiye

When visiting a country you want to take in the culture, the food and the entertainment to create positive memories. Sometimes your positive experience can be tainted by tourist traps. Tourist traps are establishments or businesses solely for tourists where they overcharge you for things such as food, entertainment, souvenirs etc. They divert you away from cheaper, and more positive alternatives. Tourist traps are aware that you are a tourist and they are also aware that there is a high chance that you will not return. So they are simply after your money and care very little about giving you a positive customer experience. Tourist Traps are to be avoided, especially if you are travelling on a limited budget, but want to have the full experience of the country you are visiting. We know that some of you will be thinking of your travel plans for spring and summer so we wanted to help with your planning process. Tourist traps are everywhere, so to help you guys out we wrote 10 easy tips and tricks to avoid tourist traps. Here you go. Enjoy :-)

10 easy tips and tricks to avoid tourist traps

1.    Avoid High Season

If you want to visit a tourist destination, avoid high season. Usually this helps to avoid the dense crowds and also enables you to avoid long queues. 

2.    Use Public Transport

Figure out the metro or train systems. They are a lot cheaper for getting around. In highly populated tourist areas, taxis may overcharge for a short taxi ride, so if you want to avoid that, take a train, or bus to your destination. This will enable you to get a better insight into how the city works and will enhance your experience of the city. Also, if you are travelling with your high spirit bag, the antitheft zips against your back will take away an anxiety about keeping your stuff safe while you explore the city safely. As an added bonus, you will not need to worry about being caught off guard by pickpockets.

3.    Travel with Hand Luggage

Travel with hand luggage if you can. One thing to be aware of is that some taxis will charge extra for putting bigger luggage into the boot of their car. This is important to be aware of, especially if you will be getting a taxi ride from the airport to your hotel. When negotiating the taxi fare make sure there is an agreement on the fee before you get into the taxi. This takes away any possibility of unexpected fee charges. Also, before you arrive at your destination, find out the average price for a taxi ride from the airport to your hotel or the city centre. This is so you have that base figure in mind when negotiating the price with the taxi driver.

4. Avoid Restaurants near Tourist Attractions    

Avoid going to restaurants near tourist attractions, as these places will cost a lot of money. Also avoid the restaurants and bars that explicitly state that they cater to tourists. It is more than likely that they will overcharge and the service and quality will not be great. You can usually find quality restaurants on the side streets that are densely populated with tourists.

5.    Understand the Menu

Be aware of the menu costs. If you are not sure of how the costing works, it is best to avoid the restaurant all together. Some restaurants will overcharge on their service charge or charge by the weight of food or portion size rather than by a standard portion. Save yourself the extra stress.

6.   Plan, Plan, Plan

Plan before you leave for your destination. Get an understanding of how things are organised there. For example, are you required to tip? Are there any tollgates fees that you have to pay for in order to gain access to the city with your car? Etc. Remember that in some places you get free transport with your hotel, or a discount on travel tours. In addition, with your hotel you may also get a discount on restaurants, bars and entertainment. So take advantage of these when you can.

7. Book Tickets in Advance  

If there are any sites, museums or attractions you want to see that may require a ticket. It is best to book the tickets in advance, as it will be a lot cheaper and you will also avoid the long queues.

8.    Ask the Locals for Recommendations

Get recommendations from taxi drivers, security guards, doormen and the locals. The locals have a very good experience of their city so they will recommend their favourite places that will not be tourist traps. Just remember to be nice and friendly and they will steer you in the right direction.

9.    Ignore Hawkers and Touts. 

They will waste your time and lead you to places where it will cause you to waste your time, overspend and get a below standard experience. Always check beforehand to make sure you are getting the best deal.

10.   Understand the Local Currency

It is important to understand the local currency. Get familiar with the different coins, notes and their value. This is especially important if you are visiting a country where the conversion values are so vastly different. For example a meal in Bangkok, Thailand costs on average 800 Thai baht, but in dollars it is equivalent to about $25 dollars. The reason it is important to understand the currency is because sometimes some stores, restaurants, or bars will accidentally or even purposely give you the wrong change, which can you cause you to run out of your money faster than you expected. This very useful especially if you will be spending with cash during your trip. This seems so obvious, but it is often neglected and causes people to unknowingly lose money very quickly on their trip.

 

 

TOP 10 TIPS FOR FEMALE SOLO TRAVELLERS

Josh okungbaiye

More and more people are travelling solo as a way for self-discovery and character development. It's fantastic to explore and see what the World has to offer, but its important to stay safe out there. We know that for some of you, this may be your first time travelling to another country alone. Just to help you out, here are our top 10 tips for female solo travellers. Enjoy! :-)

(1) Only use Official Taxis

Check with the information point, the airport officials or hotel information point and find out where the official taxis are. Do not go into a taxi that you have not called for.

(2) Arrive in the daytime

Arrive in the daytime; there will be a lot more people walking around that can help you.  Also, trying to find your way around a city you have never been to is a lot less scary in the daytime.

(3) Learn the places to avoid

Research the city or country you will be visiting in advance. Find out which parts of the city are safe to stay in. Do not compromise your safety just to save money. Make sure you have travel insurance, take the taxi instead of walking at night. Be very vigilant and aware of your surroundings.

(4) Photocopy your travel documents

Losing your passport or flight tickets is a common problem and can ruin your vacation. To avoid this, make sure to have photocopies of your passport, flight tickets and any other important documentation. Put a copy, in your bag, in your purse, in your hotel room or have it saved in your phone. You never know when you might need it.

(5) Avoid giving away personal information

While travelling solo, you will meet a lot of interesting people. Remember to be vigilant and do not let strangers know what hotel you are staying in. Also, do not tell the person you are alone.

(6) Check out travel alerts

Check for any travel alerts in the country you will be visiting and look out for any alerts on wars or any other state of emergency situations. In addition, research the common crimes and scams in the country so you are well prepared and watchful.

(7) Dressing Requirements

Some countries are a lot stricter than others in terms of dressing. Before you travel check on the dressing requirements for that country or city and dress accordingly.

(8) Listen to the Locals

If locals or hotel staff tells you to not go to a certain area because it is dangerous. Do not go. In more nuanced situations, always follow your gut.

(9) Act Confident

Even though you may be unsure of yourself at times. Always act confident and assertive, it will make you less of a target.

(10) Let people know where you are

Visiting a new country or city is very exciting and you can get so caught up in the fun that you forget to update your