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News, Interviews and recommendations from High Spirit Bags.

 

Filtering by Tag: travel guide

10 Travel Scams to Avoid

Josh okungbaiye

Although travelling can be an exciting time, there are always some who take advantage of our vulnerability when on holiday. Here are a few scams to look out for.

vienna travel

 

1.     Taxi overcharge

 

This is considered one of the most common travel scams out there. Either the driver will tell you there is no meter or that it’s broken and attempt to charge you a huge rate. in order to avoid this scam, you must know how much the ride should be. This can be found out by asking the accommodation you are staying at. Furthermore, never get inside an unlicensed cab as they tend to attempt to negotiate the rate at high prices.

 

2. Games

 

If you see people on the streets playing games including cards or hiding a ball under a cap, do NOT attempt to play as you will never win. Those people are professional scammers who will always attempt to take your money at any opportunity.

 

3. Free Bracelets

 

Most common in Europe, this scam involves a friendly person approaching you for a chat then wrapping a bracelet around your wrist. They will claim that it’s free and sometimes even let you off to do your thing before reproaching you to attempt to charge you for it. Keep insisting you are not interested, don’t let them even place the bracelet on you, its a trap.

 

4. Closed Accommodation

 

Although it may seem silly to fall for such a scam, when travelling to a new country you are often more guidable than not. This scam involves cab drivers insisting the accommodation you have booked is no longer open and instead they will take you to another place for the right price. Don’t believe a word they say and keep insisting on your destination.

 

5. The Fake Petition

 

Usually, while visiting a tourist attraction, you will come across a woman and a child pretending to be a student, asking you to sign a petition. They will not tell you what its for, and if they do they will make up some donation excuse and request money. In order to avoid this scam, the best thing to do is avoid them or insist you have no money to give, they will give up and move on to someone else.

 

6. Flirtatious Male or Female

 

Many times, especially if you are a male, you will be approached by an overly flirtatious woman or man looking for you to spend you money on her or take you out. There have instances where men and women have fallen or this scam; the woman or man disappears and you are left with a couple bucks in your pocket.

 

7. Spill On Your Clothes

 

Although accidents are common, when a ransomer spills something on you, more often than not you need to be on your guard. This scam involves pickpocketing when you are least paying attention to your surroundings.

 

8. Found Ring

 

Someone will approach you on the street asking if you dropped a ring. They will then later point out that it’s real gold and attempt to sell it to you for a “good” price. Although easy to fall for,

don’t. It’s too good to be true!

 

9. Wrong Change

 

When travelling to countries with different currencies, some people may take advantage of tourists who are unaware of the correct amount go change they are due as they trust those handing them the money. To avoid being scammed, count your change carefully every time you make a purchase.

 

10. Unofficial Tour Guides

 

There will often be random people nearby your accommodation or touristic attractions who will claim to be official tour guides. Although easily mistaken for, you need to have specific training and licenses to be able to give official tours. Unfortunately, there are some people willing to create false identities in order to convince you of their authenticity and take your money. Make sure to ask your accommodation staff where you can find official tour guides for your destination.

 

How to Avoid Pickpockets in Bali

Josh okungbaiye

Considered one of the most Instagramable places in the world, Bali has become one of the top tourist destinations. However, in order to successfully post those jaw dropping photographs; taking precaution for pickpocketing when sightseeing is a must. Here are a few ways to avoid pickpocketing in one of the most beautiful destinations in the world.

bali



1)    Although most of us have the notion that pickpockets strike at night, in busy tourist spots or on any form of transport, the reality of it is that they can be found anywhere. One place you must take special care with is when visiting places where money is being retrieved or exchanged such as banks, currency exchange booths. Of course, popular pickpocket zones also include plazas, festivals and places where there are large crowds. In order to avoid pickpocketing, keep your money close to you, avoid keeping it all in one place such as your bag or wallet; and always, always close your bag properly.

2)     Avoid conversation. The majority of the time, pickpockets will create distractions to catch tourists off guard. Although you may think all pickpockets are of older age, the reality is that they may be disguised as children. Don’t be fooled into their cuteness; while they are luring you in, one may be slipping their tiny hands into your pocket or bag. If a group of children or adults seem to be approaching you, avoid eye contact and move away as quickly as possible.

3)    Whatever you do, do NOT keep your phone or wallet in a vulnerable place such as your back pockets, jacket pockets and especially not in the front pockets of your backpack. If you must keep your wallet or purse in your trouser pockets, keep them in the front as they are harder to access. Another tip is to attach a chain or rubber band to them in order to minimize retrieval.

4)    Yes, it’s hard not to show off that new luxury jewellery you just purchased, but in order to avoid it being stolen, store it in a secure place such as a safe provided by the hotel. It’s best not to flash your status in order to avoid calling attention to yourself.

5)    Lastly, avoid carrying any unnecessary baggage. By packing only the essentials, you avoid pickpockets attempting to steal form the large quantity of bags you are travelling with. If you must carry a backpack, ensure it is an Anti-Theft backpack with no outer compartments for the pickpocket to target. Alternatively, you can carry a small cross body bag for easy storage and access of your smaller valuables.

So overall, be smart, follow this guidance, think practical and have a most of all, have a fantastic time on your holiday!

Nicole Fernandez Medina

Top 10 Tips for Travelling as a Vegan/Vegetarian

Josh okungbaiye

(1) Learn Useful Phrases

This tip is very important when you are travelling to countries where English is not the national language. You will have to learn some phrases such as ‘I do not eat meat, fish or cheese.’ 

Saying that you are vegan or vegetarian in the local language is not enough. In some cultures veganism and vegetarianism is still a new concept, so you will have to be extremely clear on your dietary requirements. Keep in mind that in some cultures, refusing to eat someone’s food can be seen as offensive. When requesting a vegan or vegetarian meal in the local language please be apologetic and polite and they will be happy to help you.

explore the city

(2) Find Local Vegans

Before travelling to your destination, do your research on the Vegan and Vegetarian community in the country or city you are visiting. See if there are any events happening where you can meet other vegans that can further help you enjoy the local cuisine in the vegan/vegetarian way.

(3) Pack Your Emergency Food Stash

While you are out exploring, vegan and vegetarian snack options will not always be readily available. In response to this, we would suggest for you to carry around granola, dried fruits, or energy bars. So when you randomly get hungry you can quickly grab one of your snacks. In addition, always ensure you pack up a larger stash of vegan/vegetarian snacks in your luggage as back up.

Bonus Tip -

Pack a snack or two for the flight. Don’t rely on plane food, as they most likely will not have vegetarian or vegan options in their menu.

(4) Research Vegan Restaurants at Your Destination

Look up the vegetarian restaurants and cafés in your destination. There are apps/websites such as Happy Cow or Vegan Passport. These apps/websites give you a full comprehensive list of vegan restaurants in your destination.  In addition, the online platforms also have honest reviews, so this will give you a clearer idea of which restaurants to visit during your trip.

travel the world

(5) Check Vegan/Vegetarian Options with Hotel

When booking accommodation remember to check to see if they provide any vegan/vegetarian options in their menu.

(6) Book Accommodation with a Kitchen

If you want to have more control over your vegan/vegetarian options. You can book apartments or hotels with kitchens. You can book this type of accommodation through AirBnB.

This will give you the opportunity to shop for your favourite ingredients and it will enable you to have more control over what you are eating. You can also pack some food for when you are going out.

Bonus Tip:- If you are going to be cooking often during your trip, you may want to book accommodation near a supermarket.

vegan food

(7) Book a Vegan Friendly Hotel

Alternatively you can find vegan friendly accommodation if you want the full vegan/experience. In the hotel it is very likely that the guests will also be vegan so you will have a greater chance of meeting new people that will share advice, recommendations and tips during your trip.

(8) Be Clear and Ask for what you want

When you visit a restaurant. Please be aware that you do not have to order what is on the menu. The chef can create a vegan/vegetarian dish for you according to your request.  Please ensure that you are nice, respectful and polite and they will be happy to help you out.

vegan snack

(9) Eat Little Amounts Throughout the Day

Get used to eating small amounts throughout the day. Fruits, nuts, vegetables always take food with you. This will keep the hunger away and keep you satisfied.

(10) Get Involved In the Culture

Before booking your trip ensure that you research the all the national local vegan/vegetrarian dishes and make sure you try them all. See it as one big adventure and remember to fully enjoy the moment.

travel fun travel girl