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News, Interviews and recommendations from High Spirit Bags.

 

Filtering by Tag: tripadvisor

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.

 

TOP 10 FESTIVAL HACKS

Josh okungbaiye

Festival season is upon us. Epic music festivals will be happening all over the World. In the spirit of that we decided to share with you our Top 10 Festival Hacks. See below. Enjoy! :-)

(1) Make your tent stand out

Make a huge flag to attach right next to your tent (it could be a huge beach towel attached to a nearby pole). Alternatively you can attach really bright balloons to your tent so you will be easily able to find your tent.  If you can’t be bothered with the extras, try and get a really colourful tent that helps you stand out from the crowd.

festival tents

(2) Pick a spot

Try to get to the festival as early as you can so you can claim your spot. Make sure it is a spot that is on higher ground. This is to protect your tent and other stuff from getting flooded if it rains heavily. In addition, pick a spot close to something that is memorable so you and your friends can use that spot as a checkpoint just in case you lose each other in the crowds.

music festival

(3) Keep some emergency cash

Not all the shops and food stores in the festival grounds will accept credit cards, so just in case have some cash hidden in your phone case. This hack will also help you to avoid waiting for hours in a queue to use the cash machine.

(4) Bring a reusable water bottle

Bring a reusable water bottle. Bottled water can be so expensive at festivals and you are going to need water to stay hydrated. So to save some money bring a reusable water bottle so you can fill it up at the taps that will be available.  Also, remember that you will be on your feet a lot of the time so there will be times you will be hungry. As a quick solution, bring snack bars, nuts and bananas.

drink water

(5) Carry your Anti-Theft Backpack

Having your anti-theft backpack will always help in keeping your stuff safe from theft and loss while you are out and about enjoying the music and getting lost in the crowds.  This will be very useful for those that don’t want to leave certain important things behind in their tent.

festival tips

(6) Toilets

The queues for festival toilets can be really long, so locate the nearest restaurants and cafes near to the festival and go there instead. Some of the local businesses nearby will have toilets. Due to the fact that you will have your festival wristband, you will be able to come and go as you please. This will give you the opportunity to use the toilet in a less crowded and cleaner environment.

(7) Use Airplane Mode

Setting your smartphone to airplane mode will help your battery save more energy, especially while you are using Snapchat and taking pictures. You will still be able to upload all your snaps and images to social media once you are connected to the Internet. Remember to save that battery energy.

Please Note: Don’t forget to bring a battery pack for your phone.

 (8) Carry a pillowcase

Carrying a pillow will take up too much space in your luggage.  You can simply make a pillow by stuffing a lot of your clothes into your pillowcase and…voila! You have a pillow.

(9) Carry a rubbish phone

By having a non-smartphone (that only calls and texts) you can use that phone as a back-up/emergency phone just in case your smartphone runs out of battery and you need to call your friends or home.

(10) Leave Early

Make sure you wake up really early so you can pack all your stuff and leave the location before it gets extremely crowded with everyone trying to leave. Try and make a swift escape.

music festival fun

TOP 5 HOTEL HACKS

Josh okungbaiye

Here are our top 5 hotel hacks to help you guys get free upgrades, discounted rates and additional perks during your hotel stays abroad. Enjoy! :-)

1.    Twenty Dollar Trick

As far as we know, this only works in selected Hotels in Las Vegas. If you happen to be travelling to Las Vegas definitely try it and see what happens. Sometimes it will work, sometimes it won’t. This is what you do:-

When you arrive at check-in, you provide your debit/credit card and ID and put a $20 bill in between the cards very discreetly and give it to the check-in staff. As you do this, ask if there are any upgrades available. If they find you an upgrade they keep the $20 bill, if not, they will simply decline and give it back to you. If successful, you could get a king size room with an amazing view and indoor Jacuzzi. It’s definitely worth a try.

view

2. Offer to write a review

It helps to mention that you are on TripAdvisor as you check-in. You can also offer to write a review of your experience. In response, you may get extra special treatment or even an upgrade from the hotel.

3.    Use the Do Not Disturb sign for security

If you are staying in a cheap hotel or hostel and unsure about the safety of your belongings, leave the ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign on your door when you go out; this will deter intruding thieves by giving them an indication that you may be in your room (even though you might not). This sign is effective in helping to keep your stuff in your hotel room safe from intruders and will give you some peace of mind while you are out and about exploring the city.

new york

3.     Call the hotel to speak to Hotel Manager or the Front Desk before you arrive

If you have stayed at the hotel before mention it. As an effort to ensure you come back the Hotel Manager may give you a special offer or special perks as a reward for being a regular customer.  If it is your first time staying at a particular hotel do not hesitate to ask for additional perks.  If it is a special occasion, anniversary or a birthday, mention it. If you don’t ask you don’t get. People underestimate how much power hotel staff have, they have the power to upgrade for free or for a good rate to make your stay even more enjoyable..

4.    Be Nice

Being nice and friendly can go a long way in getting extra perks during your stay.

singapore