Traveling isn’t rocket science, but it can get pretty complicated fast, so it’s best to be prepared for everything. Falling into tourist traps are easier than you could imagine and people all over the globe are more than happy to take your money. Tourist traps are ancillary businesses usually surrounding an already busy attraction that offer no actual insight or advantage. Basically, they are ways to con tourists into spending money they do not need to spend.

Avoiding these traps will make your vacation more enjoyable and save you money in the long run. Wasting money while on vacation is a bummer, so we devised this easy plan to avoid tourist traps.

Research
What’s the best defense against anything, research? I was a boy scout and we were taught to always be prepared and this lesson has served me well so far. Search the internet for the attractions and destinations you wish to visit and find out what you should and shouldn’t pay for. Always ask locals and your hotel concierge for recommendations, so you can avoid traps and touristy situations.

Where are the Locals?
First thing I do when I get to an attraction is look for locals because they don’t get scammed and rarely fall for tourist traps. You just don’t see locals in Times Square in NY or at the Acropolis in Athens, they avoid these popular destinations like the plague. If you see locals at a restaurant, chances are the place is good, that is the perfect litmus test.

 

Stay Away from Tourist Zones
Where you book your accommodations will weigh heavily on your vacation experience. Touristy zones tend to be more expensive, have less overall charm and generally are not realistic examples of the city. Why stay in a tourist trap when you can experience the city like a local and truly get the most out of your travel. This is why I love using shared economy services like Airbnb and VRBO (Vacation Rental By Owner) because they give you a more authentic adventure.

Multiple Translations
If you see something advertised using multiple languages (more than 2) then chances are it is a trap. These are translated multiple times so it has the widest range of people that will see it.
It’s like fishing, the more bait you put out, the better your chances are of attracting a bite.

 

Barking Dogs Bite
I’m not talking about literal dogs, instead, I’m talking about people outside of attractions or restaurants barking or yelling to attract customers. Think about it, when you go to your favorite restaurant at home, s there a guy out front yelling about deals? Of course not, because that is a crazy thing and an obvious sign that you are falling into a trap.

Countries That Rely on Tourism
If a country solely relies on tourist dollars the chances of you getting an authentic experience are pretty low. These countries, usually Caribbean and Asian are quickly becoming tourist traps and losing their own identity. The global tourism economy is eroding countries character and uniqueness.