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Top 5 Holiday Scams

Anyone can be a victim of fraud at any time, but while you’re on holiday you may feel a little more vulnerable than you normally would. Here are a few tips to help you feel more secure, while you’re away.

1. Passport Security

Once you’re checked in at your hotel, put your passport in the safe and leave it there. That’s the best advice we can give you.

It can be helpful to make a few copies of your passport information pages. It’ll make things easier if the worst happens and you need to report your passport lost/stolen or you need to approach the local UK Embassy for assistance.

2. Taxi Scams

You’ve all heard that some taxi’s have a tariff for locals and another for tourists… well, there’s not much we can do about that, but here’s a few things you can do, to avoid paying eyewatering taxi fares.

If possible, source your taxi from your hotel or another trusted intermediary and agree a price before you get in, if you don’t like the price then move on to another cab.

Haggle before you get in. Now, this won’t always go down very well with your driver, but if you don’t ask, you don’t get.

Don’t fancy haggling? Try taking a bus or a train, it’s usually cheaper and you’ll get to see sights and scenery that might be off the well beaten tourist track.

3. Pickpockets

They’re everywhere that people are, so it can be hard to avoid them completely but there’s no need to be easy prey.

Only carry what you need, chances are you won’t need all of your currency or your passport at all times, so leave what you don’t need in your hotel safe (we can’t emphasise this enough).

If somebody is trying desperately to get your attention, chances are there’s something in it for them, it could just be ticket sales for a local excursion, but it could be a diversion while someone skims your money/phone/passport out of your bag.

And talking of bags, keep them in front of you and keep them closed. If you’re using a backpack, try buying a lock for your zipper, that’ll keep them out.

4. Excursions

Do your research before you go, don’t wait for the hard sell of the Welcome Meeting.

Holiday Reps are often working on commission, and dependant on their selling style, you may well feel a bit of pressure to sign up to whatever they’re selling.

If you’ve done your homework, and you’ve found an excursion with a bit of wow-factor, then have a look at the providers direct website on the lead up to your holiday, you’ll often find discounts and offers.

5. Counterfeit Goods

Now, this can be a bit of a delicate issue…

While we don’t condone the buying or selling counterfeit goods, if you’re desperate for a ‘Goochie’ handbag or you’re searching for some ‘Roy Bans’ then you’ll have no problem finding something from street sellers in almost any busy area. But, bear in mind that these are often poorly made and probably won’t survive until the trip home, so we’ll leave it to you to decide.

And lastly, if you’re buying any toys, sunscreen or over the counter medicines it’s worth remembering that they won’t necessarily adhere to the standards we have in the UK, so quality is by no means guaranteed.

If you’re not yet insured for your holiday, or you have any questions about what your Direct Travel policy covers in the event of fraud, give one of our friendly team a call on 0330 880 3600. We’re here Mon - Fri 8.30am - 6pm. Sat 8.30am - 5pm. Sun 10am - 3pm.