Mitzi Ilagan | PinoyTrekker.com
Now that more people have been squeezing in numerous travels on their monthly plans, it’ll be no surprise that some would prefer spontaneous trips. These trips could either be over prepared or not that prepared at all because of spontaneity. If you do not know how things work around the place you will visit, chances are, some people would take advantage of you. Here are samples of travel scams that you need to avoid especially when you travel alone.
- Fake travel agencies
This is one of the travel scams that has been rampant around social networking sites today. They post engaging and tempting tours which could be insanely cheap so you’d take their offer. But when you send in your deposit, they won’t respond anymore.
How to avoid this: Look for pages with good reviews, including the experiences of the customer. It’s never wrong to have doubts if the offers are too cheap. Try asking for referrals or recommendations from real people so you’ll know which one’s legit.
- Taxi blues
It’s not a new issue. Some cabs, especially those lined up at our airport, take advantage of our kababayans who recently landed in our country. They charge ridiculous fares even when the destinations are just nearby, as they reason out that it is really the basic rate, and that the traffic’s bad (at any time of the day).
How to avoid this: If possible, have someone pick you up at the airport. You could also use booking apps such as Grab and Uber for more reliable price rates. Don’t fall for the drivers’ words because there have been social media posts reporting their overpricing already.
- Overbooked accommodations
Definitely there are lots of hotels and accommodations in most of tourist and vacation spots. Some travelers choose not to book ahead because of uncertain schedule, so they just opt to search for an accommodation when they arrived at the place. There are people who usually end up booking with agents who are staying in stopovers. These agents usually say they offer discounted published rates but in reality they have commission rates.
How to avoid this: Prior to your travel, make sure to do a research on the place you’re travelling to, including the accommodations. Also, if you’ll received offers with cheap rates, try to canvass first and compare offers to get the most out of your stay.
If you’re used to getting planned tours or packages, you haven’t probably noticed that sometimes DIY trips could be less expensive. Some packages say that they offer freebies such as entrance fees, food, or materials, but in fact, they just add the rates for other activities or fees.
How to avoid this: If you have time to do so, create your own itinerary and plan. You could compare your itinerary with the ones online to see which is better.
- Laglag/Tanim Bala (Bullet Planting)
This has been one of the worst problems that the country has been known for. Some say that the airport employees are the ones who insert bullets inside the luggage. The owner of the luggage would be stopped from boarding, of course, so they’d get the chance to extort money so that they could avoid the hassle.
How to avoid this: Make sure that your luggage is properly sealed. Keep an eye on them as they pass through the scanners.