Travel Rip-offs to Avoid

Make your travel dollars go further by detecting and avoiding these expensive slip-ups

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Don’t waste money on costly rip-offs when you travel

Travel is notoriously expensive, so be aware of unnecessary extra costs that turn a trip from pricey to unaffordable

Don’t let the price of a trip get out of hand due to sneaky add-ons and foreign scams. Watch out for common practices that will leak money out of your pockets.

Extra Baggage Charges

Firstly, be aware of excess baggage charges. Know what the airline luggage weight limit is and get yourself a luggage scale. Over-packing can cost you anywhere from $50-250 extra dollars. Also, some airlines will charge you an extra $30-50 per kilo over the limit.

Seating Charges

Many people consider seat selection charges to be a rip-off. Unfortunately, it’s hard to find an airline nowadays who ‘doesn’t’ charge for this service. There really isn’t a way to avoid this. Essentially not shelling out that extra 30 to 40 dollars may mean that honeymooners flying economy could spend their flight in different rows. Not very romantic!

Unofficial Taxis

The next thing to watch out for are unofficial taxis. They make their money through unstated charges, longer routes and by shortchanging passengers. Check to see if the taxi is marked and if there is a visible license.

Tourist Restaurants

Another rip-off you’ll encounter is the pricing at dining establishments in tourist areas. There are usually major mark-ups in these areas because people will eat there out of convenience. You might have to bite the bullet once in a while, but whenever you can, try to eat where the locals do. Not only will it cost you less, the food is usually much better.

Food Add-ons

When in restaurants – especially in Europe – be aware that items you assume would be free, like bread or mineral water, will be offered to you and will then show up on your bill. If you are unsure, gently refuse any items you did not ask for.

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Claire Newell is the travel media expert for Global BC, host of the travel series Operation: Vacation, best-selling author, spokesperson, wife and mother of two. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.