Avoid holiday scams by emailing your hotel before you arrive


You should email your hotel before you arrive and always check the menu prices before sitting down to avoid being scammed on holiday.

We’ve revealed some of the common ways you could be conned out of your money – and how to avoid it.


Several tourists have been scammed by taxi drivers in recent years – a British tourist was charged $A105 for a 3.2km journey in Paris, while another couple were told to pay $A418 in Paris for a journey from the airport.

A Scottish couple were forced to fork out $A958 for a five-minute journey from a train station in New Zealand.

Lexi Alford, the world record holder for being the youngest person to travel to every country, explained why one email to a hotel before checking in saved her hundreds of dollars.

“Taxi drivers can be merciless as far as screwing you over, so you need to be very sure on exactly how much it’s going to cost and how long it’s going to take to go from A to B,” the 21-year-old told Bloomberg.

She explained how by confirming average taxi fares before you travel, you’ll have a good idea as to how much you should be charged.

“If you get to the hotel and the meter is unbelievably high, refuse to pay for it. Go inside the hotel and ask for help. And if that doesn’t work, tell them to call the police,” she added.

“If you say that, the driver will give up.”

As an alternative, many hotels will offer transfers for a set price, meaning you know how much you need to pay before you get in.

If they don’t offer this service, they can give directions and advice on public transport.


Another common travel scam is restaurants not mentioning prices on their menus – leading to a steep bill at the end of the meal.

Several tourists ended up paying huge amounts of money for often very small meals, with one man charged more than $A191 for a few snacks and soft drinks.

Before sitting down at a restaurant, it is always best to check the menu to see if the prices are next to the dish.

You should also check the small print, as some charge by weight for certain dishes – something a group of tourists found out the hard way after paying nearly $A767 for fish.


A common scam is fake travel agents or holiday providers asking you to pay them by bank transfer instead of by Paypal or credit cards.

Reasons they will give include they want to “avoid commission fees” or their Paypal account is not working.

People often fall for it when they offer prices much lower than advertised online.

But if you send money via bank transfer, you have no protection against fraud.

One woman was scammed out of $A9590 after finding out her Maldives holiday never existed, while actor James McAvoy admitted he nearly fell for a cheap hotel scam.

Which? Travel editor Rory Boland previously said: “If something seems too good to be true, it almost certainly is. Don’t hand your money over until you can be sure it’s the real deal.”


Tourists can also fall foul of currency scams.

Dodgy Bureau de Changes can take advantage of tourists not knowing how much they should get by either not giving them the full amount or by giving the wrong notes.

Consumer rights advocate Michelle Couch-Friedman previously explained: “Take time to look at the notes that you’ve got out so that you can really get to know them.

“It’s all too easy to hand over, for example, a 1000 note instead of a 100 when abroad if you’re not familiar with the colours and look of the country’s notes.”

A tour guide in Bali recently told off a Bureau de Change after he tried to scam one of his clients out of half of his cash.

This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission


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