Going on holiday should be stress-free and enjoyable. Unfortunately, some sneaky folk out there are all too keen to rip off holidaymakers so here is our guide to the top 5 travel scams to avoid.
5. Fake Property Owners
Looking for your perfect holiday home should be an exciting activity and the start of your holiday. Booking directly with property owners can be risky though so be aware of the increase of scammers posing as property owners with beautiful villas on ‘direct to owner’ holiday rental sites. You should never be asked to hand over credit card details, or send cash or a cheque to a personal account without verification that the property exists or that the property owner is genuine. Find out more about how Panoramic Villas can guarantee your holiday here.
4. Online Passport Applications
Applying for a passport online is not a problem if you apply directly through the government approved site. However, a number of 3rd party sites have cropped up that claim to help speed up your application and make the process easy. Don’t fall for this! These sites just charge you £72.50 for the renewal fee (the same amount you pay if you use the approved site or apply for a renewal on paper); they then send the forms to you filled out but you have to pay the same amount again to send these back and apply to the passport office. So essentially you pay twice, have to hand over personal information to an unregulated company and the process is not quicker! Find out more about this here.
3. Fake Property Maintenance Staff
You’ve arrived at your holiday villa; you are feeling chilled out, absorbed in your holiday book or just soaking up some rays. There is no need to lock the villa up or keep the gate shut in a friendly holiday resort surely? Wrong! Crooks posing as villa cleaning staff or pool cleaners can wander into the house at any time, pocket your cash, phone or laptop before making a sharp exit. If you are lay by the pool make sure the back of the villa is locked up. If your property is gated keep this closed and do not allow anyone into the property unless you have been previously informed by the property owner or management company.
2. Pick Pockets
Tourists are always an easy target for experienced pick pockets. If you are heading out for a night out while you are on holiday make sure that you are aware of where your money or valuables are at all times. After a few drinks everyone lets their guard down and pick pockets are only too pleased to take advantage of this. Try not to carry large amounts of cash, if you have to split your money into different pockets so that it is not altogether. Avoid putting money into your back pockets and ladies, take out an across-body bag rather than one that can easily be snatched off your shoulder.
1. Airport Pick Ups
Before you land in your holiday destination do some research on how much it should cost you to get a taxi from the airport to your chosen resort. Better still; arrange airport transfers beforehand with a reputable company like Transfers del Sol on the Costa del Sol. Local taxi drivers have a habit of taking the long way round or driving down unnecessary roads to make you believe the journey has taken longer or to get the meter up to a higher price. If you must get a taxi make sure you agree on a price before you set off from the airport.