There’s nothing worse than being duped or feeling misled, is there? It certainly shakes your confidence and makes you question your ignorance. As visitors to a foreign place, no matter how experienced (or inexperienced) you may be, the act of preparation is a must. The notion of dashing all responsibilities to the wind and hopping on a plane is romantic, sure! But the reality is that it is more important than ever that women take the initiative to gather information about their dream destination before landing.
Before we get into it, a forewarning… yes, traveler scams are real and they do happen, but by no means should you feel scared or hesitant to travel because of them. We believe that women, just like men, should feel informed and empowered for their adventures. It’s important to note that the likelihood of being scammed is small, but taking the time and effort to avoid them is the smartest thing any traveler can do.
Here’s how to stay informed on popular traveler scams – so you can avoid the headache!
Register Your Trip on STEP
Have you heard of STEP? It’s a free service that U.S. citizens traveling abroad can enroll in with the local embassy/consulate they’re traveling to. It’s a safe step so that your itinerary and visit is on record!
Research Common Scams
Do your due diligence and heavily research common travelers scams, especially ones specific to your destination. You’ll be amazed at what you find! That being said, don’t let these scams scare you from visiting your destination!
Know The Details
Being cognisant of the details of your trip will make you feel informed and in power. That means, knowing the specific routes you will take, tickets you’ll need, directions from public transportation, the name of the host you’ll be meeting with – all of it! The more you know, the more confident and empowered you’ll be.
Don’t Be Afraid To Ask Questions
Ask trusted locals you have interactions with for their experiences traveling around and throughout your destination. Many times, we take our curiosities to the internet to find answers. But, we miss out on a huge opportunity to connect with locals and hear their first hand experiences and tips/tricks. Ask the concierge at your hotel for recommendations and do’s/don’ts, ask a host or a tour guide their tricks… they’ll point you in the right direction and you have the unique chance to get to know someone new.
Being Informed = Being Empowered
At the end of the day, remember that being informed is the biggest step towards empowering yourself as a traveling woman. Being aware of potential risks is an unfortunate step of the process, but one that is critical both practically and emotionally.