Tuesday, October 25, 2016 Edition: U.S. & World | Regional

10 Ways to Steer Clear of Tourist Traps

There are many pleasures in this world but very few compare to discovering other people and their ways of life. Your decision to tour an unknown place is laden with the desire to connect with the place and its people but, without appropriate caution, you may end up as a square peg in a round hole and at the end of your visit, feeling like the whole adventure has been a waste of your time and money. So, how do you avoid tourist traps, places that draw you in with a feel of reality but that are just avenues to extort you?



Don’t just mingle and associate with fellow tourist when you get to your destination. In fact, the most fundamental thing to do is to separate yourself from the other tourist and mingle with the locals. Know their favorite hangouts and frequent such places. In no time, your heartbeat will be one with the area.


Be skeptical

Many tourist traps offer kingly treatment to tourists in particular with extreme methods. You should realize that if something sounds too good to be true, it most definitely is. When everything is offered you in a single menu, ignore it and find someplace else. Tourist traps can be avoided if you refuse to blow the tourist alarm on arrival.



There are many things happening in the community with which you can be involved, this is one of the quickest ways to get in touch with the cultural and social landscape of a place.


Shop like locals

When you become attracted by the loud ads of tourist-centered shopping malls, you will buy mediocre goods for exorbitant prices. Rather, find out how the locals shop and follow suit.


Judge the book by its cover

When you enter a restaurant and what wafts is a stale odor, run! There are some cases where judging the book by its cover is the only way to avoid tourist traps. By all means, do so.


Use your Legs

Goodness gracious! It’s tour time and you want to taxi the time away? Of course not! Separate yourself from the tourist mass that are driven to the milking parlor. Trek to destinations or cycle there. Don’t just zoom your way through, feel your way through.


Ask around

As long as you are not intimidated by the language barrier, you can always make enquiries when your stutter is combined with a smile. Ask about the life of the area and you will receive plenty of free advice and information.


Beware of one size fits all offers

When a product or service is made to appeal to all the tourists, you should know it will be of little value to most. The best services have a defined market and it isn’t marketed to “everyone.”


Ditch the Map

Create your own map, get lost if you can; you will find and be found. Don’t see yourself as a tourist, rather, be an explorer.



Buy them at local shops that aren’t tourist-specific. You will find items that are much more authentic and evocative of the local culture there.

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