8 Popular Travel Scams You Should Know About

Don’t let these clever scams ruin your vacation.


Animal Photo Ops

Getting a photo with an elephant or camel is big with tourists. Their trainers will usually offer $15 photo-ops on the camel’s back in front of iconic places like the great pyramids in Cairo. Yet once you’ve mounted the 8-foot tall beast and taken your photo, the trainers will demand another $15 just to get off. They’ll hold you hostage up their until you pay up– scary! Or they’ll offer to take a photo of you with an animal, but then demand a photography fee give you your camera back. Be wary of animal trainers or photographers offering photo ops, there’s usually a caveat. Plus, you can be sure that the animal was stolen from its family in the wild, trained using torturous techniques, and is not a happy camper.

8 Popular Travel Scams You Should Know About

Greedy Monkeys

In places like Bali and Costa Rica, monkeys (or rather, their captors) have good taste and love fine things. These brazen cute little primates have been trained to snatch your valuables before you can blink an eye and say “WTF?” Of course, some experienced locals will be happy to retrieve your loot for you –for a small(ish) price. Instead, find a staff member of some kind to help you out. Or better yet, keep your smaller goodies like sunglasses secured in your bag and away from any pesky mammals if you’re going somewhere with monkeys around.

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5

Avatar of Sarah Woodstock

Sarah enlightens us on a daily basis with the newest trends as (and often before) they transpire. She is the consummate globe trotter. Having traveled to over 70 countries, she earns her living writing, blogging ( and modeling while on the road. In her spare time she gets manicures, suntans on yachts in Greece, shops for even more shoes, and lives in the limelight. She loves photography, elephants, sailboats, bangles and ballet flats.

Reader Discussion: 128 Comments

  1. Avatar of Claire Martinez

    Claire Martinez

    I would just add that in a lot of countries, taxi drivers are just charging a lot more because you’re a tourist and they’re aware that you don’t know the prices there. So ask a local to book your taxi or someone that knows the country very well.

  2. Avatar of Sandra Walling

    Sandra Walling

    There was this kind cab driver, and I ask for his phone number so that I can easily contact him when I need I ride. He has been my driver for almost 2 years now 🙂

  3. Avatar of Mary Shirley

    Mary Shirley

    Those crazy CD bullies! It happened to me, one time. I threw his CD back to him! I was like, Dude, I don’t even know you!

    • Avatar of Mira Kent

      Mira Kent

      Haha! I love your come back to that dude! ?

  4. Avatar of Bernice Miles

    Bernice Miles

    You should always have phone records in case of emergencies. Aside from your phone contacts, you should have a phone book.

  5. Avatar of Cindy Simon

    Cindy Simon

    Oh, scammers! They’ll do anything just to have some easy money from people. Why don’t they just find a decent job!

  6. Avatar of Sharon Novak

    Sharon Novak

    Paris. This is a sad news to read that there are a lot of scammers in the city of love 🙁

  7. Avatar of Delores Mullen

    Delores Mullen

    I’m sad by those fake baby scams. You’re going to help that lady and yet they’ll be taking advantage of that kindness that you’ve shown.?

  8. Avatar of Ann Amos

    Ann Amos

    I’ve never liked traveling alone. I can travel alone as long as the trip will be by a group. I prefer that than being alone, by myself, in a strange place I don’t know.

  9. Avatar of John Lineberger

    John Lineberger

    I’m gonna share this with my girlfriend because she and her family loves to travel. It’s better to know about this and be careful than be sorry at a later time.

  10. Avatar of Donna Mack

    Donna Mack

    Poor camels! Those Egyptians should be the one who’s TAKING CARE of them since they’re making use of them.

Load 10 more comments

Join in the Conversation! Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Urbanette moderates and edits comments for grammar and to facilitate an informed, substantive, civil conversation. Abusive, profane, promotional, misleading, incoherent or off-topic comments will be rejected. Please use your full name. Moderators can only approve comments written in English.

All content is strictly copyright. Contact us for permission.