A man who has visited more than 170 countries has revealed some of the cleaning holiday scams tourists should be aware of.
Tony Wheeler first started traveling back in 1972 with his partner Maureen Wheeler.
The duo later created Lonely Planet, a travel bible with just 1,500 copies – which led to 150 million guidebooks.
Despite selling the company back in 2011, Mr Wheeler and his wife still travel the world, circumnavigating the globe 50 times.
And during his travels, he's picked up a few tricks along the way — and has set up some tricky vacation scams that vacationers should be aware of.
If you find yourself stopping in Bangkok on your Southeast Asian adventure, stay away from the gem dealers and carpet sellers—many have a tacky reputation in Thailand.
„Those Thai gemstones are absolutely genuine and not worth what you're going to pay for them,” Tony wrote. Sydney Morning Herald.
„And while Thailand is far from the only place where you can pay more, carpets are a good trap.”
Sellers will also ask you to follow them to „my brother's shop” or „my friend's place” to make the sale a little more authentic.
Politely decline their services because you'll be paying a bank-breaking price for the commission.
Thailand is far from the only place where you can pay more
Tony urges holidaymakers to drill into the country's rule book before you take to the air.
He continues: “The rules are constantly changing, which I discovered when I arrived in South Korea a few months ago.
„Last time I found out I needed a K-ETA – a Korean Electronic Travel Authorization, similar to an ESTA for travel to the US.
„It went through a lot of online confusion and cost me $12.50, but K-ETA was on hand and at the last minute, the Koreans dropped the requirement. I didn't get a refund.”
Another motif for fraudsters is preying on the honesty and integrity of travelers.
„I was using an underpass to cross under a busy street and as I was climbing the steps on the other side a well-dressed man, clearly in a hurry, brushed past me and dropped something on the steps,” the expert recalled.
„What do you do, a helpful bystander? You yell at him that he dropped something and reach down to pick it up for him, right?
„But when my fingers touch the fallen object, I feel what it is – banknotes – my hand pulls back and I step on it.
„The next thing I fall into the trap is that the dropper will be back on me and his partner—oh, he's lurking at the top of the steps—will soon back up his claim that I alone will. Half the ruble back in the stock.
„Things get sticky quickly.”
Lonely Planet's auteur tops the list by urging motorists renting a car abroad to be vigilant when locals offer their services.
„We're driving a rental car from Nairobi, Kenya,” Tony begins.
„At a traffic light in a small town, a boy near my window reports that something is wrong with my car, that oil is coming out of the rear wheel.
Things will soon get sticky
“Oh man, I blew the wheel bearing oil seal on the rear axle.
„Luckily there's a garage around the corner where we can leave the car and grab a coffee or some lunch and they'll bring it to us.
„Half an hour later we'd fit a new oil seal – only $100 – and all would be well.
„What's the truth? There's no oil seal failure, the boy's partner just dumped a cup of oil on the back wheel.
„”Fixing” is just a matter of washing away the oil.”
It comes as travel experts reveal why holidaymakers need to book their summer getaways now if they want a bargain.
If you've been dreaming of booking a summer vacation, don't wait any longer because you could be missing out on great deals.
People planning summer are being urged to act now to escape to sunny beaches and blue seas.
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A hotel that waits until the last minute to book your flights can leave you out of pocket.
The money-saving website's travel experts recommend buying your tickets in January instead, if you want to get the best deals.
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