Common scams when traveling to Eastern Europe

First off, I came accross an article on that talked about towing scams. This made me think about all the scams that happen while traveling, hence how this article came about. Most of the European cities are relatively safe with violent crimes being uncommon. The biggest European cities are actually safer than most of their counterparts in the United States. Eastern Europe is, however, a little different from the western part. The rapid growth of tourism in the countries in that region led to a rise in the number of scammers. These often try to earn a living by tricking the many tourists that frequent the countries. In this article, we will look at the most common scams that face tourists traveling to that part of the continent.

scams brochures on table


Scams in the bar

In Eastern Europe, there are many beautiful and innocent-looking ladies who are used as bait by scammers. One of the most common scams involves being approached in the streets by several girls with a map. These girls pose like fellow travelers looking for direction. They pick a conversation which leads to one of them suggesting you go for a few drinks at a bar. Once you head there, after a couple of drinks they disappear leaving you with a fat bill to pay. To avoid such scams, never accept such an invite from any girls in the streets no matter how good they look.


Currency conversion

Eastern Europe has many money exchange spots that look so legitimate until you try them. Many of these spots are scam dens. The spots have big signposts claiming to offer real exchange rates without commissions. Once a traveler gets to the counter and gives their money, he will receive different news. The traveler learns that the exchange rate advertised is strictly applicable to over a given amount of money. Exchanging below that (which most people will) not only subjects one to high commission fees but also a very low exchange rate. When exchanging currency, therefore, avoid brand or outlets you are not conversant with. Also, inquire about the rates before giving out your money.


Boarder scam

This scam commonly happens in Eastern Europe because most boarders are not as open as it is in the European Union. Scam artists often pose as border guards to extort money from travelers. One example is the border connecting Bosnia and Croatia. Here, there is a building and a gate that looks deserted. Once tourists cross, they are asked to stop and thus accused of trespassing. They will ask for your passport which you won’t get back unless you pay an exorbitant amount. If you find yourself in this situation, never hand over your passport. Instead, report the incident to the police.


Click here to see another of our informative articles on traveling for less internationally.

Travel internationally for less

Everyone enjoys travel. Taking the needed trip for a vacation in a new place whether with family, friends or alone is awesome. Other people enjoy everything associated with traveling regardless of the reason, as long as they are on the move. One constraint for most people is however costs associated with traveling.

Consider your budget when picking the destination

travel on a budget sign

Don’t start by looking at where you want to go then searching for flights within a given budget. Instead, take that process and invert it. When you make the price as a third priority in your search process, you will end up with expensive flights. In case you have some flexibility with the time and places you would like to tour, research on a cheaper destination in the given timeframe.

Of importance, is also considering the economic status of the country you are planning to visit. Determine the exchange rate that you will get for your currency. Factor the conversions of your currency into the decisions you will make. The time you decide to travel will also have an effect on more than the flight cost. Traveling during peak tourism seasons and weekends will be more costly. You may, therefore, think of traveling during off-peak periods to enable you to save money.


Research for cheaper flights

You will have won half of the battle when you get a cheaper flight during your travel plans. Booking a flight can be stressful if you are not looking in the right places at the right time. Using flight search tools can help you get different price offers for the places you are interested in. Looking through an airline website might cause you to spend more than the intended. The airlines will usually not advertise the best deals on their website. Try doing that through third party websites instead. The third-party websites will do the work for you and identify the airlines with the best deals.


Travel together to cut costs

While solo travel has its own advantages, group travel is very helpful in cutting costs. For example, you can split costs for items such as rental cars, accommodation, and food. Traveling alone in a car is not economical such as preparing meals for one. Doing so in groups of four will help split costs and make the trip cheaper. Couples traveling together can also save on costs using a companion ticket. Many establishments usually have offers for couples traveling together. For example, you may only need to pay some things for one and enjoy a free treat for the spouse.


If you’re traveling internationally for an extended period of time, read this article for some information.



Lessons from Long-term travel


There are several articles written on the benefits of long term travel internationally as well as locally. They include opening you up to new experiences, enabling you to appreciate different people and settings. In short, traveling is good for individuals and teams, therefore, there is no need to stress on that.

The duration that people take on trips vary. While most people make short travels, there are those who travel on a long-term basis. Many travelers get the desire to take their travel experience to a new level. This can mean trying out long-term travel rather than several short-term travels. Long term travel has a long list of benefits as well. This article will focus on experiences and lessons from such travels.

Always set a time limit


Long term travel watch to keep track


It is always tempting to go on a long vacation without setting a time limit. This is not a good idea to try. It is important to establish how long you are going to stay on the trip. This involves the specific durations you plan to spend at each destination. Also, set the overall length of the trip you are planning. Doing so is vital when you are determining your budget and what you will need for the journey. Having a time frame will ease planning and ensuring your trip is seamless.

Be mindful of accommodation

When going for a long-term trip, always take some time and think about accommodation. Hotels may serve you well every other time but that sometimes lack when it comes to long-term travel. Hotels are a suitable luxury when doing short-term travels. For longer durations, however, they become ridiculously expensive. Getting an apartment can be a better option for long term stay as far as cost saving is concerned.


Learn a new language during your long-term travel

We cannot underestimate the value of learning the local language in the country you are visiting. Often, we pick a few phrases from the most basic words. The basics might just be enough if you are staying briefly. For longer stays, they are not as useful thus you may want to learn more of the language.

It is never easy to learn a new language. Furthermore, the ease with which people learn a new language varies. That notwithstanding, you have to lean. This is going to help improve your communication with the people around you. In addition, it is going to open other opportunities for you. With better communication, you will be more involved with the locals. You do not have to be proficient in the language, you only need to be in a position to hold a conversation with the locals.

For a different perspective and additional information, check out Hostel World’s article.