6 tips to avoid being ripped off whilst travelling in South East Asia
This post is sponsored by Southern Cross Travel Insurance.
South East Asia is the perfect destination for Australian families. It is close so you don’t have the long flights with kids, the weather is generally good, the prices are cheap and the cultural experiences are phenomenal. But scams in South East Asia are rife. Here are six tips for safe travels for your family.
Agree on prices before you get your wallet out
Bargaining is a huge part of the experience of travelling in South East Asia. Whether you are at a market in Bangkok or a shop in Bali, if you pay the starting price you are getting ripped off. If you show your hand, i.e. how much money you have in your wallet, you will almost certainly pay more than you would otherwise. Try not to keep too much cash on you at any time, or at least separate it across different parts of your bag/wallet or you may become a target for pick-pockets or thieves.
Nothing comes for free
That nice man offering to carry your bag at the airport is almost certainly going to ask you for money before he will give your bag back to you. Those local kids who posed for a photo for you outside a local attraction will probably ask you for money as a “model fee”. In many of these countries with a strong tourist industry, there are people ready and waiting to take advantage of tourist generosity and naivety.
Trust your instinct
If it feels too good to be true then it probably is. You can’t buy a genuine designer handbag for $50. You aren’t going to come across an amazing business opportunity by talking to a random local in the street. If your gut is telling you that something isn’t right, listen to that because it is probably right.
Take out travel insurance
Travel insurance is vital for protecting yourself if the worst does happen. If you can’t afford travel insurance, then you can’t afford to travel, so get a quote for comprehensive travel insurance to protect your family.*
Before you travel, read up on what your policy covers so that you know what to do if you need to make a claim. Keep a printed copy of your policy with you in case you don’t have access to the internet while you are travelling.
Register with Smart Traveller before you go
This is not only vital for ensuring you can be contacted in the case of a major incident in the country you are visiting but also because there is loads of information about scams in different countries and how to avoid them. Smart Traveller is run by the Australian government so includes the most up to date information for tourist safety in South East Asia and other regions across the world.
Don’t travel blind
You can hop on a plane to Melbourne or Perth without knowing anything about where you are going and still get around completely fine. When you are travelling to a different country, particularly one in South East Asia where the culture is so different, you need to do plenty of research on your destination before you go. Read blogs, ask friends and check out travel guides for the lowdown on what to do and what not to do to keep yourself safe and ensure a successful holiday.
Stay safe and happy travels!
This article is sponsored by Southern Cross Travel Insurance. All opinions and content remain my own.
*Terms and conditions apply. Please read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS), including Policy Wording for more information.
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