The Top 10 Scams In Thailand And How To Avoid Them

If you’re going to Thailand now or at any time in the future this list below will help you to avoid the top 10 scams in Thailand.

We all love to travel, for some of us it’s in our blood. There is a wanderlust that takes over and calls to us.

We dream of seeing far off distant lands while meeting new and interesting people.

But, no one wants to get scammed, we don’t want to get taken for a ride and fleeced of our money or belongings.

Yes, Thailand is relatively safe. Heck, it’s safer than some places in the United States. However, every place has its bad side. There is no perfect place you can go that’s nothing but sunshine and rainbows.

Thailand is no different. The vast majority of the people are incredibly warm and welcoming. They don’t call it the land of smiles for nothing.

Before you go there take a little time and learn as much of the language as you can. You’ll be absolutely amazed what a little effort in speaking to them in their native tongue will do. Even if you hack it up so bad you wonder if they can even get the gist of what you’re attempting to convey, they will greet you with smiles.

The locals really appreciate the effort and once you show you’re trying they will help you with your Thai, help you solve your problem, buy what you need or find the right directions.

The Thai people are awesome.

However, just like anywhere you have some bad apples. Most of the scams are physically harmless, they just want to get some money and see you as being rich.

99% of the Thai people would never scam you, but, there is always that one you have to watch out for.

The Top 10 Scams In Thailand And How To Avoid Them

  1. The Tuk Tuk Scam

Tuk tuk drivers are everywhere and there are virtually no regulations on them so it’s nearly impossible to tell the good ones from the bad.

Tuk tuk scams usually involve taking you on a tour where you’re told it will be all palaces and temples.

In reality you get taken to jewelry stores, tailors and other merchants he’s made commission deals with.

If you tell them no, that you don’t want to stop there, they give you a song and dance about how it will just be for a minute while he uses their phone to call home about his sick kid or another excuse to get you to go in there.

Once inside, they pressure you into buying something,

The best way to do this is not to go inside. Tell him that if he has a sick kid to give you your money back and you’ll find another tour driver so he can go be with his kid.

Never give them all of the money up front. Give them half up front. If they don’t like it find another driver. There are tons of them.

The other Tuk Tuk scam is taking you out to the edge of town and demanding a high price to bring you back. If this happens just tell him that you’re not getting out of his Tuk tuk until he brings you back and you’re not paying another dime.

  1. The Grand Palace Scam

This is pretty simple.

When you go to the grand palace in Bangkok there are two gates for entrance. One is for foreign visitors and the other is for Thai residents only.

When you go up to the resident gate you’ll get denied entry by the guards who don’t tell you why, they just say go away.

You’re then approached by a guy who says that the grand palace is closed today until much later.

But, lucky for you there is a special tour going on today only and he has just the tuk tuk driver to take you there.

You then get taken to all the shops or to the outskirts of town as in the scam #1 mentioned above.

  1. The Spilled Product Scam

Here you’re just walking down the street and a lady bumps into you spilling here rice all over the ground.

She then asks you to pay for it and the price she wants is 10 to 20 times the real price she paid.

The way to avoid this is to know the local price of things and offer to pay her that price only.

You could tell her to take a hike, but she will be carrying on and wailing quite a bit.

She will have only spilled a kilo or so. In this case it’s better to give her the .60 cents and move on.

  1. The Taxi Scam

Here you go to get into a taxi and the driver informs you that the meter is broken.

He then says for you to just get in and that he’ll take you. Once there he asks for a super high price.

The way to avoid this is when they say the meter is broken just get out of the car.

They will always tell you ‘wait’. Then you negotiate a price in advance of how much the trip will cost and you can go or leave, it’s up to you.

  1. The Bird Poop or Mustard Scam

You’ll be approached by a friendly person offering to clean up something on your clothes (that they put there without you’re knowing they did).

While they are helping you clean up they and or their friends pick pocket you or steal stuff from your bags.

To avoid it, tell them NO when they offer help. If you do accept watch your stuff and put your bag around to the from to you.

  1. The Motor Bike Scam

You rent a bike, you have to give them your address and they come at night and take the bike.

When it’s time to return it, they make you pay for it.

The way to avoid this is to chain the bike up at night with keys you keep on you. Or park it inside a paid parking spot with security.

  1. The Jet Ski Scam

You rent a jet ski at a water resort town and before you leave they take pictures of you on the jet ski.

Everything looks fine, the jet ski looks great.

When you go out on the water the water-soluble paint they covered up all the scratches and dings with wears off and when you come back they show you that you damaged the just ski and they have the proof because they have your picture with it looking perfect.

The way to avoid this is to take a really wet rag and wipe down the front area of the jet ski very aggressively. If you see stuff coming off on your rag then you can walk away from the deal.

  1. The Baht Swap Scam

For the most part this is played out with 1,000 baht notes or higher. It just wouldn’t be worth it to them to do it for less.

You give them a note and they look at it very suspiciously and then go behind a partition or into the back room. They then come back with a fake baht note and hand it to you saying that this is fake and then tell you to be on your way.

There is almost nothing you can do. It would be very hard to prove anything and it’s their country.

The way to avoid this is to not let them leave with your money. Never let your money out of your sight.

If they insist, tell them no, collect your money and leave.

  1. The Empty Bar Drink Scam

You’re walking down the street and are invited into a bar. You go in and it’s now very populated at all and in many cases quite dimly lit.

A girl comes over and asks you to buy here a ‘lady drink’. You say sure, why not. Then her friend comes over and asks for the same thing. You agree. Then another and another start asking you all piling up on you rubbing you etc.

You aren’t even saying yes, but they are signaling the bartender that you are.

You’re then shocked when you get the bill.

The best way to avoid this is to only go into the popular places that are well lit and look legitimate.

  1. The Visa Problem Scam

The Thai Police stop you and ask to see your tourist visa. They then tell you that there is a problem with it and tell you to pay them a fine in cash.

The problem is, for a 30 day stay there is no visa required for U.S. citizens.

The way to avoid this is to ask to go to the police station and talk to their superiors about this. They will almost always back off, unless there really is a problem with your entry stamp or your passport has expired.

In Conclusion

As mentioned above, the Thai people are wonderful, you’ll really like them. But, no matter what country you’re in, be sure to keep an eye out for the scammers.

Then, please realize that most people in any country are not like that. It’s just the few jerks that make everyone have to be on guard.


77 Travel Quotes That Will Give You The Wanderlust

  1. “It was only when I started traveling that I finally met my life’s best friend, what a surprise to find that I had been there all along.” Patrick Shelley
Holidays under parasol at Andaman Sea
  1. “We travel, some of us forever, to seek other places, other lives, other souls.” Anais Nin


  1. “Travel is like adultery: ‘One is always tempted to be unfaithful to one’s own country. To have imagination is inevitably to be dissatisfied with where you live…in our wanderlust, we are lovers looking for consummation.’” Anatole Broyard


  1. “We travel not to escape life, but, for life not to escape us” Anonymous
Day Summer Europe History Travel Spain Valencia
  1. “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” St. Augustine
  1. “Wanderlust, the very strong or irresistible impulse to travel, is adopted untouched from the German, presumably because it couldn’t be improved upon. Workarounds like the French passion du voyage don’t quite capture the same meaning. Wanderlust is not a passion for travel exactly; it’s something more animal and more fickle – something more like lust. We don’t lust after very many things in life. We don’t need words like worklust or homemakinglust. But travel? Elisabeth Eaves


  1. “I beg young people to travel. If you don’t have a passport, get one. Take a summer, get a backpack and go to Delhi, go to Saigon, go to Bangkok, go to Kenya. Have your mind blown, eat interesting food, dig some interesting people, have an adventure, be careful. Come back and you’re going to see your country differently, you’re going to see your president differently, no matter who it is. Music, culture, food, water. Your showers will become shorter. You’re going to get a sense of what globalization looks like. It’s not what Tom Friedman writes about, I’m sorry. You’re going to see that global climate change is very real. And that for some people, their day consists of walking twelve miles for four buckets of water. And so there are lessons that you can’t get out of a book that are waiting for you at the other end of that flight. A lot of people — 8. Americans and Europeans — come back and go, “Ohhhh.” And the lightbulb goes on.” Henry Rollins


  1. “I’ve been homesick for countries I’ve never been, and longed to be where I couldn’t be.” John Cheever


  1. “We travel for romance, we travel for architecture, and we travel to be lost.” Ray Bradbury


  1. “Tourists don’t know where they’ve been, travelers don’t know where they’re going.” Paul Theroux


  1. “We travel, initially, to lose ourselves, and we travel, next, to find ourselves. We travel to open our hearts and eyes. And we travel, in essence, to become young fools again—to slow time down and get taken in, and fall in love once more.” Pico Iyer


Kerkyra Town in Corfu at sunset
  1. “Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends.” Maya Angelou


  1. “Now take the traveler and the tourist the essential difference is, the traveler don’t know where he’s going and the tourist don’t know where he is” David Lee Roth – Song: Lands Edge – Album: Your Filthy Little Mouth


  1. “Hiking – I don’t like either the word or the thing. People ought to saunter in the mountains – not hike! Do you know the origin of that word ‘saunter?’ It’s a beautiful word. Away back in the Middle Ages people used to go on pilgrimages to the Holy Land, and when people in the villages through which they passed asked where they were going, they would reply, “A la sainte terre,’ ‘To the Holy Land.’ And so they became known as sainte-terre-ers or saunterers. Now these mountains are our Holy Land, and we ought to saunter through them reverently, not ‘hike’ through them.” John Muir


  1. “Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life.” Jack Kerouac


  1. “If you wish to travel far and fast, travel light. Take off all your envies, jealousies, unforgiveness, selfishness, and fears.” Glenn Clark


  1. “Please be a traveler, not a tourist. Try new things, meet new people, and look beyond what’s right in front of you. Those are the keys to understanding this amazing world we live in.” Andrew Zimmern


  1. “There’s an opposite to déjà vu. They call it jamais vu. It’s when you meet the same people or visit places, again and again, but each time is the first. Everybody is always a stranger. Nothing is ever familiar.” Chuck Palahniuk


Malta at night
  1. “Nothing is yours except the essential things – air, sleep, dreams, the sea, the sky – all things tending towards the eternal or what we imagine of it.” Cesare Pavese


  1. “For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.” Robert Louis Stevenson


  1. “If you’re brave enough to leave behind everything familiar and comforting, which can be anything from your house to bitter, old resentments, and set out on a truth-seeking journey, either externally or internally, and if you are truly willing to regard everything that happens to you on that journey as a clue and if you accept everyone you meet along the way as a teacher and if you are prepared, most of all, to face and forgive some very difficult realities about yourself, then the truth will not be withheld from you.” Elizabeth Gilbert


  1. “Every city has a sex and an age which have nothing to do with demography. Rome is feminine. So is Odessa. London is a teenager, an urchin, and this hasn’t changed since the time of Dickens. Paris, I believe, is a man in his twenties in love with an older woman.” John Berger


  1. “All travel is circular. I had been jerked through Asia, making a parabola on one of the planet’s hemispheres. After all, the grand tour is just the inspired man’s way of heading home.” Paul Theroux


  1. “Travel changes you. As you move through this life and this world you change things slightly, you leave marks behind, however small. And in return, life – and travel – leaves marks on you. Most of the time, those marks – on your body or on your heart – are beautiful. Often, though, they hurt.” Anthony Bourdain


  1. “Travel is like love, mostly because it’s a heightened state of awareness, in which we are mindful, receptive, undimmed by familiarity and ready to be transformed. That is why the best trips, like the best love affairs, never really end.” Pico Iyer


  1. “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Mark Twain


  1. “No road offers more mystery than that first one you mount from the town you were born to, the first time you mount it of your own volition, on a trip funded by your own coffee tin of wrinkled up dollars – bills you’ve saved and scrounged for, worked the all-night switchboard for, missed the Rolling Stones for, sold fragrant pot with smashed flowers going brown inside twist-tie plastic baggies for. In fact, to disembark from your origins, you’ve done everything you can think to scrounge money save selling your spanking young pussy.” Mary Karr


  1. “A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.” Lao Tzu


  1. “Not all those who wander are lost.” J.R.R. Tolkien


  1. “No one realises how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow.” Lin Yutang


  1. “I am not the same having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world.” Mary Anne Radmacher


  1. “Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.” Terry Pratchett


  1. “The farther you go, however, the harder it is to return. The world has many edges, and it’s easy to fall off.” Anderson Cooper


  1. “The saddest journey in the world is the one that follows a precise itinerary. Then you’re not a traveler. You’re a fucking tourist.” Guillermo del Toro


  1. “Perhaps one day, tired of circling the world, I’ll return to Argentina and settle in the Andean lakes, if not indefinitely then at least for a pause while I shift from one understanding of the world to another.” Che Guevara


  1. “To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries.” Aldous Huxley


  1. “It had nothing to do with gear or footwear or the backpacking fads or philosophies of any particular era or even with getting from point A to point B. It had to do with how it felt to be in the wild. With what it was like to walk for miles with no reason other than to witness the accumulation of trees and meadows, mountains and deserts, streams and rocks, rivers and grasses, sunrises and sunsets. The experience was powerful and fundamental. It seemed to me that it had always felt like this to be a human in the wild, and as long as the wild existed it would always feel this way.” Cheryl Strayed


  1. “It is not down in any map; true places never are.” Herman Melville

  1. “Remember that although they may speak a different language, they are still the same kind of people as the folks you know at home, have the same mental processes, are just as kindly and just as friendly. Remember that, quit talking and start over again – in pantomime.” Wally Byam


  1. “Once a year go someplace you’ve never been before.” Dalai Lama


  1. “The ideal is to feel at home anywhere, everywhere” Geoff Dye


  1. “To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted.” Bill Bryson


  1. “Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” Ibn Battuta


  1. “A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles.” Tim Cahill


  1. “The gladdest moment in human life, me thinks, is a departure into unknown lands.” Sir Richard Burton


  1. “Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.” Gustave Flaubert



  1. “The man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait till that other is ready.” Henry David Thoreau


  1. “To awaken alone in a strange town is one of the pleasantest sensations in the world.” Freya Stark


  1. “Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all of one’s lifetime.” Mark Twain


  1. “Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” Andre Gide
  1. “The use of traveling is to regulate imagination with reality, and instead of thinking of how things may be, see them as they are.” Samuel Johnson


  1. “Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.” Anonymous


  1. “Stuff your eyes with wonder, live as if you’d drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It’s more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories.” Ray Bradbury


  1. “You don’t have to be rich to travel well.” Eugene Fodor


  1. “If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay at home.” James Michener


  1. “People don’t take trips, trips take people.” John Steinbeck


  1. “When overseas you learn more about your own country, than you do the place you’re visiting.” Clint Borgen


  1. “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” Helen Keller


  1. “Our happiest moments as tourists always seem to come when we stumble upon one thing while in pursuit of something else.” Lawrence Block


  1. “Traveling is a brutality. It forces you to trust strangers and to lose sight of all that familiar comfort of home and friends. You are constantly off balance.” Cesare Pavese


  1. “Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and enjoy the journey.” Babs Hoffman


  1. “He who would travel happily must travel light.” Antoine de St. Exupery


  1. “The more I traveled the more I realized that fear makes strangers of people who should be friends.” Shirley MacLaine


  1. “I travel a lot; I hate having my life disrupted by routine.” Caskie Stinnett
sunset in the sea
  1. “A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.” Oliver Wendell Holmes


  1. “I saw in their eyes something I was to see over and over in every part of the nation- a burning desire to go, to move, to get under way, anyplace, away from any Here. They spoke quietly of how they wanted to go someday, to move about, free and unanchored, not toward something but away from something. I saw this look and heard this yearning everywhere in every states I visited. Nearly every American hungers to move.” John Steinbeck


  1. “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” Neale Donald Walsch


  1. “Once in a while it really hits people that they don’t have to experience the world in the way they have been told to.” Alan Keightley


  1. “One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” Henry Miller


  1. “I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.” Susan Sontag


  1. “Travel is little beds and cramped bathrooms. It’s old television sets and slow Internet connections. Travel is extraordinary conversations with ordinary people. It’s waiters, gas station attendants, and housekeepers becoming the most interesting people in the world. It’s churches that are compelling enough to enter. It’s McDonald’s being a luxury. It’s the realization that you may have been born in the wrong country. Travel is a smile that leads to a conversation in broken English. It’s the epiphany that pretty girls smile the same way all over the world. Travel is tipping 10% and being embraced for it. Travel is the same white T-shirt again tomorrow. Travel is accented sex after good wine and too many unfiltered cigarettes. Travel is flowing in the back of a bus with giggly strangers. It’s a street full of bearded backpackers looking down at maps. Travel is wishing for one more bite of whatever that just was. It’s the rediscovery of walking somewhere. It’s sharing a bottle of liquor on an overnight train with a new friend. Travel is “Maybe I don’t have to do it that way when I get back home.” Nick Miller


  1. “Nobody can discover the world for somebody else. Only when we discover it for ourselves does it become common ground and a common bond and we cease to be alone.” Wendell Berry


  1. “Take only memories, leave only footprints.” Chief Seattle

Or the travelers creed – Take only photographs, leave only footprints.

  1. “Two roads diverged in a wood and I – I took the one less traveled by.” Robert Frost



  1. “Travel far enough to meet yourself” Cloud Atlas


  1. “Jobs fill your pocket, adventure fills your soul” Jaime Lyn Beatty





Interesting Travel And Vacation Destinations Ideas

Playa Del Carmen

Highly Accessible Vacation Spots You’ll Love To Travel To

Melbourne, Australia:
Melbourne boasts easy accessibility as a travel destination, with wheelchair-friendly public transportation, restaurants, and theaters. Special needs and traditional tourist alike may experience Melbourne’s beautiful parks, from small parks that come into development each year, to larger park locations and zoos. The Great Ocean Road permits gorgeous views of the Australian sights whilst keeping full accessibility for its tourists in mind.

Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Its Mayan ruins and archaeological sites are some of the best preserved in the world.
The tour guides in the area are actually worth it, because there is a real story behind the place. Your tour guides will be able to tell you what everything is, why it exists and what it means. For this spot, that is the real treasure, knowing why.
The hotels are well within walking distance to many of the attractions and Mayan sites, ideal for any visitor.



Off the Map (…Barely)
North Hamgyong Province, North Korea
Truly one of the most harsh and unyielding Communist regimes in the modern world, North Korea is not high on most tourists’ lists of ideal vacation spots. This, however, does not stop a tenacious handful of travelers from journeying to the capital Pyongyang, and to sites and attractions pre-approved for tourists. It is a destination of little romance but much intrigue for those capable enough to jump through the extensive red tape just to enter this infamous country.
It’s a pain to travel to, but worth it. You’ll never see a culture like this anywhere else.

Rub’ al-Khali, Saudi Arabia
If it is solitude and sand you seek as an adventurous traveler, the vast, flowing sand dunes of the Rub’ al-Khali desert are a perfect destination. Traversing across the desert takes at least 40 days on some routes, and the heat and dryness are perfect for more seasoned trekkers.
The tip to desert travel is to create your own shade. This means those desert hats your see with the flaps on them are there for a reason, they actually save your skin.
This is a beautiful region not to be missed.

Creatures in Their Lands of Fantasy
Romania – Den of the Werewolf
If the large, wild wolves of Romania weren’t enough to strike unease into the hearts of travelers, Romania’s history of myths and tales of the terrifying vârcolac (werewolf) should be.
Peasants and farmers in centuries past took every precaution against these mythical humanoid beasts to protect their cattle and families. Much wariness towards wolves lingers in Romania today, as their legends run deep in their blood.

The Coastal Region Of Mexico – Home of the Kraken
In Mexico and the seas from Central America to South America, the kraken has as much basis in reality as in legend. The giant Humboldt squid have been known to nibble on fishermen and sea-farers, feeding into fears and imagination until the island-sized kraken was borne of these tales, with an insatiable taste for human meat.

Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda
Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda

Wondrous Wildlife
Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda
This diverse, animal rich, and landscape intense park is the safari you’ve always imagined when thinking of the animal species, savannahs, swamps, and grasslands of the African continent.
There are vast stretches of land through which one can safari, and experience lions basking in the sun, hippos lumbering peacefully through a shallow stream, and the hundreds of bird flocks from the some 600 species present in the park.
The Kazinga Channel also offers a look at the reptilian and amphibian wildlife, rounding out the African experience with a wet and wild boat safari.

The Beginnings of Genius
Salzburg, Austria
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was a genius of the orchestra, clarinet, piano, flute, and countless other instruments, and had his humble beginnings in the city of Salzburg. The city boasts its Mozart Museum, built in the three story home that Mozart himself lived in with his family throughout his childhood. Much of Mozart’s personal belongings augment the museum’s collection, such as original scratch sheet music, letters, and his own personal instruments.
This is a true treasure for the music buff, you won’t be disappointed.

Tuscany, Italy
Leonardo da Vinci was one of the most powerful, creative, and intriguing minds of history – from his artworks to his scientific writings and designs to his personal life, he was never a boring man. His home village of Tuscany holds beautiful remembrances of his great mind, with museums that display some of his works, personal items, writings, and other da Vinci curiosities.


Iona, Scotland
Iona, Scotland

Peace and Quiet
Iona, Scotland
Historically, this rocky, hilly area of the Inner Hebrides has been known for its monks and the scriptures and writings they penned. Now, it is a wondrous treat of early religious structures in Scotland. Ancient monasteries scatter the hillsides, open to tourists and Christian retreat-ists alike. The main site for the area is:  It’s a pretty sparsely populated area. But, one that’s truly relaxing.

Vipassana Meditation Retreat, India
The country at the center of Buddhism, India, is rich with locations for spiritual insight, self-searching, and simply being on one’s own in silence and meditation. Vipassana offers all of these things in the form of silent meditation retreats, where Buddhists and spiritual searchers alike can meditate, engage in vegetarian meals, and enjoy the beautiful city life.

Bed ‘n Breakfast
Dog Bark Park Inn, Idaho, USA
As the name implies, this small inn in Cottonwood, Idaho is perfect for dog-lovers in search of a simple place to chow down and spend the night. Most items in the inn are ‘dog-themed’ – from the cushions, the food, the beds, and carpet. The owners also specialize in chainsaw carving and offer their intricate works to customers as souvenirs – in the shapes of different breeds of dogs, of course.

Dino Snores – National History Museum, London, UK
Have you ever wanted to slumber in the shadow of a fifty foot tyrannosaurus skeleton, or dose off to the sight of a stegosaurus’ massive jaw agape in front of you? London’s Natural History Museum frequently hosts sleepovers for both children and adults, with night long entertainment, full meals, movie marathons, bars, and, of course, optional insect munchies.

Burgers, Baby!
What better way to get the best burger than to go to the birthplace of the burger and the hamburger bun, the United States. The only thing the tourist has to worry about is – where? So many cities boast incredible burgers – New York, Chicago, Austin. Las Vegas’ Burger Bar or Kuma’s Corner in Chicago may both satisfy your beef craving. Whether its New Orleans, Los Angeles, or even Boise, Idaho, some places will get it wrong. But so many more will get it very, very right.

bodnant garden national trust conwy wales
bodnant garden national trust conwy wales

Brand New
Surf Snowdonia, Wales
New to the mountainous region of Snowdonia, Wales, is a surf attraction for both novices and experts to enjoy. Boasting a large 300 meters, the man made machine uses rainwater as a means of water conservation, and also accommodates beginners by changing the speeds and heights of the waves.


For the Survivalist in You
Bear Grylls’ Survival Academy
If seeing Bear Grylls put himself through torturous and often disgusting lengths to survive wasn’t enough, insane survivalists can put their own tenacity to the test at Bear Grylls’ Survival Academy. There are several of these academies around the globe, with intense survival programs you endure alongside nine other people, under the supervision of instructors picked by Grylls himself.

Polar Explorer’s North Pole Expedition
Facing the bitter colds, harsh winds, and bleak landscape is a worthy test of any self-proclaimed survivalist, and an expedition through the North Pole offers just that. The Polar Explorers is a company that offers expert-supervised polar treks, anywhere from five days to over sixty for the real athletes.

If You Want to Elope…
Sierra Nevada, USA
Slightly more glamorous than the cliche of Vegas elopements, Sierra Nevada offers a much more scenic option for your shotgun wedding, with gorgeous Lake Tahoe, beautiful public parks, and picturesque Emerald bay to serve as the backdrop to impromptu nuptials.
It’s the cool Nevada wedding place.

Gretna Green, Scotland
Gretna Green, Scotland

Gretna Green, Scotland, UK
Essentially the Vegas of Scotland, Gretna Green was a famous location for very young couples to marry, especially after Parliament raised the age of permitted marriage to 21. Lovebirds as young as thirteen would flock to this quiet village to marry in the Blacksmith’s Shop. Today this tradition continues, and hundreds of couples follow in the footsteps of love.
It’s a very unique tourist destination that you’ll be able to share with other travelers for decades.

Most Bang for Your Budget
East Africa
The idea of travel to Africa is somewhat muddied by images of starving children, Ebola, and corruption scandals. This, however, doesn’t even come close to the scenes of wonder, beauty, and wildlife that East Africa can offer.
From budget hostels to great hotels, tourists save a lot of money on vacations and still have the wonders of the region to experience. East Africa offers gorilla explorations, safaris, beach side treats, and gorgeous views of the Rift Valley.

Quebec, Canada
If you’re a fan of a snow-covered hill-scape set in a horizon of timeless architecture and classic cobblestone roads, Quebec offers all of those things and more.
With most things within walking distance, it’s easy to lose yourself in an old-world feel – bistros on the corners and cobblestone roads hiccuping under your feet as you walk beneath the shadows of Franophonic architecture. The Wiki on Quebec is pretty interesting as well:

Great place, with even better people.

The 17 Best Travel Safety Tips

Travel safety

Many look at the world as if it is dangerous, but believe it or not, it is quite the opposite. Sure, there are some dangers out there, but they’re a minority. If you follow these travel safety tips, you are more likely to get in trouble in your home town than traveling.

Travel safety
Safe Air Travel

1. Don’t Pet Stray Animals

It’s hard to resist the urge to pet a cute stray dog or cat, but it’s not a good idea because they could sink their teeth into your skin. Plus, stray animals could be carrying rabies and other diseases. Also, avoid feeding monkeys for the same reasons. They might be cute, but they are wild and can give you serious problems you just don’t need.

Once while in Paraguay I saw the monkeys steal a mans shoes right off of his feet. He was sitting and feeding them fruits.

The slip on loafers he was wearing while dangling his feet were easy prey for these skilled thieves and off they went with them.

He never did get them back. I’m sure somewhere they have a pile of tourists shoes a few feet high, because it didn’t look like the first time they had done this.

2. Avoid Public Displays of Affluence

When you’re traveling abroad, you probably have more money than the locals. Avoid wearing gold jewelry and carrying around an expensive camera, because you are only broadcasting your wealth. This will make you a target for thieves.

Unless you fancy yourself a professional photographer, just carry a point and shoot. The one that I carry is the Canon PowerShot G7 X Digital Camera – Wi-Fi Enabled
and it outputs the best images I’ve ever seen in a pocket sized camera, by far. Seriously, you won’t be able to tell that they weren’t taken by a high end camera. The reason is it has a full 1 inch CMOS sensor so that the saturation is the same as if you were using a much larger camera.

3. Your Travel Companion Could Get You in Trouble

You probably love your travel companion, but they could be your worst enemy. Some travel companions put other people’s safety at risk. They may be arrogant, which will aggravate a situation or they may ask you to help out a person that you normally wouldn’t approach. Don’t give in to their peer pressure, make sure you stand your ground. If they continue to be unsafe and ignore our travel safety tips, you may want to consider going separate ways.

4. Make Sure You Have Travel Insurance

If you get injured or sick while traveling abroad, the travel insurance will help you. Without insurance, hospital costs could run up to thousands of dollars, even if it is a small injury.

5. Keep Your Money Sources in Separate Places

You probably keep all of your money sources (bank cards, checks, etc.) in your wallet. However, you shouldn’t do this while you’re traveling. Keep at least one card in a different place. If you lose your cards while you’re traveling, it’s going to be difficult for you to get replacements and being without money in a foreign country isn’t fun at all.

6. Get Vaccinated

Before you leave, visit your doctor in order to get all of the necessary vaccinations for the destinations you plan on traveling to. During this time, ask your doctor about the health precautions you should follow.

7. Be Careful Using Your Credit Card at Internet Cafes

Using your credit card at Internet cafes isn’t a good idea, because they could have keylogging software or hardware on the computer – this will record your key strokes, so the criminal can easily take your credit card information (not necessarily the owner of the café).

8. Don’t Go to a Foreign Country to Perfect Something

Learning how to ride a bike, jet-ski or motorbike in a foreign country isn’t a good idea. Take Thailand as an example, 38 people a day die in scooter-related accidents. Some travel insurance policies won’t cover certain injuries, such as scooter-related injuries, so check the policy to see what it covers. But, don’t learn how to scooter by renting a scooter in Thailand. Or learn to jet ski by renting one in Aruba. You’re increasing your odds of getting into a bad situation.

Protect Your Documents While Traveling
Protect Your Documents While Traveling

9. Scan All Important Documents

Scan all of your important travel documents and email them to yourself.

Back in the day, people use to take photocopies of their visas, travel insurance, passports, etc. and keep them in their luggage. These days, going digital is the best route to take – this way, if your bags go missing, you will still have your documents.

10. Hand it Over

This is a simple rule that many people have a hard time following – if you are being mugged, give over your watch, wallet, etc. If you have insurance, this shouldn’t be that big of a deal. You shouldn’t go risking your life over material items. Leave all of your irreplaceable stuff, such as your grandma’s necklace, at home. Just hand it over so that you can walk away uninjured. You can always buy more stuff. But, laying in the street bleeding in a foreign land is no joke.

11. Be Careful Where you Keep Your Wallet/Purse

Don’t keep your wallet/purse in your jeans’ back pocket, because it could easily get stolen. Instead, you can use a money belt that fastens inside your shirt. Or at a minimum keep it in your front pants pocket. Much harder to pick pocket.
12. Keep an Eye on Your Belongings

This is obvious but I feel the need to talk about it, because people still do this. Travelers have a tendency to leave their bags hanging from the back of chairs when they’re at restaurants. Don’t do this. Instead, keep your belongings on your lap or if you keep them at your feet, wrap the strap around your leg.

Check the Small Print and Certificates of Instructors

If you plan on doing something risky, such as scuba diving or bungee jumping, make sure you check the small print and certificates of instructors. There may be a reason that course you found is cheaper than the others – do your research on the instructors.

If you’re traveling alone, here are some solo travel safety tips you can use when going solo.

13. Don’t Get Distracted

If anyone, even children come up to you holding something in front of you, push them away immediately and protect your belongings. This is a famous distraction people tend to use in order to get their hands on other people’s valuables.

In many countries they will send the children after you selling gum or carved trinkets. Then, they have others waiting for you to show how much money you have so they can take it.

Cruise Ship Travel Safety
Cruise Ship Travel Safety

14. Make Sure You Secure Your Luggage

When you’re carrying everything around with you, it is important that you keep it safe and sound. Since you’re alone, you can’t ask someone to watch your luggage for you and you should never trust a stranger with it. This means you need to keep the luggage in your view at all times. You may want to invest in a lock to put on the suitcases.

15. Secure Your Laptop

Amongst the safety tips when traveling alone, we cannot forget about the laptop. If you are a “work-anywhere” type of entrepreneur, your laptop is probably one of your most important items you are carrying. Not only is it needed for work, it probably cost a lot of money as well. There are certain precautions and measures you can take to secure your laptop, such as a laptop lock. You also have to think about the type of bag you’re carrying your laptop in. Yes, there’s some pretty fancy bags out there, but you may want to tone it down a bit because it will entice criminals to want to rob you.

16. Stay Alert

There you are, in a city you’re probably not familiar with, so you definitely need to stay alert. If you see threatening looking people around you, walk confidently in the direction you came, without getting your map out – stay in a “touristy” area.

17. Try Not to Stand Out

The trick is to blend in with the locals – on your first day, take a look at how they dress and try to dress like them. The trick is, to try not to look like a tourist – don’t carry a camera around your neck, don’t flash the tourist map around and don’t wear sandals with white socks.

If you plan on traveling alone, you definitely need to keep these solo travel safety tips in mind. Remember, don’t ever let your guard down.

Two Bonus Travel Safety Tips For You

18. Use A Camera Lanyard

If you’re using your camera like the great one I recommended above attach the lanyard and each time that you take it out to use it slide your hand in the lanyard.

The reason is; most camera thefts are grab and go. This is to say that; they mostly attempt to grab your camera and run. If they are not successful very few if any will attempt to take it again and will instead just run.

This also helps keep you from dropping your camera by accident while engaged in the moment leaning over a railing to get that once in a lifetime shot. So, it’s a great practice to get into anyway.

19. Don’t Let Them Swarm You

When overseas, if a group of kids swarm you asking you to read something out loud, wanting to sell you something or telling you how great or pretty you are, get them away from you without hesitation.

You may be the best looking person on the planet, but, 99.9% of the time they are robing you.

The thing is, most of the time you won’t even feel it. There will be a swarm touching you pleading with you to buy gum, read something or another ploy. Then, like magic they scatter and you’re missing multiple items.

Don’t hit them, they are children after all. But, do whatever it takes to get away from them fast.

Yes, these are safety tips, but never forget why you came. You went there to have fun, so go have some fun then!










Packing And Travel Tips for Air Travel

Airplane for air travel

Before you get on that flight, there are some important air travel tips you should keep in mind. Below, we have packing tips for air travel, flying tips, and planning tips for traveling on a plane.

Packing And Travel Tips for Air Travel

Air Travel Tips
Air Travel Tips

Stash Samples – Take advantage of those freebie offers throughout the year and save them up for your next trip. The samples normally come in a smaller bottle, which will fit perfectly inside your suitcase. Places such as Kiehls and Sephora have a tendency to give away three free samples with their online orders.

Buy a Unique Suitcase – Many people have a tendency to use ribbons and bows in order to make their suitcase stand out from the crowd. However, the problem with this is they have a tendency to be ripped off during the transporting process. Instead of using ribbons and bows, buy a suitcase that is a unique color, such as bright red or bright blue.

Pack Electronics in a Single Layer – When people toss their electronics in their suitcase without thinking, it gets all jumbled up together. This makes it hard to determine what is inside the suitcase when it goes through the X-ray machine. In order to lower your chances of having to go through a manual inspection, pack all of your electronics in a single layer.

Bring Your Own Blanket and Don’t Forget the Disinfecting Wipes – Unfortunately, those tray tables are hardly ever cleaned, so take your own disinfecting wipes with you so that you can use them. Also, instead of using the pillows and blankets on the plane, bring your own to use as they are generally only washed when they “look” dirty.

Canal D'amour beach,Corfu island, Greece
Canal D’amour beach,Corfu island, Greece

Tips for Flying on a the Plane

Keep Your In-Flight Necessities Where You Can Get to Them – While boarding, you decide you want a book, a piece of gum, or a snack. As you’re looking for these necessities, you block the aisle, causing a delay. Pack your small must-haves in a gallon-size bag that you can use as you put away everything else.

Don’t Forget the Car Seat – Car seats aren’t just for the car – they can be used in planes as well. Not only do they help keep the child safe, they also help them stay calmer, since they are used to being in them.

Call Customer Service – If you have missed a flight, standing in line to rebook with the gate agent can take a lot of time. Instead, pick up your cell phone and call the customer service number (this is a great way to speak with someone faster).

Planning Tips for Air Travel

When Buying Your Ticket – Make sure you buy the ticket under the exact name that appears on your ID. Yes, “Betsy” may be a nickname for “Elizabeth,” but it may not appear this way to a desk agent, security officer, or anyone who may check your ID before you board the plane.

Foreign Document Requirements – Some countries, like Kenya, Russia, and India require each individual to have a visa before they enter. Others, like South Africa, will only allow you to enter if you have a traveler’s passport that contains at least two blank pages that are un-stamped. Before making your flight reservations, you need to be aware of these requirements.

Be sure to head over to our home page A Passion For Traveling and start there for all the best travel tips around, and did I mention they’re free!

Enjoy your travels, that’s the point, right!


Travel Websites Should…

You know when you find a travel website online and at first it looks really cool, so you dive right in. You’re all excited to see what gems they have uncovered that other travelers have missed.

Then, you realize they have an ok story about what happened at the airport or something. But, there’s no meat to it. They don’t know what you’re looking for in travel websites at all.

Architecture in Brugge.
Architecture in Brugge.

So, that’s why I thought I should write this. I would like to outline what I think a travel website should offer. Why? Because it’s what I want to offer here on A Passion For Traveling.

Sure, not every post will cover all of the things I’m about to list all in one post. In fact most will cover 2 or 3 of those travel tips, deep understandings and really getting to know the locals. But, cumulatively the posts in the section about that area should cover most, if not all of the following things I feel a travel site should encompass.

What Should Good Travel Websites Cover To Be Considered Good?

1. The first thing it should do (and many of them get this part right) is to tell you about the place they are visiting. That’s easy enough, so let’s move on.

2. They should inspire you to travel. Ok, most of them do a pretty good job at this one too. So, let’s head to the next one.

3. A great travel site should tell you what it is really like there, not just the stuff you see on the surface. What I mean by this is that, they need to travel deeper than the other “tourists”.

They need to go where the other surface scratching travelers don’t go. I’m not talking about going anywhere dangerous or even sketchy.

I mean if they are buying fruits from the old wise looking Senora at the Mercado then they should talk with here about how she grows and harvests her fruits. This will many times lead to you getting asked to come and visit their farm once they find out your a travel blogger.

In many cases you’ll also leave with more fruits than you can carry, for free.

In this way you travel deeper. You get to see things others never will and share it with the readers of your travel site.

4. Share what to do and what not to do. Many will cover the same tourist attractions that you find one every site about the area. But few will tell you what to avoid, what areas of the city, town or countryside to stay clear of for your travel safety.

This is just as important as the fun stuff. None of us want to get caught in a sticky situation. So, that knowledge is equally important.

bedouin boys
bedouin boys

5. They need to befriend the locals, so the locals share their hangouts with them. If you’re in with the locals of a country they will often times invite you to their home, share food with you and you’ll have a better time than you would at a restaurant that’s for sure.

The site owners then need to share this information on their travel websites for their readers. There is only one I’ve ever seen who really did this. He’s stopped traveling now to go back to the grind. But, he really did travel deeper.

6. In my humble opinion, travel sites that go deeper should also tell you what things cost there.

As an example: when I was in Paraguay I bought a great breakfast at a sit down restaurant consisting of 2 eggs, sausage, toast, an avocado slice and coffee for $1.75 USD. The food was actually very good. Believe it or not, the coffee was a little too strong instead of being the other way around.

My point here is that this is what I really want to do here on A Passion For Traveling. I want to travel deeper and share that with you. I want my site to be what I would like other travels websites to be like.

I hope you have a magnificent day.

Thank you, Patrick Shelley


A Unique Way To Save On Airfare To Europe

paris in the fall

So, you’re in America and would love to fly to Europe the cheapest way possible.

Don’t we all, the airfare from the USA to Europe can almost be a deal killer depending upon where you’re flying to.

How would you like to know a little tip that can save you a bundle and I do mean a bundle?

Here’s How To Save Big On Your Airfare Tickets To Europe

This method is very creative and requires that you have a little more, to a lot more time to spend enjoying yourself.

What you’re going to do is fly to South America first.

I can hear the questions already. Why? What in the heck for? Why would I want to do that?

Because you’re going to get a longer vacation, see more countries and spend less money doing it.

The Reasons Why It’s So Cheap

cheap tickets
cheap tickets

The airfare from some major cities in South America to Spain is unbelievably cheap. The reasons that it’s such cheap airfare are that;

1. They have millions of people who’s heritage is directly from Spain. So, they have a huge demand for trips from South American cities like Lima, Bogota and Quito direct to Spain.

2. The wages in South America are very low by North American standards. This means that the airlines must adjust their prices in order to serve that market.

When you check prices be sure to check flying from several different cities in South America and check flying into both Barcelona and Madrid. In many cases Madrid can be quite a bit cheaper.

The cheapest flights I’ve found were round trip from Lima to Madrid for $425.00

Here’s How It Works

You can get super cheap tickets to fly to Lima as an example.

You then spend a few days to a week or longer in Lima having fun.

horse drawn cart in Spain
horse drawn cart in Spain

You hop your plane to Spain and then travel to your destination country by plane or train. Spending a couple days in Spain is always nice. Then you can got to most countries in Europe for about a hundred bucks or so round trip. You book that flight separately. If you book it as a continuing flight you won’t get that South America to Spain discount.

What you end up with is; time in your favorite South American country, time in Spain and then the time you wanted in your destination country.

You spent less to go to 3 countries than you would have spent to fly direct to Europe from America.

It’s a great tip that works really well.

Like I said earlier though, you have to have the extra time. If you’re just flying off to Europe for a few days then this may not be the way to go for you.

However, if you have the time or are a full time traveler then this could be a fantastic option for you.

Hi, I’m Patrick

If we haven’t been introduced yet, then Hello! Glad to make your acquaintance. My name is Patrick Shelley. My family (my wife and daughter) and I travel quite a bit and we would like to welcome you to

As a matter of fact, we are positioning things now so that within a year we will be able to go traveling full time for 18 months.

I look forward to helping you to live your travel dreams any way I can.

Have a great life. Because as far as we know for sure we don’t get two of them.