For many people, traveling is happiness. I belong to that group. I experience the new places with all my senses, and I enjoy every aspect of traveling: from preparing to the post-travel mini depression that happens after you return to your routine. But, in the few travels I did so far to different parts of the world, I noticed a similar pattern of annoying things that can easily be prevented or changed, yet somehow those tourist traps are universally and stubbornly present.
“Scenic route” taxis: A large number of tourists takes a taxi upon arrival to a new place. In many places there is a fixed rate for the airport rides, and it saves the customer from overpaying for the service. However, if you are taking the taxi from another place the taxi drivers often try to rip you off upon arrival, or take you on a scenic route of the densest traffic in town. There is not a single place I’ve visited where I have not had at least one of those experiences. If you are taking a taxi at the airport, this is your very first impression of the country. Why is this not regulated better?
“Local” food: The food around most touristic areas is usually below average and not really representative of the local cuisine. The focus on ripping off the tourist is so strong that you never see any local people eating in those areas. Understandably, the traffic of customers is much higher in the establishments close to landmarks so the owners don’t put focus on creating returning customers. Also, in general, the offer in such areas is also huge. But just because those customers are not going to return to your establishment it doesn’t mean that they don’t deserve your best product.
Endless Queues: Do you remember the last time you visited somewhere and there were no long queues at landmark monuments/museums. We live in the information age and it is easy to evaluate how many visitors you get a day. How come there are always queues to popular landmarks when we have all of the knowledge needed to actually organize things better? Sometimes there are shortcuts, such as internet box offices and advance bookings, but even then you might spend some of your valuable vacation time just queuing.
Have you noticed similar tourist traps in your travels? Should I add more items to the list?