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Avoid the Travel Horror Stories

dsc00026-me-piggy-atmSeveral friends of mine have come back from India with quite a lot of travel horror stories, ranging from the typical stomach issues to the more complex issues related to losing (a lot of) money.

India is a lovely place to visit, whether to plan to watch a cricket game live, visit Taj Mahal, tour the Red Fort or soak up the atmosphere in the markets. Cheap airfare to India is not hard to find from Australia, especially since there are plenty low-cost airlines serving the area.

And when it comes to accommodation, India is known to be a very cheap place to stay so if you are looking for cheap Mumbai hotels you are lucky, regardless of the time of the year you plan to travel.

What you do need to worry though is making sure you come back happy and so does your bank account. We are used to carrying just several debit or credit cards with us and stashing some foreign currency somewhere just to have an “emergency back-up”.

Regardless of where you travel, you are bound to run into travel scams… and into quite a bit of trouble unless you are well informed. ATM skimmers are all over the world, from Asia to Europe and even in the United States. It’s one of the most spread ways to temper with your credit or debit card. In short, the thieves replace the real ATM card slot with one “manufactured” by them which reads the details from your cards’ magnetic strip. And a well hidden camera records your PIN. Put those together and they can and will duplicate your card and you’ll be left without money. And that’s the short way to vacation hell!

Probably one of the best ways to avoid this is to use the card in the ATMs located within banks. Those cannot be tempered with and you are so sure no one is snooping on your transaction either. Call me a chicken, but I do this even in my home town!

In photo: the writer near a piggy-ATM