If you are traveling abroad this year, Travel Market Report has a great article on overseas scams. I have summarized a portion of some of the more common scams:
You dropped your wallet! A man runs toward you, holding up a wallet and yelling, “Excuse me, you dropped your wallet.” You immediately frisk yourself to find where you put your wallet (coat pocket, purse, etc.). And then, relieved, you inform the person that it’s not yours. A few blocks later, you are pickpocketed. The person holding up the wallet simply wanted to know where you kept your wallet. S/he then communicated the information to a partner who later relieved you of your money and credit cards. Bring one or two credit cards with you and enough cash for the day. Leave your wallet in the hotel safe, or if you need to take it, always keep it in a discreet place.
Say cheese. You would love to have a photo of yourself standing in front of that 17th century fountain. Out of nowhere a man offers to take your photo. You give him your smartphone. He asks you to back up a bit … then a bit more … and then a bit more. In the movies, you would have already fallen into the fountain, but in reality, the man has created a comfortable distance between you and him and he now runs off with your phone. Don’t share your valuables with people you may have known for 20 seconds (or less).
Do unto others. You’re in the departure lounge waiting for boarding to begin. A woman asks if you will watch her luggage while she uses the restroom. She returns a few minutes later and suggests that if you would like to use the facilities, she’ll watch your bags. You agree. You return. No woman. No luggage.
It’s in the bag! Usually this expression means you’ve succeeded in accomplishing something. But scam artists see “the bag,” that is to say, that waist pouch that contains your wallet, passport, travel vouchers, itinerary, etc. as their own accomplishment. It happens in a second. You’re in a crowded area, someone trips into you or pushes up against you, and seconds later your waist pouch is empty. The thief used a knife to cut the bottom of your pouch, and out tumbled your valuables. A waist pouch is a walking advertisement that “here are all my valuables, help yourself.” There are many under-the-clothes money belts that can be purchased.
The hotel welcome. You check into the hotel and take the elevator up to your room. About 10 minutes later, you receive a phone call telling you that it’s the front desk calling, and that your credit card didn’t process properly. Would you mind returning to the front desk, or s/he can take the card information over the phone to save you the trouble. You don’t feel like going back to the lobby, so you give the person your credit card information. Several minutes later, unbeknownst to you, a $3,000 charge has been posted to your credit card. Credit cards contain a whole slew of personal and financial information. Guard them carefully. If a hotel ever did call you about an issue, then you should go to the front desk to sort it out.
Headed to Walt Disney World? Toy Story Land will officially open on June 30 at Walt Disney World’s Hollywood Studios. Characters from the Toy Story movies — including Woody, Buzz, Jesse, and the Aliens — will take on life-size form, so “you can experience what it’s like to be one of Andy’s honorary toys,” said Dave Minichiello, executive creative director at Walt Disney Imagineering, at a press event. “When you enter Toy Story Land, you become the size of a toy. If fact, you’re about the size of a green army man.” Modeled after Andy’s backyard, the 11-acre park expansion will be filled with playtime favorites like giant building blocks and game board pieces, as well as iconic toys such as Tinkertoys and Crayons.
Our 2018 tours are almost full. If you are interested in any of them, please call asap.
April 25-May 5 Shades of Ireland
May 16-24, 2018 Israel: Pilgrimage to the Holy Land.
July 29-August 8 Alaskan Cruise on the Island Princess.
September 8-16 Castles Along the Rhine River Cruise
October 5-10 Washington DC and Gettysburg
We are already taking deposits for next year’s spring and summer tours:
April 22-May 5 Lynn and Lidia’s Italy My number 1 guide and good friend will take us on a journey through Italy to some of our favorite places. We’ll visit Rome, Pompeii, Sorrento,Isle of Capri, Assisi, Venice, Padua, Lake Maggiore, Lucca , Florence, San Gimignano and more. Call for pricing and enrollment information!
June 6-20, 2019 Viking Homelands This cruise will take place on the Viking Sea.This cruise will visit Sweden, Norway, Denmark, St. Petersburg, Estonia, Poland,and Berlin.
August 11-21, 2019 Delightful Danube and Prague Join us as we spend three wonderful days in the beautiful city of Prague before boarding the S.S. Beatrice in Nuremberg for a seven night cruise down the Danube. We’ll visit the towns of Regensburg, Passau, Melk, and Vienna before ending our journey in the amazing city of Budapest.
September , 2019 New!! Colorado Rockies We’ll fly in and out of the Mile High City of Denver and then travel to Grand Junction. We’ll visit the Colorado National Monument, Arches National Park, Canyonlands, National Park, and Mesa Verda National Park. We’ll then travel to Durango and ride the Silverton RailRoad before ending our trip in Colorado Springs.
October 2019 Iceland: Land of Fire and Ice We’ll visit Reykjavik, before traveling the Golden Circle. We’ll experience the energy at the geothermal fields of Geysir and Strokkur. We’ll have an opportunity to explore caves or lava fields. We’ll spend some time with a family that keeps alive a 400 year old fishing tradition. We’ll stop at the Volcano Visitor Center to learn how families survived during the 2010 explosion. We’ll take a cruise among the huge icebergs of the Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon. Enjoy the Blue Lagoon or Whale Watching before returning home.
May 17-28, 2020 Alpine Explorer and Oberammergau We will explore a bit of Switzerland and Austria before arriving at Oberammergau for the Passion Play. Some of the highlights of this trip include Lago Maggiore, Island Dinner, Zermatt, Glacier Express Train, St. Moritz, Innsbruck, Salzburg, St. Peter’s Restaurant, Mozart Dinner Concert, Munich, Oberammergau Passion Play, Linderhof Palace, Füssen, Neuschwanstein Castle. First com, first served. Check out the itinerary: https://gateway.gocollette.com/link/817395
June 2020 Canadian Rockies
September 2020 Poland
October 2020 Autumn Colors
Have a great week!