Thousands of Irish holidaymakers will be looking forward to jetting away within weeks for some summer sun to top destinations across Europe.
Spain, Portugal, Italy and France are among the most popular destinations for tourists from Ireland thanks to their sunny climates, sandy beaches and bustling cities.
However, visitors to these countries and other hotspots across Europe are being urged to exercise caution when on holidays.
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This is because a number of scams, such as pickpocketing and fake ticket scams, continue to do the rounds abroad.
One expert has shared his best tips to avoid scams and highlighted what tourists will need to watch out on holiday this year.
Nicky Kelvin, head of the Points Guy UK, old Express.co.uk: “Pickpocketing is more common than you would think in busy tourist destinations, particularly in some parts of Europe.
“To avoid being pickpocketed, you should always leave important documents and valuables in a safe in your hotel room and only take what you’ll need for the day.
“It’s also useful to take a crossbody bag when you go out, as the more secure your bag is to your body, the less likely someone will be able to grab it and go.
“This includes not leaving your bag on the back of your chair at a restaurant or on the floor next to your feet.
“Finally, always be alert in crowds as these environments make it easier for thieves to pickpocket.”
In a recent study, Barcelona was named as the pickpocketing capital of Europe and the city where tourists are most at risk from thieves.
A crossbody bag could make it much harder for thieves to pinch important items although if a thief is violent, it’s always safest to hand over items straight away.
Nicky added: “A key scam to look out for is when you take a taxi or another car service in an unfamiliar destination.
“Often drivers may take a much longer route to get to your destination in order to maximise the cost of your fare.
“Another common scam to be wary of is “incorrect change” scams. If you’re travelling to a place with an unfamiliar currency, someone may try to take advantage of this by giving you incorrect change or insisting you gave them a different bill than you did.
“Doing your research on the currency will help you be more familiar with it while you travel.”
While it’s always better to use an official taxi company to avoid scams, these are less common in some European cities.
Making sure a taxi metre is working is another way to avoid being overcharged by a scam driver.
Nicky said: “When visiting another country and touring the sights, it’s important to stay vigilant when it comes to ticket scams.
“Locals will try to sell tickets to attractions, buses, trains and other touristy venues and quite often, they’ll claim the tickets are discounted or offer them as a way to jump the line, however, these tickets can be fake or can expire when you try to actually use them.
“As technology has improved over the years, so have fake tickets and they can look almost identical to the real thing.
“The best way to avoid these scammers is to plan ahead and purchase tickets from an official ticket office or official website.”
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