10 Places We Were Ripped Off in 2015

Asia, Europe, Oceania, Travel

And how you can avoid the same.

10. Metro Card, Singapore

Singapore’s Metro Card is the cheapest way to travel Singapore. Using the metro card, inner city transport can cost anything between $0.00 – $0.70 (which is a phenomenal price for a fast and quality public transport). Like many countries, Singapore transport requires a $5 payment to cover the cost of the card however unlike other countries, you can not return the metro card to receive your $5 back. In addition, you can’t use your card if the available credit is less than $2.50. JIPPED. This is the equivalent of 3-4 rides. What nonsense. In addition, the cards require a minimum top up of $10, which it required us to do on our way to the airport for the cost of a $0.70 journey.

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How can I avoid this rip off?

Borrow my metro card. Since I couldn’t return it, I still have it.

9. Food prices on budget airlines

As we have all experienced at one point or another, food prices on budget airlines are ridiculous.

How can I avoid this rip off?

Bring your own food as discussed in my article about Scoot Airlines.

8. Traditional Dance Show, Siam Reap, Cambodia

We booked a beautiful traditional dance show in Siam Reap. It included an all you can eat buffet and hour long dance show. Unfortunately, this dance show needs some local competition. It was so popular that the hundreds of tourists crowded into the packed hall. The room was ill-designed, which meant many guests would have been staring at thick wooden beams instead of the stage, and while the dance show was filled with beautiful outfits, music and dancing, the tourists that had to stand at the front of the stage and film the entire show spoiled it for everyone else.

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How can I avoid this rip off?

Attend a traditional dance show in Phnom Penh instead.

Check Trip Advisor to help you make your selection.

7. Clonmacnoise Monastery, County Offaly, Ireland

Clonmacnoise a Monastery and Cemetery in Ireland was originally build in the 5th Century and is famous for it’s Gaelic crosses. Until recently, it was free to visit the venue. While the cemetery is beautiful, €7 euro per person is steep. Regardless, Josh and I paid this. My brother however, refused to pay and instead made friends with a local shop owner who pointed out that the old cemetery is connected to the new one, and he simply needed to walk through the back gate to enter for free.


How can I avoid this rip off?

Walk through the back gate. Sorry Tourism Ireland.

6. Taxi, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

When your taxi driver makes his 4th left turn in a row, you know you’re travelling the scenic route.

How can I avoid this rip off?

Use Rome2Rio to track the distance between your two stops. Take a screen shot of the map so that you can keep it on you. Show the taxi driver before you get in the taxi so that the driver knows you have some knowledge of the area.

5.Pug balloon at Oktoberfest

In attempt to distract Josh from his ability to drink beer like it’s water, I took him for a walk around the rides and festival area of Oktoberfest. At this point, he spotted a pug balloon and declared he must have it. It cost €10 or AUD$15.

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How can I avoid this rip off?

Marry someone who isn’t obsessed with dogs.

Don’t buy souvenirs at Oktoberfest.

4. Toll on hire car

Tolls in England are set up manually. You deposit your coins as you drive through them. Our family rented a van to travel around Cornwall and obviously as we drove through tolls, we paid them. But somehow, we missed one. For a €2 toll the car hire company added a AUD$96 administration charge to my parents credit card.

 How can I avoid this rip off?

Ring up/email. Have a yell.

3. Cliffs of Mohr

Dear Country of Ireland. How do you manage to charge people for cliffs?

There is only one area to park near the entrance to the Cliffs of Mohr – unless you’re willing to cycle uphill from a few miles away (in which case, you also need to find a bike). At the entrance, you have to pay – not for the car park but for the number of people that are in your car. €7 euro per person. Currently, they only accept cash so if you need to pay by card you have to go to the visitor centre. Which we did but when we exited, the gates open automatically and no one checks that you’ve paid anyway.

In addition, they won’t let you use the toilets unless you have a payment receipt. But again, there is a back door.

Sorry again Tourism Ireland, but you’re on this list twice. You need to calm down.

2. All of Zurich

How did Switzerland make it’s dollar so strong? The prices in Switzerland are HIGH. Here is a bagel I bought for AUD$35 because I could find nothing cheaper.

Even McDonald’s was expensive with an apple costing AUD$3.

How can I avoid this rip off?

I searched and searched AirBNB, Hostelworld, and used Josh’s travel contacts to find the cheapest accommodation in Zurich. We found the Best Western to be the most appropriate we could find. We checked in at 2pm. It was a beautiful room and they gave us free fruit so I was surprised by the price. Until at 2.25pm, the bells of the church next door started. 15 minutes later they were still going. They were so loud and went for so long that I Goggled “Has the pope died?”. I’m not sure why they went for so long on this occasion but they eventually stopped. They did however continue to sing once every quarter hour throughout the day and night. According to the internet, driving the local residents into complete insanity.

In addition, we had a day trip to Germany planned for one day so used the opportunity to buy groceries and fill up with petrol.

1. Brisbane City Public Transport 

The absolute worst waste of money of my entire year. High costs for irregular transport. It’s cheaper to own a car. I swear I will vote for whichever state member says they will improve public transport in Brisbane.

How can I avoid this rip off?

Walk.

Cycle.

Buy a car.

Advocate! Lobby! Use your vote!

Follow my adventures!

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