Floating out at sea from one breathtaking destination to another may sound like a dream come true. But if you simply buy your tickets and hop aboard a cruise expecting a low-cost vacation, you may be amazed at how quickly the costs add up. Smart cruising requires tips and tricks that are different from all other types of travel, but if you follow them correctly, you can return home relaxed, refreshed and right on budget. Continue Reading…
For a parent, sending your child off alone on a cross-country flight has to be one of the most nerve-wracking experiences ever. Saying goodbye to them at the airport, while keeping your fingers crossed that they arrive safely at their destination can be incredibly worrisome. Fortunately, all of the major airlines have taken measures to ensure that unaccompanied minors are looked after while in transit, and have instituted programs that can help put parents’ worries to rest. These services do come with a fee of course, and there are a few restrictions you should be aware of before booking your child’s flight, but they can help allay the fears that come long with a child flying alone. Continue Reading…
In Buenos Aires a few weeks ago I met a young traveler on her first backpacking trip. As I spoke to her over a few beers at the hostel she was excited and happy to be travelling solo around South America. Unfortunately, the next day she walked into the hostel on the verge of tears, visibly shaken.
I asked her what was wrong, she said, “I’ve just been robbed.”
Her bag with her expensive iPhone and her camera (containing her priceless travel photos) had been snatched in broad daylight on a busy street – and it was all because of a little bit of “bird poop”.
I wanted to write this blog to educate travelers about this common scam, which happens not only in South America but also in Europe and other parts of the world.
What is the Bird Poop Scam?
The young traveler in this story was walking along the streets of Buenos Aires when she stopped to take a photo. A stranger tapped her on the shoulder and told her that she had bird poop in her hair and down the back of her shirt. She turned around, took off her bag and started wiping at the whitish goo on her back.
As she was distracted with this, someone else picked her bag up and ran away with it. Before she realized what was happening, the thief was gone.
The truth is that she wasn’t even hit with bird poop at all. The way the scam works is that someone will squirt you with a white substance that looks like bird poop, or sometimes even mustard or ketchup. They spray it on you when you are not looking, so that they can create a scenario where you are distracted by the stain and they can steal from you without you noticing. It’s a clever ruse and it has fooled many travelers – so don’t let it happen to you.
How to Deal With It?
How can you avoid the bird poop scam? First of all, knowing that it exists is the most important thing. If you weren’t aware of it you might be more likely to trust the helpful stranger who offers to help you wipe off your soiled shoulder with a tissue.
Notice that the fake bird poop will usually fall on your shoulder or your back, prompting you to take off your purse or your backpack to clean those areas better. Also, the helpful stranger will usually be quite aggressive and will insist that they help you. This should be a red flag for you, especially if they are touching you or trying to help you take off your bag.
While walking around on your travels, if any stranger tells you that you have bird poop or any other type of stain on you – just say thank you and keep on walking. Don’t engage with them and never clean up the mess right there and then. Get to a safe place before you clean it off and you can avoid being a victim of this nasty scam.
For many art lovers, a great art festival can be a truly enriching, eye-opening experience. A festival provides them with an opportunity to experience classic works of art, while exploring new, emerging art forms and styles as well. A good art fair will introduce attendees to a new breed of artist, sharing their art alongside the great masters of the past. When you combine an art festival with a travel experience, it can result in a fantastic merging of culture and creativity that can be both educational and inspiring in so many ways. With that in mind, here are ten great art festivals that are definitely worth traveling for. Continue Reading…
Canadians love beer. And the sudsy beverage contributes roughly $14 million to the country’s economy each year. So when it comes to exploring Canada, visiting a number of microbreweries is a must for hop-loving travelers. From down-home brewpubs to well-established craft breweries that have been on the scene for decades, these are 12 Canadian microbreweries that must be added to your beer tasting bucket list. Continue Reading…