Famous Tourists Traps and Decision to Visit Nine of the Worst Tourist Traps
Should You Go There? Definitely
Tourist traps are locations that are there for the purpose of attracting tourist and enticing them to part with their money. They typically offer products or services for people to purchase. Even though the term “tourist trap” has a negative connotation, they’re frequently pleasurable places to go, but beware and hang onto your money. Here is a list of a few locations that I would consider to be tourist traps.
I have to make Las Vegas number one on my list due to the methods used to entice tourists. Some of those enticements include free or significantly reduced hotel rates, free or very low cost meals, and the insinuation of winning the big money. However, these things aren’t offered to you as a nice gesture. They know that once they get you there, you will lose much more money in their casinos than they will lose on the rooms and food they give you. Most people know this; however, they still come, telling themselves that they are going to be the one to hit it big.
Hundreds of people leave there every day with maybe enough money to get them home. Nevertheless, hey, you had tons of fun while the money lasted, right? Las Vegas is a great place to go. Just count your money frequently.
Even though Disneyworld is a place that every child should see at least once, it can undoubtedly drain your pocketbook. In order to notice the items with inflated prices, which visitors find irresistible, all you have to do is open your eyes. Everywhere you look, you will see t-shirts, coffee cups, toys, hats, clothing, accessories, home decor, and collectables, to name a few. As soon as the Disney name goes on that item, the price blows up. Moreover, who can resist those pictures of you and your family making crazy faces while coming down a rollercoaster? You know the ones that you can purchase at the end of the ride. Considering it can take a week to see the entire park, that’s a lot of money grabbing places to pass with almost every step you take. Go, but don’t try to see and do everything there. Make a pact to only buy a certain amount of souvenirs and stick to it.
Just down the road from Disney is SeaWorld. When in town to see Disney, many people include SeaWorld in their itinerary. It’s a great and entertaining place to go; however, while watching the shows with the adorable whales, penguins, and dolphins, keep an eye on your money. As with Disney, you will be virtually surrounded by gimmicks and novelties with prices many times what they are worth. It’s so much fun to sit down front and get soaking wet during Shamu’s performance, but try to keep the souvenir buying to a minimum.
Kissing the Blarney Stone
One of the most amazing places I’ve seen that could be considered a tourist trap is The Blarney Stone near Cork, Ireland. The stone was set into the Blarney Castle in 1446. Kissing the stone is said to give one the gift of witty and humorous gab. Be prepared to stand in line for an extended period of time and pay over $13 US. In addition, the act of actually kissing the stone almost requires you to be a bit of an acrobat. In order to reach the stone, you must bend over backwards with the assistance of someone holding you. Other than being awkward, the act of kissing the Blarney Stone is quite safe these days. However, a couple of hundred years ago, it was a life-threatening feat with someone holding your feet and hanging you over a sheer drop in order for you to reach the stone.
Elvis has been gone for a very long time, but his former home, Graceland, is still a must see for his fans. Taking a tour of this mansion doesn’t come cheap. A regular tour is around $30; however, many of the diehard fans pay as much as $70 to see other sites on the property where Elvis spent much of his time. Some of those attractions include a look at his two custom made airplanes and his automobile museum.
Graceland is a mansion sitting on almost 14 acres in Memphis, Tennessee. It is one of the most visited houses in the world with over 600,000 visits per year. You do the math.
Venice Gondola Rides
When in Venice, most people naturally want to take a gondola ride, especially when traveling with their significant other. It is a very romantic experience if you can put aside how much you had to pay for it. A 40-minute day ride is around $108 US and more at night. You can negotiate with the gondolier, but you will more than likely wind up with a shorter ride if you do pay less. Each gondolier is different. It is not required for him to sing; however, some do sing a romantic serenade. He stands up and using only one oar making it easier to navigate through the narrow canal. The gondolas can also be very different. Many are ornately decorated and have comfortable seats. Many furnish blankets as well
Some prefer to forgo the crowded Grand Canal and opt for the back canals for a quieter ride in addition to seeing another side of Venice. The best way is to walk a few blocks away from the main street and look for a gondolier.
Empire State Building
New York City has several places that might be considered a tourist trap, but the one that comes to mind for me is the Empire State Building, the world’s most famous office building. It would be rare for someone to visit New York for the first time, and not see the city of New York from the 86th floor observation deck. There are a couple of ways you can get up there. One is to pay around $19 to stand in a normally long line waiting for your turn to go up. The other way is to bypass the line with an express pass for around $42. If you want to spend an additional $15, you can go to the 102nd floor at the top observatory, which is a quarter of a mile in the sky. The building holds over 2.5 million square feet of rentable office space. Although considered a tourist trap, the Empire State Building is an iconic landmark, which embodies the spirit of New York City. It is open seven days a week including holidays. Every year four-million people visit this building. Again, do the math.
In my opinion, it is worth the price to see this amazing building at least once when in New York. The view is breathtaking.
Niagara Falls is a fascinating site that everyone should see in his or her lifetime. It was once a favorite place for honeymoons due to the dramatic pounding of the water and riding into the mist created by the powerful falls. The falls can only be appreciated in person. Pictures and videos do not do it justice. However, when you go, bring plenty of money.
The almighty dollar and commercialism has turned it into a tourist trap. Now you can’t miss the gaudy museums, fast food restaurants, cheap motels, and neon lights. It’s enough to kill the mood of a couple on their honeymoon. Not to mention the long lines waiting to cross the border into Canada and then the high price of parking once you do.
By the time you take a boat ride or a helicopter to view the falls, ride some amusement rides, go on the observation tower, and visit a couple of museums, the price will have come to a considerable amount. However, if you can overlook all the commercialism and come to stay a couple of days strictly to see the wonder of the falls, it can be an experience of a lifetime.
The final tourist trap that comes to mind is Cancun, Mexico. Although a beautiful place to go, you should beware of a few things.
One thing most people want to do while in Cancun is shop. There are markets all over the city. You can buy some beautiful and unique items; however, never buy anything without haggling first. Whatever the original price is, you can usually get them down to as much as 50% of the original price. If you don’t haggle with them, you a
re wasting a lot of money.
There are people giving timeshare tours all over Cancun. Timeshare is a great product and can save you plenty of money. I know this because I used to sell it. Unfortunately, there are some unscrupulous timeshare companies out there. Be sure to check them out before you buy.
Be wary of taxis drivers. Be sure to negotiate and agree on the amount if possible before getting it the ca
b. If not, you might be in for a big shock when you reach your destination. In my opinion, taking a bus is preferable and inexpensive.
Try to avoid tours such as snorkeling tours. You will be with a big group of people and it is expensive. Try to go with your own small group. Beware of people on the beach offering tour deals. They might not be part of the tour company at all. After taking your money, you may never see them again.
There are more, but just be aware of what’s going on and don’t be too trustful. Cancun is still a beautiful and fun place to go.
To sum it up, there are hundreds of tourist traps in the world and we will all give them some or a lot of our money. However, many of these places are still magnificent to see. Just try to go for the pleasure of the place itself and don’t fall victim to the gimmicks, overpriced souvenirs, and fraud.
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