Tips for stress-free holiday in Bulgaria
Just like in any other tourist destination, there are some things to look out for, while you are on a holiday in Bulgaria. We have prepared a list of useful tips on how to avoid common tricks for tourist you can come across. Follow our advice and you will have a flawless and stress-free holiday in Bulgaria.
Tips for perfect holiday in Bulgaria
Literally, all over the world, tourists get scammed simply because they are not familiar with the customs and general rules of a given country. Cities such as Rome, Paris, etc. are famous for their scamming techniques. But that does not really stop anyone from going to Paris. People just tend to be a lot more cautious. In the very same fashion – Bulgaria has some tricky and scam-like traits. But that does not mean that Bulgaria is dangerous. With our simple advice, you will be a step ahead of everyone that tries to trick you for your cash.
1. Tips for currency exchange in Bulgaria
Well naturally on the first place in our list must be the currency exchange, since it is the most common scam practice worldwide. And Bulgaria is no exception. Some of the exchange boots are hardly legit, especially in big and crowded resorts, and tend to use an exchange rate that is sometimes higher than the official exchange rate that is recognized internationally.
Another typical attempt to trick you is by giving you falsified cash. In this case, you are going to get in a lot of trouble if you (without any fault intention) try to use that very same banknote in a shop, bar or a restaurant. This happens quite often in those small exchange boots that are anonymous (do not belong to any reputable exchange company). As you can probably already tell this can turn into a massive problem and ruin your holiday. But luckily there is a way to avoid these extremely unpleasant situations.
What can you do to protect yourself? Well, there are a few ways to stay safe and get a good exchange value for your money. First of all, it is a really good idea to spend some time in advance, back at home to acknowledge and get familiar with the estimated exchange rate and get a clear idea of what is an acceptable rate. You should exchange cash better in local banks offices. It is also a good idea to come stacked with small amount of exchanged cash in advance since you are going to need it straight away.
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Carefully check the exchange rates at the exchange kiosks on bus stations, train stations, and the airports. They tend to offer deals that are not close to the official exchange rate. It may be hard to find the closest to the real exchange rate establishment but you eventually will. Do not give in to despair and go for the easily accessible but super expensive option. Once you get familiar with all the suitable and proper exchange rates no one will be able to scam you and your holiday will go as smooth as it possibly can.
Of course you can always ask the hosts of your holiday villa for rent in Bryastovets, Bulgaria. They will be glad to give you further ideas on where to get a good deal for your money.
2. Tips for taxi services in Bulgaria
Taxi drivers seem to be the masters of the common tricks to lure tourists into spending more than they should on a service. There are some really honest and reputable taxi companies and drivers. Our advice is to find one of those and use their services. Otherwise, you are going to be asked to spend ridiculous amounts of money for a short-distance trip.
The best way to protect yourself from those types of scams is to ask the taxi driver to use the meter to evaluate the price of the journey. Most will hesitate and pretend it is broken since it is a common practice to come up with some large sums at the end of the journey. However, once you get in a taxi, demand that they turn on the meter. In case they refuse you better leave the vehicle. If you are so desperate, negotiate the price at the very beginning of the trip, before leaving. Since they are not using the meter you can ask them to drive on the company’s standard fees (they should be on a sticker on the outside of the car). Examine them in advance and if they seem reasonable – negotiate a price.
It is always a better idea to go to one of the designated taxi stands since most of the legit taxi drivers stop there. And you are likely going to find an honest driver that will not rip you off. And remember – hold on to the cash with lower value, because taxi drivers love to pretend they do not have enough change and just take your 50 leva bill and drive away. So keep a few 5 leva banknotes in case you need a taxi.
If you are having troubles figuring out which companies are reputable, do not hesitate and ask your hosts of your rental villas with a swimming pool. They will always be at your service and will help you find the perfect deal.
3. Train stations and bus stations
Purchasing tickets in a foreign country can be tricky. You may not really understand the signs and tables, the clerks may or may not speak English or your language. Overall a terrible task. And this is the moment when a helpful stranger with perfect English approaches you and offers their services.
Be especially cautious when someone offers such help. It is not necessarily a sign that they are looking for a way to scam you, but it could be. So, say that this stranger approaches you and offers to buy you the tickets to the place you need to reach. All seems amazing until you get onto the bus and figure out that those are expired or children’s tickets and that the scammer has already run away with the money you’ve given. Using such travel documents can get you in serious trouble or at least make you pay for your tickets twice.
The best way to deal with such a terrible situation is to be the one that approaches strangers and asks for help. Chances to get scammed if you ask someone for help or try to communicate with the clerks on the ticket kiosks is a lot smaller. So do not just sit and wait for someone to scam you. Approach the clerks and try to find a way out of that situation.
Another possible solution is to book your tickets online and just go to the station prepared with a printed- out ticket and save yourself all the trouble.
4. The slow count practice
Chances are you have already come across this popular retail scam. You enter a shop, or a taxi (especially a taxi!) and pay for your items or service. You carefully count the money and hand them to the person. They count once more slowly, just to make sure. And surprise! It turns out you have given them less money than what you are supposed to have. Immediately they ask for yet another banknote, to finish the transaction.
In most cases, tourists give in to the pressure and just hand another bill. But there are really high chances they have been scammed. Some of the shop owners and especially taxi drivers love the slow count scam because it gives them the opportunity to hide one of the bills away or to bore you so much that you just storm out of the shop without your change. In both cases, it works great for them.
So what can you really do? First of all, make sure you count the money on the shops counter or in the taxi drivers hand in plain sight for both parties, so it is evident that everything is in order and you have given the expected amount of money.
If they try to take too long with your change – be persistent! They are hoping you would get pissed off and go out of the shop so they can keep even the smallest of an amount to them. It is somewhat a profit. Be patient and do not let them scam you.
5. Tickets for interesting events
While on your holiday, you may come across some interesting events you would like to visit. Naturally, you would assume that tickets for the event would be sold at the entrance. And in most cases they are. A common scam practice is for people to sell fake event tickets for half the price.
Most of the scammers wait for potential visitors of the event right in front of the real pay desk and pretend they lost interest in the show. They offer to sell you “legit” tickets at a really good, almost too good to believe the price.
The best way to avoid this is to refuse such deals that seem too good to be true. And to purchase tickets from certified retails. Another option is to ask the staff in your holiday villas for rent to give you a hand in finding the best deals and the real places to offer tickets. They would be glad to be of service and you are guaranteed to visit the even worries-free.
6. Free items (bracelets, flowers, etc.)
Another preferred way to scam tourists is by luring them into thinking you are giving them gifts. These come in various different forms: flowers, friendship bracelets, postcards, souvenirs, toys. It can be literally anything.
And it is fairly simple practice. Some friendly-looking stranger approaches you and without any explanation or words or anything just hand you an item, or places that friendship bracelet on you. Most tourists find this charming. But what they do not know is that once they accept the gift they are going to be followed around this person non-stop until they pay them a certain fee. Sounds ridiculous but it seems to work a charm because it catches the people off-guard and they accept the gift, not really understanding what is going on.
This method is a real nuisance and that is why most people just get tired of the chasing and demanding for money so they pay up and are happy to be relieved of this burden. But we advise you not to!
The best possible way to get rid of those annoying scammers is to refuse the gift straightaway or if you have fallen for their plan- give it back as soon as you realize what is going on. In most cases, they will claim you can’t give it back, but you can so just hand it back to them and leave. They will probably give up quickly.
It is important to note that this scheme is also popular in restaurants where people just leave things on your table. If you touch them or interact with them, they will ask of you to pay. So just leave it be and they will come to pick it up in a while.
Overall, just like in any other popular tourist destination, in Bulgaria some of the most common tourist scams are present. But with this advice and the help of our staff in your private holiday villas for rent in Bryastovets, Sunny Beach you should have no bad, scam experiences during your holiday in Bulgaria. If you ever find yourself wondering about something it is better to ask for help and get yourself informed on the specifications and customs of Bulgarians than getting scammed. Being informed is the best way to avoid any of those unpleasant experiences and we hope we managed to raise awareness with the article, providing you with all that you need to know in order to have a safe and enjoyable holiday in Bulgaria.
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