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Revealing "Tourist Traps" Designed to Rob You of Your Valuable Vacation Cash

Updated on April 30, 2014

Rain Forest wilderness


Ever heard of a "tourist trap"?

time for me to tell you the hard, cold truth about your vacation and the numerous pieces of junk mail you have received since last year. To say nothing about the colorful brochures that suddenly appeared in your mailbox all talking about "the" best places to take your family on vacation.

Warning: 80% of these travel-related companies are telling you a lie. They are out to get your hard-earned money by luring you to their so-called "perfect" family tourist attractions that everyone will remember for years to come.

This is the only thing the huckster companies are right about. You will remember these places as "the" worst places you ever visited--sober or intoxicated.

These places are so awful that you need to be intoxicated to endure them.

Have you ever been lured to a tourist attraction that turned out to be a dump?

See results

THE PHOTO ABOVE IS THE AMAZON RAIN FOREST WILDERNESS and it is not that popular with American or third-world tourists. Oh it looks good. And it may smell good, but the rub is that you fork-over a minimum of $5,000.00 to take an airline who doesn't have such a great record to take you and the family to where this tourist attraction home office is located: a few miles from the Rain Forest inside a grass hut. There you will meet "Pepe," a Colombian teenager who has no sense of direction and cannot speak English. He will escort you to the middle of the wilderness, smile and leave you to survive on your own. Need me to yell at you, "Do not visit this place!"


IF YOU GET A BROCHURE telling you about landfills used by famous Hollywood celebrities, deposit it in the garbage. Do not open it. Some of these bogus brochures will tell you that if you visit these dangerous locations, for a small fee, you and your family will be allowed to pilfer through the mountains of trash possibly used by Jessica Alba, Oprah, George Clooney and Alan Alda. Do not be a doofus. Take the family to Disneyworld even if it does cost more.

IF YOU SEE COLORFUL BILLBOARDS ALONG THE INTERSTATE THAT READ famous Indian relic museum ahead 600 yards, keep going. "I" have been a sucker for this scam too many times to talk about. I am too ashamed of being so stupid. Turns out the so-called relics are nothing more than a few rocks covered in dry mud that some explorer (that you've never heard of) found in 1966--none of which can be proven. And the price we paid was $3.00 per head and this was in 1983. Plus the Indian warrior spears hanging from the ceiling you could tell were made by someone locally for they all looked showroom-new.

REMEMBER the famous Alligator Farms and Snake Museums

that dotted the landscape on the interstates heading into Florida? Well, in 1982, my family and I discovered that they were for real.

We stopped at this so-called "dangerous" alligator farm and it turned out to be just baby alligators laying around on some rocks and in a pool of water that was behind a shabbily-built fence.

The price: $10.00 for my wife, daughter and myself.

I left without being "scared," and "shocked" as the hundred or so signs on the interstate said that I would experience by visiting this place.

Care to sizzle

IN THE GOBI DESSERT? There are people in the "tourist-trap" "bait and switch," game who will dare to believe that you are not as smart as some Americans and will pay a hefty price (on your credit card) for a great trip with the family on a "once in a lifetime" opportunity to play with the natives and wildlife in the Gobi Dessert, one of the world's most-famous locations.

scam. This is all it is. A scam. Oh, you can visit the Gobi Dessert sure enough, but you do not have to send some yokel a huge price on your credit card for the opportunity to survive in over-100 degree days and dry nights and all the time longing that you had never heard of a man named, "Alfred Junkus," world-renown travel expert.



  • Slaughter houses
  • Automobile salvage yards
  • Famous early-American graveyards
  • Unknown Civil War battlegrounds (just discovered)
  • Homes of not-so-famous Hollywood stars
  • Stretches of some Arizona highway named after a Wold War II hero
  • Strange trees on some farmer's land in Iowa that has grown into a figure looking like president Gerald Ford
  • Henry Ford's favorite restaurant
  • Biggest rock in the civilized world

are nothing but scams, a huge hoax designed to get your money. And if you suddenly find out that these are clever "tourist traps," and ask for a refund, the representative has suddenly disappeared never to be seen or heard from again.

I saved this one for last


If you should receive

a brochure, a computer-generated phone call, or see a lot of homemade signs off the highway that read in big type: "See The World's Biggest Cockroach in Captivity," then step on the gas, buddy. This is a hoax.

Do the money-hungry people who promote such things really think that a sharp-thinker like you will really fall for this gimmick?

Yes. They sure do. And even if you are smart enough to keep rolling down the road, there will be some other sucker who does stop and lose his or her valuable money that they saved-up all year long just so their family could go on a much-needed vacation.

Besides, I have visited this place called "Cockroach Rodeo," and it only cost me $50.00 and the cockroach was not that big,

Now that I have saved you some money, you can relax and have a great vacation with your family.


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    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Dear DDE,

      Thank you for commenting on this expose' of tourist traps. I appreciate YOU so much. Stay in touch and by the way, if you do not mind me asking, what does the DDE stand for?


    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Wow! What a story something you surely won't forget. Thank you for sharing this story an enlightening experience.

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Dear Lisa,

      I agree with you. After all, you know better than an agency what you want and what you don't. So leave the unreliable agencies be.

      That was a TRUE story and one I will not forget.

      Stay in touch with me.


    • LisaRoppolo profile image

      Lisa Roppolo 4 years ago from Joliet, IL

      Wow that's a crazy story. I prefer to do all my own research and booking. I think there are enough sites out there now where I can compare travel ratings and peoples comments. I trust myself more to make an informed decision rather than a travel agency.

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hi, Lisa,

      You are 100% right about travel agencies. The absolute-worst vacation we ever had was going through an agency to get us rooms, etc., in Orlando, Fla.

      The rooms were not in the hotel promised us. We had to wait half a day for it to be cleaned. The place my wife, daughter and her friend wanted to go was Disneyworld, well, we were not told that it was International Disney Employees Week in Orlando and our motel was full of foreign jerks who ran over me as if this was our custom.

      Oh, I started to tell one Scotish jerk what I thought of him, but I realized that I was an out of towner and if the cops wer called, who would they arrest, an important Disney employee or me?

      So I kept my mouth shut.

      I swore that I would never set foot back in Orlando. And have honored that vow.

      When we reached the last part of the week, the other motel that my wife had booked us through the agency did not have a record of her payment.

      Short story. She proceeded to get in the bimbo's bleached-blond hair and tell her WE WERE staying in a room and that was that.

      I was so proud of her. My wife.

      So people could use your advice in really checking-out a travel agency before signing on the dotted line.

      Thanks for the sweet visit.


    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hello, fastfreta,

      You are very welcome. You have to keep a sharp-eye out for con artists these days and not just for hoax tourist sites.

      But insurance sales over the phone, phony sweepstakes winnings, and other things too good to be true.

      Your comment is highly-appreciated


    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hi, Sheila,

      Hope you have a safe and money-saving vacation. I appreciate you leaving such a nice comment.

      Your Friend,

      Kenneth, commonly-known as Kenneth

    • LisaRoppolo profile image

      Lisa Roppolo 4 years ago from Joliet, IL

      You can add travel agencies to this list as well. Twice I went through an agency and twice the vacation was screwed up. Dumps of hotels too far from anything. (This was before the internet had this kind of info available.) Thank God for the internet. All the info at your fingertips to make informed choices about places you have never been too.

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 4 years ago from Southern California

      This was so interesting. I can't believe people will fall for such hoaxes, but I guess they do, that's why they continue to perpetrate such fraudulent schemes. I'm definitely going to like, tweet, and pin this hub, because this time of year it will come in handy. Voted up, useful, awesome, interesting! Thanks Mr Avery for this useful tool.

    • profile image

      sheilamyers 4 years ago

      Ken: I will definitely remember your helpful tips.

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hi, Stephanie,

      I agree with you. My brother-in-law is a true "Elvis freak," and when he was a teenager and had his first car, a white Cadillac, we went to Tupelo just riding around and he spied, at a car lot, a special-designed limo that Elvis had to get from motels to the tour arena.

      Needless to say we stopped and ran to the car. It looked like Elvis, but the elderly car dealer "let the cat out of the bag," when he said, "Uhhh, (curse word), that car is an idea of my son who loves to make money. That car was never used by Elvis," we looked at each other and left.

      Thank God for the old man accidentally telling the truth. Otherwise, my brother-in-law would have bought that fake limo on the spot.


    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Dear Sheila,

      You are very welcome. And I know that you would fare just fine on any vacation without my help.

      But I will tell myself that when you are vacating, you are keeping a copy of this hub with you.

      You are a great friend.

      Thank you.


    • Stephanie Henkel profile image

      Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

      There are surely many tourist traps out there that one should ignore, however, some of them are pieces of Americana that are worth seeing just for the heck of it. I wouldn't have missed Elvis's Graceland and his private jet for anything, even though it was all pretty tacky. Just think, the King was there! On the other hand, I guess I would pay money or go out of my way to see a celebrity garbage dump! I didn't even know such things existed! Thanks for a fun hub!

    • profile image

      sheilamyers 4 years ago

      I've stopped off at some off the wall sounding places during my travels and have only run into a couple that suckered me out of my money. Now my motto for these silly sounding promises is "If it's free, it's worth stopping". Thanks for the warnings. I'll keep my eyes open for the scams.

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama


      Thank you for the nice compliment. The other superstars of Hollywood were busy filming new movies and didn't me to mention them in this story, so I respected their wishes.

      Thank you for stopping by. Come back anytime.

    • DeborahNeyens profile image

      Deborah Neyens 4 years ago from Iowa

      "Jessica Alba, Oprah, George Clooney and Alan Alda." I love that list. It's so random.


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