5 tourist traps that could be costing you money

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There are few things worse than realising that you've paid over the odds for something.

So how do you avoid the tourist traps and get the most authentic experience on holiday while ensuring that every penny is well spent?

Expensive or dishonest taxis

Even in some of the best-known cities in the world taking a taxi can be a risk - so try walking or opting for public transport.

Taxis are known for trying their luck with tourists by quoting expensive fixed prices, leaving the meter on, or taking the long way round. If you have no other option than to take a taxi, then make sure you research how much is standard for the journey you are looking to do - you can then use this as a bargaining chip.

Walking is great way to see a city and these days smartphones (held securely and discreetly) make it easier than studying a map. Buying a season ticket which packages up a few days travel by bus, metro and tram usually make the most financial sense.

Restaurants near major tourist sites

They might offer a great view but these eateries are usually overpriced culinary conveyor belts that are full of tourists rather than savvy travellers and locals.

You'll do better to find a restaurant in a quiet street away from the main attractions or in a little square a few minutes' walk away. Check with your hotel or tour guide beforehand or simply ask a local.

Buying tickets at an attraction on the day

Book ahead whenever possible. Tickets for the main tourist attractions are often cheaper when booked ahead and websites will frequently give the busiest times. For example, the London Eye can be 10% cheaper booked in advance while visiting Versailles can be up to 30% less expensive if you book beforehand.

Go to official city tourist authority websites and those run by the attraction itself. Obviously be very wary of buying from anyone outside the site, however official they look.

Visiting the same things as everyone else

Visit the less well-known attractions as these are often just as interesting but less crowded and not as expensive as well as having fewer people looking to make some quick cash from unwary tourists.

They'll also often give you more of a sense of the city or the region itself away from the international visitors.

Going in high season

Obviously, those with children are limited to school holidays and we all have other commitments but going on a trip in the low or “shoulder" season in order to avoid the busiest times will help to reduce your risk of exposure to the worst tourist traps.

Visit a summer holiday destination in the autumn or the winter - although some attractions might be closed or have limited opening, the prices are often lower and you'll miss the crowds. Passes to visit a variety of attractions in Paris and Rome can be around 15% cheaper out of the summer season while in Berlin and Stockholm this could be as much as 25%.

Doing your research beforehand is the best way to really get under the skin of a city or a resort - and to avoid those tourist traps.