It Can Cost You Too Much to Order Without a Menu While Traveling

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Pickpockets, street scams, and tourist traps are things people know to watch out for when traveling. However, stopping by for a quick drink and a bite can turn into quite a financial setback if travelers are not careful. A couple recently vacationing in Greece stopped at a restaurant called DK oysters for a few drinks and some oysters. When they asked for a menu, the waiter verbally listed several different beverage options instead of taking the menu. Red flag! Always access a physical menu Otherwise, it could cost you as much as it did for this unfortunate couple.

Woman eating and drinking champagne after traveling to Greece

In total they ordered a dozen oysters, two beers and two cocktails. When they got the bill, the couple realized they had been charged $510! Like most, they assumed there was an error in the bill. When they tried to complain, a group of great male servers surrounded them until they agreed to pay. They had no recourse as they had never looked at a menu. Eventually, they finished the payment with the intention of contacting their credit card company after their trip was over.

Outdoor cafe where you can travel in Greece

How to Avoid Being Overcharged

No one wants to use the hook for overpriced drinks or food, and there are a few tips to prevent this from happening to you.

  • Never order without seeing a menu This displays the price of the item you want. Ordering without seeing the menu renders your arguments against high prices useless.
  • Although it feels like it takes some of the spontaneity of the experience, try to check TripAdvisor reviews for the restaurant you are targeting or rod. If the couple above had looked at DK Oyster’s 2.5 stars and the numerous reviews encouraging travelers to stay away from this place, they might have saved themselves some money.
Young woman looking at restaurant menu after traveling to Europe

Other Things to Consider While Traveling

While it’s easy to spot a full overcharge for something that should be much cheaper, there are other things travelers should consider when going out while traveling. Sometimes it’s as subtle as knowing a local custom, sometimes it’s spying on credit card fees. There are a few other things travelers should consider:

Bread and water in the restaurant
  • local traditions. In Italy, for example, the moment you decide to sit down to eat instead of standing, the price of the meal is often doubled!
  • Know what’s free and what’s not. Similar local traditions Hint, it’s important to know which items you have to pay for. For example, in most places in the US there is no charge when ordering water, and some restaurants bring free bread to start a meal. However, in many parts of the world these products will cost you dearly, even with tap water.
  • Service charges. Some restaurants have them; some don’t. Make sure you know if an extra 10-20% will be added to your ticket at the end of your meal so it doesn’t surprise you.
Woman looking at receipt at dinner

When It’s Time to Pay

When the meal is finished and it’s time for the final bill, examine it thoroughly. If all is well, you are still not out of the woods. When it’s time to pay, be sure to physically stick to the following tips:

Customer paying for food
  • If you’re using cash, make sure get as close to precise change as possible. Counting the money in front of the waiter might also be a good idea. This will avoid telling them that you haven’t given them enough after they’re gone.
  • If you are paying by credit card, make sure they charge in local currency. Credit card exchange rates would be much better than anything the restaurant has to offer.
People Have A Drink And Meal Outside On A Sunny Day In Dublin, Ireland, Crowded Streets In A Post-Covid World

Be Smart While Traveling

While dealing with a situation such as being overcharged or scammed can be frustrating, those who are careful shouldn’t have too much trouble traveling. If the worst happens and you find yourself in a situation like this articletry not to let it ruin the rest of your vacation and enjoy the remaining time.

This article was originally published on Travel Off Path. For breaking news that will impact your next trip, please visit:

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