There are so many upsides to traveling that the few hassles that exist can be overlooked. By far the biggest hassle of all we encounter while traveling are the tourist traps. Tourist traps exist in every single town I've ever been to. New York City has Times Square, where you can spend $40 on horrible food in a chain restaurant named after someone in a famous movie (hint: they sell shrimp, that's right Bubba, frozen shrimp). Or worse, spend $10 to have your picture taken with some guy in a Batman costume who may not have showered in the past few days (and who knows the last time that costume was washed). While New York is pretty bad, it gets a lot worse when you travel internationally. Between language barriers, and the confusing exchange rates, Americans are ripe targets for being trapped at a destination, and being milked for everything they have.
One of the most ridiculous tourist traps I've ever seen was in Negril, Jamaica. There's a certain bar on the cliffs in Negril, which will go unnamed, which qualifies for the worst tourist trap on the island. It's pretty easy to figure out which bar it is. It's the one that promotes itself as having the best sunsets in Negril. I'm not exactly sure how that's possible since the sun sets exactly the same way in all of Negril. Somehow though this bar has managed to convinced the tourists that not only do they have the best sunsets, but that in order to enjoy the sunset properly you must do so drinking beers that are priced three times higher than anywhere in all of Negril. And people still flock there. Hundreds of them a day. And, I'm embarrassed to say, I've been there a few times myself. I went about it the smart way though. I knew this was a tourist trap, but I always had so much fun jumping the fifty, or so, feet from their cliffs into the perfectly clear waters that surround the bar that I was willing to put up with it. What separated me from the hundreds of other tourists there? I knew I was in a trap, and I knew how to enjoy it without taking out a second mortgage on my home.
First of all, all taxis in Negril cost around $1.50. Even if you were as far away in Negril as you could be from this bar, the most you would ever have to pay is $3 to get there (you would need to take a beach taxi, and then a cliffs taxi). This bar ran a shuttle service though. For $10 they would pick you up at your hotel, and bring you to the bar. The exact thing a taxi would do, at over three times the price. And these shuttle were full of sunburned snow birds forking over all of their cash to watch a sunset that was identical to the one at the hotel they just left. After sunset, when the shuttles, mysteriously, stopped running, you could always get one of the bars private taxis, at $30 a taxi. Twenty times the price you would pay if you simply walked the thirty feet, from the front door of the bar to the road, and held your arm out for one of the many passing taxis.
Not only were the taxis, and beer, overpriced, but the food was absolutely horrid, and priced about five times higher than if you walked three minutes away to one of the many jerked chicken shacks than line the road. If you ever find yourself in Negril, and decide to check this bar out, do yourself a favor; take one of the many, cheap, taxis available and wait to eat and drink until after you've left. You can still enjoy the free pool and cliff diving without breaking the bank.