Survival / Travel English: “Trust Me!” (BEWARE)


Ahh, Hawaii! Have you tried to book a condominium there, just for a short time? Be careful that you are actually renting a condominium that is real! Photos are beautiful on the Internet. Make sure to ask someone locally if that condominium is real, not just a photo. Ask about the person who is renting it to you. Is she/he an honest person?

While in Hawaii (or anywhere in the US)…

Hawaii is pretty safe. Many Japanese visit so it is comfortable for Japanese there. However, be careful. And, if you are going to mainland USA, think about the following:

1. Look confident. Look like you know where you are going. If you look confused, and if you look like a tourist, someone may try to trick you.

2. Looking like a tourist can be unsafe. If you are holding a camera, a map, walking slowly without direction, and looking confused, you look like a tourist. Look confident.

3. If you don’t know where you are – go inside to a hotel or safe place, and ask a staff person to help you.

4. Before you get into a taxi, know: a) How much the fare (cost) is to your destination. b) How long it should take to get there (how many minutes). Find that out from the hotel or someone you can trust. Then c) Ask the taxi driver how much and how many minutes to your destination. If the taxi driver tells a lie, do not get into the taxi.

5. Your money and passport pouch. Keep your valuable items in a travel waist pouch. The pouch should be put *under* your garments (clothes). Then, in an outer waist pouch, put a little bit of money, but not your passport or important items.

6. Give a tip! This is important. In the US, it is common to tip 15% to 20% percent. 15% is safe. 20% is if the service is good. 10% is probably not recommended, but if the service is terrible, maybe. Places to tip: Restaurants (not fast food); Hair stylists; hotel staff; delivery staff; taxi drivers; limousine shuttle drivers to and from the airport. If you do not tip, it gives a bad impression of you, and your country.

7. At the airport (or anywhere), handle your own luggage. Stay with your luggage – do not leave it unattended. Do not allow others to put items in your luggage. Do not carry on other peoples’ luggage. It can be dangerous if there is something illegal in that luggage.


And, last but not least – if someone tells you to trust them – be careful. Even I have been tricked by honest looking faces. In the US, strangers may talk to you. Sometimes they are honest, friendly people. Sometimes not. If you are unsure, it’s best to politely excuse yourself. You can say, “I’m sorry, I need to hurry. Thank you.”

Be careful and have fun!