Special price for you my friend.

Dealing with hustlers is something you are likely to encounter when you travel. It can be very annoying and tiresome. So I thought I would give you some advice, as I used to work as a hustler in my younger years.

I used to be one of those annoying guys that you met down by the harbour, at the beach, at the train station, and so on. And I always had something to sell you from hostel rooms to boat tours and many other things. I financed a lot of my earlier travels by touring for various companies. And I earned some pretty good money from time to time doing this. Even if the hustler is selling an ok product (sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t). Then they are really annoying. And these days I despise the people who work in my former profession. I do everything I can to navigate around their sales talks. That is even if I almost only sold pretty decent product that had good value. But these touts are a pest. And the world would be nicer without that profession.

How does a hustlers mind work?

I used to be the best boat trip hustler in Lagos/Portugal.

I used to be the best boat trip hustler in Lagos/Portugal

When you are a hustler, you are first of all trying to get the potential clients attention. You can do this by offering the product to them right away. Or you can do it by striking up a random conversation. And then after you have had a friendly chat, offer them the thing you are selling. A good hustler can tell by the way people walk, talk and look what works best at the individual customer.

But the important thing for the hustler is to make you stop in the first place. So this is what they aim to do. Once you stop and start talking to them, it’s just like when you are fishing and a fish hooks on to your line. It’s now only a matter of pulling them in to the boat slowly but surely and trust me. Good hustlers will get 90% of the people who stop and talk to them to buy something. Don’t have some illusion that they start talking to you because they want to get to know you. They might want that too, especially if you are good looking and of the opposite sex. But they are first of all looking for a sale. And then we can see afterwards if you can make friends. Sorry guy, but this is how a hustlers mind work.


Avoid eye contact and keep walking.


The single best way to get away when dealing with hustlers is by not getting any eye contact with them. Once there is eye contact you are half the way to buying a ticket. Trust me on this. I used to do it for a living. It might seem rude to not look at someone when they are calling you. But don’t worry about it. You are not dealing with an ordinary citizen of the country you visit. You are dealing with someone who is purely out to make a buck out of you. So save your politeness to all the other nice and friendly people you meet at the destination. Cause being polite to the hustler will only cost you money in the end. If you get eye contact anyway, then try to keep walking as you are talking to them. That way you get away a lot easier as you become a slippery eel in the hands of the hustler. They are really not gonna like it if you keep walking and they will in most cases start yelling at you because they are realising that a sale is about to be lost. But keep walking and talk to someone who does not want to sell you stuff instead. You have plenty of those people in all destinations, but you might have to get past the wall of hustlers first.


So, when dealing with hustlers then try to:

1: Avoid eye contact with the hustler.

2: If you can’t avoid eye contact then keep walking and try not to talk to him.

3: If you have gotten eye contact. Stopped and started talking to him. Then you better pray that he has an honest product. Cause you are very likely to end up buying what he has to offer if he is a professional.

Hustlers are bastards.

Hustlers are bastrads.

Good luck everyone when dealing with hustlers 🙂


  1. Thanks for the look under the hood. I’ve fallen prey a few times (minor) but avoiding eye contact and keeping walking is the best tip. You keep bringing it, Claus. Love your posts.

  2. Great information!!! I also hate hustlers! I would have people approach me about solar panels….would quickly say I was homeless and wish I could live in a house. That shut them up pretty quick!!! 😉

  3. Great information here!!! Loving your posts!! I also hate hustlers! I would have people approach me about solar panels….would quickly say I was homeless and wish I could live in a house. That shut them up pretty quick!!! 😉

  4. Thank you for this post… I need to let husband read this:) I am pretty good handling with hustlers as I grew up in the philippines which has loooots of them:) BUT my husband seems to be get soooo nice to these people:) Thanks for this post:)

  5. Pingback: Why I went from being a backpacker to becoming a tour cyclist.

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