Some travel superstitions are subtle, while others are downright limiting! If there’s always a strictly organised, perfect time to buy tickets or book accommodations, then everyone would be on the act at the same time. The truth is, access to budget-fitting traveling is available all-year around, but only if one is truly keen to look for information at the right places. So time to liberate ourselves from all these long-standing travel myths! Below are the common seven that can finally be axed.
#1. Only the rich travel.
This is one of the most perpetuated myths, even in this day and age of massive travel discounts and low-cost flights. A lot of people think traveling is expensive, only because they do not know where and how to look for travel “sale”. Thanks to the invention of credit cards, frequent flyer miles and airline loyalty programs, and not to mention travel agencies to help you plan your trip accordingly, there are always ways to travel on a lower budget. So if you’re one of those who believe in this myth, time to weed it out of your thinking!
#2. Solo travelling is only for single people.
People travel the world alone for many different reasons, one of which is to seek themselves amidst the perceived newness of other cultures. Such self-discovery and inner strength, if we really think deeply, is not only exclusive to single people, nor is it a distraction from any reality back home. Even those who are in committed relationships would do well to find their true bearings, on their own, during solo journeys. Solo traveling, in fact, forces us to appreciate the right things, deeper.
#3. Travelling is dangerous.
Perhaps one of the most dangerous myths of all is that traveling is dangerous, rendering many people paralysed when thinking about the world. Danger is actually everywhere, and can occur any time in any place, even back home. Contrary to popular belief, danger is not something that only certain locations contain, and if we tend to believe so, we only ought to start questioning the media we read! Like with many other activities in life, traveling is a safe affair when we make sure to keep the awareness of our surroundings intact.
#4. There’s always a non-tourist time of the day to visit tourist sites.
If you truly believe in this, congratulations — you have just invested in yet another silly myth! The truth is, if a tourist location is in the guide book, it’s probably crowded most of the time. So don’t sweat over planning the perfect, time-sensitive itinerary. The most important thing is to curate a daily set of places you’d like to see when abroad, and stick to the goal. If avoiding the crowd really matters to you, then it’s best to schedule your vacations strictly during “off-peak” seasons.
#5. Duty free is always cheaper.
From perfumes and alcohol to chocolates and cigarettes, the things sold in duty free shops are riveting because they are tax-free. But just because they come at a cheaper price tag does not mean that they make for good deals. In some countries, duty free items are of excellent value, while in others, you may end up paying more for the same goods in your own country. The trick here is to always be aware of currency exchange rates, know the price comparisons beforehand, and stick to your shopping budget.
#6. Hotels are always cheaper if you book on booking sites.
These days, getting hotel rooms for cheaps are a rare, exceptional case. This is because hotels would rather not pay commission to booking sites. Sometimes the best thing to do is to book directly. Not only would the hotels offer in-house perks, you can also get Wi-Fi, room upgrade, or meal credits at no extra costs, which booking sites may outrightly eclipse. The sites also tend to overcharge on GST and taxes, so there’s not much difference in terms of prices to lose your head over in the end. And when reserving directly, you can avoid mishaps such as a mistranferrence o f bookings.
#7. You can find everything on the Internet.
This is right — and also wrong. Talking about it might be counterintuitive to everything we have listed here, but hear us out! While plenty of research and online reading can help you prepare for the trip of your lifetime, nothing really gives you an adrenalin kick and utter enjoyment quite like leaving a little room for chance. Sometimes the best experiences are not inspired by accounts written by travel writers and other travelers, but by the very virtue of having lived, breathed, talked, seen, and tasted them yourselves in real-time.