Today’s post is debunking some travel myths once and for all!!
“Book a plane ticket far in advance to save money.”
This myth may have been true back in the 60s when flights were a much rarer thing than they are today. Back then, the demand for a flight would naturally increase as the date approached, without lots of alternative airlines and competition.
In fact, now you’re often more likely to get a last-minute deal from an airline trying to fill seats. According to recent studies, the best time to buy a ticket was between six and seven weeks before. BUT, this varies by location and routes.
“The air on a plane makes you sick.”
The air on a plane may absorb every last drop of moisture from your skin like silica gel, but it doesn’t make you sick. In fact, aeroplanes spend a considerable amount of energy pumping in, filtering, warming, and pressurizing fresh air from outside the cabin.
So what does make you sick on aeroplanes? The tray tables, handles, and headrests that are touched by people every single day, who maybe don’t have the same hygiene standards as you do!
“The best hotel prices are on travel sites.”
The popularity of sites like Booking.com and Expedia has resulted in the misconception that the only way to get a good deal on a room is to use one of these online third-party bookers.
Hotel chains will frequently have discount or perk offers that third-party websites don’t. If you have a hotel in mind, it is far easier to deal directly with the hotel than with a booking agent.
Shop around, look at where you want to go, or even stay with locals on Airbnb instead!
“You’ll avoid crowds if you go early.”
That’s what EVERY guidebook says—the same guidebook that was purchased by several million other tourists. There are only so many heritage sites, monuments, and parks in the world, but a practically unlimited supply of tourists.
The trick is to go not early, but when no one else wants to go, like the middle of the day—when the sun has chased away the weaker tourists.
Or when we were in Paris, we climbed the Eiffel Tower at 5 pm when the queues were short and before the evening rush. Figure out when the peak times are, or just accept that there will be crowds and queues in the busiest places.
“Always trust local knowledge.”
How many hotels have you stayed at in your hometown? Just as you probably don’t know the ins and outs of the tourist industry in your city, it’s unlikely that a local in a foreign city will know the answer to a tourist’s every question.
We play a game when we hear tour groups – was that the truth or a lie? With mobile data being the same across Europe as the UK, we just googled a place while we were there!
“Street food is unsafe.”
First, you really don’t know what’s going on restaurant kitchens, because you can’t see inside. With street food, you can see the ingredients being prepared directly in front of you. And since street food is often deep-fried, stir-fried, or barbecued over very high heat, it’s likely that everything bad in it will have been destroyed. (Not always the case but be okay!)
STREET FOOD IS SOME OF THE BEST I HAVE EVER EATEN!
“Jet lag stems from lack of sleep.”
Jet lag isn’t the result of exhaustion, it’s the result of a massive change in longitude. Its attempt to reset itself to the day-night cycle of your destination results in the sensation of jet lag.
Sleeping on the plane is only wise if it’s night at your destination. Do as I say, not as I do though… I struggle so badly with jetlag!
“You shouldn’t travel to countries with travel advisories.”
Looking at the government travel advisory map, it would appear unwise to venture to well over half the globe.
Of course, the government is bound to take a “better safe than sorry” approach, like an overprotective parent.
But take Thailand, for example. The US government has marked it yellow, which suggests you should “exercise a high degree of caution” and the UK Government has only half of it yellow. This puts Thailand in the same category as violence-plagued countries like Egypt and Liberia.
A tourist enjoying the beaches of Koh Samui would laugh hysterically at this assessment. Be sensible
“Carry your money in a special pocket or pouch.”
When you go to Italy, how often do you see a local carrying around their cash in a strange necklace pouch or a money belt? Never, of course, and it’s not because the money belt is hidden. They just use a wallet, like a normal person.
“Duty-free equals a good deal.”
The reality is that duty-free goods often cost no less than when bought at your local shop. It is true that you don’t pay taxes, but the baseline price for luxury perfumes and sunglasses is often higher than normal in the airport.
Hope you’ve learnt a few things today from this post – I love to travel and love sharing things I’ve learnt along the way!
Until next time
The Great Ambini
I have other hacks posts here:-