Over the years, I’ve heard a ton of different travel myths. To be honest, when I was first started travelling, I would believe them (e.g. bribe Thai police officers if you’re questioned for whatever reason), but I’ve quickly realized that many of these travel myths were completely untrue.
I suspect that some of these travel myths were true to a certain degree at one time, but I feel like the majority of them have just evolved over the decades to the point people believe they are legit. You can choose to believe whatever you want, but these 5 travel myths are just wrong!
Travelling is expensive
One of the biggest things stopping people from travelling is money. I understand that travelling is a luxury, but to say it’s expensive is not entirely true. My wife and I spent a week in Portugal and it cost us less than $2,000 total. Heck, I even spent two weeks in Europe for about $2,700 (which is arguably high) since I stayed at hostels.
It doesn’t matter how much you make or what you currently have saved, travelling really comes down to budgeting and being smart with your money. I always recommend that people decide where they want to go and how much it’ll cost them. For example, if you plan on going to Southeast Asia in a year and it’s going to cost you about $3,300, then you need to save $275 every month to reach your goal. I wrote an entire guide on the cost of travel which will teach you how to plan and save money when travelling.
You can’t travel with a baby
When my wife and I were in Egypt, we saw a couple with two babies on a tour of Karnak Temple. They had them strapped to their bodies in baby carriers while they enjoyed their surroundings. Right away my wife and I looked at each other and knew we would do something similar when we had a child. Well, fast forward a few years later and we have a baby girl. Before she turned one, she had already been to Philadelphia, Orlando, Amsterdam, and Italy. Sure, travelling with a baby or young children can be difficult, but it’s not impossible. We just plan our days around our child’s schedule while ensuring we’re still seeing the things we want to see. Here’s how we survived Rome with our baby.
Collecting loyalty points is a hassle
I totally get why people are annoyed with loyalty points. AIR MILES has been a PR nightmare over the years and claiming your points for travel really isn’t worth it. When it comes to Aeroplan, there are high taxes and it can be quite difficult to find a seat on the flights you want. Oh, and you also need a lot of points for a free flight or hotel room so what’s the point of collecting loyalty points?
Loyalty points are free money! Seriously, every point has a value. You may not be able to use those points right away, but over time, they’re valuable. More importantly, loyalty points don’t cost you anything, so you should always be collecting them. That being said, it’s really in your best interest to maximize your points. For example, if you signed up for one of the best travel credit cards in Canada, the sign up bonus could be worth $250 – $1,200. Seriously! The American Express Platinum Card gives you 60,000 points which are enough for two round-trip tickets to anywhere in the continental U.S. and Canada. There’s also the WestJet World Elite Mastercard that gives you $250 WestJet dollars as a welcome bonus and an annual companion voucher for just $99. Using credit cards to earn points is the way to go!
There is a perfect time to book flights
I know that there are apps and websites out there that predict when airfare will be the cheapest, but their data is based on millions of flight searches. I suppose when you’re comparing that many searches, you could say that booking at Tuesday mornings at 3am during a full moon will give you the lowest price, but it likely won’t work for most people.
Instead of trying to figure out how to beat the system, you can find cheap flights by flying during the low season or using the KAYAK explore tool. Finding a cheap flight isn’t that difficult. You just need to decide what’s more important, the location you want to fly to or the dates – you can’t have both.
Travelling solo is unsafe
Not that I have much experience with it, but it seems like solo travel, especially for females is often frowned upon. To tell a female that they shouldn’t travel alone since something terrible could happen to them is ridiculous. Don’t get me wrong, you definitely need to be aware of your surroundings and take precautions, but that applies to men and women as well as people travelling in groups.
If you choose to travel alone, make sure your friends or family know your itinerary. It’s also a good idea to not tell strangers where you’re staying (again, this applies to everyone). Keep in mind that travelling solo doesn’t mean you need to be alone all the time. Many cities offer free walking tours and it’s pretty easy to meet like minded travellers in hostels. Alternatively, you could join a tour group where you’ll always be around people and a guide.
Some of these travel myths should really be considered urban legends. When it comes to travel, people will always try to crush your dreams and goals, but don’t let them get you down. Travel doesn’t need to be scary or intimidating, you just need to plan and block out the haters.