It’s nearly summer and for many people that means a holiday abroad, exploring a foreign city, relaxing on a sunny beach, or even doing some incredible physical feat like biking through the vineyards of Italy.
However, it turns out that some people are put off travelling because they think it’s too much money and hassle or worse, they think that it’s unsafe. That’s why we’re going to bust five of the worst travel myths right now.
1. Travelling costs too much
While it is true that travel can cost a fair amount, there are plenty of things that you can do to make your holiday cheaper. This will help you enjoy more holidays in the future.
Top tips to save money on travel:
- Book international flights and hotels 18 weeks in advance
- Choose budget airlines, trains, or buses to get to your destination
- Use the Incognito tab (or clear your browser history) when researching for your holiday so that the flight company’s software doesn’t artificially increase the price to pressure you into purchasing
- Stay with friends, sign up to house sit, or stay in a hostel to save money on accommodation
- If possible, go self-catered to cut costs on restaurants and share meals if you do eat out (not a problem wit American portions being larger than European ones)
- Take public transport rather than taxis
- Seek out free activities, like swimming at the beach or a pay-what-you-want museum
- Get a pay-as-you-go international sim card to allow you to keep in contact with your travel buddies and your family back home, or privilege free Wi-Fi whenever available
2. Visas are a massive pain to get
Many people think that all visas are difficult to apply for and take a long time to come through. That’s not always the case. If you’re headed to the US, for example, then you might just qualify for an ESTA visa, which is a doddle to get. The ESTA application takes around 15 minutes, the only document you need is your passport, and you get a reply almost instantly. For more info, click here. And there are more countries that propose a visa waiver, just check online.
3. You only need to know English
While English is a common language all around the world, don’t just assume that everyone speaks it. Take a travel dictionary for your chosen country and practice the basics before you go. Google Translate can also help you wherever you are. When in doubt, a friendly smile goes a long way.
Also, don’t get frustrated when someone doesn’t understand your English or point out minor spelling/grammar mistakes on signs or menus. Be grateful that they’re trying.
4. Travel is dangerous
All news outlets rely on sensationalist stories in order to get more physical sales or digital clicks but don’t let that scare you out of visiting a place on your bucket list. While there are some locations that are more prone to certain natural disasters or have higher crime rates, you can do a lot to protect yourself. Most of them, you would probably do yourself at home anyway.
How to stay safe:
- Look up when natural phenomena like storms or heavy rain (that can cause natural disasters) are more likely to occur and visit at a different time
- When you get to your hotel, familiarise yourself with their emergency protocols
- Avoid wearing expensive-looking items, i.e. large diamond earrings, chunky gold watches and be discreet with small electronic devices (camera, smartphone, etc)
- Don’t walk in unlit areas at night
- Drink alcohol in moderation to keep a clear head and stay sharp
- Look up local advice about areas to stay away from
- Don’t keep your wallet or phone in your back pockets or the outside pockets of your backpack
- Keep your bags close to you when travelling
- Store some money in your safe at your hotel
5. You should only eat at restaurants
There are plenty of travellers who aren’t used to street food, but you can save money and expand your horizons by ordering from food trucks. Do your research on popular street food areas before you go and use your best judgment when picking what truck to eat from and what food to order.
Wherever you’re setting off to on your next trip, we hope that this article will help you save money, save time, and stay safe by dispelling those troubling travel myths. Most importantly though, we hope that it’s inspired you to go somewhere you’ve never been, do something you’ve never done, and be someone you’ve never been.