Have you been dreaming of traveling with a friend? Or perhaps solo travel is your cup of tea? No matter who you’re going with, traveling to a foreign land can be scary—especially with all the things we see in the news or hear about alarming stories from vacationers.
With 2020 knocking on the door, allow us to debunk some of the most common, long-standing travel myths you’ve probably heard so you can have no stress vacations, whether alone or with a group.
One of the most common travel misconceptions you’ve probably heard of is that traveling is easy. Some might even have a mental picture of booking a flight, checking in a hotel, and having the time of their lives wherever they are. Unfortunately, it isn’t easy.
From booking flights and accommodations to navigating your way through a foreign land, traveling is full of challenges. Even communicating with a local can be hard, depending on which country you’re in. But that’s one of the beautiful things about traveling. Apart from the picturesque scenery, delicious food, and cultural experiences, the challenges you face in a foreign land and overcoming it becomes a memory that you’ll look back to when it’s all said and done.
It’s not unusual for people to think that travel is expensive because, for the most part, it’s intangible. It’s not something that you can truly take home with you. According to research by San Francisco State University, people who spend their money on experiences rather than material things were happier and felt that their money was well spent.
But the reality of it is that we have to spend money to go to other places. Luckily, there are budget airlines that you can find using Google flights, affordable accommodations, and other travel hacks that both first time and veteran travelers can use to save money while traveling.
Say you’re traveling to Boracay, you can book a room at Alta Vista de Boracay for as low as Php3,000! Good deal, right? Try it out today.
Regardless if you’re traveling with a companion, there’s always a preconception that traveling isn’t safe. Some might say the airplane or the country you’re going to or even your hotel isn’t safe, which could scare you out of traveling. Reasons might range from the absurd to absolutely rubbish, like hearing a strange story from a dubious source.
If you take the right travel precautions, you’ll learn how to make the most of your vacation no matter where you are in the world. Research about the place. Get to know your destination ahead of time. You can also read on the most recent reviews and check the government website for updates. Don’t forget to photocopy your essential documents such as passport, IDs, etc. before you leave home. That way, you can prove your identity and purpose of visit anytime you’re stopped for a security check.
Are you a woman planning to travel alone? You’re sure to hear comments about women traveling alone from the people that care about you, such as “It’s dangerous for a woman to go alone” or “Aren’t you afraid that something might happen to you?” You’ll also hear people tell you that women should tour in groups. It’s a heavy stigma that women are perceived as a frequent target by men and women alike when they go alone.
Don’t be afraid to visit travel destinations on your own. Do your research about the culture of the place. Read the local news or ask someone who lives there about what you can and can’t do. There may be some taboo things, such as showing your shoulder, hair, etc. Respect the culture, and chances are you’ll be safe. In addition, make sure you bring along your travel essentials like the personal alarm keychain and pepper spray (if possible) whether you’re alone or with women traveling together.
Do you think that you’re too old for solo travel? Then you need to know this: traveling knows no age. There are plenty of senior travel destinations out there! As long as you’re healthy enough and have insurance for medical purposes, then, by all means, book that flight.
Couchsurfing is a relatively new trend among solo travelers. Couchsurfing, according to the dictionary, is when a traveler makes impromptu sleeping arrangements in other people’s houses at minimal or no cost at all. Doesn’t sound safe, right?
But this is a good solo travel tip if you want to save money and learn about the local culture. There are surfing websites and apps that lists homes that provide couchsurfing services, which makes it more accountable and safe for both homeowner and traveler.
One of the best parts of traveling is tasting the local cuisine not just in restaurants, but along the streets as well. But because food is sold on the streets, it’s safe to assume that smoke from vehicles passing by, bacteria, and other factors can contaminate the food that will be served to you, eventually making you sick. That may be true for some. That’s why it’s very important to have travel insurance.
Moreover, there are ways that can help you spot if it’s safe to eat the food or not. Some of the best foodie tips for solo travel is to eat where the locals eat. This is often a great way to gauge what the locals love to eat and how safe it is. The fact that many locals continue to eat there means that it’s safe for them. Another thing to look out for is pests. If there are any pests, best to leave that restaurant or stall alone.
One of the worst myths you can hear is that you don’t need travel insurance—especially if your trip is a short one. Although the risk of death while on a vacation is relatively low, you will never know what will happen to you when you’re out on vacation, no matter how much planning you do. Healthcare in foreign countries can be expensive, that’s why it’s best to get travel insurance.
Gettings stressed out in planning everything about your trip? You might want to ease off because not all plans go smoothly. Be it the weather, money, unavailability of the venue, etc., something not in your planned vacation will happen.
Don’t get frustrated when this happens. Instead, take on the challenge to deviate from your plans and wander around. You never know what you could find, learn or meet that will make your trip awesome.
While English is considered the universal language, not everyone you meet when you travel understands or speaks it. You might want to learn the primary language of the country you’ll visit, use a translator app, or hire an interpreter when you go to non-English speaking places.
Hopefully, you’ve been freed from these misleading myths that prevent you from traveling to local destinations like Boracay or abroad. Be the traveler that you want to be, without having to think about these misconceptions. Go ahead and book that flight.