Despite my best efforts, and the efforts of many other travel-loving bloggers, there are still many people out there who have a lot of misconceptions about travel. I get asked in my comments or email almost everyday questions about travel safety and affordability, and sometimes people don’t seem to believe me when I insist that travel is not only safe but affordable too!
Travel is surely not what it used to be and with new technologies and platforms developing all the time like Airbnb, Uber, and Couchsurfing, travel has become more affordable and user-friendly than ever. Today I want to have another shot at changing the minds of those who still believe that travel unsafe, expensive, and impossible unless you’ve got an open schedule and an endless cash flow.
Here are some of the top travel myths I hear every day, and why they just are not true.
Myth: Travel is expensive
Truth: While traveling isn’t free and will cost you some money – it doesn’t have to break the bank. If you do your research and plan ahead, there are plenty of ways to find cheap flights and score affordable accommodation. There are some countries that are more affordable than others where you’ll even be able to experience luxury travel at a budget friendly price. Many cities offer free tours and activities, especially to students, and there are a plethora of shared accommodation options that cater to budget travelers around the world. Something that I think doesn’t get enough attention is how to save on food while traveling. This is super easy to do by packing granola bars, choosing accommodation that includes breakfast, and visiting cultural events where food is offered to visitors for free.
Here are some helpful posts to check out to help lower your travel costs:
Myth: Travelling is dangerous (especially alone and as a woman)
Truth: The media can make it seem as if the world is a scary and dangerous place, and while there are real threats to keep in mind, the world is genuinely not dangerous. Traveling is incredibly safe as long as you’re smart and vigilant. Many of the horror stories you hear from abroad are unfortunately a result of traveler ignorance, and it’s only these bad stories that ever make the tabloids. The biggest things to keep in mind when traveling alone is to always be aware, of where you are, your belongings are, and other people are. Always be sure to keep your bags close to your body, and zipped up, especially when in busy squares where pit-pocketers like to find victims. If you keep your head out of your smartphone and paying attention to your surroundings, you’ll have no problem as a solo traveler.
Here are some posts about staying safe while traveling:
Myth: Guidebooks are the best way to see a city
Truth: It’s 2017. There are thousands of travel bloggers and vloggers constantly updating their websites on a daily basis with up to date information about destinations around the word. While guidebooks can certainly be a helpful starting point to give you some cultural and historic background of a destination, I think that online resources are the most efficient tools for travel planning these days. These websites are updated more often than these guidebooks and they’re are a lot more easily accessible to travelers on the road.
Check out some of my favorite city guides here:
Myth: You don’t have time to travel
Truth: As the saying goes, you have time for what you make time for. Regardless of if you’re a student or working full-time, you can make time to travel. If traveling is truly something that you want to do, and you make it a priority, it is incredibly easy to fit into any busy schedule!
Check out how I schedule travel around a busy schedule here:
Myth: You can get by with just English
Truth: While the majority of the places you travel will have people that speak both English and their native tongue, I always find it helpful to try at least learn the basics of the local language. In the event you get lost and do run into someone who only speaks the native language, being able to say hello or ask for help can come in handy. For me and many others, experiencing new cultures is one of the biggest motivations for travel; what could be a more authentic cultural experience than learning a bit of a new language? Attempting to learn the local language is also incredibly respectful to the locals who live there. By at least trying to learn a few words it shows the locals that you appreciate their culture and are embracing it, rather than trying to cover it up with your own.
Check out this post for tips on learning a new language:
Myth: Shared accommodation platforms are dangerous
Truth: Platforms like AirBnb and Couchsurfing often get a bad rap in the media, but these are perfectly safe accommodation options. I frequently use AirBnb when I travel, and only stay in hotels now when I truly have to. AirBnb offers accommodations at a way more affordable price and give guests a far more authentic experience. I’ve only ever had pleasant experiences with hosts and every accommodation I’ve stayed in has highly surpassed my expectations. As long as you are careful to choose hosts on AirBnb or Couchsurfing that have good ratings and traveler reviews, you’ll be in good hands.
Check out my post about staying in shared accommodations:
Myth: Travelling is bad for the environment
Truth: While travelling does come with heavy carbon footprint, there are ways to be conscious of this and attempt to offset your own carbon footprint while travelling. More and more hotels and tour operators are now offering eco-friendly options for their guests, that aim to not only to minimize their environmental impact, but provide guests with the necessary knowledge and skills to continue to be environmentally aware in their everyday lives. There are also many airlines that now offer the option to pay a carbon offset fee in addition to your airfare, in order to be donated to environmental organizations.
Check out some of my articles for being an eco-friendly traveller here: