When it comes to traveling, there are many myths floating around regarding topics like flying, finances, and safety. However, not all of these myths are true, and often prevent people from traveling at all. In this article we will debunk these common travel assumptions.
Many rumors float around the internet striving to be the best source of information related to travel, but only end up scaring people away from traveling. When is the best day to book travel? Do I really need a car? Is traveling safe?
While many of these questions are valid and understandable, it can be difficult to get a straight forward answer. Here, we will try to answer these questions and more, in the most concise and comprehensable way possible.
For more travel information, read our guide of the top 50 travel tips!
Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
Myth #1: Tuesday is the best day to book
I’m sure many of you travelers have heard that Tuesday is the best day to book flights. While many travelers swear by this, we, among other travelers, have yet to find this to be true. The only time we have found this myth to be true is on Travel Tuesday, which you can read more about. This is a special circumstance, and is related to the Black Friday deals. You can find amazing deals on this day!
Otherwise, prices on Tuesdays are like any other day of the week. So, how do you find the best flight deals? Fortunately, we have some recommendations!
To begin, read our guide on how to find the cheapest flights.
Choose 3-5 vacation destinations you are thinking about, along with a handful of potential dates you can travel within the next year. Take some time each day to get a general idea of how much flights cost to each of these destinations, for each potential date.
After a couple of weeks, you will get a cost baseline. Continue searching every day. Because you know the average cost, you will know when you find a good deal! Consider $100 or less on the flight cost as a good deal.
Myth #2: Cheapest airfare is always the best deal
This is one common travel assumptions that even we have fallen for. When searching for flights, most people find the cheapest flight, and immediately believe it is the best deal. Seems logical, right?
Wrong. Just because the flight looks as though it is the cheapest, it might not be! Many airlines like Spirit, EasyJet, Frontier, etc. have super cheap flight deals, which can be tempting to snag up. However, they might not actually be cheaper than the other airlines.
So, what’s the catch? Well, cheap airfares, especially from these airlines, often don’t include baggage fees. ‘Okay, well I don’t plan to check a bag anyway’, you might say to yourself. Little do you realize, you will have to pay for your carry on bag as well- even a small suitcase that fits under your seat. This can cost $40-$60 PER BAG. That cheap airfare isn’t so cheap anymore, is it?
Before booking your airfare, watch for situations like this one. Make sure to read the luggage and carry on policy before booking, to make sure you are actually getting a deal!
Read more about budget travel tips to save you hundreds!
Myth #3: Hostels are always the cheapest form of accommodation.
Many people have the belief that in order to travel cheaply, you must stay in a hostel. Sure, hostels are very cheap- but it is not the only lodging that is cheap!
If hostels are your go-to, and you enjoy it- then skip to the next myth. There is nothing wrong with staying in hostels, and they are actually a great way to connect with travelers from around the world!
For those of you that aren’t into the hostel lifestyle, that is okay too! However, finding hotels can be stressful, and the costs can add up pretty quickly. You want to be close to the main attractions, but in a good part of town, while also staying within a reasonable budget. So, how do you find cheap hotels?
I have one word for you: Hotwire. Every vacation we take, we use Hotwire hot rate hotels. You can select the area you want to stay in, and Hotwire will give you a list of hotels in the area, as well as their star rating. You won’t know exactly what hotel you will get until after booking, but you will get 3 hotel names- and yours will be one of them.
The best part is- you can get 4 star hotels for under $100! We have even stayed at fancy hotels for $50! We have stayed directly in major cities around the world for well under $100, and they were all clean and nice!
Read more about how to find the cheapest hotel possible!
Myth #4: Don't travel to large cities during peak season
This is common travel assumptions we hear all the time: don’t travel to popular places during peak season (usually summer). However, for most people- this is the best time to travel, right?
Many travelers suggest traveling on off seasons so there will be less tourists and crowds. While this is true, that doesn’t mean you should never travel in the summer time!
For the past 5+ years, I have traveled every June, peak travel season for most travelers. While places have been busy, I never found it to be unbearable. Choose to embrace the crowds, meet new people, and enjoy the meshing of cultures from around the world.
Crowds aren’t for everyone, of course. If the hustle and bustle gets too much to handle, consider scheduling time in your itinerary to relax at a nearby park, or go somewhere quiet. Have patience, and use time waiting in lines or stuck in crowds to soak in your surroundings.
Make sure you pack a vacation day bag so you have everything you need during the day, which will help ease your stress, especially in crowds!
Myth #5: Head out early to beat the crowds
Another common travel assumption is to leave early during the day to beat crowds. If you are going to a popular tourist attraction, museums, tours, etc., many travelers suggest leaving early in the morning to beat the busy crowds.
This is a good idea, sometimes.
What matters most is getting your tickets ahead of time. If you haven’t bought tickets yet, you definitely should head out early. However, don’t even put yourself in this position! Buy your tickets online ahead of time, and you will be able to jump the lines. Also, many tickets give you a time slot to visit, so you won’t need to worry about lines or too many crowds at all!
Additionally, almost every traveler tries to leave early to beat the crowd, which kind of defeats the purpose! Schedule your day in a way that works for you and your family, and tackle any crowds as they come- because even if you try to avoid them, you will still run into them!
Myth #6: You will get pickpocketed
It is no myth that you should be careful when traveling- I mean, you should be careful and safe wherever you go, right? Many travelers fear. that when visiting foreign countries, they will get pickpocketed or scammed in some way.
So, why is it then, that our fear is lessened when traveling in our own country, as if this could never happen at home. You could get pickpocketed at your local grocery store!
With that being said, pickpocketing does happen frequently in popular cities like Rome, Paris, NYC, etc. However, travelers should avoid letting their fear get to them.
Be knowledgable of common scams and pickpocketing techniques in the area before you travel, but don’t go overboard on protecting yourself. Simply be smart about your money and other important items.
Bring a small purse, and keep your money and credit cards in the inside pocket. Keep your hand resting on your purse when walking around (I have found this to be comfortable anyway).
Don’t leave your purse wide open or your backpack unzipped- but you already know all this. Be smart, be aware of your surroundings, and you will be just fine!
Myth #7: Tourist attractions are overrated
This one is a myth, of course. Not everyone has to love all the common tourist attractions, and opt for lesser known, unique attractions instead. Both are completely fine!
However, it is our belief that tourist attractions are not overrated, and should be embraced! There is usually a reason there is a popular attraction, restaurant, museum, etc. in the area, so go and see for yourself!
There is nothing wrong with watching the Eiffel Tower light up at night, riding a gondola in Venice, or going to the Colosseum in Rome. Maybe there is that one restaurant that you just have to eat at. Go for it!
Drop the notion that things are too “touristy” or cliche. If you want to do it- do it! You came all this way after all, spend the money and enjoy yourself- you might never get to come back!
Myth #8: Traveling is expensive, I can't afford it!
This is one common travel assumption we hear a lot. Understandably, not everyone has a 6 figure job, has no debt, or can just drop hundreds on a vacation- but all that doesn’t matter!
Traveling can actually be super affordable, if planned the right way. Additionally, traveling doesn’t have to be a grand adventure– it can just be a road trip a few hours away! Pack up your car with these road trip essentials, drive a few hours, and get a cheap hotel for a couple of nights. Explore the area, and learn something new.
In terms of airfare, you can find affordable vacations that fit your budget, as long as you know what you are doing! Visit our guide for finding cheap flights, and how to find cheap hotels, and you will be on your way to an awesome budget vacation!
Traveling is an important part of life, to expand our knowledge or the world, and be more understanding of the people around us. Try making travel a priority, and you will be surprised how much you can save!
Myth #9: Always rent a car
I have to admit, I had this belief when we first began traveling frequently. How else will you get around? I thought renting a car would be the cheapest and easiest way to get around and explore the new city.
After renting a car in London and having to drive on the left (and getting a flat tire)- it was safe to say we learned our lesson!
Especially in large cities, public transportation is a life saver. Between subways, trains, and busses, you can find your way around practically anywhere. And, of course, if all else fails- Uber it!
Plus, you will not need to worry about drinking too much, getting lost, or getting into an accident. However, it is understandable why you might need a car in certain places- just be mindful, and limit your driving as much as you can, especially in large, busy cities!
Myth #10: Street food is unsafe
Many travelers avoid street food, with the belief that they will get food poisoning from it. However, some of the best food comes from street food, so you don’t want to miss out!
At the end of the day, you could get sick from food at a 5 star restaurant too. It is one of those things that is not really in your control!
However, there are some ways to be smart about it, if you know these street food safety tips.
Eat at street food vendors that are busy- this should give you a good idea that the food is both tasty and reputable.
Get your food while its hot- sickness inducing bacteria is less likely to survive on food that is cooked to the proper temperature- with fried food, you can bet it was heated properly.
Take a look at the food- does it look fresh? Use your best judgement when deciding on a place to eat.
Like anywhere you decide to eat, use your gut feeling. Try not to worry about getting sick too much, to the point where you are missing out on trying delicious food!
Thank you for reading common travel assumptions: debunked! What are some myths you have heard that need debunking? Let us know in the comment section below- we would love to hear from you!