Many people avoid travelling due to certain travel mythsthat are going around. Maybe you’re the same? Perhaps you’ve heard that going abroad is dangerous or travelling solo is only for the brave (or the crazy!)
To calm your worries, I’ve looked at some common travel myths to see if there really is any truth behind them or if they’re simply fairytales.
5 Common Travel Myths Debunked
1. Travel is expensive
The word expensive is misleading because it is entirely subjective given the context.
If your idea of travel is restricted to sipping champagne on a yacht while munching on fine lobster, then yes travel is expensive but for most, this is totally false.
Sure, in a city like New York, hotels can be outrageously expensive but with new-age services like couchsurfing and Airbnb coupled with a bit of planning, travel to the Big Apple doesn’t have to be out of your league.
When it comes to food, if fine dining every night isn’t an option then the alternatives don’t have to be dire. In many parts of the world you can find delicious street food at a fraction of the price you’d pay at top restaurants. For example, in Vietnam, the best Pho can be found on the street for less than £2 or $3. Even in pricier cities like Paris and London, you can dine really well without having to blow your budget.
The secret to enjoying your solo travels is to do your research well before you leave. This way you can combine some affordable options for your lodgings, dining and excursions with more expensive choices so your vacation isn’t a drag.
You can splurge when you want and save when you can! Be sure to download our travel budget calculator to help you with your planning and budgeting.
2. The destination is too dangerous
Yes, there are countries that are too dangerous to travel to and this is changing all the time, often very quickly.
If there is a military coup being planned in your place of choice for instance, then pick another destination. Make the website of your country’s foreign department your first port of call to check that your holiday destination is not on the brink of civil war.
The foreign department will be aware of any political rumblings or issues on the ground long before they hit mainstream news so they are the best people to advise you on do’s and don’ts.
Assuming there are no travel restrictions for the country you’re visiting, it’s still a good idea to do some research about local customs before you travel.
For instance, if you’re female and travelling to a Muslim country, pack suitable clothing. It’s wise to keep your shoulders covered and wear longer skirts or shorts to avoid any unwanted male attention.
Some good old-fashioned common sense rarely goes amiss either.
Most people’s fears about the dangers of travelling abroad can be avoided simply by taking some simple precautions. Like not taking your expensive jewelry or the latest Iphone with you if you’re travelling to a city known for petty theft or a country where there are extreme discrepancies between the rich and poor.
3. I don’t have anyone to go with
For those who’ve never tried it, travelling solo may seem daunting. But don’t let this fear prevent you from enjoying the many benefits of travelling alone, such as the freedom to do what you want, when you want.
Many people imagine solo travel to be a lonely activity when the reality is quite the opposite.
Obviously, I’m biased. I set up this blog to share the wonders of solo travel and encourage you to take an adventure alone.
But I’m clearly not the only one.
A recent survey in the Daily Express (UK) highlighted that over 50% of all holidays in 2017 were booked by single people. And it wasn’t just backpackers or gap year students roughing it round the world but a wide range of solos are now choosing to travel by themselves.
Solo travelers are like the social butterflies of the travel world. Since they have no particular companion or friends to stick with they can mix and mingle as much as they wan.
Travelling alone can often lead to the most rewarding, enriching experiences because you can end up meeting more people than if you were part of a couple or group.
In fact, as a solo traveler it is almost impossible not to meet other people along the road.
4. I don’t speak Spanish/Vietnamese etc
Unless you’re going to some remote village in the middle of the jungle that has never heard radio, or seen television, you’ll be surprised how many people in the world can speak basic English.
Thanks to Hollywood, multinational businesses and the globalisation of culture, most people in major cities around the world and tourist-friendly areas will have some grasp of English.
And what about learning a few phrases yourself?
If you have the time, it definitely helps to learn a few words before you head off to get around. But just because you can’t recite Hamlet in Portuguese doesn’t mean you shouldn’t visit Lisbon, does it?
5. Hostels are the cheapest form of accommodation
This really depends on many factors such as whether you are travelling alone as well as your expectations.
If you are staying in a city, it’s always worth checking if there are any last-minute hotel deals. Sometimes, for just a couple of dollars or pounds more you can have a big bed to yourself in a nice hotel rather than spending another night trying to sleep on a paper-thin mattress while breathing in the dampness of a dorm full of under-showered backpackers.
As you can see, travel myths abound but always remember that’s all they often are – stories we hear or tell ourselves that can affect our judgements and spoil the fun for many years.
What travel myths have you come across that may have held you back from experiencing solo travel to the full? Please share and comment below.