Debunking the top 5 Worst Myths About Traveling Abroad
When we read about foreign travel, we often hear horror stories. Worse than that, there are several myths about traveling abroad that many people believe and the internet often perpetuates. These myths can make it seem like traveling is a lot harder and more hassle than it really is. Here are five of the worst myths about traveling abroad:
If you travel with a group, you won't get the full, authentic experience.
Okay, in some ways this is true. A lot of cheaper tours will rush you around while keeping you in a bubble. However, small group tours can be the best way to experience many destinations. Small groups are also a good option for those who aren't comfortable traveling alone or for activities where having backup is a good idea, such as backpacking. Small boutique groups can also be more sustainable and often give more money to the local community.
You can get by with just English.
While this is true some of the time, learning a few phrases in the local language can get you better service in restaurants and makes you look like less of an “obnoxious” tourist. (English speakers are sometimes the worst offenders, but if your first language is not English, you can still fall into this particular trap).
Overnight trains or buses are a terrible experience.
Okay, so nobody wants to spend the night in a cramped bus seat, but if you do your research and choose wisely, you can actually add a great experience to your trip. Buses in Asia and South America often have fully reclining seats. European sleeper trains have amazing ambiance, especially in first class. The famous Caledonian Sleeper is comfortable right now but will be even more so once the new trains are rolled out in the summer of 2019, offering en suite and fully accessible rooms.
The best time to see popular sights is right when they open.
This used to be true, then everyone found out about new attractions. Instead, go midday, when people are heading to lunch. If you eat lunch a little early or later, in many cases you can beat the crowds and the lines. It's also worth looking to see if you can get advanced tickets to an attraction online. For example, you can now get tickets for the Eiffel Tower online that give you a pre-booked lift access time and avoid the long lines at the ticket office.
It's unsafe for a woman to travel alone.
This myth is essentially supported by horror stories about women who have been harmed while traveling. These stories are actually very rare, and many women today travel long distances alone. A lot of the time if somebody tells you not to go somewhere, they have never been there, are working on outdated information, etc. Crime rates can be a lot higher in your own backyard. While there may well be some places where you are better off with a group or a guide, most destinations are fine. Some top rules include avoid heading into dark areas at night and wearing heavy, expensive jewelry. When all else fails, ask the locals for advice. If the locals tell you not to go somewhere or do something, listen to them
Overall, be sure to do your research and enjoy your trip without being held back by travel myths that might be between you and an amazing experience.
Looking to try a few new entrees on your next trip? Take a look at our picks for Global Delicacies Worth Traveling For.