12 Travel Myths to Throw Off— Some Are Even Ripping You Off
Myths could scare you and dampen your touring plans. Worse, you could even lose some money, without even realising what happened.
Instead of trying going for more affordable items, you unknowingly spent money for pricey items, accommodation, food, transport, data roaming charges and souvenirs. All because you fell victim to travel myths.
Good thing, you can now know about them before leaving for your trip, so you can take on better, cheaper options. Below are common travel myths, some which could make you lose thousands of dollars.
1.] Guidebooks are a must-have, carry them everywhere
We were told to rely on large travel guidebooks when touring places. But unless you are a culture enthusiast who doesn’t mind carrying around archaic guidebook, you must not necessarily have a trip guide.
Guides fail to offer the latest data. For example changes in prices, and details on new options available in the market are frequently not found in a guidebook.
In lieu of these, we recommend travel blogs. These are more reliable and will offer more honest insight about your desired destination.
2.] Data roaming charges aren’t costly, also, why call or text at home while overseas, it’s expensive!
You have to remain online, but you have to save on internet costs. And because you are away from home, you have to worry about extra roaming charges.
Yes, you need to. You would waste money if you use your homeland SIM card. Do your math right; activating roaming charges is costly compared to other options.
For example, you can purchase OneSimCard – an international SIM Card that allows users to enjoy free data roaming charges worldwide. Plus, they offer 4G browsing and cheaper bundle packages to help you stay online when you need to.
Using OneSimCard, you can call and text home at affordable rates. All those who value family know how calling, and texting can help keep the bond stronger.
3.] To enjoy the best flight deals, you have to book accommodations and airlines a few months in advance
Sometimes it’s true, but the best advice is to keep an eye on the flight rates and conduct frequent research. Check on the fluctuation of prices and any other offers if present.
If your schedule is flexible. you can go for last minute offers from airline companies. Also, be on the lookout for inclusive packages give a better deal than having low fares when you book in advance.
4.] All souvenirs you purchase are locally crafted
Not all the souvenirs you buy were locally made. You may think some are too precious only to see the same back home.
To get original and locally made keepsakes, do your research and avoid buying in markets. Instead, go straight to the artisan’s workshop and insist on having a look at the latest, start-of-the-art pieces they made.
5.] Carry along a traveller’s cheque for emergencies
Today, traveller’s checks are nothing but a pain in the ass. Merchants are no longer accepting them. And what’s worse, you’ll have a long wait at the bank because no one wants to approve them.
Nobody wants to spend a whole day of their vacation in a queue. Instead, bring along your ATM card. Withdrawal points are virtually everywhere, ensuring you’ll have cash when you need it. Complement it with your credit card so you’re sued you can buy what you need.
But the best advice is; have some cash well hidden in your bag for an emergency.
6.] All locals are out to overcharge and rip you off
It’s only right that such stereotype is shunned with truth, but the opposite has prevailed.
Overpaying is a common fear among all tourists. Just because an individual told a story about an awful experience in a foreign country doesn’t mean every citizen in that nation is out to swindle your cash.
7.] You only make yourself an easy target for tricksters if you show off
Don’t flaunt your bunch of dollars and dress like a celeb with heavy gold chains sagging down your chest while displaying costly electronics e.g. smartphones and cameras.
The remedy to such problems is dressing in respect to the people’s way of life. All other travel jewellery, credentials, smartphone and tickets should be hidden from people’s eyes.
Also, don’t believe everything you hear, and don’t do everything anyone asks you to, think before you act. Another way to avoid getting ripped off is to do your research, visit blogs to find out an estimate of the amount you need to pay for things you may need to purchase.
8.] If you are American, travelling to some parts of the world may get you killed
Really? No, perhaps you should walk the earth and get a grip!
Unless you go around announcing how American you are, no one will rub shoulders with you. But if you act like you have a sense of entitlement, you may be risking your life.
You only become a target if every time words come out of your mouth; they show off your nationality. Unless you are suffering from superiority or inferiority complex, there’s utterly nothing wrong with being American or British. But surely: who would sit down all day to listen to nothing but a man or woman speak boastfully of their homeland?
It’s a shame we are spreading rumours while Americans have been warmly welcomed into homes worldwide. Some have even made friends globally.
How did they do it?
This is mainly because if you’re cordial, everyone will associate with you no matter where you come from.
9.] Convert your currency at your home bank; they have the best rates
The truth is your home banks will offer high conversion rates and add on extra charges as well as commissions.
Sometimes, using your credit card overseas will allow you to enjoy very low rates of conversion. But before you spend, call your credit card company to confirm that they do not have surcharges for transactions made out of the country (others charge 2 to 3 percent per transaction).
You should also watch out for dynamic currency conversion rates, where foreign salesmen charge sky-scraping rates to convert your bills into your home currency. Be careful when exchanging in terminals and airports, their rates are a little bit higher. Preferably, convert your money in a safe licensed place down the street.
Here’s the best way to go about it if you need money— find a nearby ATM and withdraw the desired amount from your account.
More often than not, the rates are as good as what your home banks offer, and at times even better. However, beware of additional fees if your bank has different charges for overseas ATM transactions.
10.] If you can’t speak the natives’ lingo, you cannot communicate
Utterly false; it’s certain that speaking the native’s language will ease things during tours and give you the chance to dig deep into the locals’ way of life. But you can still communicate by other means.
Non-verbal cues like pointing at an item, sign language, facial expressions and many others make it possible to be in touch. And more often than not, it makes the trip even more thrilling; it’s something you don’t get to do daily.
However, try to learn and master a few terms of the local language:
Can I have a drink?
All these short words and expressions will prove handy in your effort to bond with the locals. But not being able to speak the language should not deter you from going through with your dream trip.
11.] English is common global language
This is a myth that has grown with us, and we have always believed that English is an international language.
Well, it’s true, English is unquestionably the most spoken lingo around the globe, but the number of those who don’t understand English is overwhelming. Assuming that everyone speaks English is a tour mistake you should avoid.
If you are visiting places like China or Asia, it’s sensible to learn basic terms of the language. This is useful in giving you a head start to communicating with locals effectively. Especially, in cases that call for emergency.
12.] Eating local food or drinking the water will get you sick
First, if the locals around drink the water and consume the food on a daily basis, how then is it unhealthy for you?
However, the only wise thing to do is to be careful before eating anything and to ensure complete safety. If possible, carry along a SteriPen which will allow you to reuse your portable water wherever you go.
The same caution should apply when dealing with foods. Since eating at marketplaces and taking street junk is a common practice in most nations, you might be tempted to try. And why not, if the food is tasty and healthy for consumption, pretty much the same as what you pay for dearly in 5-star hotels yet very cheap.
However, be sure to check for obvious things like kitchen hygiene. If the place is all dirty and no one wants to go in, avoid it.
Now that you know possible money-wasters, you can make better decisions to minimise your spending yet still enjoy your remarkable international travel.
And since some of these myths originated from real life stories, don’t lose your good sense and partial judgment. Think twice before making a move!