So bad travel advice - we have all heard some doozies. Most bad travel advice seems to fit into one of three categories and the severity seems to be related to how far the advice giver has been from their place of birth. While for the most part well-meaning, it pays to consider who is in fact giving you the advice before you take it as hearsay.
3 hours – never left their hometown:
These are usually relatively easy to pick as duds due to their surreal and highly improbable nature.
Don’t go to the south pacific they eat people there! – ummmm no!
Better to pack too much then too little. – never carried a backpack in their life.
Why go to… country when you can visit the Disney replica? – facepalm.
It’s not safe to travel alone you’ll get raped/murder/kidnaped. – is this ever based on any kind of statistic or just fear of the unknown?
Just use your phones roaming and call us when you arrive. – if I wanted a lifetime of debt, I would have stayed at Uni.
1-2 days – crossed state lines/visited neighboring country:
These tend to be spun by well-meaning relatives who want you to be safe but don’t really understand the destination you intend to visit.
Travel when your retired/saved money/established your career. – this may mean never, circumstances change. Start working towards your goals today not at some arbitrary point in the future.
Don’t eat street food you’ll get sick. – cooked fresh before your eyes or “western” food that has been at the back of some hotels fridge for a month?
Travelling with kids is a nightmare. – there might be a knack to it but kids can gain as much from travel as you can.
Avoid any touristy attractions. – they became popular for a reason, there may be crowds but don’t give up your plans to fulfill someone else’s idea of authentic travel.
Carry travellers checks. – these have been obsolete for 20 years don’t bother.
Try to see as much as possible. – you will enjoy your trip much more if you build in a little relaxing/absorbing time.
Be spontaneous with accommodation – unless its festival season…. It pays to do your research before you arrive.
3-15 days – a three-week international holiday per year:
Regrettably these gems usually come from someone who should know better, like a travel agent or well-travelled friend. Unfortunately, while they may have access to the info you need, they may have heard the question so many times they are generalizing rather than focusing on your specific circumstances.
Don’t go to … it’s not safe/boring. – Maybe for them but a little research and following your personal interests wins every time.
Don’t worry about money, just travel. – Ahhhh, said by someone who has a trust fund? Have a look at your finances and save the money you will need to stay safe and healthy.
Overnight buses are a great option, if you hate sleep and comfort! – They are an option but know what you getting yourself into (night bus rite of passage)
You don’t really need travel insurance. – this person is NOT you friend. I hate insurance but never leave home without it, don’t risk your life for a few saved $$.
You don’t need a visa for… – Unless you do, then you get to pay off your deportation flight home, double check everything!
It’s an easy flight to Moscow – 22 hours later with a screaming baby.
As long as you’re on the waiting list you’ll get train tickets. – No ticket in hand, no guarantee, make sure you have a plan B.
So as you can see, advice is only worth as much as the person giving it. Even if you have every reason to trust the person giving the advice, a little double checking never hurts.
Have you ever been given terrible travel advice? Let me know if you think there is anything I have missed on this list of oh so common terrible travel advice.