Don’t Believe These Travel Myths

If you’re a travel newbie, you probably rely a great deal on word of mouth and advice from friends and acquaintances when it comes to making plans. But not all of the strategies and tips that are commonly floated around are based on reality. In fact, since travel is all about striking out into the unknown and exposing oneself to new experiences, this topic is ripe for generating urban legends. Here are 3 travel myths you should take with a grain of salt:

Traveling Alone Is Better Than Having a Guide

That depends on where you are traveling and what’s most important to you. Having an “authentic” experience means risking having a dreadful experience. Independent tourism tends to work best for seasoned travelers. Amateurs are more likely to wander into unsavory neighborhoods or miss out on the stuff they really would have enjoyed seeing.

You Should Stock Up on Duty Free Liquor

Duty free doesn’t necessarily mean you’re getting booze at a cheaper price. Unless you actually know the price of an item without tariffs added, there’s no way to tell if you’re saving money. The beverages at the duty free shop may simply be marked up to take advantage of your tourist dollars and the perception of good prices. Save your beer money for specialty foreign wines and liquors that you can’t easily get stateside.

You Can Trust the Star Ratings of a Hotel

I made a sad mistake by paying what I thought was a great rate for a 4 star hotel on my first trip to San Antonio. The hotel was a big name brand and located on the riverwalk. Turns out, the section of the riverwalk where the hotel was located had been shut down for maintenance. In addition, the room was tiny with lights that buzzed like bug zappers. Worst of all, it had bedbugs. Needless to say, I ended up at a different hotel and I never did get a full refund from the fancy 4 star place. Quality can change fast in the hotel industry. I should have looked more closely at recent reviews instead of relying on the cumulative ratings!

Tags: Travel