We’ve learned a few things about travelling over the years and we’ve finally been able to compile a list of quite a few facts and myths we’ve discovered about travelling. These are mostly things we read on the Internet or heard about from friends/family when we first started travelling. As with many things, we’ve found that first-hand knowledge is the best knowledge and we’re here to share that with you.
Keep in mind that these are based on our own travel experiences, so we can’t say for sure that this will be the case for everyone!
Myth: Eating local food is unsafe.
While you’ll want to stay away from water/ice cubes in countries where the water is not drinkable, most street food is very safe. Our best advice would be to avoid restaurants and food stalls that are completely empty and stick to those with long line-ups where all the locals are eating. If they are eating there then it is most likely that the food is pretty tasty and that it will be cooked fresh.
Fact: Getting travel insurance is always a good idea.
You never know what could happen! Those motorbikes that seem like so much fun when you’re cruising through the city in Vietnam? You could get into an accident and need medical attention. Be better safe than sorry and ALWAYS travel with insurance.
Myth: Travelling is too expensive for ‘normal people’.
Yes, travelling to some parts of the world can carry of hefty price tag (like Western Europe for example), but that doesn’t mean this is the case for the rest of the world. Don’t believe us? Check our budgets for our most recent trips!
Fact: Travelling by bus (especially overnight) is cheaper but unpleasant.
No matter if you choose a ‘first class’ seat, that 12 hour overnight bus ride will not be pleasant. But, as with many things, the good things in life don’t come cheap so lots of us budget travellers will opt to take bus rides to save a few bucks.
Myth: Travelling alone isn’t safe.
We have both done it and are both totally fine. Yes, you will need to be a bit more cautious than you would be if you were travelling with a group. Yes, you should check-in with friends and family. And yes, you will have the time of your life and discover new things about yourself.
Fact: Buying an international phone plan is a complete rip-off.
Just don’t do it! They cost so much and really don’t give you much in return. Plus, if you go over your allotted minutes/texts/data it will cost you even more! Please just unlock your phone and buy a SIM card when you land.
Myth: You’ll never be able to get around if you don’t speak the local language.
This has never ever been an issue for us. Even if the people you meet don’t speak English (or whatever your native language may be), you’ll still be able to communicate by pointing at things, acting them out, etc. Kind of like a long game of charades lol. We do recommend learning a few words in the local language though (i.e. how to say ‘hello’, ‘thank you’ and ‘bathroom’). It will make your experience just that much richer and the locals will really appreciate your effort!
Fact: Travelling lighter is always better.
Travelling with a ton of stuff always sucks. It’s too heavy. Something always seems to go wrong with your luggage. You usually end up losing something because you can’t keep track of all of your stuff. And for some reason, it always seems to be a billion degrees out which means you arrive at your destination in a sweaty mess. So not ideal. The solution? Travel lighter. You’ll be so thankful you only have one small bag to carry and you’ll be laughing at those suckers in the airport with carts to lug all of their stuff around.
Myth: Travelling by air is too dangerous!
Did you know that travelling by car is still one of the most dangerous ways to travel? In fact, flying has never been safer thanks to more reliable structural and mechanical parts of planes. You could actually fly everyday for an average of 123 000 years before dying in a plane crash.* We don’t know about you, but those seem like pretty good odds to us!
* We got these stats from CBC.
Fact: You won’t be able to see everything when you travel somewhere new…
…and that’s okay! You can always extend your stay or come back another time if you feel like you didn’t have enough time to see everything you wanted to see. That being said, do a bit of research on what there is to do and choose your top 5. Focus on those and if you have extra time, everything else will just seem like a bonus! We say this because travelling can be tiring (#firstworldproblems) and you’ll probably just want to take it easy on some days. It will also help teach you to cherish the experiences you do have that much more. So please, please don’t make the mistake of overpacking your itinerary (or your suitcase! lol).
Myth: Travelling is impossible when you’ve got a full-time job!
As you may know, we are really big advocates of work-travel balance here at World Abound. So if you’re thinking that there is no way you could possibly travel when going to school or working full-time, think again! There are tons of ways to travel the world while still working towards your professional goals. The trick is to seize every opportunity that comes your way, big or small.
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