Debunking the myths: Here are 10 travel ‘tips’ that could be minimising your experience

Debunking the myths: Here are 10 travel 'tips' that could be minimising your experience
Debunking the myths: Here are 10 travel 'tips' that could be minimising your experience

Africa-Press – Nigeria. Every man can transform the world from one of monotony and drabness to one of excitement and adventure.” – Irving Wallace

The realm of travel advice is fraught with anxiety and contradictions. One man’s certainty can be another one’s catastrophe. This list takes a journey into some of the most contradictory pieces of travel advice, unravelling what makes them not so futile after all.

Buckle in and enjoy the ride as Julianna Marshall, the International Drivers Association Travel Expert, lends her insights.

1. Don’t talk to strangers

Primary school-era counsel prickling your adult adventures? While caution is crucial, complete isolation can lead to missed opportunities to know locals, enjoy unique experiences, and make friends from around the world.

Marshall advises, “Keep your guard, but welcome genuine interactions.”

2. Stick to the plan

While a well-laid plan can avoid headaches, it can also root you in rigidity. Sometimes, straying from the beaten path leads to the most memorable experiences.

Marshall encourages:

3. Always buy travel insurance

While insurance equips you for emergencies, it might not be needed for all ventures, especially short, low-risk trips.

Marshall rationalises, “Understanding your needs and the inherent risks of your travels is a smarter approach.”

4. Pack everything, just in case

In travel, less is indeed more. Packing too much can be burdensome.

As Marshall puts it, “Travel light, it brings flexibility, mobility and lessens worry about lost or damaged luggage.”

5. Only stick to the tourist path

Tourist spots are popular for a reason; however, exploring offbeat places often offers a richer experience.

“Maintaining a balance between famous sites and local secrets can provide a well-rounded travel experience,” suggests Marshall.

6. Eat where the locals eat

Local eateries usually serve delicious and authentic food. Yet, caution should be exercised. Not every local joint follows hygienic practices.

Marshall advises, “Listen to local advice, but do your reconnaissance, too.”

7. Never use credit cards

While it’s smart to be wary of fraud and fees, using cards can be a lifesaver, especially during emergencies or if you run out of cash. Travellers are at a higher risk of falling victim to fraud, especially in unfamiliar surroundings where language barriers may exist.

While lost or stolen cash is irretrievable, reporting a lost or stolen credit card promptly can prevent unauthorised use and facilitate the issuance of a replacement card.

“Ensure you have a card that offers good international rates, if possible,” says Marshall.

8. Always go for the cheapest accommodation

While budget-conscious decisions are commendable, extreme thrift might compromise safety and comfort.

Marshall suggests, “Invest in a decent place to sleep; it sets the tone for your entire travel experience.

9. Book everything in advance

Pre-booking can eliminate stress, but it can also kill the joy of spontaneity.

Marshall advises:

10. Avoid travelling alone

Solo travel might seem daunting, but it can be a rewarding, self-reflective experience.

“Never let fear hold back your travel dreams,” declares Marshall.

“Solo trips can be empowering.”

Ready to explore? Life, as in travel, involves striking a balance between risk and reward, flexibility and firmness, caution and courage. No advice is inherently wrong or right. The trick is to interpret and adapt it to your style of travel.

As we journey through destinations and discourses, remember the words of Mandarin Oriental’s past literature: “The beauty of travel is not merely the outer journey but an inner one as well. Like the trusty compass guiding the sailor on the high seas, may this list serve to navigate the often confusing crossroads of travel advice.”

The research in this article was conducted by the International Drivers Association.

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