Travel Myths Debunked: Common Misconceptions About Travelling

18th Aug 2023 Travel Tips Holiday Destinations


Throughout generations, various myths about travel have taken root in the collective consciousness. Some stem from urban legends, while others emerge from the ever-evolving dynamics of modern travel. This post aims to set the record straight on these misconceptions, to give you the most accurate and up-to-date information as you embark on your next adventure. Let's dive into some common travel myths and uncover the truth behind them.

MYTH: Travel is prohibitively expensive

REALITY: While there are certainly luxurious and pricey ways to travel, it's entirely possible to see the world on a budget. Hostels, budget airlines, street food and free attractions can make travelling more affordable. Remember to research destinations that offer more value for your money. Bali is one such holiday destination renowned for its excellent value accommodation and affordable shopping, dining and attractions.

MYTH: The best deals are always found at the last minute

REALITY: Last minute deals can sometimes be a steal, but more often, planning and booking in advance will get you the best rates, especially during peak seasons. If you spontaneously decide to take a trip, you might be in luck however popular holiday destinations like Fiji book out well in advance, so leaving things to the last minute could result in disappointment.

Street Food

MYTH: Street food will make you sick

REALITY: Street food is a cultural experience and often a quintessential part of visiting a new place. After all, no visit to Thailand is complete without experiencing the traditional night markets. Sampling street food can seem risky, however in many places, street food is just as hygienic as the food found in restaurants. Of course it's always important to take basic precautions to ensure the food is hot and freshly prepared. Look for stalls with high turnover and local crowds - they're usually the best bet.

MYTH: Travel agents are obsolete in the age of the Internet

REALITY: While it's easier than ever to book trips online, travel agents can still offer insider knowledge, exclusive deals and personalised service that can make your trip smoother. TravelOnline combines the best of both worlds to help you plan your ideal trip at the best price with the help of our friendly consultants. We'll also be there for you with expert support should you encounter any hiccups while on holiday.

MYTH: You'll get the best photos at iconic landmarks

REALITY: While iconic sites are popular for a reason, sometimes the most memorable and unique photos come from off-the-beaten-path locations or candid moments. At the very least, you'll enjoy snapping memorable holiday moments that aren't crammed full of strangers in the background. But remember, travel is about the experience, not just the photo ops.

Tourist Crowd

MYTH: You need to be fluent in the local language

REALITY: Most tourist destinations have signs expressed in English and many locals often understand simple English, so communicating basic needs isn't a major challenge. Knowing the local language is a plus and the locals certainly appreciate it, even if they do find your pronunciation amusing. However translation apps and phrasebooks can help bridge any communication gaps, so there's no need to learn another language before you travel, although a few key phrases can be fun.

MYTH: It's not safe to travel alone

REALITY: The safety of solo travel largely depends on your destination and how you approach it. Many places are solo-traveller-friendly and have infrastructures to support them. Keeping an eye on your belongings in crowded places and drinking responsibly will go a long way to ensuring your personal safety, whether at home or abroad. As always, research is crucial. Many solo travellers join communities online which can provide invaluable advice and support.

MYTH: Hostels are only for young backpackers

REALITY: Gone are the days of crammed dormitories, shared bathrooms, loud parties til late and items that mysteriously go missing. Modern hostels have evolved. Many now offer private rooms and cater to a range of age groups. They're a great way to save money and meet fellow travellers.


MYTH: Duty-Free means the cheapest shopping

REALITY: 'Duty-Free' just means you aren't paying taxes on goods. However, it doesn't always equate to the best deal. It's always good to know average prices and compare. Many destinations also offer plenty of shopping to rival airport prices, and their enthusiasm to have you support the local economy can also be an opportunity to test your haggling skills on local street vendors. This is all part of the fun, however ensure your offers are always reasonable.

MYTH: You must visit every top attraction

REALITY: Travel is a personal journey. It's okay to skip the "must-see" sites in favour of what genuinely interests you. Sometimes, the best memories are made wandering through local neighbourhoods or stumbling upon unexpected gems. Allowing yourself time to soak in the atmosphere around you can often provide a more authentic and wholistic experience of the destination than any crowded and noisy tourist trap can ever offer.

Travel, at its heart, is about discovering new places, cultures and perspectives. By shedding these myths, we open ourselves to richer and more authentic experiences. The world is vast, diverse and waiting for you.

Happy travels!