8 Travel Myths To Stop Believing (and get you traveling!)
"I can't afford it." "I don't have time." "I have a family." "I don't speak the language." "It's unsafe."
I hear these travel excuses over and over whenever I talk to people about the concept of traveling. The problem is, these excuses and myths simply aren't true! There are people all over the world who are making their travel dreams possible, and you can to!
Here are 8 common travel myths and excuses that I hear and why they are not true.
1. Travel Is Expensive
This is the ultimate travel myth that just needs to die. Travel IS NOT always expensive! You can easily travel to any city in the world on a budget, it just needs to be a priority that you save for. Once you're out and traveling, there are always ways to save money (food, accommodations, tours, etc.).
Think about the amount of money you might spend on a weekend. $50 at a restaurant here, $100 at the bar there, $30 in cabs or Ubers... It adds up! I am able to afford my travel by simply setting boundaries with myself and cutting back on these expenses that I don't really need.
I challenge you to set a goal and try it yourself! Cook at home instead of going out, don't drink as much when hit the bars, or shop for budget flights websites like kayak.com. Before you know it, you can save up enough money for a vacation in as little as just 1 month! It just needs to be a priority if you want it to be.
2. Travel Is Unsafe/Women Shouldn't Travel Alone/I Will Get Pickpocketted Or Robbed
The world really isn't that scary of a place, people... Yes, there are unsafe areas of the world and some people are sketchy; but for the most part, you will be fine as long as you are not being an idiot. Most countries outside of the US thrive on tourism, so the chances that the areas you will be traveling to are unsafe are slim to none.
Women travel alone all the time now! It is much safer today than it has ever been. But like I said, be smart and you will most likely be fine. You're just as likely to get into trouble at home as you are abroad.
*Pro Tip for Solo Women: Still nervous and planning on staying at an AirBnb or other home share? Look at the reviews or stay with other women/families.
3. You Need To Leave The Country To Travel
Travel is not just the exciting "hop on a plane/explore a foreign country" experience. You can easily get in your car, drive somewhere local, and have just as equal of an amazing experience as you would going abroad. Travel is really just getting you outside of your daily comfort zone, so even traveling just a few towns over to see what they have to offer is great!
Don't want to go a few towns over? That's fine too! Have a staycation in your own city! Stay at a hotel you've been wanting to check out, do touristy things, or just explore a neighborhood that you are not familiar with! I do this all the time! ...Plus it is very inexpensive...
4. I Will Do It Later/I Have No Time
This excuse makes me really sad when I hear it. We never know how much time we have, so why not do it now?? We all have time, it is just about prioritizing what is really important to you. So don't say you don't have time--make time for it!
Traveling, unplugging from your daily life, and exploring new places have all been linked to overall happiness levels. So if anything, set aside the time to get out and see the world just for your health and happiness!
5. You Can't Travel Well With A Family
Speaking from firsthand experience, I can definitely say that my travel bug was brought on because my parents made it a priority to get us traveling when we were young. I thank my parents on a regular basis for taking us on vacations and weekend trips when I was growing up. Not only does it bring your family closer, but it allows you to see new things with the ones that you love most!
Almost every travel destination in the world has some sort of accommodations that make it an enjoyable experience for the whole family! So don't just limit yourself to going to Disney World with the kids (although, I have to say, I am still obsessed with Disney and I'm in my mid-twenties...). Get out there and experience what the world has to offer!
6. I Don't Speak The Language
You don't speak Italian but you want to go to Italy? So what?!? GO!!!
We live in such an amazing time right now that access to knowing things in other languages is so easy to come by. I love having apps on my phone like Duolingo and Google Translate when I'm traveling to help with key phrases.
Plus, English is the most common language worldwide. It is actually a pre-requisite for people who work in travel industries to know English. There is a 99.9% chance that wherever you are going, you will be able to speak to someone about whatever you need. **Also, never underestimate the power of hand gestures. Yes, there are some that are inappropriate in other countries; but for the most part, they can really come in handy (ha...pun not intended)!
7. Travel Takes Too Much Planning
Shoutout to all my Type-A people out there--this one is for you! One of the best things that I've learned while traveling is that the best thing to plan to do is NOTHING AT ALL! Seriously, it is the most freeing thing about traveling: not having any plans/being free to do whatever you want whenever you want.
Sure, you should definitely make time to do some key things that you really want to do/things you want to see; but besides that, just try not planning and see where it takes you! Not having any plans or ideas in mind gives you so much more chance for adventure and doesn't set you up for failed expectations.
8. AirBnb/Couchsurfing/Hostels Are Not Safe
When did we all stop believing in the kindness of strangers? I curse the day that Hollywood made films like Hostel or Taken...
Not only do AirBnb, Couchsurfing, and hostels all help save you money on accommodations when traveling, but they are also amazing chances to meet local people or other travelers. You can even look at reviews and ratings of past travelers to get an idea of what staying there is like. As a solo female traveler, I have had nothing but amazing experiences with these types of stays.
My personal favorite thing? I love asking the people I'm staying with where are the truly local and cool places to go to. I've gotten lost in the streets/bars/restaurants/boutiques of Trastevere, Hayes Valley, and many more places thanks to the authentic recommendations that I wouldn't have gotten unless I asked a local!
So now that you know the truth about some of these myths--GET OUT THERE AND TRAVEL!