Travel is meant to expand the mind and enrich the soul, yet it is surprising how many travellers believe and practice things that aren't necessarily true.
Let's have a look at these travel myths and consider why they are, in fact, only myths.
1. Your phone will make the plane crash
Yes, mobile phones and other electronic gadget can interfere with the plane’s signals. But the device itself will definitely not cause the plane to crash. The reason you’re asked to switch them off (usually until 10 000 feet) is because take off and landing are the most important times for the plane to have clear signal.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced a few days ago that travellers will soon be able to watch videos and play games on their gadgets and mobile phones throughout their entire flight. But until an airline can prove that they can handle the interference, you’ll still be asked to switch your devices off for take off and landing.
And not respecting these rules is just plain bad manners.
2. You have to carry a safety wallet
A lot of tourists believe that they have a bull's eye painted on their back while travelling and that it is absolutely vital to carry a money bag (or in some horrifying cases, a moon bag). But contrary to popular belief, not everyone is out to get the foreigner.
You’re only a soft target if you make yourself one, so leave the things that aren't vital for you that day in your hotel safe. Be vigilant and don’t flaunt your phone or your camera. Only when you look like you have no idea what’s going on around you, and you wander off into quiet streets after dark, will you become an easy target.
3. Jetlag is caused by a lack of sleep
Popping a few pills and passing out for 8 hours on the plane won’t cure your jetlag and guarantee a rested and happy you when you arrive at your destination. Actually, jetlag is caused by a massive shift in longitude (especially is you’re travelling eastwards).
The circadian rhythm, which regulates your eat and sleep cycle, stays in synch thanks to daylight and night time. When you tamper with your days and nights, these rhythms are thrown out of balance and you get the awful sensation of jetlag.
Quick tip: If it’s nighttime at your destination while you’re flying, it’s a good idea to sleep.
4. Last minute tickets are cheaper
People think that, because the airline wants to book all the seats, they’ll cut the price down a few days before. But this isn’t always the case, especially when you’re travelling to popular destinations or during peak season.
Moreover, the airline knows about this and will capitalise on by actually bumping the price up.
Also, if you wait too long you may not be able to get tickets to your destination at all.
5. Booking far in advance saves money
On the other side of the coin, booking months and months in advance won’t necessarily save you money either. Six months before departure, airlines still haven’t released any special offers for a specific time frame, so you may end up paying a lot more than you would’ve had, if you waited a little bit longer.
The ideal time to book flights seems to be between six to seven weeks before. So let’s say two months just to be on the safe side.
If you stand by any of these myths and you do have anything to add to this list, tell us in the comments below.