Busting Travel Myths (Part 2) - Shrugging off your Fears!

December 14, 2013 3 min read

Earlier this week we've covered pre-flight myths. Now let's see what travel myths are there when we are actually going somewhere.

6. Duty free is a good deal
Yes, you are not be paying tax, but the baseline price for goods in the airport is much higher than at a local store. You will save some on highly taxed items like alcohol and cigarettes, but luxury perfumes and sunglasses will not actually save you that much money.

7. Street food is unsafe
A lot of people prefer to sit down somewhere in a restaurant or a open-air café and order off a menu rather than asking the guy on the street to make food on his little trolley. Yet, while you can see all the ingredients that go into the street food, you have no idea what is going on in that kitchen.

Also, street food is generally deep fried or flash fried, so you have a better chance of anything unhealthy(like bacteria and harmful germs) getting seared to death long before it touches your mouth and fills your belly.

8. The air on a plane can make you sick
It’s true the air on a plane is recycled, but that does not mean that it will make you sick. The reason you sometimes might take home a souvenir cough is because the air is so dry at 30 000 feet that it dries out the mucous membranes in your nose and throat– the stuff that protects you from bugs.

Obviously it doesn't help that there are 250 other people around you, touching the toilets, the armrests and the basins and spreading germs. We recommend that you wash your hands a lot, drink a lot of water to keep yourself and your mucous hydrated and perhaps even carry some hand sanitiser with you.

9. You have to bargain in a foreign country
Shopkeepers spot a tourist from a mile away and most of them up their price three times before you reach them, but this doesn't mean that you absolutely have to argue them down to the last rupee, baht or dong. Not if the currency in question is small change to us.

Now don’t go falling for absolutely ridiculous prices. The best thing to do is not to feel cheated if you paid a little more than the next guy. Maybe you helped the shopkeeper treat his family to a nicer dinner that night.

10. Booking the last seat means being bumped
It’s true that most flights get overbooked, but it doesn't mean that the last guy who bought a ticket will be the first to get left behind if all the people that are booked on the plane will show up.
What you mustn't do, however, is wait until the last minute to check in. Check in online before the departure time to secure your seat. Once you have a seat number, they can’t bump you.

Travelling is best experienced without any pre-conceived notions but it is not tolerant of being naive either. So pack up, have an open mind and most importantly don't get stuck on the tried, tested and second hand experiences!

If you stand by any of these myths and you do have anything to add to this list, tell us in the comments below.

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