10 Traditional Travel Tips That Aren’t Valid Anymore

You may live by certain travel tips, such as booking your airline tickets on Thursday, or waiting until the last minute to arrange your hotel stay.

However, outdated travel tips like these hinder your travel plans, so stop fixating on them.

Here, we discuss the top ten outdated travel tips to avoid.  

Myth #1: Book your flight far in advance to fly cheap

The average economy ticket fare changes up to 61 times before a trip. If you book a ticket a year in advance, you lose the chance of grabbing a better deal.

So, when is the right time to book your tickets?

The Cheap Air 2019 Annual Airfare Study recommends booking your domestic flight ticket 47 days in advance, and booking 60 days in advance for international flight tickets.

However, you should always grab a low price when you see it. If you wait too long for a lower price, you might end up paying more.

Furthermore, the day of the week never influences ticket price.

Myth #2: Book hotels on travel sites

Online travel agencies (OTAs) offer low prices on hotel bookings. However, hotels are becoming reluctant to pay the high commission fees. Because of this, hotels now offer other benefits if you book directly from their own website.

Hyatt Hotels announced that customers get a 10% discount for every booking made through their website or app. This offer applies to Hyatt Gold Passport Loyalty Program members.  

Hilton Worldwide, Marriott International, and Intercontinental Hotels Group offer similar benefits for their loyalty programs.

Hotels also prioritize bookings made on their website. The hotel’s customer service offers direct assistance if you need help.

If you book a room through OTAs, you must contact an OTA customer service agent. The agent will act as a middleman between you and the hotel.   

Hotels often offer room upgrades; therefore, if you book the room through the hotel’s website, upgrades happen faster.

In addition, you might receive free Wi-Fi and complimentary water bottles. Hotels also offer discounts on their in-house restaurant and bar if you book through their website.  

Myth #3: The air on a plane is full of germs

The air on a plane passes through HEPA filters, so the air stays free of germs and microbes.

The lavatory handles, headrests, and tray tables carry the germs. Thousands of people touch these areas, and the germs pass on through contact.

Clean these areas with alcohol wipes to kill the germs, and use alcohol-based hand sanitizer when you can’t.

Travelers often complain about the cold air on the plane. You can carry a warm jacket to protect yourself against the cold air.

The cold air is there for your safety. Hypoxia (too little oxygen) makes people faint, and warmer temperatures trigger hypoxia. A lower temperature reduces the chances of hypoxia.

Myth #4: Lack of sleep = Jet lag

A change in longitude triggers jet lag. Circadian rhythms regulate when you sleep and eat. Biological clocks control the cycle, so when you travel to a country in a different time zone, your circadian rhythm suffers.

The absence of sleep never triggers jet lag. However, sleep helps you overcome jet lag faster. If you want to reduce jet lag further, stay hydrated and stretch your body while you’re on the airplane. 

Myth #5: Choose restaurant food over street food

A study published in the European Journal of Clinical Investigation recommends against choosing restaurant food over street food.

The level of cholesterol and sodium is higher in restaurant foods than in street food. Excess sodium is responsible for high blood pressure, stomach cancer, and kidney disease.

Furthermore, street vendors cook the food in hot flames. So, if microbes and germs infest the food, the heat kills them.

Myth #6: Always buy duty-free

You pay the U.S. import duty tax when buying duty-free. The taxes you avoid include state and local sales taxes, as well as federal excise tax if applicable.

However, airport shops pay a royalty to the airport for each sale, and the shops must bear the costs of the retail overhead causing you to pay a higher price than in local shops when you buy a product.

You do not need to avoid purchasing from duty-free shops though. It is most beneficial to buy heavily taxed items such as alcohol and cigarettes in a duty-free shop.

Myth #7: Carry money in a money belt

A money belt attracts more attention than a wallet in your pocket. The belt confirms to the thieves that you have money, so it is recommended to steer clear of the money belt.

Calculate how much money you’ll need while you’re out, and carry the specific amount when leaving the hotel. If you want more safety, put your wallet in the front pockets of your pants. You can place your wallet in your inside jacket pocket as well.

Myth #8: Locals know the best

A local won’t know if the room service quality is below par in a hotel. Ask your fellow travelers when it comes to things like accommodations.

However, you can ask the locals about directions in the city. They will help you find the shortest and safest route. They live in the city, after all. Locals also typically suggest the best restaurants in town.

Myth #9: Go early to avoid crowds

You read it in the guidebook that you bought. Thousands of other travelers bought the same book.

Famous sightseeing spots always attract crowds. It is best to go when no one else visits the place, such as in the middle of the day.

Myth #10: Never travel to countries with travel advisories

The government cares about your safety. However, if you go by their rules, you’d never visit half of the world.

For example, the U.S. government warns citizens about traveling to Thailand. However, the warning applies to the ongoing civil unrest. The threat never matches the violence inflicted in Egypt and Liberia, yet the warning remains the same.

While you should most certainly read travel advisories, it’s important to understand the situation further before making the decision to visit or not. So, do your research, buy travel insurance or travel medical insurance, and explore safely.

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