These 10 Travel Myths Are Bogus

Justin Foulkes/Lonely Planet - Corniglia, Liguria,Cinque Terre, ItalyJustin Foulkes/Lonely Planet - Corniglia, Liguria,Cinque Terre, Italy
— Justin Foulkes/Lonely Planet

Myth #1: You can't afford this. (Spoiler alert: Yes, you can.)

We want to help make your travel dreams come true, and sometimes that means turning some negative myths on their head (yes, you CAN afford a bucket-list trip almost anywhere). Other times, it means bursting your bubble (no, “all-inclusive” is not as simple as it sounds) and arming you with real-life advice. Here, the most common (and flat-out wrong!) myths.

Myth #1: Travel is expensive

No! And you can imagine that with a name like Budget Travel, we take this myth personally. Sure, a city like, say, London is home to sky-high hotel rates. But even that European capital, like most places on your list, can be brought down to earth with the help of smart research, package tours (where rock-bottom airfare and hotel rates are often bundled into the package), and taking advantage of the luxurious freebies and bargains that can be found almost anywhere. BT debunks it: 25 Best Money-Saving Travel Tips.

Myth #2: Solo travel is dangerous

We hope you know by now that, as much as your parents had your best interest at heart, they were wrong when they told you not to travel alone. Budget Travelers embrace solo travel in ever-increasing numbers, and it’s not just backpackers these days: Empty nesters, married couples who have different cultural or culinary interests, and a growing number of intrepid seniors are taking the plunge. BT debunks it: Flying Solo: Everything You Need to Know About Traveling Alone.

Myth #3: Managing rewards points is a headache

It doesn’t have to be. Truth is, the rewards points systems you enter when you sign up for a frequent-flier program or mileage credit card can be confusing, but that’s why we’ve devoted considerable resources in scoping out the best programs and the best techniques for holding on to your points and using them in the most dream-fulfilling way possible. BT debunks it: Biggest Reward Program Blunders and How Not to Make Them.

Myth #4: Credit cards are the worst way to pay for your trip

Of course we don’t suggest that you charge a vacation you can’t afford! But… responsibly managing a credit card tied to an airline rewards program can help you get the best exchange rates when concerting dollars to foreign currency, ensure that you get a good exchange rate when making purchasing, rack up miles for future travel, and in many cases allow you to check bags for free and enjoy other airline perks. BT debunks it: Save on Winter Travel With These Credit Cards.

Myth #5: Priceline and HotWire are impenetrable mysteries

Sure, these booking tools have their secrets - and that's one of the reasons they can deliver great savings. But with Budget Travel’s help, you can unravel some of the deepest, darkest mysteries of these popular sites! We took a close look at how they work, and how you can game the system to your advantage. BT debunks it: Best-Kept Secrets of Priceline and Best-Kept Secrets of HotWire.

Myth #6: Lodging is too expensive for big families

Well, ok, hotels can be expensive. So… try a vacation rental instead! If your brood won’t fit comfortably into one hotel room, chances are you’ll save big by renting an apartment or home where you can do some of your own cooking (and add, say, Italian cooking lessons to your itinerary in Rome!), get more elbow room (maybe even a backyard for the little ones to frolic in), and save big. BT debunks it: 10 Things You Must Know Before You Book a Vacation Rental.

Myth #7: Off-season travel means a second-rate vacation

Actually, “shoulder season” is one of our favorite expressions in the English language. It’s that time of year between high and low seasons where weather is still good, but the crowds have thinned out and prices have plummeted. Europe in fall! The Caribbean right before winter! Hawaii in spring! BT debunks it: Is Now the Best Time to Visit the Caribbean?

Myth #8: “All-inclusive” actually means “all-inclusive”

Ahhh. The words sound so lovely. And the experience of not having to reach for your wallet while on vacation is enticing. But… When you book a cruise, make sure you read the fine print (or get on the phone with a customer service rep) before clicking “book.” In many cases, top-shelf drinks, certain restaurants, and other experiences may cost you extra, and finding out before you buy is always nicer than finding out when they hand you the bill. BT debunks it: 6 Easy Ways to Save on a Cruise (Including a Cheat Sheet of Potential Extra Costs).

Myth #9: There’s no perfect time to book an airline ticket

We were skeptical at first, too. A perfect day? A perfect window of time before your flight? But lately we’ve been sold by research, most recently compiled by Expedia, that strongly suggests that Sundays and Tuesday may be the best days to look for airfare bargains and 57 days before a domestic flight is the perfect window to get a low fare. BT debunks it: Best Days to Fly for the Holidays.

Myth #10: You can’t control flight delays and other snafus

Okay, you can’t control the weather or the various ways in which mechanical failure or human error may derail your flight. But… You can take control of delays and cancellations when you understand the best procedures, the magic words that unlock kindness in strangers, and, most importantly what your rights are. BT debunks it: Take Control of Weather-Related Flight Delays and Cancellations.

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