Travel myths are pesky little things, well-known for worming their way into people’s minds and planting seeds of doubt about where, when or even if to take that next holiday. We’ve collected some of the biggest, most pervasive of their kind so we can bust them for you, once and for all.
Myth #1: Travel is expensive
We’ve all heard this one before. And, while travel is never free (well, unless you happen to be very good looking and have millions of Instagram followers) it needn’t be expensive. Sure, you can go all out and book first class seats, luxury hotels and 12 course degustations if the mood takes you but you can also take advantage of sales and special deals, travel outside of peak season and eat at least one meal on the cheap each day. When it comes to flights, aim to book about 60 days before you plan to depart and look for those that leave at less convenient times, shunning a Friday afternoon departure for a red eye or one that leaves on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Saturday. When booking your accommodation, consider what you want in a space. For example, apartment hotels are slightly more expensive than traditional rooms but they have the benefit of a kitchen – something which can reduce the cost of eating out. You should also join loyalty programs, such as TFE Hotels eClub, to secure membership discounts and first access to special sales and events. Do these things and you’ll procure big savings, making the cost of your next trip entirely reasonable.
Myth #2: Travel is unsafe
There’s a lot of scaremongering that goes on when it comes to travel, particularly around flying. On the contrary, jumping on board an aeroplane is a very safe activity, with latest statistics showing you have a 1 in 13.3 million chance of dying in a plane crash. In other words, you’re more likely to die from falling out of bed, getting struck by lightning or being eaten by a hippo (you’d best remove storm chasing and hippo hugging from your travel bucket list). Other safety fears centre around a perceived increased likelihood of being hurt by others, whether that means being pick-pocketed, harassed or – worst case scenario – attacked. In reality, these are risks we take each and every day: being in a different city doesn’t make them any more likely to occur, particularly if you enlist your common sense. For example, don’t carry huge amounts of cash in an open handbag at busy tourist sites, dress appropriately for the country and culture you’re visiting and avoid being by yourself in a dark alleyway at 3am. Put simply, if you use your head to guide your travels and behaviours, taking a holiday is no more dangerous than staying home.
Myth #3: Travel is only for the young and family free
While backpacking around Europe with only $100 and a sense of adventure may be a thing of the past, it doesn’t mean travel has an age limit. While planning and financial security will probably take on more importance as you get older (and if you’re taking the kids), the world doesn’t shut its doors once you’re over 35. If you need some inspiration, check out this 70 year-old couple who are currently travelling the world, or this family of six who were on the road for 13 consecutive years.
Myth #4: Travel is only ‘real travel’ if you go overseas
Did you know there are 10,685 beaches in Australia? And that our country is home to one of the seven great natural wonders of the world? What about the fact Aboriginal Australians are the oldest living culture on earth? Or that there are 60 wine regions producing delicious drops all over the continent? And more native species than any other country on Earth? It seems to us like there’s an awful lot to discover on our own shores.
Myth #5: Travel is bad for your career
This is one of our favourite myths to bust. While the amount of leave you can take will vary depending on your role, supervisor and company policies, travel of any length has the ability to round you out as a person, adding to your value. According to social and psychological studies, time away from the people and places we know gives us new perspective, renders us more open to new experiences and more likely to get along with others, increases our emotional stability, makes us more resilient, and increases our faith in humanity. Those seem like pretty attractive personal attributes, right? We feel we should also mention that the human brain benefits from being on holiday, the resulting downtime increasing attention and motivation, encouraging productivity and creativity, replenishing energy stores and allowing us to find solutions for things that have been stubbornly troubling us for some time (read this excellent article for more detail). As a final note, given the concept of work is moving away from a place we go to a thing we do, a lot of organisations now offer flexible arrangements that allow you to work remotely. This means you can type your next report beside a crackling fireplace, in a hammock between palm trees or in a trendy inner-city café, pecan-maple French toast in hand.