Stop Believing These Travel Myths

While thoroughly researching available cheap travel optionssuch as cheapairplane tickets, cheapfares, cheapdeals, discounthotel rooms, cheap auto rentals, discounttravel deals, and cheap vacation packages, isimportant for most travelers, there are a number of common misconceptions abouttraveling that should be dismissed.

The following are travel myths that you should be wary of,according to Shannon McMahon:

·     Purchasean international phone plan before going overseas.


Most budget travelers do not need such plansdue to Wi-Fi calling and downloadable apps. You only need to set up an international phone plan if you are certainthat you will require phone or data service everywhere you travel regardless ofWi-Fi availability.


If where you are lodging offers Wi-Fi or thecity you are visiting has public networks, you can easily make free calls onapps such as WhatsApp and Viber and should download travel tools like CityMapsand Good Translate guides.  Remember GPSlocation works on phones that are not data enabled.


·     Rentalcars are so cheap.


Considering the price of gas outside theU.S. as well as the popularity of ridesharing and rail passes in Europe andelsewhere, renting a car should be a last resort.  Instead look to take advantage of publictransit and rail passes.


·     Stayoutside the city.


It can be attractive to stay outside of anexpensive city, if there is cheap and reliable public transit to get you intotown.  Depending on how much it costs totravel to and from the city each day and the amount of time it takes, why wasteyour vacation time traveling back and forth?


·     Exchangemoney ahead of time.


There is seldom an advantage to purchasingforeign currency in advance.  Often youwill be hit with hidden fees when making such money exchanges.  The best way to buy foreign currency is tosimply go to an ATM at your destination to withdraw cash or use a credit cardthat does not charge any transaction fees.


·     Makeyour reservations as early as possible


Making a hotel reservation far in advance ismore likely to result in savings than it is on a flight.  Airlines usually start listing their pricesmonths in advance at a premium and then reduce them until they hit a low aboutsix or seven weeks prior to departure which is the ideal time to reserve.


·     Booklast minute.


While reserving a flight last minute rarelywill result in savings, the advantage of booking a hotel at the last minutedepends mostly on the destination. Large cities almost always have rooms thatneed to be filled, so you may find a deal. In smaller locales you are more likely to end up without a place to stayif you wait too long.


·     Toursare not worth the price.


Though most tours and trips that bookaccommodation and transportation are often expensive, there are some budgettravel bundles and tour options that can save you both money and time.  An added bonus is that an experienced localguide could make your trip an unforgettable one.  Bundled vacations such as those on GrouponGetaways sometimes go on sale for very low prices. 


·     Clearingsearch history does not do anything.


Clearing your cookies, or search history,has been found to be a good habit when you browse hotels.  Studies have found that some popular hotelbooking sites offer slightly cheaper results to users without any hotel searchhistory stored.


·     Stickwith budget airlines.


Budget airlines such as Norwegian are knownfor offering very cheap transatlantic fares. Increasingly though mid-range airlines are competing with them and somehave a lot more to offer including more frequent flier points for betterrewards if you fly with a mid-range airline.


Often the unbelievable low internationalfares advertised by budget airlines are on near impossible travel dates, or donot include hidden fees.  Don’t ignoreother airlines which often offer flash sales and seasonal deals that couldprovide you with a lot more comfort in the air for less that you might think.


·     Don’teat out – grocery shop.


Grocery stores in large cities are oftenexpensive.  Tourist frequenteddestinations usually have cheap dining spots worth checking out.  Noodle shops in Asian hubs and doner kebabspots in cities around the world tend to offer huge, yet affordable, meals thatare also part of experiencing the local culture.  If you are intent on shopping for food, buyingredients at farmer’s markets instead of grocery chains.


·     Skiptravel insurance.


Many travelers do not realize that travel insurancecan be as affordable as a few dollars a day. Car rental and health insurance should always be investigated prior toyour departure.  You should check withyour local health provider and credit card companies to see if their insurancewill cover you abroad.  Travel insurancecould save you thousands, even hundreds of thousands of dollars in anemergency.

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