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3 Common Travel Myths Debunked

  • Travel Team
Feb 06, 2013


Frequent travelers love to pass on tidbits of information to one another, letting eager globetrotters in on the secrets of destinations, such as the must-see attractions and often-overlooked restaurants. However, in all of that wisdom they may be unwillingly conveying some common travel myths. 

Here are a few misconceptions that you can push out of your mind when making your travel plans:

1. You must book early for the biggest savings

Many travelers believe that flights and hotels need to be reserved as far in advance as possible in order to maximize savings. A recent study conducted by CheapAir.com found that, contrary to popular belief, the ideal time to book flights is about six to seven weeks prior to departure, and many people may benefit from purchasing plane tickets around this time as opposed to jumping the gun and making plans as soon as they can. Of course, there are many variables that can play into the bottom line, but the overall trends showed tickets were about 6 percent cheaper during this time frame.

The study found that the worst days to purchase a flight were in the two weeks leading up to the travel date and anything more than seven months before the departure. It also reported that there was no particular day of the week that offered consistently cheaper airfare when buying tickets, although it is less expensive to actually fly during the middle of the week.

2. It's too dangerous to travel alone

While there may be safety in numbers, travelers who take the right precautions can have a safe and memorable adventure on their own. These adventurers should be sure to purchase the best travel insurance ahead of time so they can receive help in case of an emergency and create itineraries that cater to their needs as solo travelers. This could include reserving space at reputable hostels or using tour operators to get the most out of certain locations.

If you're a first-time solo traveler and aren't quite sure how to go about exploring a new place on your own, consider planning trips to destinations that are known for being accommodating to single visitors. New Zealand and Australia are popular choices, as they are packed with clean hostels, vibrant urban nightlife and a diverse landscape where you can find a variety of recreational activities.

"I almost did not want to board the plane to come back home after 38 days of traveling throughout New Zealand," Claudia Cavazos, a U.S. citizen and solo globetrotter, told Smarter Travel. "Anyone that goes there will instantly fall in love with the place. It's magical, beautiful, clean, friendly, and above all, easy to travel, especially for a solo female backpacker."

3. Credit cards provide insurance for car rentals

All too often, jet-setters who rent cars in foreign destinations fall into one of two camps - they believe that renting with a credit card covers any type of insurance they need, or they pay for extra insurance from the company. In reality, neither of these notions is completely true, and travelers who plan on using a rented vehicle to traverse an unknown land should understand their options before making a final decision.

While the rental company likely has car insurance available for purchase, travelers who have made the smart decision to purchase trip cancellation travel insurance may find that collision damage for rental cars is included in the package. In some cases this may mean paying an additional premium, but in the long run this could be more affordable than taking the chance of driving with no insurance or buying an expensive plan from the rental company.

Read over the details of any plans beforehand to see what the insurance policy is regarding vehicles and base your decision off that instead of travel myths.


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