When traveling we often hear travel myth stories that are bound to put us off one destination, make us avoid a particular mode of travel or have us concerned about our health. The thing is, there are a lot of stories out there about travel that are not true and we’re going to bust those myths for you.
Travel Myth # 1
The air on planes will make me sick
When it comes to travel, the most common myths are usually about commercial air travel and one such myth is about the air on the airplanes. Being confined to a small space with a few hundred other people can make you worry about getting sick, however, the passengers and crew breathe a mixture of fresh and recirculated air which happens to be less germ-infested than most other crowded spaces.
According to the article Confessions of a Pilot: Debunking the Biggest Air Travel Myths, the recirculated portion is run through hospital-quality filters that capture at least 95 percent of airborne microbes, there’s a total changeover of air every two or three minutes — more frequently than what occurs in buildings. That’s not to say that you cannot get sick on airplanes, but it’s more what you touch than what you breathe. The tray tables and toilet handles are especially filled with germs, so bring along a little hand sanitizer for extra precaution.
Travel Myth # 2
A woman should not travel alone
This statement is pretty outdated. There are many women who travel alone each year and they return home safe and sound with plenty of beautiful new memories to accompany them. Traveling solo can be a freeing experience and will take you out of your comfort zone, you can learn new things about yourself or meet other people and create lasting friendships.
However, that is not to say that women traveling solo should not exercise caution. Of course you can travel alone, but you need to use some common sense when doing so and research your destination beforehand: avoid areas that are known to be shady (just like you would do in your hometown), trust your instincts and be aware of your surroundings. The great thing about living in the technological era is that there are multiple resources and reviews from other female travelers which will help you to make informed decisions about how and where to travel.
Travel Myth # 3
Traveling abroad is too dangerous
If you never leave the comfort of your own country, you will never experience all the wonders of the world and often travelers are reluctant to head to certain destinations out of fear. Fear should not prohibit you from going somewhere though, all you need to do is take some basic travel precautions to avoid becoming an easy target. Don’t leave your belongings out in the open, don’t show off your wealth or explore unknown places alone at night. Of course, you don’t want to be caught in a political fallout, so keep ahead of these.
Travel Myth # 4
Duty free shopping is always great
You may not realize this, but duty-free shopping is not always the best deal you will get and there are many times when you can buy something better and cheaper either online or locally. It is true that you don’t pay taxes and you can get a good deal on items such as alcohol and tobacco, but the prices differ greatly from one duty-free store to the next and the baseline price for luxury items are sometimes much higher than normal.
Travel Myth # 5
Your cellphone is going to crash the plane
Yes, we have all heard that if we use a cellphone onboard a flight we are putting ourselves and everyone else onboard in danger, right? Wrong! This myth was actually debunked by Mythbusters and they proved that your cellphone has nothing to do with messing with the plane’s internal navigation instruments. Apparently the real fear about allowing passengers to use electronic equipment is that they become projectiles in an emergency.
According to the New York Times, “The F.A.A. does not ban the devices, but it requires airlines to prove they do not pose a flight risk. Since that would mean testing thousands of types of devices, with more introduced each month, the airlines have simply banned their use during takeoff and landing.”
Travel Myth # 6
Plan ahead, it’s guaranteed to save money
Most of us want to get the best deal on our airfare and we feel that if we book long in advance we are bound to get a better deal on the ticket price than if we book closer to the date we want to leave. Of course, this is not always the case, it’s actually the opposite unless you are traveling during peak season, or in a large group. You’re more likely to get a last-minute deal from an airline trying to fill seats. According to studies done by Cheapair.com the best time to buy a ticket for international flights, came 81 days out — or 11 to 12 weeks in advance.
Travel Myth # 7
There’s no way to pack everything you need in one pack
Yes there is! You just need to know how to pack light and that’s something Anatomie can definitely help you with. Also, there is simply no need to pack around 15 different outfits for each trip and if you have ever seen a traveler struggling to lug their bags around, you’ll know what we mean.
Our top tips for packing: Travel with sushi pants. What do we mean by sushi pants?
Sushi pants refers to putting an outfit together, so that you take your pants and the best matching shirt and then you roll them up together. So essentially what you are doing is rolling your outfit together in one piece (not only does rolling clothing save space, but it also keeps them unwrinkled).
The benefit of this is that it keeps your travel wardrobe organized and efficient so when you are in a rush to put together an outfit, just unroll one of your sushi pant outfits (which were pre-planned before your travels) and you’re good to go.
Travel Myth # 8
Flying is becoming more dangerous
The tragic losses of Malaysia Airlines Flights 370 and 17, have made many travelers feel that flying has become less safe, although it’s quite the opposite. Flying is one of the safest modes of transport and over the last two decades the amount of air traffic has dramatically increased and the rate of fatal incidents is lower than ever. The International Civil Aviation Organization reports that the chances of a plane crashing are six times lower than what they were in 1980.
Travel Myth # 9
If I fly, they’re going to lose my luggage
Five or six years ago there was a lot of embarrassment for the aviation industry and how many bags were going missing, but that number has been drastically slashed. The decrease in the number of bags being lost is, in part, thanks to the fact that airlines are now charging for checked baggage — this has reduced the amount of bags people travel with and most tend to just use cabin baggage instead.
According to SITA, an aviation communications and technology company that tracks baggage performance each year, of the bags that went missing in 2012 (only around 7 bags per 1,000 passengers), 81% were found and delivered to passengers unscathed.
Some tips to help avoid your bags getting lost are to not check-in late and put your contact information on the side of your bag so that you can easily be contacted if something does go wrong.
Travel Myth # 10
Everyone hates Americans
Americans are by far not the worst travelers and the locals in every country that you are traveling to will certainly not hate you. Yes there have been some anti-American sentiments in the past, but a lot of it has been exaggerated and ignorance doesn’t typically equate to violence. According to travel site Venere.com, American’s rank 9th best out of 27 nationalities, with the number one spot going to Japanese tourists and bringing up the rear were the French tourists.
Cover Image Courtesy Moyan Brenn, Flickr