When it comes to dispensing travel tips, experienced explorers are all too ready to offer their two cents! However, some frequent advice is not taken seriously. Recently, savvy travelers met in an online discussion to reveal the common travel advice tips they routinely ignore. How many of these tips do you follow?
1. Don’t Eat Street Food
While street food is iconic in many places worldwide, most travelers are advised to avoid eating it in lesser-known small towns. Of course, only some people follow this tip because who can pass up on delicious street food? Nobody wants to get sick from eating questionable cuisine, but one traveler has a brilliant rule he lives by: If there is a line of people waiting to order, that specific vendor is okay to buy food from!
2. Avoid Animal Tourism
Despite prominent moral objections, most of us can’t help but swim with dolphins, ride camels, or visit dilapidated zoos when traveling internationally. “I’m sure there’s some animal tourism that is responsibly run, but the vast majority seems to be abusive in some way or another,” reports one traveler. “This is especially true regarding wildlife, but even animal tourism with domesticated animals can be problematic. I was in Egypt years ago and saw many tourists happily get on painfully thin camels and horses and be led around the pyramids in the blazing heat all day. I don’t like supporting that kind of stuff.” Nobody likes supporting things like that, but that doesn’t stop tourists from doing it.
3. Get Lost in Back Alleys
Television stars have convinced millions of travelers that the best-kept secrets can be found off the beaten path. However, one person points out that this isn’t the case. “Rick Steves and Anthony Bourdain create this illusion that you can just ‘wander’ for ten minutes and find a completely local and friendly experience where the owner and his family will then invite you out to his houseboat for drinks afterward,” explains one woman. “More often than not, you end up in a dive with mediocre food with locals glaring at you.”
4. Wear a Backpack on Your Front Side
Safety is paramount when traveling in unfamiliar parts of the world, but countless men and women confess they can’t get on board with wearing a backpack in front of themselves. Backpacks are called backpacks for a reason, after all! Donning them on the front side of your body is uncomfortable and looks stupid; I understand why so many refuse to heed this advice!
5. Save Money by Eating Cheap
Thousands of blog posts advise to “See Greece in two days for less than $100 by only eating $7 gyros the entire time!” or something to that effect. This is terrible advice, and it’s not surprising that so many people ignore it. Eating cheap comes with several disadvantages, from risking foodborne illness to not experiencing the best cuisine a locale offers! For many travelers, the local food options are the reason to visit in the first place!
6. Skip Tourist Attractions
Pretentious travelers love to advise others to avoid popular tourist attractions, but thankfully, not many of us follow that advice! Popular tourist spots are popular for a reason: They’re worth visiting! Don’t feel ashamed for waiting in long lines with other people to see some of the world’s great wonders. Remember, not every adventure needs to be wonderfully quirky; it’s okay to see the famous things that cities and towns are known for!
7. Don’t Take Too Many Pictures
Somewhere along the line, an Instagram-hating person began the trend of “you shouldn’t take so many pictures on your trip.” Needless to say, not many of us take this advice. The thought of not taking enough photographs to look back on during an adventure makes many people physically ill! Don’t be ashamed to take as many pictures as possible; just don’t cross the line into “wannabe social media influencer” territory.
8. Avoid Badly-Reviewed Hotels
Sometimes, you can find the perfect hotel by searching out reviews that routinely get negative reviews! One savvy traveler admits to using this method to discover real gems early in life. “I used to look for badly reviewed hotels,” confesses one man. “You can find the truth in bad reviews. For example, a hotel where you can’t find a chair at the pool and the music from the nightclub thumps until four o’clock in the morning sounded delightful when I was a young, single man.”
9. Pack Lightly
I’m guilty of never following the “pack lightly” rule. Despite my best efforts (and common sense), I always bring my giant suitcase and pack it to its maximum capacity. As a result, my luggage becomes cumbersome to roll around, and it often exceeds the weight limit for many European airlines! I know I should pack less, but I’m not alone. The thought of leaving anything I may need is too much for many to bear.
10. Wear a Money Belt
Despite being told to wear a money belt by countless travel blogs and influencers, most people reveal that it’s not worth the hassle! “I took one with me on my first trip (back when you had to change money and use cash) and found it annoying, uncomfortable, and too difficult to worry about. I take a small bifold wallet in my front pocket and usually walk with my hand on it. My passport is in my bag that I hold on to.” I’d wear a money belt more often if it were more comfortable!