Everyone wants to travel; as they should. Travel is the greatest education that anyone could get. But there are a number of travel myths that I feel like we should confront.
Travel Myth #1: Checked bags cost an arm and a leg
There are a number of ways you can get some amount of checked bags without cost. For starters, nearly every airline has a co-branded credit card that gives you at least one checked bag free. For example, two out of three American Airlines AAdvantage Credit CArds provide a free first checked bag:
In addition, Southwest Airlines doesn’t charge for checked bags – so you don’t even need a credit card!
Travel Myth #2: You must have a rental car
If you’re like me, you are a bit of a control freak. It’s natural. But, more and more I’m finding, and I believe others are finding, that even as control freaks, driving isn’t necessary. More and more cities are served by Uber or Lyft or other providers of the sharing economy. In fact, Bloomberg notes that Uber has overtaken rental cars among business travelers. If business travelers can give up the need to drive themselves everywhere, you and I can. Often times, I’ve found Uber to be cheaper, and much less of a hassle. Besides, there are a number of places overseas that you probably don’t want to drive anyway.
Travel Myth #3: You won’t be able to sit with your loved ones unless you pay
I fly a bunch, last year I flew over a hundred thousand miles, like the year before, and the only times I didn’t sit with my wife or family that I was travelling with, were when we tried to get on an earlier flight, or otherwise changed plans last minute. Often times, you’ll try to select your seats and see a cost. While it’s not a guarantee that you can select seats in advance to sit with your loved ones, more often than not, people are willing to switch. I’ve sat in middle seats in economy a handful of times to be the nice guy, as I’m sure many readers have. Dia Reports that Congress passed a bill last year, attempted to make it easier for families to sit together. I’m not sure how that ended up. But, the fact remains, people are still people, and as long as travelers retain some shred of humanity, with a little politeness and gratitude, you should have no problem sitting with your loved ones without paying an arm and a leg.
Travel Myth #4: Traveling overseas is dangerous
Despite being in Thailand when the Thai military declared first Martial Law, and then a Coup, I still feel traveling overseas is safe. Yes, you have to keep your wits about you, and it might even require some planning. But, the fact remains, international travel is not like the movie No Escape. Full disclosure; I watched this movie on an Emirates flight (where else?), and it was very jarring. But, having been to 41 countries, I’ve never seen anything close to that.
There are numbers of places that are probably more dangerous than others. Joe Cortez–editor emeritus– has written about a few countries that might not be the safest. I can say that I’ve been to at least a couple of those countries with no problem. I think this highlights the value of a travel checklist. Really, as long as you prepare, you’ll be good to travel nearly anywhere, within reason. Now that said, don’t walk the streets of Moscow with a t-shirt saying “I love the USA” and a fanny pack. I mean, there are just some things that you shouldn’t do.
Travel Myth #5: Pets aren’t allowed in hotels.
On the contrary, a number of hotels are in fact very pet friendly. My wife and I have taken #indydog (search that on Twitter and you’ll have overwhelming cuteness, trust me) to a few hotels, including the Hyatt Regency Crystal City. Often times you’ll have a cleaning cost, since some folks can be very allergic to pet allergens, but, overall, Pets are welcome in many hotels. I’m sure there’s a limit, unlike airlines, where you can take your falcon onboard.