Top Misconceptions about Traveling
By A’Dia G
From personal experiences, traveling has allowed me opportunities to broadened my views on life and people. Since traveling internationally at the age of nine, I have been blessed with being able to explore nineteen countries. Each of these trips, at various stages of life, have allowed me to be immersed with different cultures. I have yet to regret any of my trips. If you’re new to traveling, there may be some misconceptions that you may have about it. I will briefly highlight four of the top misconceptions about traveling.
Money, money, money. The most common misconception about traveling is the cost!
Yes, some vacations can be expensive. The cost of travel depend on many factors such as the distance traveled, length of stay, and level of luxury. However, there are many resources available that will allow you to take advantage of discounted trips. Deals found with various travel companies and websites can eliminate some of the cost when researching a destination. Specific tour companies such as Gate1 Travel and Ritz Tours allows customers to book trips a year or two in advance. Taking advantage of sites like Travelzoo and deals from airline companies can also cut the price of a vacation.
When reviewing travel sites, it is important to research the travel company that is providing the deal. It is also critical to understand the importance of traveling during off-season or peak-season.
Traveling within the US, peak season is mostly during the summer. This means higher prices for airfares and hotels. Outside the country, peak time can differ depending on things such as weather, cultural observances, and other special events. The most important piece to remember when trying cutting the cost of your trip is research! Sometimes we have this grand scheme in mind for a specific destination, and you will find better deals at a completely different destination. The research can take time but the deals will be worth it!
“I’m uncomfortable being in new surroundings.” “I’m too afraid to get on a plane!” Fear is an emotion that often controls our actions. Similarly, with difficult conversations and situations, if the topic we fear makes us uncomfortable, we tend to avoid it. Fear is an honest reaction to the unknown. But I am here to tell you to do it scared! Do it afraid! Don’t let the fear overpower the opportunity to experience a world beyond your own.
If you are uncomfortable traveling to new surroundings, get a travel partner. Traveling with another person can help lower the cost. It can also help you with the anxiety of being alone in a new environment. Now conquering the fear of planes can be tricky. Even after all this time, planes still give me the heebie-jeebies. However, my favorite method to dealing with it all comes down to the time I travel.
If I am traveling domestically, I try to take the first flight out. With the early morning tussle, getting dressed and dealing with people at ungodly hours, I am able to go back to sleep once I am comfortable in my seat. For international flights, depending on the duration, I tend to take the last flight out. This again allows me to sleep on the airplane. Now trying to sleep when you are anxious can be difficult. However, listening to slow tempo music, having on comfy clothes and an adult beverage can help with relaxing. Personally, I have noticed that takeoff is the roughest part… if you go to sleep and make it past that… you are good to go!
I can’t travel alone!
So, you can’t find a travel buddy? Or, are your friends taking too long with making travel decisions?
Don’t waste any more time! You can travel by yourself! But before you make that ultimate decision, do your research! Make sure that the country you are visiting is relatively safe. Check the facts! Read reviews from other solo travelers! Most travel groups such as Sister Traveling Solo and African American Travelers openly welcome single travelers. The best part about traveling is meeting new people and connecting with others. You may find a new friend along the way!
I don’t know where to go!
No destination in mind? This is where research is extremely helpful. But before your search, you need to know your preferences. Do you favor hotter or colder climates? Would you like to experience a festival, go on a safari, or shop in a fashion capital?
The most important piece of determining where you want to go is knowing yourself. Having a main purpose for the trip, whether it’s to immerse yourself in culture, enjoy time with nature or just lay around to relax, this will help narrow the search. Once you have locked in a few destinations, you can used tools like Pinterest to find cool, common and less traveled must-see sites to visit for your trip.
Planning a trip can be tedious! Researching destinations and trying to organize with travel companions can become stressful. However, planning in advance is beneficial in breaking down the cost. Even if you are afraid to travel and would prefer to not travel alone, do it afraid! Even if it’s a flight to a state an hour or two away, it will allow you to experience a new place. Don’t wait, get on that plane!