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Five Travel Myths Debunked

By Marie-Thérèse Ukpo 13 December 2017   |   6:00 pm

Discussing your travel dreams or plans with others often opens the door to a myriad of opinions. Sometimes, the advice given to you can be extremely useful while others are just frivolous myths being passed around because they sound so believable. I’ve debunked five of the most common travel myths to help you tell the difference and shed some light on the other side of the story.

Booking early or late saves you money

It varies depending on your desired destination, but a good experimental method is to book your flight exactly six weeks before your preferred travel date. Any earlier than six weeks will get you starting prices from airlines before they feel the need to offer discounted fares to sell more seats. If you book any later, you’ll pay last-minute prices that will most likely be inflated and that’s the best-case scenario, the worst case is there’ll be no seats! Long-haul flights (e.g. Lagos to Bali) have a different rule of thumb; for the best fares, it’s best to book around 18 weeks before your preferred travel date.

Free upgrades are a thing

They do happen, but the chances of it happening to you are slim to none. I watched a YouTube video once that encouraged people to travel on their birthdays or pretend to be just-married couples to increase their chances of free upgrades. The ugly truth is that airlines don’t care. Unless you overpaid for your ticket or the plane is completely overbooked, no one will get you out of economy class. Discounted upgrades, however, are very much a thing.

Turbulence puts planes at a huge risk

Turbulence is expected; technically how could it not be? If turbulence triggered crashes, planes would drop from the sky every other day. No matter how frightening it may feel when there is turbulence, especially when it is violently severe, the actual safety of the aircraft is rarely affected, so try to sleep through it like most babies do.

Travelling is dangerous

My dad is the most seasoned traveller I know but, when I tell him my travel plans he envisions 50 different Taken scenarios and then we have slightly less dramatic Moana and Chief Tui moments. In the end, he lets me travel because he knows what we all should know: travelling is not dangerous; it’s thrilling and is the greatest form of education the world has to offer. It can be risky at times, but isn’t everyday life? What makes us feel safer at home is the fact that we are aware of our surroundings and we apply our common sense to avoid risks. The same theory applies when exploring new destinations; if you take the necessary safety precautions guided by common sense, you’ll be fine!

You no longer need travel agencies

Organising holidays yourself is all fun and games until you encounter a force majeure with no one to call. It might be easy to book a flight and a hotel but if you want to embark on a holiday that includes multiple cities and locations, transportation, guided tours, etc., do you really want to go through the hassle? If yes, are you willing to pay through your nose? It’s always a good idea to invest in reliable and experienced consultants who will not only focus on logistics but also offer you their firsthand expertise and knowledge. Oh, there’s also the discounted rates given to agencies by airlines, hotels and tour operators.

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