Whilst I do appreciate that everyone has their different ideas about travel and their own thoughts on what great travel does and doesn’t look like, it is fair to say that there are some absolutely terrible pieces of advice which are so often doing the rounds, advice which thankfully I have never taken.
I think some of this comes from travel blogs which are loaded up with content that isn’t altogether genuine, as well as people who claim they like to travel but really don’t do much of it, so don’t have a great idea of which advice to give and to who. In order to clear some of this up, here are a few nuggets of bad advice which I have received during my days on the road, all of which fell on deaf ears.
Trust Your Gut
For me, even with kids on the road, I have always looked to embrace fear, break it down into pieces, get to know it and only then decide whether I am right or wrong to be worried, and whether or not that should prevent me from doing something. This is why I have a real issue with those who tell you to trust your gut, or your instincts. The reason that this is wrong is that fear is an instinct where your brain is trying to keep you safe, but staying safe is not always what travel is about, pushing through these barriers is where the best experiences are, so trusting your gut is not a great plan.
Never Touch Street Food
It is true that most tummy problems on the road come from street food or tap water, but that is no reason to avoid all street food in every country, in fact if you do so you are going to really miss out. To be honest most street food doesn’t make you sick, most of it is delicious and it is a risk worth taking. Be smart too, check out how busy the place is, how they work and store food, usually you can tell pretty quickly if the place is to be avoided.
Don’t Talk To Strangers As a Solo Female
Are women more at risk when traveling alone? Yes they are, is that any reason to completely shut yourself down and avoid talking to people you don’t know? Hell no! Be smart and learn to spot the signs of a tricky situation, but embrace meeting new people, otherwise don’t bother traveling.
Travel Before Kids
And of course, the age old advice of not traveling if you have kids, total baloney! We are raising our kids on the road and they will be 2 of the smartest, the worldliest and the kindest humans of their generation, and we are having an absolute blast watching them grow into these amazing people. Travel with kids, without kids, the choice is very much yours.
If anyone tells you these pieces of ‘advice’ it is likely they don’t know a lot about travel.