With a new year just around the corner, many of us will be hoping to travel somewhere in the year ahead. And so it is timely to remind everyone NOT to accept everything you see on the Internet as absolute truth. Yes, there is a wealth of information out there, and much of it is truthful and helpful. But some of it, and perhaps only a small percentage is inaccurate and should not be trusted. So keep reading to see why we suggest you double-check any advice you find on the Internet before going anywhere!
In the ‘good old days’ most of us would head off to a travel agent before ever going on holiday. That agent or organisation was generally accredited and very knowledgable when it came to providing quality travel advice you felt you could rely on. Those people still exist and as long as you find a good one, we strongly suggest you use their services to some degree so as to ensure you have a safe and enjoyable time away.
However if you choose not to, then be warned that some of the information you find on the Internet may not be entirely accurate and if you fail to do the correct research you may suffer accordingly. Our reasons for that blunt warning are as follows:
- we all go on holiday with our own expectations about what we hope to find and experience. If you hate rich, spicy food but choose to travel to Italy, there is a good chance that you will be telling people, and perhaps writing on your blog, that the food was terrible everywhere you went. And that inaccurate travel post may be seen by thousands of people who could be influenced by your writings.
- turning off your smartphone when overseas is a common piece of advice many inexperienced travellers give out in their posts, totally unaware of the processes that can safely be put in place before you go so as to not incur huge roaming fees.
- without knowing who the writer of the article is, you may have no way of judging whether there is some commercial connection that led them to give the advice or recommendation they did. If they are affiliated with a certain hotel chain they might bag everyone else in the city, yet praise their own.
- couch surfing has been around for a very long time, and many travellers swear by it to keep costs down when overseas. However, it comes with the risk that what you read on the Internet may not be exactly what you encounter, and it is very difficult to find yourself alone in a strange land in a house full of people you don’t trust, all based on a blog that spoke highly of personal safety.
- it is a widely held belief that there is safety in numbers when it comes to overseas travel, and personally we can speak to the benefits of being part of a group of like-minded travellers led by an experienced travel guide. However, many people do like to travel solo and yet if you believe everything you read, those people should all expect to be robbed, raped or killed. Yet clearly this is not the case, and many folks of different genders do travel alone and write highly of it.
- booking the cheapest flight comes with both pros and cons and you need to really do the research well before booking a slightly cheaper seat which involves long layovers at lonely airports along the way. Cheap can be good, but like most things the cost-cutting often reduces other benefits.
- the internet is filled with stunning photos of the Eiffel Tower, Buckingham Palace and the Taj Mahal, but do you know how difficult it really is to get great photos of those busy tourist areas without millions of people standing in front of your camera! A good travel agent should be able to tell you how and when to visit. A good Internet travel blog should be able to tell you also. But if you only get one chance to visit and your chosen site is closed or swamped with people on the day you go, you will be forever disappointed.
- pre booking your accommodation before travelling is a popular theme that runs through many Internet travel sites, but it can work both ways. There are many hotels and smaller rentals who offer last-minute discounts if they cannot fill their rooms. So the discount you thought you received by booking early might seem petty compared to the last-minute prices being offered. Of course there is always the risk that if no accommodation is pre booked that you could miss out, so lots of research pays off before you travel so you make the right decision according to your particular travel needs.
At the end of the day, people have been misled by travel agents as well as by articles on the Internet, so our firm policy is and always has been, to do the research before making any decisions. By all means see what people on the Internet have to say, and then run it by friends who have travelled, as well as accredited travel agents who should know the best and latest travel advice for your destination. Thorough research will always be your best guide as to any decisions you make.
Living each adventure,
Christine and Trevor
Empowering people to live a healthy, active, authentic and fulfilling life.
Adelaide, South Australia.
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DISCLAIMER: This article is written for informational purposes only and is based on Christine and Trevor’s own life experiences. No food or drink featured on this site should ever be consumed or handled if known or suspected allergies exist. Nothing featured here should be taken as medical, professional or legal advice. It is always recommended that you consult the appropriate professional before changing any routine or adopting any new procedure.