9 Unpleasant Truths About Traveling That Can Shatter Your Rose-Colored Glasses
Sociologists have calculated that today’s kids have already flown 5 times more miles than their grandparents. Nowadays tourism is as popular as it has never been — Instagram is snowed under with glamour photos from resorts, while users continue bragging about their trips. However, due to the affordability of trips, traveling has grown over with a bunch of useless myths that are, simply put, dangerous to believe in.
Today Bright Side is pretending to be Sherlock Holmes and is going to bust 10 popular beliefs that can spoil your vacation.
1. Traveling is not always beautiful.
Experienced travelers say that a trip to a new country doesn’t resemble the edited photos on Instagram. In addition to white sand, swimming pools with blue water, and luxury hotels, you will also find a bunch of non-glamorous things.
For example, hours of layovers in airports, swollen legs due to long flights, or strange street food. In order to get a blogger-like photo, you’ll have to work hard: influencers spend a lot of time finding the right pose and editing their photos later.
2. Traveling instead of working doesn’t mean enjoying paradise.
Downshifting is the life philosophy of people who’ve decided to abandon the pursuit of money. Instead of going to an office every day, downshifters rent out their apartment / take out a loan / sell their car, and move to warm countries. Oftentimes, they don’t work at all or have a remote job. It sounds like a dream, but in reality, this idea is followed by many hardships.
First of all, idleness and the absence of at least some routine have a heavy effect on the psyche. Second, the money from renting out their apartment out might be not enough and some downshifters end up leading a marginal lifestyle (staying in a country illegally, in bad quality living arrangements, with minimal healthcare). Third, downshifters might miss their homes and their relatives. All in all, this philosophy is good for creative people who can easily bear these inconveniences, deal with dirty streets, and who don’t strive for good service.
3. Goods in Duty-Free shops cost more than in other stores.
Duty-Free goods are not completely free from taxes: they are simply not subject to some duties and VAT accepted in the country of the airport. The taxes for import as well as other excise taxes are still paid by the buyer.
Only 10% of the goods from Duty-Free are actually cheaper than in offline and online stores. This group includes harmful things like alcohol and tobacco. Perfume and luxury brands are also usually more expensive.
4. Aggregator-sites for bookings profit both from tourists and hotels.
Aggregator sites have spoiled us with low prices, and today, looking for a hotel without their help is kinda unimaginable. However, sometimes booking a hotel room directly with the hotel is more profitable.
Hotel owners pay aggregators a considerable commission for attracting customers and therefore, end up losing their profits. Therefore, hotels can offer pleasant discounts to customers who don’t use the services of intermediaries and who just come directly to the hotel.
5. Airport employees might ask you wild questions, and it’s not because they feel interested in how you are doing.
When passing through security at an airport, a security officer sometimes asks strange questions: Where are you flying? Who packed your suitcase? Who are you going with? Some of these questions might sound silly from a passenger’s point of view, but security officers ask them for a reason.
Employees evaluate the degree of adequacy of the tourist who is going to board the aircraft. Gestures, facial expressions, and intonation can reveal a potential troublemaker, even before the flight.
6. You can’t catch a cold or get an intestinal infection onboard due to the air (but there are other dangers).
The air inside the plane is used repeatedly. It goes through special HEPA filters to get cleaned. You are unlikely to get sick due to the bacteria in this processed air. The main danger inside the plane is dehydration and swelling.
You need to take enough water with you, a moisturizer or a mask, and compression socks for flights that last more than an hour and a half.
7. Vacation can negatively affect a tourist’s psyche.
After returning home from a vacation, some people end up getting post-travel depression. The symptoms include anxiety, insomnia or excessive drowsiness, increased appetite, and absent-mindedness. Psychologists say that it can take from 3-4 days to several weeks in order to return to your normal life.
The longer you were absent from home, the more difficult it is to get back to your routine. Experienced travelers recommend taking a short break between returning to your home country and going into the office; they also advise not trying to solve all the issues that come up during your absence. However, there is a piece of good news too: once you manage to overcome your post-travel depression, your brain will start to work with a new energy because it gets rid of unnecessary stuff after travels that are filled with seeing new things, experiencing new cultures, and living an altered way of life, even for a short period.
8. Sites that sell tickets watch your activity on the internet with the help of cookies.
Cookies are small pieces of data that the server sends to your PC. Every time you open a certain page on the internet, your computer sends these fragments back to the server. That’s how the owners of sites learn which things you have searched for and what you were going to buy.
When you search for air tickets and compare their prices, aggregator sites remember what direction you were interested in. That’s why you won’t get a cheaper price when you visit their site again. However, once you cleanse your browser from cookie-files, the prices will miraculously change, because that same site won’t recognize you.
9. Ratings and promos on sites for travelers are a huge lie.
Hotel booking sites provide users with information in a manipulative manner: they promote the hotels that pay more money for being advertised without warning the user. They also mispresent the declared discounts and hide the final cost of the booking (forgetting about the special city and country taxes).
Recently The European Commission caught the biggest aggregator site, Booking.com, on charges of concealing important information and on attempts to put psychological pressure on users by saying “the last room available.” The site has been obligated to provide truthful information and not use tricky marketing techniques since 2020.
We hope you share our passion to travel. Please tell us about the countries you have visited and the ones you are planning to visit soon. Do you also have precious travel hacks that could be useful for others?
Preview photo credit geraldinewest_ / Instagram