The Worst Advice We’ve Ever Heard About Traveling

We have the pleasure of serving a lot of people about to embark on big trips and fun vacations. On the way to the airport or the cruise ship terminal in Galveston, passengers will often chat about how they plan to enjoy their next big adventure. But we’ve also heard stories full of bad advice over the years. Here are the worst tips we’ve heard regarding traveling.


Traveling is not safe.

We’ve seen a lot of travelers armed with pepper spray, mace and even weapons for fear they will harassed, attacked — or much worse. But if you really do fear being harmed, the better advice is to probably never leave your house at all. It’s not bad to be prepared with pepper spray or to know the basics of self-defense. You want to stay out of harm’s way and protect yourself. But don’t let fear stop you from traveling.


Women shouldn’t travel alone.

First of all, any solo trip — for a man or woman — feels different than traveling in the company of others, but most solo travelers make friends along the way. Also, while traveling solo through certain counties can be more challenging for women than men, it doesn’t mean women shouldn’t or can’t travel alone. Our advice to any traveler is to use common sense, trust your gut, take extra safety precautions, be aware of your surroundings and don’t take unnecessary risks.


Plan everything… or plan nothing!

For most destinations, it’s usually best to find some middle ground and striking a balance between planned and unplanned events on your trip. For example, make a dinner reservation for one night, but leave the daytime open. Or make plans to visit a certain area, but don’t be so strict that you make an hour-by-hour plan of what you’ll do while you’re there. Be open minded and go with the flow so you can take advantage of opportunities as they arise. But have a few solid plans so you don’t miss out on some of the things you really want to do.


Bring a lot of clothes for all seasons.

It’s better to check the weather ahead of time and bring appropriate but versatile clothing. More clothes mean heavier luggage or more bags. It’s easy enough to do laundry or hand-wash clothes.


Skip the travel insurance.

Travel insurance is one of those things that you never want to use, but you will deeply regret not having it if you have an emergency situation. If you need to cancel a trip, you want to be able to recoup your cost. And if you get hurt on a trip, you want proper and extensive coverage.


Use travelers checks.

Do these even exist anymore? People who do use them will discover they are expensive and very difficult to redeem. Instead, access cash through an international ATM, have a hidden stash of cash in your preferred currency, and have a credit card that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees.


Travel while you’re young. Or wait until your kids are older.

Any time is a good time to travel. You should jump at opportunities to travel at any age. And kids may not be old enough to remember certain trips, but you’ll have great memories (and take a lot of photos).


Jocelyn Sexton is a marketing and corporate communications professional with more than 15 years of writing experience. She is a passionate storyteller and has worked in a variety of industries, including a stint in state government where she worked to promote Texas food with the Department of Agriculture. She earned an Executive MBA from the University of Texas at Austin, and has an undergraduate degree in Journalism-Public Relations from the University of North Texas.

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