What is the worst travel advice you have been given?

Travel Forums General Talk What is the worst travel advice you have been given?

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1. Posted by Teoni (Respected Member 607 posts) 7w 1 Star this if you like it!

I know we usually come here to either get or give the best advice but I was answering a question that reminded me of some bad advice I had once been given by a friend It didn't ruin my trip but I would have made better decisions without said advice.

Has it ever happened to you where you got advice that didn't match the reality on the ground or was actually the worst option for something and what if anything did you come out learning from it? I certainly learnt never to take other peoples opinion on a destination too seriously, better to find out for myself;).

[ Edit: Edited on 30-Sep-2018, at 18:40 by Teoni ]

2. Posted by Piecar (Travel Guru 1159 posts) 7w Star this if you like it!

"Don't go to Central America. Too dangerous" was one I remember when I was just starting out.

Another was "Plan everything in advance."

"Buy a top loading pack. It's the best way to pack your gear" was another one.

Honestly, most people I ask for advice give good advice. I know those who travel the way I like to, and listen to them. In the early days, where I knew nothing and there was no internet, I asked a lot of questions, that were often even the wrong questions.

Oh, this one I regretted. "February is a great month to visit Venice." Most people I speak to are not religious, see.

3. Posted by Borisborough (Moderator 1110 posts) 7w Star this if you like it!

Nothing terribly bad - but two bits from people who obviously prefer travel agent trips rather than independent trips.

"You'll need to be on a cruise to see the Galapagos Islands." and "You can only get around China on a tour." - both like a red rag to a bull! (And both ignored!) :):):)

Quoting Piecar

Oh, this one I regretted. "February is a great month to visit Venice." Most people I speak to are not religious, see.

Please explain, Piecar, why is February no good for visiting Venice? Carnival? :):)

4. Posted by Hensku (Budding Member 58 posts) 7w Star this if you like it!

No doubt this one which my mother told me: "Pack as much as you can within the limits of the flight", i packed just hand luggage (other wise i would have had 30 kg with me instead of 6kg )

[ Edit: Edited on 30-Sep-2018, at 23:40 by Hensku ]

5. Posted by UliS (Respected Member 104 posts) 7w Star this if you like it!

Tha embassy of Cote d'Ivoire told me when i got my visa the land borders to Liberia and Guinea are open, they where not and i had to make a very large detour via Bamako, Mali and they where still closed 6 month later (open now).

6. Posted by Piecar (Travel Guru 1159 posts) 7w Star this if you like it!

Yeah, Borisborough. Carnival. It's just too crowded. There's no place to stay, and the prices are jacked thru the roof. Hey, I get that some people like that kind of thing. It ain't for me. For me, that was some bad advice.

Hensku, yep. I got that advice too. I remember my Dad standing over me while I packed my top loader saying "Hey if you roll that you can fit three more things." My first trip I was constantly pulling stuff out of my bag and throwing it into a dumpster.

7. Posted by cecilecutblues (Budding Member 31 posts) 6w Star this if you like it!

" If you're a real traveler, you definitely need 60L backpack."
- I only use my 55L for multi-day hikes with camp gear. I only carry what I can carry without so much effort whatever the length of the trips. Just before I had a baby, I loved traveling only with a tote bag and didn't really use my backpack even I had carry-on sized one unless I needed to pack a thick down jacket to travel to a very cold destination.
- I have met a guy who only carries stuff which he could pack in an ordinary plastic bag that he could get at any convenience stores.
- Any bags will be fine as long as you're happy to carry it!

" You should boycott visiting India as a solo female. "
- I have to admit that I need to be very cautious to travel in India compared to when I am in my own country. But I don't think traveling with a man may be a solution. You always have to protect yourself whenever and wherever you are and whoever you're with. I personally think it's more dangerous than traveling alone if you're so much less cautious just because you're traveling with someone.
- India is relatively easy country to travel. There're so many safe options to take when you're traveling as a solo female like female only taxi whose drivers are women.
- Sexual assaults for local women had been a massive social problems in India, but boycotting doesn't help with the situation. I would personally visit and help local women to raise their incomes from what they're dedicated to. I have met some ladies who were trying to have tribal ladies work on making beautiful tribal embroideries and artworks, and sell their works to tourists, and make them money for the ladies to be financially independent for some extent. I think we could help ladies in this way rather than boycotting.

"10days doesn't deserve the flight time to that destination. You should extend your holidays."
Yeah I wish, but I only can take 10days holidays and it's quite common in my country. If I would give up with the idea of traveling just because of the duration, I would have no chance to travel there until I get retired. I can't wait for that so I travel now even for a short period. I am happy not to pack too much on my schedule and I would also happy to come back next time. So I fly even for a short period.

8. Posted by Skandinavisk (Budding Member 10 posts) 6w Star this if you like it!

You have to be really early to go to the mass audience with the pope at the Vatican.

It was August in 1998, and the temperature was 40 deg C in the shade. Things that were confiscaded on entering St. Peters square: Umbrella and any bottled water. Had to wear long trousers and long sleeved shirts.

It took a few hours to fill up the square, and we found out that we would be able to see everything just fine if we were a few hours later.

The arrangement took quite a long time, but the audience itself lasted at most 30 minutes.

We were cooked when it was finished.

[ Edit: Edited on 02-Oct-2018, at 01:52 by Skandinavisk ]

9. Posted by Andrew Mack (Respected Member 454 posts) 6w Star this if you like it!

Lots of little things really.
Luckily I've usually done a bit more research and found out the best thing to do before causing myself real problems.
Things like;
Change all your money at the airport... NO, that may be best in a few countries but they are the minority (I haven't found one yet).
Go to XVZ then … NO I said I wanted hot but that's the height of the wet season / really cold that time of year.
Pack A,B,C and D... Usually 3 of the 4 items are completely unnecessary so research the need for each item individually. Just because A is actually quite a good idea doesn't mean B,C and D are.
You won't need Travel Insurance... Yes you do. Maybe only 1 in 500 trips but that one could be your 1st or your 500th.
You'd love that 10 day coach/yacht tour... No I wouldn't. 10 days with the same people could occasionally turn out as fun, but what if those people are J3rks...

One that's been said to friends whilst I was present;
You can easily learn to ride a scooter there... No, unless if you have zero regard for personal injury or you're suicidal. People have done this but it's not easy, it's very dangerous and lots of people get life changing injuries from it. Learn in your home country first, where you understand the laws of road.

10. Posted by Beausoleil (Travel Guru 805 posts) 6w 1 Star this if you like it!

Most of the advice I've been given has been useful. Occasionally someone will tell us to avoid a particular site, like the well-meaning fellow who said not to waste time at the Priory on Lindisfarne. That was what we had gone to see and we cheerfully ignored him. It just wasn't something he was interested in, but we knew we were.

A lot of packing suggestions seem silly to us. Most of the stuff people drag along on vacation is never worn or used. If we don't use it at home, we don't take it.