There is SO MUCH information out there these days on travel - which hotel to stay at, which beach is the best, when to travel somewhere, when NOT to travel somewhere, how to get the best deal, and so on. Frankly, it's rather exhausting, mostly because this information often contradicts itself, or puts out tips that are just plain wrong.
Yep, we see iffy or outright incorrect information on travel make its rounds on the Internet all the time. There are a lot of common travel myths that often pop up that many people still believe. Here are 5 travel myths you've likely seen, and may still think are true.
#1. You Should Always Purchase Airfare or Fly on Tuesdays
This is one we see a lot, and we're going to let you in on a little secret - it doesn't really matter that much if you book on a Tuesday or not. This isn't to say that you can't find good airline deals on a Tuesday, but there are so many other factors that have a way bigger effect on your flight pricing.
When you travel makes a huge difference - buying airline tickets on a Tuesday probably won't help much if you're traveling at a peak time when flight prices are typically higher anyways. How far ahead you book your flights is also a factor - it's typically best to not your flights too early, or too late. What counts as "too early" or "too late" can depend on where you're flying, but you especially don't want to count on last-minute flight deals - more on this below.
But should you be sure to fly on Tuesday? Maybe. Some days of the week may typically be cheaper than others, but it varies heavily depending on where you're flying and the time of year. In short, there is no golden rule for what days of the week you should fly. The best approach is to compare pricing, or have your travel agent compare pricing, for the best options.
#2. You Can Travel to the Bahamas (or Mexico) without a Passport
The short answer to this is - no, you can't. We see travelers confused by this sometimes - yes, the Bahamas and Mexico are very close and easily accessible from the United States, but you're still visiting a foreign country when you go, and you will need a valid passport.
This confusion is somewhat understandable because there are some tropical destinations U.S. travelers can visit from the United States without a passport: Hawai'i, because it's a U.S. state; Puerto Rico, because it's a U.S. territory; and the U.S. Virgin Islands, because they're also a U.S. territory. There are also some cruises that allow you to visit ports in the Bahamas or Mexico for the day where you may not need a passport, though we ALWAYS recommend having a passport in these cases regardless.
For everywhere else, though, you MUST have a passport in order to travel there, which includes the Bahamas and Mexico.
#3. Babies Don't Need Passports
Another passport-related misconception that we often see is that travelers under a certain age - especially infants - don't need passports to travel. This is understandable since travelers under 18 do not need to provide identification if traveling with a companion over 18 within the United States - but, that's not true for international travel. If you're traveling somewhere that requires a passport, then everyone - regardless of age - needs a passport, and that includes babies.
#4. You Get the Best Deals Booking Last-Minute
This myth definitely trips up a lot of travelers who think they're going to find incredible deals only a few weeks before they travel. While you may occasionally find a good last-minute price for some destinations or types of travel, this is not a reliable way to get a great deal on your vacation. Popular destinations, resorts, cruises, or flight routes will actually typically get MORE expensive as you get closer to travel, rather than less - if they're still available at all. In fact, our agents find that pricing is often best when booking early, especially for cruises and many resorts, as their pricing is especially likely to go up over time as rooms and cabins get booked up.
#5. Travel Agents Cost More
It's 2021 - who uses a travel agent anymore, right? I mean, we've got the Internet! As you've probably noticed, this list is all about myths and misconceptions, and in the age of the Internet, having an experienced travel agent you can trust is more important than ever. But let's get to this particular myth. Many travelers believe that booking with a travel agent will cost more than what they can get online, and this is false in more ways than one!
First of all, travel agents are often able to provide great pricing because of their knowledge of special offers, additional discounts, and other specials that most guests aren't even aware of. Travel agent prices are often the same, if not lower, than pricing available for guests booking direct - plus, you get all the expertise and assistance of an agent!
Second, no matter where you're traveling, you can probably find something cheaper online - but just because an option is cheaper doesn't mean it's a good value. A good deal isn't good if it's not the kind of vacation you want. We're always working to make sure that you get the best value for your vacation, and we have the knowledge to know when something is actually a good value - or if it's just cheap.
Bonus #6. You Can Live Without Margaritas
So this one may not be a concrete myth, but we're not willing to risk testing it out, ok?