Shitty travel advice is as effective as trusting the pulling-out method of birth control.
Avoid metaphorical unwanted pregnancies on your next vacation by ignoring the following:
“It’s perfectly safe as long as you stay on the resort grounds.”
Even if your plan is to sip unlimited Cuba Libres from the swim-up bar and stuff all-you-can-eat tacos into your face until your gut covers your mankini, don’t fly to the other side of the planet without taking one day to walk around and see what Country X looks like outside of your Corporate Wonderland.
Jenny McCarthy and the anti-vaxxers may very well succeed in exterminating the human race – so DO vaccinate your offspring against smallpox…but don’t listen to the scaredy cats who list 10 shots you need to go to Koh Whatever.
”Don’t Eat Street Food.”
Battling an occasional bout of the Hershey Squirts is just part of international travel. While clearly it’s smart to use your best judgment and not eat street food from a guy picking his nose and washing dishes in a bucket of rotten cabbage water, the truth is that you’re just as likely to get sick from a sit down restaurant or from brushing your teeth.
Take Traveler’s Cheques for Emergencies.
Brought to you by your grandmother’s boyfriend. An ATM card and a few hundred dollars/Euros hidden next to your giblets will suit you just fine. Bring a credit card for true emergencies.
Women Shouldn’t Travel Alone.
Women should take precautions when traveling alone but a vagina need not be travel kryptonite.
X Country is Dangerous.
Unless the country rhymes with Zomalia or is hosting an active war zone it’s probably around 1,000 times safer than your racist uncle thinks it is. It’s more dangerous than visiting Iowa so don’t be a fucking idiot when going there – but it’s likely just fine in the regions where the backpack clad Western tourists are headed.
If you’re a USAian, you’re more likely to be conked in the head with a brick by a meth head outside of Burger King on a random Friday night than you are to be kidnapped/beheaded by ISIS while eating stinky cheese under the Eiffel Tower.
Avoid Tourist Traps
Ever meet one of those wankers who purposefully skips all the good stuff because “they” prefer to go off-the-beaten-path? Heading off-the-beaten-path is brilliant…but visit No-Name Wat in addition to Angkor Wat, not instead of.
My Cousin Larry only Spent $X.
A personal pet peeve of mine (as evidenced by this old rant)…never base your own personal budget off someone else’s trip. They’re likely lying/miscalculating when they balled out in New York with a roll of quarters and even in southeast Asia you’ll need more than $400/month unless you’re tying a hammock up to a dumpster.
Here are more of my mindless ramblings on travel budgets.
Beware of Situational Advice
A lot of travel advice is brilliant in one scenario and retarded in another. Be careful of following tips subject to a gray area as if they are black & white:
Some destinations are better in the off-season and others are worse.
Sometimes it’s smart to book hostels/hotels in advance, sometimes you’re better to go with the flow and maintain flexibility.
Sometimes taking a tour completely ruins an experience, sometimes it’s leaps and bounds better than trying to do it solo.
Remember that everyone is different. There is no “right” way – even my arrogant ass ought to be ignored from time to time.
There are pros & cons to hauling a full-sized pack with all your goodies and pros & cons to traveling for 6 months with a fanny pack, 2 pairs of undies and a bottle of Febreeze.