Post your intention to pack your bags for a glorious week-end away to an amazing city and your Facebook feed will no doubt be inundated with 1001 snippets of advice, insider tips and invaluable hints. Or so it will seem...
Whilst your friends’ intentions are admirable, their actions are far less ‘priceless’ than they may appear. It’s bad enough that our own governments do nothing but warn us of the dangers of travelling abroad, whilst misleadingly leaving their own turf to appear as a safe haven, now we also have to listen to Aunt Betty who is adamant that all French people are rude and that Paris is just awash with young thuds just itching to snatch your bag. Never mind that Aunt Betty has never actually even been to Paris!
In order to bring some sense to this madness, here’s a list of the worst pieces of advice you will ever hear; feel free to ignore them at will. Better still; next time you plan a lovely week-end away somewhere close by...keep the news to yourself!
Don’t travel alone OR bring a weapon!
Women beware! The moment you set foot outside your front door there will be a long line of assailants just waiting for you!! Meh. Keep walking ladies...
Not only should you completely ignore these words, you should actually go to the effort of setting the person who uttered them on the straight and narrow. This is as bad as the ones who say you should never visit Berlin with children, because there won’t be anything for them to do. There are perfectly safe and happy single women, and utterly entertained children, in every city of every country on this planet. Off you go!
Book a last minute flight...it’s cheaper!
So what is cheaper, you tell me? The off-chance that you’ll save £30 on a last-minute flight abroad, or the cancellation fee of your hotel booking combined with the inevitable disappointment you’ll feel, if you’ve been dreaming of a week-end away, but end up spending it sulking on your lounge instead. Uh? Unless you don’t care WHAT you eventually pay for your flight, buy your ticket well in advance. Statistically speaking, 4-5 weeks for short-haul flights is the best time to buy a fare.
Don’t drink tap water!
I don’t know where you people head off to for a 3-day getaway from London, but it’s likely it will not be anywhere where drinking tap water will cause cholera. Sure, feel free to contribute to the worldwide plastic plague if you land in Delhi but trust us, no matter what our nonna says in Rome, tap water in Europe is perfectly fine to drink!
Don’t bring a guide book!
The internet is indeed a great source of info when travelling, yet not having anything tangible with you, in the form of a guide-book or (at the very least print outs) is a right royal pain in the butt. No, unlike what you may think, your memory is NOT that great. Head off with the notion that you’ll just read up about a place and then ‘stumble’ into its best bits will likely result in you wasting precious hours finding your way around.
Steer clear of street food
Again with the overzealous health tips! We are BIG lovers of street food and this is true even outside of Europe. Street fare is not only economical (yey!) but it is also a huge part of a nation’s culture, and something we urge you to indulge in when travelling. Forgo this most delightful eating option and the only thing you’ll guarantee is that you’ll miss out big time. Fact is, you can get food poisoning even in the fanciest restaurant in Amsterdam; so purposely skipping the French-fries and hot dog stands, or kebab-stands in Berlin and lampredotto sellers in Florence will mean you’ll still take all the belly-bug chances everyone else takes...yet without the delicious rewards.