The Worst Travel Advice We’ve Ever Been Given


Don’t let bad advice ruin your trip. (Photo: Meiko Arquillos/Corbis)

By Yahoo Travel Explorers

Advice is a tricky thing. It’s always subjective, often biased, and sometimes just flat-out wrong — face it, those who give it don’t always know what they’re talking about. When it comes to travel advice, separating the good from the bad can be even trickier because so much of how we pack, plan, and interact with people is determined by our own personal comfort levels. Just ask our Yahoo Travel Explorers. These expert globetrotters are on the road more often than they’re at home — and at some point in their lives, they took the unconventional step to make travel their No. 1 priority. As a result, they’ve been subjected to numerous opinions and recommendations from the peanut gallery. Luckily, they’ve experienced (and learned) a lot during their adventures, so they’ve been able to separate the good from the bad. What follows is the worst advice each of them has ever been been given.

“Regarding where to stay: Make sure to stay in chain motels or hotels so you know what you’re going to get.” —Lanee Lee, Voyage Vixens


Car seats on planes: better in theory than in practice. (Photo: James Leynse/Corbis)

“Take a car seat onto the plane for infants. We tried this twice and it was a nightmare hauling it though the airport and securing it to the seat and then reversing the process on arrival. And our daughter didn’t want to sit in it anyway. That advice actually made us go completely the other way when we travel as a family — the less we are taking though airports and trying to fit into overhead bins or under seats, the better.” —Eric Stoen, Travel Babbo

“True story: A visitor center worker in a popular California destination answered ‘Taco Bell’ when asked about the best place for Mexican food. I still cringe at that one, many years later.” —Charles McCool, McCool Travel

“You can buy everything you need once you’re in destination. While it’s true for average people, anyone above a size 8 may have difficulty finding clothing if their in Asia, and if you have big feet, good luck finding shoes.” —Pamela MacNaughtan, Savoir Faire Abroad


Street food can be some of the best around, but is also a situation where you’d rather be safe than sorry. (Photo: Luigi Vaccarella/SOPA RF/SOPA/Corbis)

“Always try the street food. While I agree that some of the best food can be found in unexpected places, not all street food is safe. Be adventurous, sure, but be careful. A bout of food poisoning can ruin a trip very quickly.” Kelley Ferro

Related: The Most Annoying Travel Pet Peeves Ever!

“Don’t go to Europe unless you have two weeks to travel! Ha! I am so glad I didn’t follow this advice, then I never would have gone anywhere during the early years of my career as a Physician. I ended up going to one city at a time throughout Europe, Asia, and Central and South America.” —Cacinda Maloney, Points and Travel

“Some of the best advice I’ve been given was to stay in one of the Disney resorts when visiting Orlando. We tried to save money by staying offsite, but my fellow PTA moms told me about the perks I was missing: extended park hours, free transit, and VIP character experiences. On future trips we stayed at a number of onsite properties and the trip was logistically easier with three kids and much more fun. However, those same PTA moms were the ones who gave me the worst travel advice too: They told me I had to take my kids to Disney World. When I was finally brave enough to reject the herd, I started planning and taking much more interesting summer family vacations, like exploring the Pacific Northwest and touring Chicago.” —Catherine Bennett Kopf, The Open Suitcase

Related: How These 10 Trips Changed Our Lives Forever


Meeting locals and other travelers can be one of the best parts of traveling. (Photo: Lumina/Stocksy)

“Don’t talk to strangers. If I didn’t talk to strangers on the road I’m not even sure I’d like traveling, as my best memories are from shared experiences with locals, Couchsurfers, and random travelers I’ve met along the way.” —Jessica Festa, Jessie on a Journey

“Travel is only for holidays. When we first left our homes more than seven years ago, all our friends told us that our “holiday” wouldn’t last. That once we had seen a few places we would be desperate to return home — that ultimately a traveling lifestyle isn’t realistic. Almost 3,000 days on the road later, we have proved all the naysayers wrong!” —Jarryd Salem, Nomadasaurus


Hitchin’ a ride isn’t always a bad thing. (Photo: iStock)

“Don’t hitchhike.” —Bruce Northam, American Detour

“Wait until you find someone to go with you. You could be waiting forever! If there is a place you really want to travel, go — and enjoy it! Even if you’re in a relationship, travel priorities don’t always match up, and there’s nothing to say that you can’t savor an experience alone.” — Christine Amorose, C'est Christine

“’This Mainland China bus tour is dirt cheap, so let’s make it a family trip!’ said a relative. Thankfully, my mother saw through this and barred my father from joining the trip. My uncle didn’t fare so well. The tour was extremely cheap for a reason. He wound up throwing up every day on the lurching bus, which went around the Mainland to one-star restaurants.” La Carmina

Related: Bites, Blisters, and Bad Food: Inside Pro Travelers’ First-Aid Kits


Surprise! Women can travel solo and make it back A-OK. (Photo: Lumina/Stocksy)

“Don’t travel solo as a female. You’ll get mugged, raped or murdered (surprising how many times I’ve heard that).” —Laurel Robbins, Monkeys and Mountains

“If you start out alone on a trip you’ll be alone the whole journey. Nothing could be further than the truth. There are fascinating people out there traveling alone, just like you. I met a life-long friend by spending a few days together exploring Jaipur in India and renting a motorcycle together in Bali.” —Marybeth Bond, The Gutsy Traveler

“Stay at a luxury hotel. Don’t get me wrong, I love a little luxury, but sometimes that means losing the charm and personal attention you might find in smaller, less "fancy” accommodations. I find this to be especially true in developing countries where luxury resorts almost sanitize the experience and take out all the local color.” —Susan Portnoy, The Insatiable Traveler


Rainy season, shmainy season. (Photo: Getty Images)

“Don’t travel to Southeast Asia during rainy season. Traveling to any country during its most extreme weather is actually really fun. It’s cheaper, fewer crowds, and you get to see how the locals cope with the weather. In Vietnam I learned that it really only rains once a day and then it’s nice. Plus I was introduced to the poncho styles they wear on their motorbikes! Did you know that they have ponchos with two head holes? Or ponchos that have a clear section for your motorbike headlight?” —Sherry Ott, Ott’s World

“Ignore the street food in developing countries. Street food is an integral part of the cultural immersion in a place and though caution in choosing the place to have it from is a must, totally staying away from it is losing out on some great food.” —Rishabh Shah, Gypsy Couple

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