Certain Instagram feeds and photos might get us all excited about new places, but nothing beats actually going there - once you've done your research of course. We've weighed up six travel myths and uncovered the truths so that hopefully you'll feel excited and inspired to board that plane.
Myth 1: Travelling is all about ‘finding yourself’
Travel can do more than just help you 'find yourself'
Truth: If you go away with the sole purpose of 'finding yourself', you’ll probably be disappointed (and lonely). The truth is, you are who you are, wherever you go. The real value of travelling is in learning new ways of appreciating or changing your life, which can be done by observing those who live differently.
Be grateful for what you have by helping others who have less. Volunteering with children in India, Cambodia and Myanmar, for example, can be a humbling experience. For something more spiritual, opt for a yoga retreat in the Philippines, Spain, Indonesia, France and beyond. Namaste.
The truth is, you are who you are, wherever you go.
Myth 2: It’s cheaper to buy a local SIM card at your new destination
Truth: Not always. Travelling from and back to Singapore? A Changi Recommends Wi-Fi router can give you 4G pocket Wi-Fi and unlimited data from S$5 a day in over 25 destinations – great for saving money if you're travelling in a group.
If you’re going solo, check the telecommunication providers in your home country for the best packages. M1 offers a Data Passport and Unlimted Data Roaming plan (with a daily charge) while StarHub's Happy Roam lets you surf overseas at Singapore data rates.
Myth 3: Airport shopping is more expensive than shopping in the city
Grab some neat deals on top-selling products at Changi Airport
Truth: When it comes to airport shopping, some outlets such as The Shilla Duty Free offer prices up to 40% cheaper than retail stores downtown. For example, top-selling beauty products such as the Shiseido Bio-Performance Lift Dynamic Cream and Elizabeth Arden lipsticks are an impressive 25% cheaper at Changi Airport – perfect for those in search of savings on skin-care and cosmetic items.
In addition, prices at the airport in Singapore are GST-free, which means you can automatically save 7%. Buying at the airport will also save you the trouble of claiming your tax refunds on things you bought elsewhere.
Myth 4: Checking in early for your flight is a waste of time
Watch the planes take off as you chill at the rooftop pool at Changi Airport's Aerotel Airport Transit Hotel
Truth: At airports like Changi Airport, checking in early is a bonus for many reasons. If you're changing flights and have a long layover, or if you simply have some time to kill, you can check in up to 24 hours before your flight departs, depending on your airline.
Once that is taken care of, you can take a refreshing dip in a rooftop pool and watch planes take off at the same time. Alternatively, catch the latest blockbusters at the free cinema! You can also treat yourself at a top-notch restaurant such as The Kitchen by Wolfgang Puck. (Psst, early birds travelling through Changi from August – October 2017 get rewarded with special perks such as a whopping 20% off the restaurant, a $2 Starbucks latte and more! Check out other sweet deals here.)
With so much to do, try not to miss your flight!
Myth 5: Travel insurance is not necessary for short trips
Are you insured for the activities you're planning?
Truth: Anything can happen anywhere, especially if you're travelling out of the country into unexplored terrain.
Rock climbing with your buddies or planning some scuba diving in Thailand? You might need a different category of travel insurance to someone going on a beach break or someone with a tendency to miss flights (we all know someone like this!).
Travel insurance providers in Singapore all offer varying policies for cases of lost luggage, hospital visits, post-trip medical coverage and more. If possible, buy your insurance early, just in case you find yourself unable to fly, or your flight is cancelled at the last minute.
Consider what hopefully won't but might occur before you leave, do your research and ask for quotes.
Myth 6: You can only deal with jet lag once you've landed
Don't let distress from jetlag deter you from travelling
Truth: Studies have found that it takes around a day to recover from every time zone you travel through, and this could be worse if you’re flying eastward. However, your suffering can be avoided. Prepare in advance to stop jet lag-associated issues such as indigestion, problems with bowel movements and appetite loss from ruining your trip.
A few days before you fly, adjust your sleep schedule to match that of your new destination’s time zone. Avoid fitting too many things into your schedule and if possible avoid any business meetings when you first arrive - you want to feel ready for action, not exhaustion.
For every myth that exists about travelling, one can unravel some positive truth to debunk it. All you need is a little preparation and care.