41 Countries later (still can’t believe it!), I have a few truths to reveal about the common misconceptions in regards to travel. This is my personal experience after seeing the world with my own eyes.
Take it for what it is, my intent is always to educate and inspire you to see the world too!
You have to spend thousands of dollars to travel internationally -> MYTH
If you’ve read any of my past blog posts, you know that there are ways to travel smart. I’ve explained in detail how to FLY FOR LESS and ways to save money WHILE traveling. For a refresher – travel reward credit cards are my best friend and we save thousands of dollars traveling with airbnb.
See my flight itinerary for a 10 hour flight with 1 layover from Buenos Aires, Argentina, to San Juan, Costa Rica. I only paid $85 out of pocket!!
When traveling by plane, our dog Brodie is put to sleep -> MYTH
Brodie is our furry baby that’s been lucky enough to travel from Texas to Mexico, Dominican Republic, Colombia, Peru, Chile & now Argentina. Due to the very long distances, it’s impossible for us to travel with him by car… which means that he has to fly with us from country to country.
Due to his size, he travels as a checked pet instead of the cabin with us. While we know this can be a stressful experience for him, he is NOT injected to be tranquilized for the flight. In fact, this is not recommended by the vet or required by any airline.
We’ve followed the advice from professionals to ensure the journey is as least stressful as we can make it. If you have questions on dog travel, contact me and I’m happy to help you travel with your pet!
It’s difficult to find reliable internet in South American countries -> MYTH
Our lifestyle as “digital nomads” require a strong, stable internet connection in order to work on the road. This is one of the reasons we mostly stay “stationed” in capital cities (ex. Lima, Santiago, Buenos Aires).
We have found that our internet speeds are appropriate for work and often even exceed our requirements. We’ve found 15-75mbps download speed in all the countries we’ve visited. (Currently 30mbps in Argentina)
Tip: If you also require internet for work while traveling, I recommend using airbnb and contacting the host prior to booking and requesting a screenshot of the internet speed. This can easily be done for free by using http://www.speedtest.net. This ensures that the place you are renting is adequate for work!
Mexico and Colombia are dangerous countries to visit -> MYTH
I have much to say on this topic but to keep my answer brief, check out my blog posts on travel to Mexico and Colombia. From first hand experience in the past year, we have found that the media in the USA truly exaggerates the reality of safety in a place. In both countries, we met solo female travelers, American expats and tourists from all over the world.
We took the normal safety precautions and had 0 problems visiting many different cities in both countries. We’ve met wonderful people and can’t wait to go back!
I’m happy to share tips on neighborhoods where to stay! It’s those that have traveled there that now have the responsibility to spread the word and encourage tourism to these wonderful places.
Uber is legal worldwide -> MYTH
As 21st century travelers, we rely heavily on Uber and public transport to get around while we’re car-less in a new city. We’ve learned that Uber is not as “standard” in other places as it is in the USA. There are certain cities that don’t have the airport pickup offering or don’t offer the service at all due to local laws and its legalization.
My tip on this matter is to carry cash with you and exchange a small amount at the airport in case you have to take a taxi. If there is an uber available, contact them once they accept the ride to ensure they are pick you up at the airport entrance (many times they will park instead), and ALWAYS check that they are “experienced” drivers.
The app lets you check how many rides they have given along with their rating. Even a low number of rides is better than 0. From a negative past experience, we now decline any drivers that have 0-5 total rides. Use your best judgement.
The Dominican Republic has suddenly become a not-so-great place to visit -> MYTH
I made a short video on my stance in response to the negative DR publicity campaign. A quick reminder to all to CHECK YOUR FACTS before sharing your opinion and to remember that once again, the media is quite subjective and the news you see can often be one-sided.
The Dominican Republic is as beautiful as ever and I can’t wait for us to return!
Do you have more questions on travel? I’d love to hear from you. Contact me at any time!
-Signed during my flight home from Costa Rica,
Salma Travel Guru