If you have wanderlust, don’t let fear of international travel get the best of you. If you’ve never done it before, you may have fallen prey to a series of myths that I want to help debunk now.
I also know that If you read the news, traveling abroad can seem like a perilous adventure from which you may never return. If you’re a mom or even a grandma, then traveling abroad may appear to you as ridiculous as taking your family to a war-zone and expecting to come out alive.
Of course, visiting other countries requires that you take certain precautions, just as you would when going to a different state or city that you’re not familiar with.
Traveling abroad can be a wondrous experience that will help you raise open-minded and worldly children. A few summers ago, my family traveled to Haiti, and it was one of the most memorable vacations for my kids. Being multicultural, we’ve also lived in different countries, and so we travel abroad at every opportunity. Based on our experience, here are common myths about traveling abroad that you don’t need to worry about, so long as you take typical precautions.
Also Read: Yes you should travel solo, here’s why
Myth 1: It’s dangerous
That could be true, of course, depending on what country you’re visiting. Before you travel, make sure you read about your destination and even better, hook up with locals, if possible, to get recommendations as well as contacts in case you need help while you’re there. Ask your friends online what spots you should visit and which areas you should steer clear from. There’s nothing like word-of-mouth from other mamis who can share their personal experiences.
Myth 2: It’s expensive
If you have children, take advantage of reduced airfares until they turn 2 years old. I did a lot of traveling with my babies, and I don’t regret one second of it. Try to fly during off-peak times of year when prices are lower. I would definitely consider pulling my kids out of school and home-school them during an enriching trip to another country. Buy family bundles, or visit friends and family to save money—but also to experience the country like a local.
Myth 3: You´ll be pickpocketed or mugged
Most of the time, tourists get mugged because they stand out like tourists. Pickpockets the world over take advantage of those carrying cameras, speaking loudly in a foreign language and standing distractedly on street corners trying to figure out a map. Be street smart. For seven years, I lived safely in a city well-known for pickpocketing. But I also always carried a small front pack instead of a handbag, and walked like I knew where I was going (even when I didn’t).
Myth 4: You’ll contract a terrible disease
You could also slip and fall in your own bathroom. Some countries require that you get certain shots before you visit. My family and I took malaria pills before going to Haiti and avoided cholera by washing our hands and drinking boiled or bottled water. The more you travel, the stronger your immune system will get. Pack remedies for the most common traveling ailments, such as indigestion or diarrhea. Also remember that if you get sick, local doctors will be adept at treating you for an ailment they are familiar with, and which would perhaps baffle a U.S.-based doctor.
Continue reading the other 6 Travel abroad myths debunked.