There’s so much travel advice out there, that it’s hard to separate fact from fiction.
And people online constantly fall for the low-quality tips and advice.
I’ll tell you a little story…
A couple of months ago, I was scrolling through Amazon to purchase my monthly stash of useless things I didn’t need (ice “cube” tray that makes spherical ice…I know, many things excite me).
And out of curiosity, I searched for “travel hacks.”
There were all these books (really cheap ones) that came up on how to get a good deal on a flight, how to travel the world…I’m sure you’ve seen these same results, too.
Now mind you, a lot of these books are poor quality. They’re mostly re-hashed, basic info from the internet that a blogger decides to repurpose as a book to grow his or her influence (and we’re talking about info like, “make sure your passport isn’t expired!” Yes, that kind of info!).
One of the books had a one-star rating, and the title of this review was:
“…Book wasn’t worth even $1.”
How low-quality of a book could it have been that it this poor guy wanted his $1 back? How come the author couldn’t serve better quality information in his product that the buyer could’ve implemented?
What they don’t tell you
One of the things that bug me about the industry I’m in is that sometimes travel bloggers don’t disclose exactly how the heck they do things. This leaves their readers utterly confused and left to scramble for inefficient ways of getting from point A to point B.
I don’t know where the issue takes root. I get the sense travel bloggers sometimes to appear like breathing, talking, walking perfection — maybe it’s also because so much of many travel bloggers’ success is based on the way they capture traveling lifestyle.
So, in light of this issue, and in the spirit of full disclosure, here are some things I’ve noticed travel bloggers tell the world without fully explaining the “behind-the-scenes” of what it takes to get there.
“You can travel the world for free”
Okay, so technically you CAN travel the world for free.
But that “free” should have an asterisk (*).
When you use miles and points travel hacking, you can definitely find ways to use those miles and points to travel for free.
But let’s be realistic. Everything has a cost. Because most of the ways you even accumulate those miles and points involve paying for other things, whether it’s a meal, an airline ticket, or even your rent.
When bloggers talk about “free” travel, it makes me a little squeamish because:
- They normally don’t disclose exactly what it takes to make it “free,” and
- They give the impression it’s something people are capable of immediately
And travel hacking with miles and points is not for everyone, especially since it requires decent to good credit to get a credit card that accumulates those points.
“You can get paid to travel”
Unless you’re some influencer in the travel world or have been doing travel blogging for a little bit of time, you won’t just get paid to travel.
Sponsored trips involve mingling and networking and reaching out and really getting outside your comfort zone because you’re basically asking companies to pick up the tab. And either way, you don’t wanna do that if you’re a travel blogger. Find better ways to monetize your website…otherwise, you become that website.
I know some blogs only feature sponsored trips. Readers can’t help but wonder if they’re ever getting your honest opinion in any of these posts, no matter how beautiful/exciting/splendid the trip was.
But seriously, if someone tells you that you can get paid to travel, just know it’ll take work to build up a following first. Because companies really want to make sure lots and lots of eyeballs are going to be reading about your adventures there.
“You can travel the world on X dollars a day!”
Oh, this one. It pains my unicorn heart.
Listen, I’m all about making travel accessible to people – and it really is accessible to most people – but putting a budget to your daily spend can be super misleading.
Because if there’s some lowball number (like traveling somewhere for $30 a day) it may only be applicable to the way one person travels. Maybe you were ok with couchsurfing or staying in hostels? There’s nothing wrong with either of those options, but not everyone’s cool with skimping in those departments.
I can’t help but wonder…what did you eat to have such a low budget? And what country were you visiting? Because even within that country, the cities can sometimes have drastically different costs of living.
There are too many assumptions in that statement, amirite?
Over To You
With so much information out there especially in this age, it’s sometimes hard to really understand what it all means. Dig a little deeper behind the claims people make on the internet, so you can always understand things at face-value.
My goal with this post was to make sure you’re a little more aware of what really goes on behind-the-scenes of some of these statements travel bloggers make.
What other things have you heard people throw around on the internet that are “more than what meets the eye?” Let me know in the comments below!