- Everything is cheaper duty Free – Duty is the extra tax included in the price. This tends to be fairly low, and is sometimes a percentage, sometimes a fixed charge. The fixed charge tax works to you advantage with very cheap items; cheap whisky goes from $15.oo to $10.oo, which is a reasonable saving. But expensive $50.oo alcohol only goes to $45.oo, which makes little difference. Duty free is more a tradition than a way to save money, but there are a few good buy from time to time. You might find better shopping opportunities at your overseas destination.
- Street food is dangerous – Some food is dangerous because we are not use to the local water or bugs, but that problem is inherent to all travellers in the country and not just the food on the street. Occasionally some street food is risky, but if you eat what the locals eat you are reasonably safe. Don’t miss out on this great aspect of foreign cultures.
- Guided tours are cheating – this varies with the destination. A guided tour is great if you want to get as many sites done as possible, want to avoid all the organizations, and have no idea about the place or culture. The tour organizers have experience and connections and tend to get good deals; you will get value for money. On the other hand it you are visiting an English speaking country, and enjoy planning details, you might do better staying at a youth hostel.
- Booking rooms in advance – The last thing you want is to spend you first night overseas looking for somewhere to sleep. Booking in advance prevents this. Occasionally there are scams, and you might book a room that does not exist. But if you go with something recommended by the airline or travel agent you are pretty safe. You can always book for two nights and look for other accommodation when you get there.
- Traveller’s cheques – these use to be essential, but have been superseded by ATMs, and international credit cards.
- More clothes means less launder. True, but you will have to carry all those heavy clothes. It is easier to do the laundry. Have clothes for three days, and buy many pairs of disposable socks and underwear.
- Don’t talk to strangers- It is no truer in most places than back home. Talking in public places is fairly safe; avoid shady deals away from the public eye. There may be cultural restrictions between men and women taking in some places, so check this in advance.
- Youth Hostels are untidy/dirty. Hostels tend to be plain but clean; there are probably one or two bad ones somewhere. If you just want a place to sleep while seeing the sites these are a great option.