The Three Most Over-Rated Things in Travel

posted in: Stories from the Road | 0

Spend any amount of time searching travel on sites like Instagram, Tumblr and Pinterest, and you’ll soon discover a wealth of quotations telling you how amazing it is to travel. And, to be fair, I totally agree.

Personally, though, I don’t think that everything in travel is as good as it’s cracked up to be. I know, I know. I’m sure that’s controversial.

Don’t worry, I’m not saying that travel itself can’t be incredible, and wonderful, and amazing, and all those other words. Just that sometimes, you need to take your own excitement with a pinch of salt.

Here are three of those times where, for me, the result doesn’t quite live up to the expectation:

Yasawa Islands, Fiji - the tea break solo travel project

1: WINDOW SEATS ON LONG HAUL FLIGHTS

I admit that it’s exciting to look out of the window as the plane speeds down the runway, then to watch the ground shinking away from you, spread out below like a patchwork quilt. Believe me, I get that, and on short haul flights, a window seat can be great.

But if I’m on a long haul flight, I’m probably going to need the loo a few times during the course of it, and if I’m stuck by the window, I’m going to have to disturb the two strangers next to me if I want to get out. And if they’re asleep? Well I’ll either have to wake them or hold it in, neither of which is ideal.

Window seats can also be a problem if the person sitting next to you is a bit on the large side. Call me boring, but I don’t relish being squished into a little space for a dozen or more hours. Nope, when it comes to long haul flights, I’ll pick the aisle seat every time.

USA road trip - the tea break project solo travel blog

2: TOP BUNK BEDS

Seriously, what is the fascination with the top bunk bed? Is it something left over from childhood, where climbing a ladder to go to bed felt like an adventure? Or does it go further back than that, to a time when our ancestors would climb into the trees for safety? Is it in fact just a lingering evolutionary memory of the jungle?

Whatever the reason, we have both grown up and evolved, and top bunk beds are no longer either an adventure or a necessity for survival.

Now, they’re an inconvenience.

You get into bed, then realised you’ve left your phone (and therefore your alarm) in your suitcase. Wouldn’t it be much easier to reach over from the bottom bunk, rather than having to get out of bed and climb down to ground level in order to retrieve it?

You wake in the middle of the night needing the loo, and have to climb down a ladder in your befuddled half-asleep state? Not fun.

You wake up in the morning, get dressed, and need somewhere to sit down while you put on your socks and shoes. Pretty difficult to do that from a top bunk bed.

You see my point. If I have a choice, I’ll always choose the bottom bunk.

Boutique Hostel Forum, Zadar - the tea break project solo travel blog

3: SUITCASES ON FOUR WHEELS

I love my wheely suitcase. I’m not the strongest person in the world, so it’s nice to be able to wheel my luggage around rather than carrying it on my back. But I have a suitcase with two wheels: lift the handle, tilt and pull.

There seems to be a craze at the moment for suitcases on four wheels. No need to tilt and pull. Instead, you just raise the handle and wheel, meaning you don’t have to bear any of the weight of your luggage at all. Which seems like a good idea, until you need to stop on a hill – then you let go of your suitcase and watch your luggage roll merrily away from you. Highly impractical.

Besides, if your suitcase is so heavy that you can’t even pull it along on two wheels, then you’re definitely packing too much. My advice? Keep the two-wheeled case and lose the kitchen sink.

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So there you have it: my most over-rated things in travel. What are yours? Is there anything that you’ve felt disappointed by on your travels?

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