15 lies we've all told while travelling

Rough Guides Editors

written by
Rough Guides Editors

updated 07.03.2019

Travelling isn’t always plain sailing. Sometimes you need the help of the odd little white lie to keep things running smoothly. We’ve all been there – whether we’re lying to ourselves or even those around us. Here are fifteen lies you’ve almost certainly told on you travels:

1. “I only eat what the locals eat.”

They eat cheese toasties, right? Perhaps you got an upset stomach from a dodgy curry, or you can’t face more unidentifiable mush for breakfast. Whatever it is, every now and then we all cave in and order something familiar. Give yourself a break.

Bun-cha Vietnam food © Jiann/Shutterstock

Bun-cha Vietnam food © Jiann/Shutterstock

2. “Sleeping on the night bus will be easy.”

It saves you a night’s accommodation costs – how could this possibly be a bad idea? Deep down you know. You always know.

The multiple stops for toilet breaks; the hour-long stop for a midnight dinner; the chair with the broken back; the cramped leg-room; the snoring neighbour; the blaring music; the musty, stale smell. You haven’t got a hope.

3. “Sure, we’ll stay in touch.”

Perhaps at first you mean it. Maybe you really think you’ll bother. But it won’t be long before you’re saying it to almost everyone you meet, and in your head you’re already fast-forwarding to the mildly guilt-stricken pressing of the “ignore” button when the Facebook friend request pops up. Hey, you can’t be everyone’s buddy.

4. “I’m married.”

Of all the lies you might tell while you’re abroad, this one is the most justifiable. In fact, at times, it’s essential. Telling people you’re married can simplify your adventures and avoid awkward situations the world over, whether you’re alone, with friends or your partner. Just remember that you need to actually invent a good backstory. Anniversary dates, wedding stories – put your romantic hat on and get creative with it.

5. “I’m going to buy so many presents for my friends.”

You buy them. You really do. And then you keep them for yourself.

Gold souk, Dubai © Shutterstock

© Shutterstock

6. “Yes, I’ll definitely come back to your hotel/restaurant/bar.”

It's by no means unheard of for travellers to return to their favourite destinations, but as you wave goodbye to the guesthouse owners in the tiny village thousands of miles from home, more often than not you're mentally ticking this one off the bucket list and planning your next trip – elsewhere. There's a whole world out there, after all.

7. “I haven’t been on Facebook since I got here. And no, I don’t miss it.”

Come on now.

8. “I’m going to stick to my budget.”

Hell, maybe you’ll even come home with some spare cash. Or you’ll do what most people end up doing: “just one day” of treating yourself becomes just another day, and another, and by the end of your trip the word budget is no longer even mentioned. You can check your bank statement once you’re home…

9. “Everything I’ve brought with me is absolutely essential.”

Yeah, including your laptop, iPad, speakers, phone, spare phone, spare phone charger, Travel Scrabble, Connect Four and that third pair of sunglasses in case the other two simultaneously break. These are just a few of the things many of us pack, but definitely don't need.


© GP Studio/Shutterstock

10. “I’ll write that novel.”

You will certainly have a lot more time on your hands, it’s just that the time seems so much better spent far, far away from your keyboard, and much, much closer to a nice, cool drink.

11. “I haven’t watched a single TV show since I’ve been away.”

The longer people have been travelling, the less this is likely to be true. No one’s going to be stuffing a box set of DVDs in their bag, but if all you need is an internet connection and an iPad or laptop, the temptation to keep up with the latest Game of Thrones episode might just get too much.

12. “Of course I know how to use all the settings on my new DSLR.”

More and more people are travelling with expensive, very high-tech DSLR cameras. While many holidaymakers take great interest in their cameras and really know their stuff, if it’s been set to auto 99% of the time, it might be time to rethink that career in professional travel photography.

13. “Yes I did have a good night sleep in your lovely home.”

This may well be true – sometimes. But after a sleepless night of loose mattress springs, creepy crawlies and relentlessly barking dogs, you’ll grit your teeth, wish you weren’t so polite and say it.

14. “I’m going to be accepted as one of the locals.”

You’ve done the legwork – you’ve read all there is to know about this place. You know what say, how to dress, what to eat. You’re going to blend in and nobody’s going to bat an eyelid as you walk down the street. Except somehow you know you won’t say it quite right, the polka-dot shorts and straw sun-hat will definitely make it into the suitcase, and you’re going to end up ordering something no one has ever heard of. You’ll probably stick out like a sore thumb, so just accept it.

15. “I’m going to nail the language.”

You end up playing one of those audiotapes for at least half an hour. You get your phrasebook out in restaurants, breaking the world record for the slowest attempt at ordering a salad, only for the waiter to look rather confused and answer you in perfect English. You never listen to that audiotape again.

Top image © PJjaruwan/Shutterstock

Rough Guides Editors

written by
Rough Guides Editors

updated 07.03.2019

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