Things to do while preparing for your trip, including planning where to go, budgeting, etc.

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69
votes
9answers
13k views

How can I do a “broad” search for flights?

Several airline and trip planning sites will allow you to check "I am flexible with my dates" or a similar option. Is there any way to also search more broadly for location? For example, if you ...
55
votes
12answers
3k views

Is there a good website to plan a trip via trains in Europe?

My wife and I have decided to move across Europe by train. Do you know of any good sites for planning a trip via train (schedule and maybe prices)? We're going to go across Europe from east (Russia ...
20
votes
9answers
886 views

Is there a list of online public transportation planners?

For Oslo in Norway you can go to ruter.no, punch in where you are and where you want to go. It then gives you options on how to get from point A to point B using various public transportation (and ...
20
votes
5answers
24k views

What is the minimum time to consider with a connecting flight in the USA?

Given the extensive time taken for immigration formalities in the US, what is the shortest time to consider between connecting flights in the US, when coming from abroad? Until now I have always ...
20
votes
4answers
41k views

What is the best method of purchasing a ticket with an open return date?

I’ve been doing some research on traveling to South America and staying for an extended period of time (working vacation). The usual sources for flight info (Kayak, Expedia, Hipmunk) don’t have any ...
21
votes
2answers
51k views

Is there an easy way to calculate the total cost of tolls for a trip within the United States?

Is there a convenient way to calculate the cost of tolls between two arbitrary points within the United States? I'm planning to take a trip along the Eastern seaboard and will be passing through ...
11
votes
1answer
3k views

What is the cheapest way to get from South America to Australia

What is the cheapest way to get from South America to Australia? I found several flights mostly from Buenos Aires and Santiago de Chile, however the prices are quite prohibitive. Do you recommend ...
6
votes
1answer
106 views

Is there a website that summarizes the luggage and check-in requirements for each airplane company?

I don't travel much by plane but I use a wide variety of companies. Since there is not much harmonization, specially with LCC, each one has its own requirements about luggage size, weight, extra ...
25
votes
7answers
4k views

How does one recover from a (personal) disaster while abroad, travel-wise?

I was watching the Bond flick Die Another Day last night. In it, Bond ends up in terrible shape, but manages to escape to the shores of Hong Kong, where he strolls into the lobby of a swanky hotel, is ...
11
votes
4answers
373 views

What's the easiest way to find a vacation rental?

I've rented a few vacation homes and really liked it but it always takes hours and hours to find a good one. It seems like there are 100+ different sites that all list different homes (some with a ...
11
votes
2answers
759 views

How do I decide whether to be worried about having enough blank pages in my passport?

I am planning a long trip over a year from now. The tentative itinerary is Canada USA (maybe LA, maybe Hawaii, doesn't matter, I have Nexus) Australia New Caledonia Vanuatu Fiji Samoa New Zealand ...
19
votes
5answers
15k views

Getting into a fully booked hotel?

Perchance where I'm travelling to has really crappy availability in terms of vacancies for when I'm going. All of the hotels near the area are fully booked for the weekend. I called the front desk for ...
13
votes
4answers
384 views

What is some useful software for brainstorming/planning long trips?

I'm planning on taking my partner and his family on a trip around the UK next year, and I have a ton of ideas in my head that I want to have written down in some form that makes it easy to edit and ...
13
votes
1answer
631 views

How to see the Norwegian fjords?

I am currently working in The Hague area of the Netherlands. This summer is too cold to spend weekends on the beach, so I've decided to spend 3-4 days seeing the Norwegian fjords instead. I ...
21
votes
4answers
65k views

Can I use Google Maps traffic information to estimate driving time for a specific date/time?

In supported regions, Google Maps will tell me how long it will take to drive from A to B in current traffic conditions. It can also colour-code roads according to traffic conditions for a specific ...
11
votes
3answers
652 views

Is it always wise to book flights as soon as possible?

So I'm booking flights to go to Europe in September n October. And it's a long way off, but I've already noticed in the space of a week or so, that the prices have started creeping up. Not by much, ...
11
votes
1answer
3k views

Paris on a Tuesday - are the Louvre and the Pompidou Centre the only “big” attractions that are closed?

One that's caught me out before is that the Louvre is closed on Tuesdays. It looks like the Centre Pompidou is also closed Tuesdays (French - Tuesday=Mardi). However, the Paris Modern Art Museum ...
28
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the best time of year to visit Reykjavík?

When I ask for the "best" time of year, I am looking for a reasonable balance of the following criteria, in order of importance: Mild weather. Ideally, warm enough to have coffee outside in a light ...
15
votes
3answers
342 views

Travel in Morocco during Ramadan?

I'm planning to visit Morocco this summer with my girlfriend, from 20/07 to 3/08. We'll arrive during Ramadan, and I've heard and read many things about the change of lifestyle there, but at the end, ...
14
votes
6answers
1k views

Avoiding or minimising altitude sickness?

From my personal anecdotal experience, I've seen first-hand some horror stories with altitude sickness. I will always tell people now to acclimatise, drink fluids, and follow the local tricks like ...
9
votes
2answers
150 views

How early should I get to the Oktoberfest tents to get in without a reservation?

Oktoberfest tents are super-crowded and it's recommended that people arrive early. However several websites disagree over what 'early' is. Oktoberfest.de says: Of course you can also enter the ...
6
votes
2answers
101 views

How can I do an online broad search for cruise trips?

I like to travel in cruise ships, but for me it's usually hard to decide on an itinerary. I've never found a web site that allows me to compare cruise trips, so I have to search in many cruise ...
6
votes
1answer
192 views

How can I buy an economy ticket one-way from Tahiti to Easter Island?

I am trying to price flights for a South Pacific trip. Easter Island can be reached from either Santiago, Chile, or Tahiti. Flights from island to island within the South Pacific (eg Fiji to Samoa or ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Minimum available passport blank page requirements

For a British Citizen travelling on business to one country for up to 30 days what are the maximum numbers of consecutive and not-necessarily-consecutive minimum blank pages required in a passport ...
30
votes
7answers
4k views

Celebrating the same new year several times over?

Is there a commercial service offered to general public that allows you to celebrate the new year several times? The idea is that you would celebrate it in a time-zone and than move to the next one ...
18
votes
10answers
4k views

What sort of computer / electronic device would you take on a backpack trip around Europe to allow you to keep in touch?

As you may have seen in my other posts I am in the early stages of planning my Eurotrip this summer which if you are interested in seeing the planned route go here: ...
18
votes
5answers
8k views

How do you prepare for long haul flights?

I'm always feeling a bit unwell during and after long haul flights. I lose my appetite, can't sleep in the plane, food has no taste no matter what. However, I'm pretty sure it's not the flying itself, ...
13
votes
3answers
5k views

Scotland in one week: What to see and do?

I'm planning to visit Scotland this August with some friends, but we only have one week. We have already made a sketch of our trip and so far we have in mind to visit Glasgow, Stirling, Kyle Of ...
7
votes
4answers
533 views

Intuitive Trip planning websites where you can “pin” interesting activities, hostels etc based on location?

Just had this idea came in mind, where you can find great pictures, activities and stories etc online, collect them together, and group them based on location(eg. neighbourhood, city or country? I'm ...
22
votes
9answers
6k views

What times of the year are best for visiting France?

When I visited Rome, Italy, I ended up visiting during August which seems to be a time when most Italians have fled the city to cooler areas. This was nice because there was less traffic so we were ...
18
votes
5answers
4k views

Is there a guarantee that flightfox.com will be cheaper than other booking methods?

Recently, I tried to use flightfox, as I have read that they are much cheaper than other websites. Before proceeding with my booking however, I was faced by the fact that I had to pay a $49 fee before ...
14
votes
2answers
412 views

An online map indicating the status of all open and closed international borders

I like to make up my own interesting international routes on my longer trips rather than always following conventional routes. But often it's tricky to plan a route in lesser-known parts of the world ...
12
votes
3answers
276 views

What first aid material and medicines are absolutely essential when traveling?

When you arrive into a new place / city country / etc. it can be difficult to find some essential goods. Everything is new. First aid material and medicines are sometimes forgotten when planning a ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

Comparing travel costs in Europe: rail vs bus

I wanted to compare costs for travelling around in Europe by bus and rail. While I don't have a firm itinerary yet, for the purposes of this comparison let's assume that it will be close to the ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Is checkmytrip.com overloaded? Is there an alternative?

I like to check my flight itenary on checkmytrip.com. The main reason is that while airline's webpages and check-in systems often don't provide some information out-of-the-box (for instance the ...
5
votes
3answers
574 views

What neighborhoods in Paris are the least commercialized? [closed]

I will be in Paris, France for about three weeks, and after rushing to the largest marketplaces and cultural centers, I will be looking for something more "low-key" and largely untouched by tourism. ...
15
votes
9answers
983 views

Why are Americans and Asians in such a rush when traveling in Europe? [closed]

Americans and Asians (and maybe other nationals) seem to have a tendency to rush through Europe when traveling there. They will do some epic "10 countries in 2 weeks" or such. I understand pre ...
11
votes
2answers
270 views

Can a tourist take part in the annual carnaval parade in Rio de Janeiro?

Can you take part in the famous Carnaval parade in Rio de Janeiro if you are there only for a limited period, or would that require quite some preparations?
11
votes
6answers
485 views

Driving into Germany over Easter weekend

There's a Demoscene party (Revision) that occurs every year on the Easter weekend in Saarbrücken (Germany), and I'm thinking of attending this year. I live in England and am looking into methods of ...
11
votes
5answers
258 views

How to plan routes that aren't covered by Google Maps?

For the next summer I'm planning to drive to some countries that aren't covered by the route planning tool of Google Maps. What other possibilities do I have to calculate the route approximately in ...
11
votes
6answers
319 views

Good locations in Spain for hiking, nature, architecture, and photo opportunities? [closed]

I'm thinking about visiting Spain sometime in September or October. I'm interested in hiking, nature and historic architecture and am constantly looking for great photo opportunities. Which parts of ...
9
votes
3answers
680 views

Half day in Berlin - after non-classical tourist spots

I will have half a day to spend in Berlin, on a Saturday afternoon. What do you recommend I should go and see/taste? I am not aiming for classical "tourist" spots, as we have a guided city tour ...
8
votes
2answers
628 views

Website to identify low season for hotels

I use online booking websites (Agoda, Booking.com, ...) to check hotels prices; But they are good when you know the time of travel. I want to plan my vacation and it can be any time. So, I started to ...
8
votes
2answers
186 views

Is there any travel management software / webportal available?

All my sportive trips such as biking or hiking, I enter in an online portal called www.hikr.org. This portal allows to enter tour description, mark waypoints, and share the tour with others. ...
7
votes
3answers
16k views

How far in advance to get travel vaccinations?

I will be traveling to Costa Rica and Chile over the next 6-12 months and spending 1-2 months in each country while I am there. I checked the CDC website for Costa Rica and Chile, as well as the ...
7
votes
4answers
249 views

What is the best way to fit the sites I want to see in Rome into two days?

Definition of "best": Cheap, time-efficient, in that order. I'm going to be in Rome for two full days and I want to hit up the following sites: Day 1: Colosseum Pantheon Spanish Steps Roman Forum ...
5
votes
1answer
128 views

How can I work out where I can go for a weekend away by public transport, starting from Oxford or Cambridge

To help out some friends, I'm trying to work out where you can get to for a weekend away, starting in either Oxford or Cambridge, travelling only by public transport. Are there any tools / websites / ...
5
votes
2answers
986 views

What are some recommended itineraries for visting Turkey in July? [closed]

I'm visiting Turkey for 13 days with my 19 year old nephew. We're flying in and out of Istanbul. I'd like to get out of Istanbul and see the country. What are some recommended itineraries and ...
5
votes
6answers
562 views

Availability of local train tickets in France

The airplane tickets are easily ordered from travel agency. But what about local transport? I have no idea how to reserve the local transport using online reservation. For instance, I can see that ...
4
votes
3answers
115 views

Guidebook helping to choose travel destination

Is there a travel guide exist that would cover a number of countries and only list some general information about travelling there? E.g. what are the main attractions (with photos and pictures), and ...