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

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63
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9answers
8k 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 ...
62
votes
11answers
8k views

How to spot fake reviews on TripAdvisor?

I know that review sites like TripAdvisor have fake reviews (some hotels more than others) - how can I make sure I am looking at the 'real' reviews as using TripAdvisor can be very tricky to filter ...
52
votes
11answers
2k 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 ...
23
votes
7answers
3k 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 ...
22
votes
9answers
4k 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 ...
22
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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 ...
20
votes
5answers
8k 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 ...
20
votes
5answers
18k 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
1answer
34k 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 ...
19
votes
9answers
642 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 ...
19
votes
4answers
32k 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 ...
18
votes
4answers
408 views

Is there a flight search engine that has an option to show full flights?

Quite often when searching for plane tickets I get only some high priced results, ridiculous schedules, etc. It makes me wonder if these are the only options to get from point A to point B or have I ...
16
votes
11answers
2k views

How to calculate the air-line distance between two places?

A lot of the time, I'm looking for a way to calculate the air-line distance between two places, most often city centers. For example when I flew from Zurich to Helsinki I wanted to know how far it ...
16
votes
5answers
7k 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, ...
16
votes
4answers
9k views

How to prepare for very long train journeys?

A friend of mine is going to take a very long train journey the next week. The journey takes 44 hours according to the train schedule and takes place in Europe. He has to change trains two times. Once ...
16
votes
10answers
3k 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: ...
16
votes
3answers
314 views

Travel planning web sites

I am currently planning a 2 month trip through China, and I wanted to know what are the best online options to plan a trip. First off : I am really looking for an alternative to a spreadsheet. ...
16
votes
2answers
25k 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 ...
15
votes
3answers
638 views

What's a good alternative to Dopplr?

From the Dopplr website: Dopplr is a service for smart international travellers. Dopplr members share personal and business travel plans privately with their networks, and exchange tips on ...
14
votes
5answers
751 views

Can you go to the Maldives without assistance of a travel agency?

Organizing your travel without agents is almost always cheaper and more fun. But does that also apply for Maldives? Can I just travel to the Maldives? Do you have some tips or experiences to report?
14
votes
3answers
595 views

What is the best time of year to go to Disney World to avoid crowds?

When is the least busy time of year for Disney World? When should I go there such that there are the least number of people there?
14
votes
2answers
368 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 ...
13
votes
4answers
514 views

Kindle version of WikiTravel?

Is everyone's favorite open content travel guide, WikiTravel, available in some sort of Kindle / off-line format? Since I'll be travelling around, I won't have internet access. However I do have a ...
13
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
12
votes
4answers
2k views

What clothes should I bring on a backpacking trip

I am planning a 2 month backpacking trip through China. I would like to Bring the LEAST clothing possible Be comfortable in temperatures ranging from 10 C (50 F) to 30 C (86 F). Be equipped for ...
12
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3answers
3k views

How fast can one expect to travel in an ocean-going sailboat?

Assuming two different trips - one with a current and one without, what is a reasonable speed to assume for a journey? First - Norfolk, VA to Bermuda to the Azores to Liverpool Second - Liverpool to ...
12
votes
2answers
261 views

What considerations should I make for traveling in Israel on the Sabbath?

I am planning to travel around Israel (from Oct 19 to Nov 5th), and I am wondering what effect the Sabbath will have on transport, restaurants and the sights. Should I be planning to not do anything ...
12
votes
4answers
345 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 ...
12
votes
6answers
995 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
568 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, ...
12
votes
4answers
351 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 ...
12
votes
4answers
253 views

How can I tell hotels exist that aren't on the booking web sites?

There are a ton of sites out there to help book hotel rooms and to aggregate all the different sites to book hotel rooms. These companies make enough money to buy ads on TV, so I won't name them here. ...
12
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1answer
543 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
249 views

Is a good idea to go to the airport and ask for the next cheap flight to anywhere?

My girlfriend and I are living in Vancouver (BC, Canada). We have the project to directly go to the airport and buy the next cheap round-trip (return) flight ticket to go to any (relatively close) ...
11
votes
6answers
412 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
6answers
1k views

What are Ireland's top places to visit with a toddler?

I am planning a visit with my daughter (2 years) and wife around Ireland (and Northern Ireland) for ten days. We start from Cork and finish in Dublin. What are the most interesting places to visit? In ...
11
votes
3answers
264 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 ...
11
votes
4answers
167 views

'One laptop per child'- like organisations?

One laptop per child (OLPC) is an organisation which brings laptops and technology to poor regions of this world and educates the people to use those tools. As a computer scientist and passionate ...
11
votes
5answers
229 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
1answer
1k views

What should I expect when I stay in a hotel?

I plan to stay in a hotel in Los Angeles, CA by myself for a few weeks in the near future. Is there anything important I should know about staying at a hotel? Things that I have considered but I'm ...
11
votes
4answers
307 views

Is there a map or resource that represents the distance in terms of time instead of Km or Miles?

Based on this question I started wondering if there is a world map (or local maps) that reflect the distance between points in terms of time to travel and not Km or Miles. I know such resource is not ...
11
votes
2answers
241 views

How to get an impression of the average price level of a destination?

We are constantly looking for affordable offers to travel. Sometimes it turns out to be cheaper to just pay a little bit more for the airfare and save money on for example food or accommodation. A 3 ...
11
votes
2answers
152 views

How do I find out which holidays will disrupt my travel and by how much?

I'm sure it has happened to many of us: You travel to a country with a different culture, and suddenly, you find yourself in front of closed restaurant/shop/museum/etc doors (or, alternatively, you ...
11
votes
2answers
430 views

Please help me understand this Deutsche Bahn schedule from Prague to Vienna

OK, I'm in the "dream" planning stages for my next trip to Europe. Prague and Vienna is a contender. So I get this Deutsche Bahn (DB) app for my iPhone and type in a hypothetical trip for tomorrow. ...
11
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
214 views

What tasks would I need to complete to prepare for any international trip, regardless of destination?

When I travel, I find that there are certain things I always have to do before I leave, regardless of where I'm going. And, when I talk with other travelers, I find that many of these same things ...
11
votes
1answer
149 views

Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination — How much time to allow?

My 7-year old is a HUGE Star Wars fan. (As am I, but this is more about him) I'm planning on taking him to the Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination exhibit at the Orlando Science Center. ...
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 ...
11
votes
1answer
7k views

Can I add more luggage after doing the on-line check-in in Ryanair?

I will be travelling with Ryanair in a few weeks. Currently I have a printer so I can do the check in and print the tickets. I am not yet sure if I will increase the weight in my luggage. I will only ...
11
votes
1answer
356 views

In Rome, are some days less busy than others?

I'm spending a couple of weeks in Rome in July, and I'm thinking about how to schedule the things I want to do. I appreciate that this is the high season, and everywhere will be busy, but are weekends ...