Hints for solving a variety of travel issues, especially problems that require experiential knowledge to solve or are not covered by traditional travel books or resources.

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270
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13answers
60k views

OK we're all adults here, so really, how on earth should I use a squat toilet?

OK so for anyone that's travelled beyond North America and Western Europe you know what I'm talking about. Left: Romania, last year. Right: Turkey, last night. They start popping up in the Balkans ...
131
votes
9answers
13k views

How to avoid drinking vodka?

This summer, I spent some time in Moscow and St. Petersburg; I also visited a friend and his family. Their custom was to drink a lot of vodka during the meal. We, the guests, also had to drink some ...
128
votes
9answers
10k views

Tactics to avoid getting harassed by corrupt police?

In Uzbekistan I was stopped, searched and questioned six times in one day. At the border with Tajikistan, one official tried hiding my paperwork to elicit something from me. In Kyrgyzstan, I was ...
125
votes
9answers
24k views

OK, we are all adults here, so what is a bidet for and how do I use it?

Confession time: I am from one of these barbaric countries where the use of the bidet is not widespread. So I have no idea... Question 1: What is the bidet good for? Question 2: How do I use it? ...
101
votes
7answers
9k views

Passing through airport security with autism

I am a young adult with autism (Asperger's to be precise). While there are many resources on how to travel with kids with autism, resources on how to do so if you have it yourself are rare to ...
96
votes
11answers
23k views

How to avoid toddlers on a long-distance plane flight?

I have recently taken a London - San Francisco (12 hour) flight, with a toddler in the seat directly behind me. His parents actively encouraged the kid to speak out in that typical proto-speech, while ...
84
votes
20answers
15k views

Is there a way to prevent “looking like a tourist” in order to not be harassed?

Disclaimer - the title of this post is probably not the best On my way to visit family in Belarus and Poland, I had a long layover in Paris, so I decided to spend the day in the city. My luggage was ...
76
votes
12answers
11k views

What's the safest way to protect your valuable belongings from theft at the beach?

I am travelling solo to Barcelona. I was wondering if anyone has any tip on how to enjoy the beach when travelling alone. As in, is it safe to leave your belongings on the beach when you go for a ...
72
votes
8answers
4k views

How can I avoid or minimize jet lag?

From my personal anecdotal experience, I've found it worse when travelling east around the globe. I also tend to stay awake most if not all of the flight, so sleeping time doesn't tend to matter as ...
69
votes
11answers
6k views

How should I deal with beggars in India?

I heard that it is unsafe to show money or help someone in India. Are there any rules I should respect to avoid getting into trouble? How should I deal with these beggars?
67
votes
12answers
23k views

What's the best way to take a cold shower?

This is a question that most people probably never think about, because it's an every-day thing. But for many of us, such as myself, who grew up in more western cultures, with more modern ...
64
votes
11answers
5k views

Long term travel without being wealthy - how is it possible?

Some people are practically most of the time traveling, from country to country, for a very long periods and sometimes even years. How could one be able to travel for a long period of time, over ...
64
votes
5answers
12k views

Can I ask for two meals for my flight without paying extra?

I know, this is a funny/sort of stingy question, but the last time I took a plane, after having the meal they serve, I was still kind of hungry so my girlfriend told me to ask for another one. I didn'...
63
votes
11answers
11k views

How do I avoid leaving my passport as a deposit while traveling?

I was looking into activities to do in Seoul and I saw a free public government sponsored bike rental. To use the rental, I need to give them some sort of ID for the duration of the rental. The ID can ...
63
votes
10answers
25k views

What can I do to prevent passport stamps being put on blank pages?

I'm running low on blank passport pages which are sometimes needed for full page visas such as those issued by Armenia, India, and Vietnam. When I crossed the border into Turkey the other day I got ...
62
votes
6answers
10k views

Will Wi-Fi passwords in Russia be in Cyrillic? How do I type them on a Latin keyboard?

I'm about to travel to Russia, and I made sure to book only accommodations that offer Wi-Fi to its customers, but a question came to my mind. As Cyrillic is the standard alphabet in Russia, is there ...
61
votes
9answers
7k views

What kind of things can you take from a hotel?

Hotels normally provide a big amount of sets (well, depending on the quality, but however, many!) that can help you feel more comfortable there. So for example you can get towels, slippers, candies, ...
59
votes
7answers
10k views

Where can I change my clothes at the airport?

I will have a rather formal event which I will attend in rather formal (and less comfortable) clothing. After that I will head directly to the airport, without having an opportunity to change. If I ...
56
votes
7answers
7k views

How to prevent “Delhi Belly”?

Montezuma's revenge, Aztec two step, mummy's tummy, or Cairo two-step in Egypt, Kurtz Hurtz in Uzbekistan, Bombay belly or Delhi belly in India. A case of the sh-- or Hershey Squirts or The McSh-- in ...
55
votes
6answers
8k views

Most respectful way to set alarm when sharing the room

I'm a pretty heavy sleeper and sometimes I need to wake up earlier for a bus/flight or to catch early light. When sharing a room in a hostel type place, what's a good way to set an alarm without ...
50
votes
14answers
5k views

What techniques, tricks or otherwise have you used to get upgrades on flights?

I've travelled a lot. Living in New Zealand or the UK means anywhere is likely a flight, but I've always flown economy. Twice between LA and Auckland I managed to get the exit row after talking ...
44
votes
8answers
4k views

What are good security tactics for sleeping in airports?

Sleeping in airports is something I've found myself doing more often than I ever expected, and while I have no issue with sleeping on the floor or chairs or whatever, sometimes I have valuable stuff, ...
39
votes
6answers
7k views

Are drivers from mainland Europe likely to end up in an accident when driving in the UK?

I have a European license and would like to rent a car in the UK for a trip to the countryside. The only thing that worries me is driving on the left — it seems that one would need quite a bit of ...
38
votes
6answers
10k views

What to do without underwear on a 4 day trip?

Ok, this might be a ridiculous question/situation but it's my situation. I'm at a football camp in boston until Friday, and I've realized I forgot to pack any underwear (I wear boxers), I have the ...
38
votes
3answers
5k views

OK we're all nerds here, so really, how on earth should I use a Japanese toilet?

OK so for anyone who's traveled to Japan you know what I'm talking about. They're devices that are a textbook example of excessive featuritis. But I want to use something other than the flush knob ...
33
votes
5answers
8k views

What is the hotel room card slot inside the room for?

Several hotels I've stayed in lately (in the Middle East if that matters) have a card slot just inside the door of the room, and it appears that the lights/AC in the room only work if you have one of ...
32
votes
3answers
3k views

Stuck without toilet paper while travelling - what is the best approach?

Well, this has happened to everyone at some point - you find out there is no toilet paper just after you need it the most. Usually it's not a big deal, even in public toilet room you can wait until ...
31
votes
12answers
10k views

How to remove airlines/security tag stickers from suitcases?

I travel a lot, for both business and pleasure reasons. One of the annoying things I face (beside full passport pages) is the many tags stuck to my suitcase which I like to take in almost all my trips....
31
votes
6answers
14k views

I have discovered that the hotel room toilet is blocked, but too late. What should I do?

Ok, I have used the toilet after holding myself for too long because of a long haul flight and I am not comfortable using the airplane's lavatory. The problem is, after releasing all the damn load, I ...
31
votes
3answers
5k views

What are the chances of success and the consequences of sneaking into business class?

I've read some people writing that they've seen people be caught sitting in First/Business class when they have economy class tickets. This was for international flights on big planes with several ...
31
votes
6answers
35k views

Is leaving airport at a stop before the final destination illegal?

There are tricks such as "fuel dumping" or "hidden city ticketing" which involve booking a ticket composed of several connecting flights, then leaving the airport at a stop, possibly even "hopping off"...
30
votes
11answers
5k views

What's the easiest way to relieve oneself in a car?

Ok, I know we're all adults here, but this is something that happens inevitably in most family trips I believe; it's occurred in our own family trips. You're driving on the road to your destination. ...
29
votes
8answers
45k views

How do I get money back for my foreign coins?

Tonight I just cleaned my room and while doing this I found some money. I counted it and I found out that there are a lot of coins from 25 different countries. I know that normally banks don't ...
28
votes
10answers
9k views

What can I do with a plane ticket that won't be used?

I have two plane tickets for London - South America with one stop. For reasons that aren't relevant, my companion won't be able to make it, so the seat will be completely empty. I'm almost certain ...
28
votes
5answers
6k views

Long road trips in Iceland - where to relieve ourselves?

We are planning for a road trip in Iceland. The trip consists of Golden Circle in a day, and another day to Jokulsarlon from Reykjavik and a third day of returning from Jokulsarlon. I understand ...
27
votes
3answers
3k views

First-Time Greyhound Traveller

I'll be travelling by myself and by Greyhound bus for the first time at the end of August. I'll be going from Toronto, ON to Winona St. University, MN. I'll be coming back after two weeks, and both ...
27
votes
4answers
4k views

When should I book my hotel if prices are inflated due to a major event?

My problem: I recently booked a business trip about three months out, noticing slightly too late that there's a huge event (Formula 1 race) happening in town the previous weekend and all the remotely ...
27
votes
4answers
3k views

How to deal with a fear of driving?

I've just graduated college and landed a job in the US that will eventually involve me driving long distances to meet with clients. These trips will likely involve three hours of driving on highways ...
27
votes
5answers
3k views

Practical food to take on flight without anything served?

It seems that my local airline had really cut down on feeding passengers lately. Last time they only had food for sale (despite flight booking mentioning a meal). And what little they had sold out ...
27
votes
2answers
22k views

What are some tricks you use to buy cheap airline tickets in Europe?

I have been flying with Wizzair, Ryanair and Easyjet for some time already and have found that there is really a lot to be learned about how to achieve the lowest prices. It was not uncommon for me to ...
26
votes
4answers
6k views

How should I wash clothes in Japan?

I'm going backpacking for a month in Japan and I plan to pack lightly. So I have couple of questions about how I can wash my clothes in Japan. I expect laundromats to be quite common in big cities ...
25
votes
8answers
23k views

How to sleep in twins beds that are pushed together?

My wife and I are going on holiday to a resort. While the resort markets the room as having a double bed, in reality it is two twin size beds pushed together with a narrow gap down the middle where ...
25
votes
7answers
4k views

What to do with your valuables on a low-cost holiday while swimming/diving in Central America?

I am planning to go to central America (Costa Rica + Panama) for a rather budget holiday, and I am wondering what people usually do with their documents, money, cameras, etc. when staying in a budget ...
25
votes
2answers
2k views

Where to practice violin 5 hours every day in Paris?

I'll travel to Paris, France in June. For my musical studies, I need to practice violin 5 hours every day (~ 84-103 dB), alone. Is there any place I could use in Paris for such purpose, if possible at ...
24
votes
7answers
4k views

Is there any trick to checking in more weight on planes?

I soon have to move from France to Spain, one way no coming back. And as with most of the airlines carriers in Europe I am allowed at 23Kg checked-in and 10Kg on board with me. Packing lifetime stuff ...
24
votes
2answers
79k views

Does browsing ticket sites in incognito mode and/or from different IP's result in cheaper ticket prices?

I stumbled across a discussion yesterday where industry insiders share tips relating to their respective fields. Someone who works in e-commerce stated : "When purchasing items on the internet (...
24
votes
2answers
14k views

2FABE - the 'secret' international travel postcard stamp code?

I was told about this about three years ago, that if you were desperate and didn't have time to buy stamps for a postcard, merely putting the code '2FABE' would get your postcard to its intended ...
23
votes
9answers
999 views

What do you do when you're on-the-road and you cannot shower?

Let's say you're backpacking and you're staying at a super-cheap hostel. Either because you have a lot planned for the day or you're catching long distance bus / train, you've to get up really early ...
23
votes
4answers
6k views

What is the most efficient way to pack a bag?

On trips of four days or less, I try to travel with a shoulder bag containing my laptop, electronics, etc. and a rolling, carry-on bag for everything else. What is the best technique for packing as ...
23
votes
6answers
49k views

Best way to make my ears pop?

What is the best way to make my ears pop when landing on a plane? The hold-your-nose-and-pitch method is very painful; are there any other methods to pop ears?