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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199
votes
10answers
28k 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 ...
93
votes
8answers
10k views

How to avoid drinking vodka?

This summer I spent some days in Moscow and St. Petersburg. There I also visited a friend at his home. We were there with its family and traditional they drunk a lot of vodka during the meal. We as ...
78
votes
9answers
6k 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 ...
58
votes
8answers
2k 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 ...
55
votes
11answers
4k 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?
53
votes
11answers
11k 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 ...
46
votes
8answers
4k 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 ...
44
votes
13answers
3k 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 ...
39
votes
8answers
10k 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 ...
39
votes
7answers
4k 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 ...
30
votes
6answers
2k 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, ...
26
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
25
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
25
votes
7answers
2k 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 ...
23
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
23
votes
2answers
9k 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 ...
21
votes
7answers
2k 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 ...
21
votes
4answers
5k 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 ...
21
votes
5answers
36k 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?
21
votes
2answers
9k 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 ...
20
votes
7answers
18k views

How do I get my 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 ...
20
votes
2answers
843 views

If you go to the pool and find all the sunbeds have towels on and you have nowhere to sit, what do you do?

When I've been staying in a hotels in Spain I often go down to the pool in the morning and find that there are no sunbeds to sit on because people have reserved them with towels. I'm never 100% if a ...
19
votes
2answers
37k 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 ...
18
votes
7answers
574 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 ...
18
votes
1answer
1k views

Tips for getting a visa when there's no embassy in one's country of residence

I'm looking for general tips about how to get a visa cheaply when there are no embassies in one's country of residence. This has prevented us from getting visas more than one time. Think e.g. non-EU ...
17
votes
5answers
390 views

What are some techniques to avoid annoying the travel mate?

After school I went on a 2 months travel trip with my best friend. We knew each other for 13 years, and it started really great. But after 2 or 3 weeks, we noticed that it is a difference between ...
17
votes
1answer
4k views

How does “Fuel Dumping” work?

Recently, I saw a lot of blog post, forum posts etc on Fuel Dumping. For me it seemed like you can book a flight with high fuel charges, and then add another unrelated leg to the flight that you not ...
16
votes
4answers
14k views

Free / cheap ways to get airport lounge access?

Until recently, I had a complimentary Priority Pass card. Although the Priority Pass lounges aren't generally great, they are better than nothing when travelling on an airline where you don't have ...
16
votes
2answers
657 views

Trick to breaking down air routes

For example, last year I was looking at Bogota, Colombia to LON. This was quite pricey, but it turned out if I bought separate tickets - Bogota to Orlando, Florida, and then an Air Berlin flight to ...
15
votes
8answers
2k views

How to hide your bodily odors after a long flight?

Of course I could fly first class on an airline that provide on-board showers. Since I lack the funds, that is not an option for me. The scenario is as follows: Your plane leaves in the evening. ...
15
votes
7answers
2k views

How can I avoid being overcharged when taking a cab?

I've heard that taxis will frequently scam foreigners by overcharging. How can I reduce the chance of this happening?
15
votes
6answers
3k views

Changing unusual foreign currencies in London

I've just returned from several unusual countries in Asia, and annoyingly despite being told I'd have no problem, I'm unable to find anyone in London to change back to pounds. I've tried Travelex in ...
15
votes
3answers
6k 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 comprised of several connecting flights, then leaving the airport at a stop, possibly even "hopping ...
15
votes
1answer
520 views

How to recognise/thank great cabin crew?

Those of us who fly a lot will know that there is a bit of a variety in cabin crew. Some (sadly more common on certain airlines) do the very bare minimum to ensure a safe flight, but nothing more. ...
15
votes
2answers
337 views

What are some strategies for keeping solo travel costs down?

As solo travellers, one often finds hotels charging for two beds in a room. Cruises charge a double occupancy for cabins, usually. Even in hostels on a regular basis I've seen this happen if you want ...
14
votes
5answers
1k views

OK we are all adults here, so really, how on earth should I live without bidet?

This is the part four in the interesting series: "OK we are all X here, so really". You can find the past episodes here: OK we're all adults here, so really, how on earth should I use a squat ...
13
votes
6answers
959 views

How can I reliably make myself a cup of coffee in my hotel room that doesn't suck?

Like most people, I have a habit, and that habit is Coffee. Unfortunately, this can be an expensive habit. There are plenty of methods of making it less expensive, but in my experience, most of them ...
13
votes
1answer
231 views

Finding public toilets in Taiwan

I've been in Taipei for over a week and keep running into the problem of not being able to find public toilets. I can't recall seeing a single public toilet in a street or park. Train and MRT ...
12
votes
5answers
491 views

How to assess whether a restaurant is good on the spot?

You just arrived hungry in a new city and are in a desperate need of finding a good place to eat. And you need to do it without a guidebook or recommendation. There is one restaurant popping after ...
12
votes
2answers
614 views

Are there any common, secret services offered by airlines to passengers onboard?

There are several services that many passengers are not aware of on-board airplanes simply because they are unadvertised. For example: Coat compartments. You can hang your suit in the airplanes ...
11
votes
4answers
449 views

How to find out your body weight while travelling?

While on the road you don't have your handy scales at home, and without making an appointment to see a doctor, where else could you find some scales to determine your on-the-road weight? This is ...
11
votes
8answers
461 views

How to document travel expenses?

I have found that many travelers write down their expenses while on a trip. I always however found it difficult personally, because there are so many situation in which I do not have enough time to ...
11
votes
3answers
343 views

Using Occupy Wall Street as a travel hack - any downsides?

So it occured to me after looking at a trip up to Auckland for a brief instant after joking with a friend about staying at their place, that alternatively you could just set up a tent in Aotea Square. ...
10
votes
4answers
839 views

How to avoid getting motion sickness?

My travel mate has a big problem when we are traveling together. He gets travel sick very fast. Obviously there are medicament which you can take to avoid it, but aren't there any other ways to avoid ...
10
votes
3answers
209 views

Is there a resource with tips to hitchhike?

I hitchhiked a few times and discovered half a dozen techniques to increase the probability of getting a ride in less time (though time is relative when hitchhiking). I was wondering if there is a ...
10
votes
5answers
249 views

How to choose a guide book for your next trip?

So I have decided which country I want to visit next and go down to the local travel book store. On the shelves they have over ten different travel guide books about the country. How do I choose ...
10
votes
2answers
9k views

Are there any techniques, tricks, or tactics to avoid a one-way fee when renting a car?

Very often, when renting a car and dropping it off at a different location than where you picked it up, you have to pay a huge one-way fee. Have you successfully used any technique, trick, or tactic ...
10
votes
5answers
225 views

Are there tips and tricks to overcome a fear of flying?

Are there tips and tricks for people with fear of flying that can makes them have a more pleasant experience when flying? I know drugs can do magic, and we've previously had debate on pills vs ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

Are there any tricks to book multi-city international flights?

Generally, multi-city air fares are much higher than round trip fares. Let's say I'm getting these flights (A->B->C->B->A) and I am staying in first B and C. It is actually a round trip with ...
10
votes
1answer
575 views

Are there any secrets or tricks to flying for free (or almost free)?

I've heard unverified stories of people who wait around at airports until there is a vacant spot on a flight where they want to go, and then get on for insanely cheap. I would also imagine that it is ...