209
votes
10answers
29k 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 ...
176
votes
6answers
20k views

How do you know if Americans genuinely/literally mean what they say?

I have come across a few situations when an American will say something like "We should have lunch some time" or "Let's have lunch some time." Or "you should come down to visit me in D.C. (or Miami or ...
156
votes
8answers
53k views

How to intentionally get denied entry to the US, without getting into trouble?

I have a multiple entry visitors visa for five years. I went to USA last year and lived there for one year with my husband (6 months entry and other 6 months of extension). I left USA legally. Now my ...
150
votes
2answers
33k views

Why are airline passengers asked to lift up window shades during takeoff and landing?

I have always wondered why the windows shades have to be raised during take off and landing. I can't think of any safety issues by having a closed window.
98
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 ...
88
votes
19answers
7k views

When traveling to a country with a different currency, how should you take your money?

Recently my wife and I traveled to Italy and before we left we got about 85% of our money in travelers checks and the other 15% we carried on in cash. When we arrived there, no one would take our ...
87
votes
7answers
34k views

Flight tickets: buy two weeks before even during holiday seasons?

There is a common story that airline ticket prices rise significantly if you buy them less than two weeks before departure. And that any time before that will yield standard prices. Is that advice ...
82
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 ...
71
votes
7answers
10k views

How to convince airport security that I am not dangerous when having metallic parts in my body?

I had an operation some time ago and now I have small screws in my shoulder which will not be removed anymore. When I decided to fly for vacation, I supposed that these will may bring me into trouble ...
69
votes
9answers
11k views

Why do people on airplanes often have tomato juice as a drink?

Tomato juice seems to be a favorite drink for many travelers to have on board an airplane. I've seen this on almost every flight I've been on, but I have never noticed this same trend at ground-level. ...
68
votes
9answers
3k views

How do you avoid “tourist traps” when traveling to a country where you do not speak the language?

Too many easily accessible restaurants and attractions cater heavily to tourists, and, in doing so, create an environment that they feel will be comfortable to people from other cultures. Spending ...
67
votes
17answers
42k views

Why would you wrap your luggage in plastic?

At many airports you can wrap your luggage with sheets of sticky plastic. Why on earth would you do that? I only see disadvantages. I can imagine the mess when customs ask you to open your luggage. So ...
66
votes
8answers
10k views

Why are airlines against the transferring of tickets to other persons?

Airlines usually either don't allow the transferring of tickets to another person after being bought, or they do it at an extremely inflated price. What is the reason for it? One idea I came up with ...
66
votes
6answers
2k views

How can I visit Antarctica?

A year ago I was reading some magazine, and found out that there is availability to get a trip to Antarctica. Unfortunately, there was no info about how I could get there. Do you know anything about ...
63
votes
7answers
12k views

Does Venice smell?

I keep getting told that Venice smells pretty bad as a reason not to go (a lot of people say it's pretty crowded too but that's another matter). Apparently it's the canals in summer. Is this true? ...
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 ...
62
votes
6answers
7k views

When I travel next, I want to reach the point on the earth that is exactly opposite my home, how can I discover where that is?

My wife and I are planning to travel to Japan next September (we are from Brazil). Since I was a child I have known that if I made a hole (a big one) straight down, I would reach Japan. Well, as the ...
61
votes
8answers
3k 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 ...
60
votes
10answers
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 ...
57
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?
55
votes
8answers
18k views

Is it rude to give up your seat in Japan?

I heard that in Japan it may be considered rude to give up your seat for someone else while you are on a train or bus, because it would make the other person feel in debt with you. Is this true? (Of ...
53
votes
8answers
3k views

How to successfully haggle / bargain in markets

While I've done quite a bit of travel now and back myself when it comes to border guards, sorting accommodation and / or transportation, one thing I still struggle to come to terms with is haggling in ...
53
votes
11answers
12k 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 ...
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 ...
49
votes
9answers
13k views

Do Russians smile at each other?

I'm planning to go to Russia. For my culture smiling is really common even to strangers. And I heard that Russians don't smile or laugh unless it's something funny or something that make them happy. ...
48
votes
5answers
7k views

Are there any flights which permits a Sikh to carry a kirpan?

I am a religious Sikh from Jalandhar, India. I have not travelled outside of the country for a single time so far. However my family is pestering me to take them for a jolly holiday trip to a ...
48
votes
4answers
10k views

Is there a ZIP code I can enter when paying-at-the-pump in the USA with a foreign credit card?

In the USA, many pay-at-the-pump fuel dispensers that accept credit cards require a 5-digit numeric zip code that corresponds to the billing address of the credit card. In Canada, for instance, we ...
47
votes
6answers
6k views

Is it possible to make a decent income from travelling the world?

My dream is to be able to travel the world and have a new adventure every day. With the internet, every day I'm able to see this beautiful and unique world, but those are only photos. I want to ...
47
votes
6answers
8k views

If I've visited Crimea, what country do I list on my customs declaration form?

On returning to the U.S. I must fill out a customs declaration form, which includes listing the countries that I have visited prior to arrival in the U.S. If I was in Russia and visited Crimea after ...
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 ...
46
votes
8answers
13k views

Is it dangerous to go to the USA as a Russian now?

I am a Russian student and I have been dreaming about visiting California and living in LA for a while, and I decided to take this trip on my summer break. I have already accumulated enough money for ...
45
votes
3answers
9k views

Are Indians as pushy to one another as they appear to be to Westerners?

So I'm in India right now and and idk... it feels like I can't walk more than a few yards without being accosted by someone trying to get me to ride their auto rickshaw or buy whatever it is that ...
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 ...
44
votes
2answers
5k views

Does one need a visa to visit Antarctica?

What is the status of Antarctica in terms of visa regulation? Does one need a visa to visit Antarctica? If so, which country does issue such a visa?
43
votes
8answers
9k views

Why is the food so bad on airplanes?

I traveled on a couple of airlines for transcontinental flights, and they always give food to economy class passengers. However, the quality of the meal often looks poor; it gives the feeling that a ...
43
votes
6answers
8k views

How to use sink with separate hot/cold taps?

I just traveled to Ireland. I was amazed to find that water sinks (at home, restaurants and public) have separate taps for hot and cold water. If you use only the cold water, your hands freeze. If ...
43
votes
4answers
32k views

How big is “too big” for an airline seat? At what point will you be required to buy two tickets?

As I said in another question, I'm bringing my parents to visit me here in Sweden next year. My mother is around 280-300 pounds and 5'6" (130-135kg, 1.67m). I am concerned that she might be asked at ...
42
votes
4answers
6k views

I have a tattoo. Can I visit a public swimming pool in Japan?

A friend of mine is currently traveling in Japan. She has a small tattoo on her neck. Now she wanted to visit a public swimming pool but was denied entry. It was difficult to understand the reason ...
42
votes
10answers
12k views

If, like Edward Snowden, your passport was revoked/cancelled, how can you travel?

As per the news, NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden has had his passport revoked by the United States Government. From the article: It was not immediately clear how Snowden was able to travel, ...
41
votes
9answers
3k views

When walking on the road, is it safer to walk in the same or opposite direction as the traffic?

I don't know this question will qualify for this site or not, but, I have this question. When you are walking on the road anywhere (any country, city, etc), Which is safer? Walking in the ...
41
votes
7answers
7k views

Do I need to pass customs if I enter by swimming over a body of water?

Suppose I'm a long distance swimmer and swim across a large body of water to another country, like from France to England, or from England to the USA. Do I need to pass customs? Do I need the same ...
40
votes
10answers
19k views

Where is wild camping possible in Europe?

Are there countries in Europe where wild camping with a tent allowed or at least tolerated? How high is the probability that someone will get angry at you or even call the police? Please consider ...
40
votes
9answers
4k views

What to do in Las Vegas without having to sin?

For religious reasons, I don't gamble drink alcohol engage in fornication visit prostitution or strip clubs Are there still interesting things for people like me in Vegas? It is a week-long ...
40
votes
4answers
9k views

Why are there holes in ice cubes in airplanes?

It could be due to boredom that I notice this, but it seems that only on airplanes ice cube have holes. Why is that?
40
votes
9answers
11k 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 ...
40
votes
5answers
27k views

When to book tickets from travel sites rather than airline sites?

When booking plane tickets, I generally buy directly from the airline's website (as it is often the lowest or near-lowest price for the destinations I travel between). However, I know there are many ...
40
votes
2answers
78k views

Is weed still legal for tourists in Amsterdam?

I have heard it's not legal starting from 2013. I also heard they postponed applying this? So what's the deal? Allowed or not?
40
votes
7answers
5k 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 ...
40
votes
3answers
5k views

Luggage was stopped by customs (we learned about it after our flight)

We have returned from Russia 4 days ago (Moscow-St.Petersburg-Prague). After we've arrived to Prague, we learned that our luggage didn't come in our airplane and was lost. Today we've received ...
39
votes
7answers
11k views

Can growing a beard cause problems in crossing borders?

I just recently renewed my passport with a picture taken just after I shaved. I haven't shaved since (>3 weeks) and I kind of like it. I am even looking into how to maintain a beard, but that is a ...

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