167
votes
10answers
22k 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 ...
144
votes
8answers
51k 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 ...
140
votes
2answers
18k 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.
86
votes
8answers
9k 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 ...
83
votes
18answers
5k 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 ...
77
votes
7answers
31k 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 ...
67
votes
7answers
7k 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 ...
63
votes
7answers
9k 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. ...
63
votes
9answers
4k 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 ...
63
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 ...
62
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 ...
61
votes
14answers
33k 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 ...
59
votes
9answers
6k 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 ...
56
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 ...
56
votes
10answers
5k 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 ...
54
votes
7answers
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 ...
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
11answers
3k 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?
49
votes
8answers
2k 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 ...
46
votes
8answers
3k 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
9answers
12k 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. ...
46
votes
6answers
5k 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 ...
45
votes
4answers
7k 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 ...
44
votes
8answers
12k 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 ...
41
votes
3answers
8k 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 ...
41
votes
4answers
5k 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 ...
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
15k 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
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 ...
40
votes
7answers
8k 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 ...
40
votes
4answers
8k 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
2answers
71k 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?
39
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 ...
39
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 ...
39
votes
7answers
2k views

What are the best ways to avoid data roaming fees when travelling abroad?

I'm looking for data plans I can use while touring different countries within a region without having to worry about being eaten by roaming fees. If such plans exist at all, I suppose mostly big ...
39
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, ...
38
votes
7answers
7k 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 ...
38
votes
6answers
5k views

Japanese etiquette: Most common (and offensive) mistakes?

I am aware that Japan has many unwritten rules of etiquette. What are some of the most common (and offensive) breaches of etiquette made by visitors? On the flip side, what behaviors show respect ...
38
votes
3answers
25k 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 ...
37
votes
5answers
3k views

Will I be able to travel around India speaking only English?

I am to travel around some Indian cities: Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and others. Will I have trouble speaking only English, or should I learn some phrases in Hindi?
37
votes
5answers
6k 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 ...
37
votes
7answers
8k 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 ...
37
votes
3answers
10k views

What section of an airplane offers the smoothest ride?

I know in a bus, for instance, (well, at least on a school bus, when I traveled to out-of-town basketball games in high school) the farther back you are, the bumpier your ride tends to be. Is there a ...
37
votes
2answers
37k views

Why are you now required NOT to smile in passport photos?

Passport photos these days are usually pretty specific - certain size, color, etc. But the odd requirement the past few years is that usually you're not allowed to smile in them. We're discussing ...
36
votes
9answers
8k views

Hard time proving I am same person as seen in the passport photo taken 9 years ago

This is a bit funny. I had posted a question in June - Use of unused Schengen visa to travel to Switzerland. Based on that i travelled to Norway and faced another problem. Here is some background: ...
24
votes
3answers
242 views

If a hotel staff asks me for buffet food, can there be consequences if I bring him food?

Last year I went to a resort in Mexico and the towel boy asked me to please bring him some food from the buffet. He told me he didn't eat breakfast and is not allowed to get food from the buffet. I ...
22
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 ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

Watching the football World Cup final in Amsterdam

Myself and a group of friends are thinking of going over to the Netherlands if they progress to the final. Does anyone know if the large screening of the final will take place like in 2010 against ...
9
votes
6answers
490 views

How do I prepare for the possibility of being mugged in the US / Caribbean?

How would you advise preparing for the possibility of being mugged while traveling in the US, or Caribbean? Edit: I'm specifically concerned about being able to rebuy your stolen stuff, without ...
9
votes
4answers
134 views

How well does T-Mobile's (US) Simple Choice plan work when in Europe?

I'm about to travel from the USA to Europe. I have a GSM phone and I use T-Mobile's Simple Choice plan. This plan is supposed to mean that I can use the phone in Europe at no extra charge. So far all ...

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