239
votes
13answers
43k 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 ...
199
votes
6answers
23k 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 ...
183
votes
8answers
57k views
+50

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 ...
168
votes
2answers
62k 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.
116
votes
9answers
11k 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 ...
108
votes
9answers
8k 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 ...
104
votes
19answers
10k 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 ...
93
votes
7answers
39k 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 ...
91
votes
21answers
18k views

How can I deal with people asking to switch seats with me on a plane?

I'm sixteen years old, and I have mild claustrophobia so I always travel in the aisle seat. However, I'm constantly asked (not politely) by others to change seats with them. Since I usually travel ...
82
votes
6answers
8k 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 ...
80
votes
9answers
13k 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. ...
75
votes
18answers
57k 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 ...
74
votes
7answers
16k 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 ...
73
votes
13answers
11k 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 ...
73
votes
9answers
4k 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 ...
71
votes
8answers
11k 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 they've been purchased, or they do it at an extremely inflated price. What is the reason for doing this? One ...
71
votes
7answers
19k 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? ...
71
votes
9answers
14k 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 ...
70
votes
6answers
3k 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 ...
70
votes
8answers
6k views

Why is the departures level always above the arrivals level?

It seems to be a pretty strong convention for airport terminals with more than one level to have the departures above, and the arrivals below. Is this specified in some international standard? Are ...
67
votes
12answers
9k 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 ...
64
votes
8answers
14k views

When someone in India asks for my “Good Name”, what are they expecting?

Quite a few times now in India, from hotel staff to taxi staff to in shops, I've had someone ask me for my Good Name. A common form of this question is someone asking me What is your Good Name, Sir? ...
63
votes
10answers
3k views

How to successfully haggle / bargain in markets

While I've done quite a bit of travel now and back myself to handle situations when it comes to border guards, sorting accommodation and / or transportation, one thing I still struggle to come to ...
63
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 ...
62
votes
9answers
6k views

How do airlines determine ticket prices?

Based on the question How to find historical airfares?, I got curious. Is there a guide or resource that describes how the price of a ticket is determined? When you search you often see curious ...
61
votes
8answers
19k 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 ...
60
votes
12answers
17k 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 ...
59
votes
11answers
5k 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?
59
votes
5answers
15k views

Can I fly with a gold bar?

Can I fly with a Good Delivery gold bar? I'll have the certificate that I have been given with it. I have looked on Google and found nothing that suggests it's a prohibited item on an aircraft. It's ...
56
votes
12answers
3k 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 ...
56
votes
9answers
6k 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, ...
54
votes
6answers
7k 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 ...
54
votes
10answers
17k 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 ...
53
votes
13answers
14k views

Where is the quietest place on Earth?

I just wondered if there is a known "most quiet" place on Earth. Perhaps people have measured "ambient" sound throughout the year in various places claimed to be the most quiet. And perhaps one has ...
53
votes
4answers
19k 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 ...
52
votes
7answers
5k views

Giving First Aid in the USA

I am a qualified first-aider in the UK and as such would automatically stop to give aid to any accidents and emergencies I saw. I was watching a US show on the TV the other night where someone was ...
51
votes
9answers
14k views

Do Russians smile at each other?

I'm planning to go to Russia. In my culture, smiling is really common even to strangers. I've heard that Russians don't smile or laugh unless it's something funny or something that makes them happy. ...
51
votes
6answers
7k 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 ...
50
votes
20answers
14k views

Traveling in Europe Solo - 18 years old. Feasible?

My dream is to spend a month in Europe after graduating high school. Based on my situation, I will have to travel alone since there is no one else here who would be able to make such a trip. I am an ...
50
votes
8answers
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 ...
49
votes
6answers
13k 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 ...
49
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 ...
48
votes
8answers
8k views

What is wrong with eating while walking in Japan? It doesn't seem to be an issue in other Asian countries

I have seen on many etiquette questions about Japan that this is a no no, but I can't seem to find what the reason for this is. I know that in countries like Taiwan or China it doesn't seem to be an ...
48
votes
10answers
14k views

If, like Edward Snowden, your passport was revoked or cancelled, how could 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, ...
48
votes
4answers
9k views

Staying in the toilet during landing

For safety purposes all airlines make you go back to your seat when you are in the toilet just before landing. But, what if you really had to go and don't come out even after persistent knocking. ...
48
votes
5answers
12k 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 ...
47
votes
9answers
14k 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 ...
47
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 ...
47
votes
6answers
11k 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 ...
47
votes
10answers
9k views

What is the most comfortable way to sleep on a plane?

Some people have the amazing ability to doze off whenever and wherever they are. For the rest of us, sleeping on planes is a constant battle of trying to get comfortable in a cramped space. There are ...

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