42
votes
2answers
8k 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. ...
42
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 ...
41
votes
9answers
5k 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 ...
41
votes
7answers
16k 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 ...
41
votes
7answers
8k 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 ...
41
votes
9answers
11k 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: ...
41
votes
3answers
19k 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 ...
41
votes
2answers
44k 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 ...
40
votes
11answers
10k views

Is it true that people “can just take all the luggage off the airport conveyer belt and leave with it.”?

"They don't check that it's yours at the door"? According to the mouse-over text for this XKCD comic strip: That's scary. I wonder what are the chances of getting your luggage stolen (from the ...
40
votes
9answers
45k views

Do you have to take the second leg of a domestic flight?

Say I want to book a flight from Fort Lauderdale to Chicago. Say the airline also flies to St. Louis from Fort Launderdale but has a connecting flight through Chicago. If I book that flights from ...
40
votes
7answers
7k 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 ...
40
votes
5answers
33k 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 ...
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
5answers
9k views

Is it normal to walk around a(n American) hotel in pajamas?

I recently spent a weekend in a hotel with a bunch of friends and colleagues. To help cut down on costs, some of us shared rooms. I like reading before I go to sleep, but my room-mate was tired and ...
39
votes
7answers
11k views

How do I get an engagement ring past security/customs in an airport without alerting my significant other?

A related post, made me wonder how you can hide a ring from a "special one" traveling with you to a place where you will propose and yet get it legally through security or customs? You don't want the ...
39
votes
5answers
10k views

Does a US immigration officer really have the power to deny entry to the country at personal will?

Quite some comments exist that in the end it is the individual immigration officer that has the final call to let you enter the US or not and that there is no way of objecting that decision. Given ...
38
votes
10answers
12k views

Is tap water drinkable in Massachusetts (and elsewhere in USA)?

I have been offered a position with a US-based company. This role is initially located in Massachusetts, but the company says I can live anywhere in US, as long as I am not too far from an airport. ...
38
votes
16answers
3k views

How do you choose a restaurant when travelling?

When travelling almost everyone wants to enjoy a local meal. It's part of the travelling experience. If you're not careful, you may end up in an expensive, "extremely" tourist-oriented place, which ...
38
votes
6answers
7k views

What's the best way to signal that I'd prefer to be served in English?

I'm traveling in an area where bilingualism - specifically, English - is extremely common. As in, I'm yet to meet someone who doesn't speak pretty good English in the two months I've spent here ...
38
votes
5answers
6k 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?
38
votes
6answers
38k views

What's the difference between embassies and consulates?

Today Mitt Romney called Benghazi the capital of Libya (it's Tripoli) and apparently mixed up consulates and embassies. I thought it'd be a handy question to have on here, for those sorting out visas ...
38
votes
2answers
6k views

Who was this persistent person at Shanghai airport?

About 10 years ago I traveled to Shanghai. When I got off the plane, a guy in plain clothes came up to me and indicated he could take me to whereever I needed to go. I was planning on taking a taxi ...
38
votes
8answers
6k views

What's the deal with the “string people” in central Paris?

I've taken my fiancée to Paris twice - first for our 1st anniversary, and again for our 4th - and both times we had troubles with guys bothering us around the Sacré Coeur in Montmartre. They hang ...
38
votes
1answer
2k views

€5 coin not accepted

Three years ago I went to the post office in a big city in France, there I received change back after I paid for something. I didn't look at it first but later on I discovered that I received a €5 ...
37
votes
9answers
5k views

Where in the world can you tour a live nuclear reactor?

Are there nuclear plants that allow you to tour the facility and learn more about nuclear power while the plant is running?
37
votes
3answers
3k views

Why do airplanes at every airport disembark at the left (port) side?

I travel by air a lot, and at virtually every airport I've ever been too, including where you disembark by stairs, as opposed to by jet bridge, the left-hand-doors are always used; and the ...
37
votes
3answers
3k views

Birth while traveling on-board an airplane

Yesterday, a friend of mine who works as a purser (chief flight attendant) helped a lady with delivering her baby during a flight to Manila, Philippines while over the ocean :) I know that pregnant ...
37
votes
5answers
8k views

What should I do after buying an airplane ticket?

After I buy a ticket online for an airplane, should I go to the airport and register it or is it enough to go to the airport at the date of flight and not to do anything? How can I pass the gates to ...
37
votes
4answers
4k views

What time is used on board a cruise ship?

Supposing you are on a cruise ship crossing the Atlantic, what time is used on board the boat? During the trip you will cross many time zones, so it is not feasible to constantly change your watch ...
36
votes
5answers
4k views

Can I take an AVR development board on a plane?

I'm travelling to the UK and while I'm away, I have a university assignment due, and I'm concerned that I might not be able to get it finished before I leave, and would therefore need to work on it ...
36
votes
5answers
2k views

How to avoid suspicious looks when you are in the Western side of the world

Being an Arab with Arabian looks, after September 11 things have changed dramatically when Arabs or people with similar looks (Indians, Pakistanis, Turkish, Kurdish, Iranians...etc) go to the west ...
35
votes
18answers
5k views

Am I expected to tip wait staff in Europe?

I will be travelling in western Europe, and I would like to dine at the restaurants there. Am I expected to tip the waiter/ waitress? How can I tip them when I am paying the bills by credit card? Do I ...
35
votes
8answers
8k views

Why do we fasten seatbelts for turbulence?

I have a hard time imagining turbulence strong enough to throw people out of their seats or flip an airliner upside down. Does this sometimes happen? Is there some other reason we wear seatbelts ...
35
votes
3answers
3k views

If I visit Los Angeles, am I better off renting a car or not?

California has a pretty notorious reputation for having bad traffic, so I am wondering if it would be worth my time to rent a car when I visit there. If I stay within the LA area, is public ...
35
votes
10answers
3k views

Computer geek tourist attractions in the San Francisco Bay Area & Silicon Valley?

We're planning a family vacation to the San Francisco Bay Area & Silicon Valley, and one of the highlights I don't want to miss is the Computer History Museum. However, I didn't find that listed ...
35
votes
5answers
1k views

Is it safe to travel in Japan considering the nuclear situation?

Are there any areas that should be avoided and are there any steps I should take to protect myself from radiation?
35
votes
6answers
3k 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, ...
35
votes
4answers
4k views

Is there a 'minimum daily spend' in Bhutan, and does it vary on citizenship?

While reading an article about Bhutan today, I came across this surprising bit: However, visiting the country for Australians is not straightforward. While there are connecting flights from ...
35
votes
3answers
8k views

“No nudity” signs in changing rooms in Doha?

The changing rooms for the gym and pool at the Doha hotel I'm currently in has a sign up saying Please respect local customs, and avoid nudity whilst using this changing room However, it's laid ...
35
votes
3answers
3k views

Is it technically illegal for US citizens to visit Cuba?

There is a belief that US citizens would be doing something illegal if they were to visit Cuba. I remember hearing years ago while in Mexico where lots of people go on sidetrips to Cube that it's not ...
35
votes
1answer
4k views

What can you do about being forced to sit next to a very large passenger?

My mum is up in arms about that fact that she sat next to a (very) obese gentleman on her flight causing sufficient discomfort for her to grab the cabin jumpseat in cruise. The flight was a ...
34
votes
6answers
9k views

Why does my phone's GPS not work in China?

I am trying to use Google Maps in China. I know that Google is blocked, which is why I downloaded the map of Beijing offline. However, when I open the app my phone attempts to find GPS satellites but ...
34
votes
9answers
15k views

Is it fair to buy a return ticket I know I will never use just because it's cheaper?

I am planning a trip to Asia and then back to Rio. The thing is that I am traveling on flexible dates, so I am thinking of buying a one way ticket to Hong Kong, and I was planning to do the same when ...
34
votes
6answers
15k views

What happens if you cannot pay for a hotel?

What happens if you cannot pay for your hotel stay because you accidentally run out of money (can happen) or your credit card was blocked (much more likely)? I assume you cannot arrange the money on ...
34
votes
5answers
4k views

Are international driving licences really necessary for any country?

When I first started travelling internationally about 20 years ago I was young and naive and bought an international driver's license for my trip to the United States. Then I discovered that it was ...
34
votes
2answers
6k views

Am I supposed to respect traffic signs that are upside down (in the USA)?

I am travelling by car in the USA (Massachusetts). Am I supposed to respect traffic signs that are upside down? E.g. on this road, there have been an upside down 25 MPH speed limit for a while, I ...
34
votes
1answer
5k views

Why are balloons prohibited at Amsterdam Schiphol?

At Amsterdam Schiphol Airport there are prominent "No Balloons" signs on each entrance to train platforms. What is the story or rationale behind that ban?
34
votes
3answers
18k views

Legalities and safety concerns of visiting prostitutes in Amsterdam

A friend of mine left his girlfriend after a long (~5 years) relationship. To cheer him up a little bit, we decided to go to Amsterdam, as they have liberal prostitution and drug consuming laws. ...
33
votes
20answers
3k views

Long-life SIM cards in Europe

I regularly travel to Europe (Germany, Poland, France, Switzerland). Every time that I arrive in a country, I buy a cheap prepaid SIM card. The problem is that all these cheap SIMs have a short ...
33
votes
4answers
2k views

Your address at destination: What if you don't know any address?

Often, when entering a country, you must fill a form that asks, in particular, where you will stay. What if you don't know yet? Even worse, what if you don't have your guidebook in hand luggage, and ...

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