39
votes
6answers
7k 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 ...
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
7k 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 ...
39
votes
7answers
8k 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
3answers
14k 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 ...
39
votes
2answers
41k 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 ...
38
votes
6answers
6k 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
5k 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
9answers
9k 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: ...
38
votes
5answers
8k 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
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. ...
38
votes
3answers
5k views

How many types of Pound Sterling are there and what is the relationship between them?

Some years ago I brought some left over pounds to England. In a shop a shopkeeper denied my money with the quote: "This isn't Scotland." At that time I though I just met a patriotic idiot and moved ...
37
votes
9answers
31k views

Do you have to take the second leg of a 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 ...
36
votes
16answers
2k 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 ...
36
votes
9answers
4k 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?
36
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
36
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 ...
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
1answer
4k 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
17answers
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 ...
34
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
34
votes
6answers
12k 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
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 ...
34
votes
6answers
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 ...
34
votes
5answers
5k 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 ...
34
votes
5answers
3k 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 ...
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 ...
33
votes
6answers
25k 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 ...
33
votes
2answers
3k views

Do Nepalese authorities care about Everest climb fairness?

Following this news piece. Nepal said on Tuesday it was investigating whether a Chinese woman, this season's sole climber of Mount Everest from the Nepalese side, used a helicopter to reach a ...
33
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 ...
33
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
33
votes
3answers
14k views

Is there any list of countries I should not visit if I want to go to the US?

I have heard that if I have been to some countries I might be refused entry to the US. I'm planning to travel (vacation) a bit in the Middle East; that will include Iran, Lebanon, Qatar, Oman and ...
32
votes
12answers
6k views

What on earth has yet to be explored?

To be clear, yes, we can see everything from Google Earth or other satellite imagery, but that doesn't mean we can explore it. GE can't see into forests, canyons and caves. Has every mountain been ...
32
votes
5answers
6k 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 ...
32
votes
6answers
4k views

Why do they sell luggage in airports?

It seems that in almost every airport I'm in, there are luggage stores behind security. How often do people get to the airport carrying handfuls of clothes and needing something to put them in? I ...
32
votes
6answers
962 views

When and where do I have the highest chance of seeing auroras?

I'm wondering what time of year is best, and what locations might be best, for catching the aurora. I'm currently thinking of February up at Sweden's ice hotel, but since the whole point of the trip ...
32
votes
3answers
5k views

As a native English speaker, which two further languages would give me the most travel utility worldwide?

This follows on from a travel conversation a group of us had in a hostel in London. Assuming I am travelling randomly between countries and continents, which two languages in addition to English ...
32
votes
2answers
4k views

A flight I booked months ago just got rescheduled dramatically, into a time that is not possible for me, what can I do?

Specifically, the first flight for my honeymoon just got rescheduled to 12 hours prior, during my wedding. The airline says they have no flights on them or their partner airlines that get me to my ...
32
votes
3answers
16k 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. ...
31
votes
9answers
10k 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 ...
31
votes
18answers
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 ...
31
votes
4answers
6k views

Is it culturally acceptable for an American to visit the memorials in Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

The title says it all. Is it culturally acceptable (to the Japanese) for an American to visit the memorials to the victims of the atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki? I realize that a Japanese ...
31
votes
6answers
21k views

What food to take on a 3-4 day long hiking trip?

It should be easy to prepare, light and shouldn't go bad after few days in the heat. How much would it approximately weight? Lets say there won't be any groceries stores along the way (there will be, ...
31
votes
4answers
5k views

Can I be refused entry due to my place of birth?

Usually entry requirements are based on country of citizenship, but is it at all possible to be denied entry if you were born in a country in conflict with your travel destination ? This is a ...
31
votes
4answers
13k views

If a baby is born on an international flight over international waters, what nationality are they?

I seem to remember one of our members being on a flight when a baby was born, but can't find any reference to what happened to the baby in terms of citizenship. Generally you hear about pregnant ...
31
votes
3answers
2k views

One foot in Belgium and the other in the Netherlands!

I come across this photo in Facebook where the borderline between Belgium and the Netherlands is drawn in the ground splitting a house in two sides one in the Netherlands and one in Belgium. One can ...
31
votes
1answer
5k views

Why are some airplane seats numbered “DEK”?

I'm in an Avianca Airbus A320 and the seats are numbered ABC, DEK. Any particular reason why not "DEF"?
30
votes
7answers
14k views

Can I eat a beef burger in India?

I always heard that cows are holy in India. So I assumed that you can't eat any meat made of cows in India. But recently a friend told me, that it depends on the region. Not everywhere in India cows ...
30
votes
3answers
2k views

Saving leftovers from restaurants in Paris

Doggy bags for saving leftovers in restaurants are extremely common in the USA, especially as portions sizes are usually too large to consume in one meal. But I have read in various forums that it ...
30
votes
6answers
11k views

Is it dangerous to drive through Death Valley?

I planned to drive through Death Valley with a rental car during end of May or beginning of June. Now a friend of mine told me that this is a little bit dangerous, and that a lot of rental companies ...

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