29
votes
6answers
7k views

Why do some tourist attractions forbid tourists to take photographs?

In my travelling career, I have seen lots of no photography zones, but the reasoning behind it mostly made sense. It is related to national security (infrastructure, proximity of military bases) and ...
29
votes
5answers
6k views

Can you get sucked tight on a plane's toilet?

The sounds of flushing an airplane's toilet can be quite intimidating. When going to the toilet on a plane, I am always a bit cautious of accidental flushing. If so, do you risk being sucked stuck to ...
29
votes
6answers
6k views

What are the main differences in traffic regulations between the US/Europe?

There are the obvious ones. The US has the keep-your-lane system, where as in Europe you are expected to keep to the right (left for UK) as long as possible. On my latest travel to the US, I was ...
29
votes
3answers
5k views

How to vomit during a flight?

Last time I travelled I wasn't feeling quite well just before boarding the plane. I either had eaten something wrong or a flu just appeared. The thought of having to vomit during the flight made me ...
29
votes
4answers
2k views

London on public transport: what kind of tickets to use?

I'm visiting London for a couple of days, and planning to use public transport while there. What kind of ticket(s) would it make most sense to use? Do I get the most value out of single tickets, day ...
29
votes
4answers
773 views

Is there any way of evaluating the quality of a hotel's internet connection in advance?

I'm on the road a lot for work. I tend to end up staying at a lot of budget chain hotels that offer free wi-fi. So far so good. But sadly, not all wi-fi is created equal. The past few weeks I've been ...
29
votes
1answer
4k views

Are there any repercussions from having an Israeli stamp in my passport?

I have heard people say that having a stamp from Israel in your passport can cause problems when trying to get into other countries. Is there any truth to this statement? If so, which countries does ...
29
votes
1answer
3k views

Strange knob on airplanes?

I have noticed this strange knob on flights typically near the video screen (in this case on the right and is underneath the USB port). Is there a use to this knob or is it just a component which ...
28
votes
5answers
20k views

Can a tourist buy a gun in the USA?

This came up as a discussion. With recent incidents in the news, it's often argued by some members of the public in the US that guns are a requirement for safety, and that everyone should have the ...
28
votes
14answers
2k views

Is there any way to spend a night in a European castle?

I spent a night in a jail converted to a hotel in Switzerland, and it made me wonder if there is a real castle converted to an hotel in Europe. And with "real" I mean the castle should have a ...
28
votes
8answers
19k views

What is the best method for exchanging dollars for Euros?

I'm traveling from the US to Europe in a few weeks. What's the best method of exchanging dollars for Euros? I imagine there's options like: at the airport when you arrive in Europe at a bank in ...
28
votes
7answers
10k views

Car rental vs. buying a car for 1 month

I would like to visit a few places in the states sometime next year, and I was thinking of doing a road trip while I'm at it. I could start in either Los Angeles or Montreal, and then I would like to ...
28
votes
7answers
28k views

Someone else is booking international ticket for me using their credit or debit card. Do they need to be present physically at the time of check in?

If someone else is booking international ticket for me using his credit or debit card, does he need to be present physically at the time of check-in? Suppose I am coming back from Singapore to my ...
28
votes
5answers
6k views

Is it safe for a commercial flight to have Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan on its flight route?

This September I will have a flight from Qatar (Doha) to Japan (Haneda) with Qatar Airways on the very new route code QR810. By checking its flight route I've noticed that it flies over south Iran, ...
28
votes
5answers
4k views

Paying by credit card while overseas cheaper in US dollars or in the local currency?

Recently I had to pay for a hotel in a foreign country using credit card, and the guy at the hotel asked me if I wanted the bill to be paid in the local currency or in US dollars. I didn't even know I ...
28
votes
2answers
5k views

Travelling as unmarried couple in Dubai

I'd wish to visit Dubai with my girlfriend, but after reading this travel advice and this question on sex and couples in Dubai I started to get a little worried about it. How should I book an hotel? ...
28
votes
2answers
737 views

Why does Nizhni Novgorod have visa restrictions?

When filling out a form for a Russian visa, there is a specific question asking if I will be flying directly into a city called Nizhnii Novgorod from outside of Russia. I am not, but I think it's ...
27
votes
7answers
8k views

Keeping old passports?

I have occasionally read about old passports people collect as keepsakes of their travels. Now, I just came across a mention of “all old passports” in a list of things to bring to a US visa interview ...
27
votes
6answers
3k views

Is there an international standard for medical prescriptions, you can carry around and show to any pharmacy?

I have a condition that only sometimes needs medication, most of the time not. My doctor gave me a set of prescriptions I can use when the condition surfaces. I only go to the pharmacy to fetch that ...
27
votes
6answers
7k views

What to do if drugs / a bomb are planted in your travel bag?

So the scene: You're flying from Bogota, Colombia to New York, USA. You arrive, pick up your bag from the carousel, and figure you'll stuff your netbook you used on the flight into your bag now ...
27
votes
6answers
10k views

One-way versus return airfare tickets

It seems like one-way tickets are always more expensive than buying round-trip. But what if I have two destinations? For example I would like to go on the following itinerary this March: London ...
27
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 ...
27
votes
9answers
4k views

What do I lose by not booking flights through a travel agent?

I take quite a lot of flights for both business and pleasure, and although I typically book my business flights through a (corporate-mandated) travel agent, I always book my personal flights directly ...
27
votes
2answers
3k views

Can you tell me how to get to Sesame Street?

I have nothing but fond memories of the children show Sesame Street, and I know that it's filmed somewhere in New York. Is there a way to visit the actual set? As part of a guided tour would be ideal, ...
27
votes
3answers
6k views

What are the signs of a bed bug infestation?

Bed bugs have become a real problem recently, with more and more places reporting outbreaks. What can you do to avoid being exposed to these nasty parasites? If you do get exposed, what can you do ...
27
votes
2answers
10k views

What does this sticker on the back of my passport mean?

I am currently travelling in the USA and when checking in on the boarding flight to enter the country, the security personnel attached a small yellow-white sticker to my passport (see a somewhat ...
26
votes
4answers
5k views

Why do Indian citizens need many visas?

As an Indian citizen, this has always been my trouble. No matter where I go, I always need a visa. My father has exhausted his passports thrice because he travels a good amount. In short, we need ...
26
votes
6answers
2k views

Why is public transport from/to the airport so expensive?

In the different places in the world, I always have the feeling that public transport from/to the airport is really expensive for what you actually get. Here are a few prices for a couple of airport ...
26
votes
6answers
9k views

What is the least useful passport in the world, visa-wise?

An Israeli colleague and I were debating the merits of his passport, and that he can't travel to many countries. So with the proviso that a passport is not 'useful' if you require a visa to get into ...
26
votes
4answers
4k views

Which airplane is the safest?

Is there some source or research on crash statistics for each type of airplane? For example I want to know the number of crashes, fatalities, and the dates. I want to know which type of airplane has ...
26
votes
8answers
14k views

Is there any reason not to do laundry with bar soap?

When traveling light, is there any reason not to use standard hotel-issue bar soap to wash clothes in a hotel sink? Carrying powder laundry detergent (or worse, liquid!) seems like a big hassle if ...
26
votes
9answers
809 views

Is there a list of free accomodation resources?

I want to travel abroad cheap, and I would prefer to find some place to stay through a person or website, rather than book a hotel or hostel. There is couchsurfing.com, which I know about. Can you ...
26
votes
2answers
1k views

Can I bring an anti-religious book into Saudi Arabia?

Could I bring books like The God Delusion from Richard Dawkins to Saudi Arabia? What will happen if they saw this book in my hand during the check-in or somewhere else in Saudi Arabia? What about ...
26
votes
3answers
2k views

OK we're all nerds here, so really, how on earth should I use a Japanese toilet?

OK so for anyone who's traveled to Japan you know what I'm talking about. They're devices that are a textbook example of excessive featuritis. But I want to use something other than the flush knob ...
26
votes
2answers
912 views

How to tip in the United States?

Tipping customs in the United States can be surprising for people who travel there for the first time. It happened to me when I used a shuttle van service out of LAX a few years ago. To sum up the ...
26
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 ...
25
votes
11answers
4k views

Is there any United States slang I should avoid in the UK or Ireland?

We'll be spending a couple weeks this summer in the UK (Scotland and London), then a week in Ireland. Is there any slang common in the United States that we be best avoided in either country? For ...
25
votes
8answers
1k views

Can you tell a cabbie which route to take?

I'm going back home to Virginia for the Thanksgiving holiday and I'll be taking a taxi to Boston Logan. I've noticed that in the past, the cabbie tends to take a longer route, and I was wondering if ...
25
votes
4answers
4k views

Why are round-trip car rentals much cheaper than one-way car rentals?

Why is it much cheaper to have rental cars returned to the same place as opposed to elsewhere? Never understood this when booking car rentals. If I want to rent a car, and rent it from Location A, ...
25
votes
11answers
2k views

What truly cross-continental train trips still exist?

I've done much of the trans-Siberian, and it's a great experience. I'm wondering what other trans-continental train trips still exist. This would have to span the width (or length) of a continent. ...
25
votes
7answers
5k views

Airport security: what if I carry an item with traces of explosive?

One day I was travelling from UK to Switzerland, the security officer at Gatwick airport check (with a kind of swab) all my electronic devices (mainly phone and camera chargers + cables) to see if it ...
25
votes
8answers
3k views

Is tea and coffee on the street safe to drink in India?

There are many street tea/coffee sellers around India, and although the water has been boiled at some point, often the pots are out for a long time. The clay cups are also lying around in the dust. Is ...
25
votes
5answers
5k views

Is it safe to drink water with a strong chlorine smell?

Are there any health issues with drinking heavily chlorinated water? During a recent trip to Australia (Queensland, NSW), virtually all tap water I found had a very strong chlorine smell and taste. I ...
25
votes
3answers
2k views

What are the chances of success and the consequences of sneaking into business class?

I've read some people writing that they've seen people be caught sitting in First/Business class when they have economy class tickets. This was for international flights on big planes with several ...
25
votes
3answers
15k views

What does “SSSS” on my boarding pass mean?

When I checked in for my American Airlines flight from Costa Rica back to the States, I noticed that my boarding pass had "SSSS" printed across the top left corner. Nobody else in my party had this ...
25
votes
7answers
2k views

What to do with your valuables on a low-cost holiday while swimming/diving in Central America?

I am planning to go to central America (Costa Rica + Panama) for a rather budget holiday, and I am wondering what people usually do with their documents, money, cameras, etc. when staying in a budget ...
25
votes
2answers
3k views

How to deal with the fake police scam in Spain?

I have read so many internet articles about safety in Spain, and the fake police scam is one of the most mentioned problems. Most of those reported cases are that the victims are surrounded by group ...
25
votes
3answers
2k views

Is there any personal benefit in formally cancelling a (non-refundable) flight?

I'm currently in Tenerife and have a return flight booked for 20 May. I have decided to stay out here a bit longer and purchased a single ticket back to the UK for 25 May on another airline. The ...
25
votes
3answers
9k views

What do “Fragile” stickers on checked baggage do?

When traveling by air and checking bags, some airlines will let you declare an item as fragile and put stickers on the box or bag. How common is this policy? What do the fragile stickers do (i.e. how ...
25
votes
3answers
25k views

What harm can be done with a copy of one's passport?

In one of the questions on this site, it was suggested the use of Dropbox to save a backup copy of your passport, in case you need to proof who you are if your original document is lost. I like the ...

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