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109

In Bulgaria, Russia, former USSR countries and others, it's considered offensive not to drink when you've been invited to, and you might need a good solid excuse if you decide not to drink at all. Expect to be on the receiving end of some good-natured banter if you decide to abstain completely. Medical reasons are a possibility, although it will be ...


48

Unlike meat products and potatoes, grains like rice can be brought into Germany. Homeopathic remedies are not considered medicines in Germany, because their efficacy has not been proven. Legally, it's just sugar or alcohol, and unless you bring ridiculous amounts, you will not exceed the free import limit for alcohol. Finally, there is a limit on the total ...


39

I find several things help, some are physical or physiological while others are purely mental: I find it easier to adjust to "it's morning, get up now!" - as you get when you fly east - if I get light on my face as soon as possible. On the plane, open your shade, eat the "breakfast" they give you, and do the things you do in the morning. In a hotel, get ...


39

I was in the unfortunate position of being insistingly encouraged to drink 3 years ago on the Trans-Siberian. I was much worse for wear after that experience, and sought out suggestions (in fact I really shouldn't have had that much considering my meds). Anyway, this year I returned. And indeed, the best way if you can't just refuse outright, is simply to ...


35

Basically, you can't. The world is full of GI diseases, even in developed, First World nations. There are some decent steps to trying to minimize your exposure: Properly cooked foods. Everything heated to a proper internal temperature (depends on the dish, check the USDA's site for guidelines), no sampling the raw chicken dish, etc. For fruits and veg, if ...


34

An american software engineer living in Japan gives a good overview of how big Japan is and why you shouldn't be afraid to travel there after the nuclear accident. Essentially, the summary is that Japan is very large. It's unlikely that your travel plans as a tourist will be anywhere near the accident. Source: http://mapfrappe.com/index.html?show=3057


34

Here are few tips from the point of view of a cabin crew member: Always tell the cabin crew, no cabin crew would want a passenger to vomit in the seat or floor, they will help you and even let you use the toilet in the worst times (shortly after take off or shortly before landing). Vomiting in the toilet is much easier and more comfortable it is just like ...


28

The cabin pressure is not constant - it's allowed to drop as the plane ascends, within safe levels (typically down to the pressure one would find at between 1500 and 2000 meters of altitude). The reason for this is that a pressure difference between inside and outside puts stress on the fuselage. Reducing the maximum difference allows the fuselage to be ...


27

Your question has both legal, but perhaps more important, also moral aspects. Generally speaking, when airborne, an aircraft is subject to the legislation of the carrier's home country. So far so good. I am not sure if medical doctors according to US law is both legally required to help in an emergency and liable to damages they inflict even if practicing ...


26

As a Russian and non-drinker, I want to add some info about the culture of drinking in Russia. First of all: You don't have to drink vodka, even if your partners are. It is ok if you just say: I can't drink alcohol as strong as vodka, I need wine (or cocktails, or whatever you need). Ask women about this - they're more reliable in such situations. But if ...


26

As far as I know, there is not such a world-wide standard, however there is an EU regulation. From www.europe.eu: A prescription delivered by a doctor in your country is valid in all EU countries. However, medicine prescribed in one country might not be available in another, or it may bear another name. As of 25 October 2013 you are able to ask ...


24

And we introduce Mark's patent-pending method to surviving the hell that is NZ to London superhaul economy class travel: Prepare your entertainment. Sure, you will likely have movies on the plane. But I've done several 10-13 hour trips with broken screens or no entertainment system - SINCE 2010. Don't bet on having it. Charge laptop batteries, iPads, ...


23

I'm a Russian who doesn't drink vodka. If your goal is not to drink at all - just say so and be done with that. If you like to drink a little but just don't want to kill your liver - tell them that you prefer cognac or whiskey (whichever you like the best). Wine will also work but probably raise a couple of "be a man" things. The goal is to have a drink ...


23

Well I'm a bit of a sub-expert on this, having worked nine years in the hostelling industry and encountering them as a traveller once in India. There's a bit of a dirty little secret in the hospitality industry about just how bad the bed bug problem has been for the past few years. Apparently all the big/expensive hotel chains have been having problems - ...


22

The strongest sunblock would be to wear a big hat and long sleeves and pants (preferably white clothing). I mean this with all sincerity. The only way to truly block the sun in the most effective way is to take steps to prevent it from reaching your skin.


22

To @Halabi's excellent answer, I'd like to add the passenger perspective: If you know that you may vomit during the flight, prepare yourself: Have a change of clothes in your carry-on, in case you manage to vomit over your shirt and pants, plus a plastic bag to store your dirty clothes. Bring tissues, or a towel, to clean up. Make sure that there ...


22

The other answerers have answered your question about whether it is safe. I'd like to address the issue of chlorinated water not being very pleasant to drink by explaining how to dechlorinate the chlorinated water. You can reduce that chloriney taste somewhat, mainly by aerating the water. I kept tropical fish for years and you can't use chlorinated water ...


21

MOST IMPORTANT: Get to an embassy/consulate. Identification can be done later. But if at all possible, that embassy/consulate is the most sensible, safest place for you to be. For example, let's say you're a Kiwi. Many countries have NZ embassies or consulates. Failing that, like when I needed one in Bolivia, there's the Australian embassy who will also ...


20

Addition to Mark's answer : Don't look at the time during the flight You can't do anything about it and the flight will feel a lot longer if you keep looking at the time. Don't check your watch regularly and avoid looking at the in-flight map showing the current position of the plane. Bring your own headphones. The headphones available on the plane ...


20

Several non-authoritative points on the Amsterdam Red Light District: Personal safety: most of Amsterdam (including the RLD) is generally busy and safe. Working girls normally rent the same room repeatedly, and are generally traceable in case of crime. Since prostitution is above-board, police are aware of common problems and ready to assist if necessary. ...


20

My understanding is that chlorine, in the concentrations found in drinking water, does not pose an acute health danger. There may be health risks associated with long-term exposure, and this is a more controversial topic, where the literature and expert opinions are mixed. Most main-stream information seems to suggest it's safe, but the skeptics claim a ...


19

How did I miss this question?? I've done this! Before it was even considered 'touristy' (we had to apply to the Ukrainian government for permission in 2008). Now on the safety aspect, I was assured by my science teacher travel buddy and the scientists there that it's perfectly fine to go for a day. As for the radiation, apparently even spending a weekend ...


19

Driving a car is the best excuse. The best solution is not hanging out with alcoholics who don't respect non-drinkers :-)


19

Venomous spider bites have not caused a death in Australia since 1979. You are far more at risk getting in to a car than being biten by a spider in Australia. Bites from red backs very rarely cause anything more than a little discomfort, but if you are bitten, always seek immediate medical help. Anti-venom is widespread and you should not be far away from ...


18

Let me suggest a rule I learned from packing for camping that I think applies just as well to packing for business or leisure travel. It seems a little counter intuitive at first. Don't bring things you need for emergencies. Bring what you need for trivial little annoyances. From a camping point of view, this means treatments for sunburn, bug bites, ...


17

While a full yawn is best, simulating the movement your jaw makes in a yawn is enough to pop your ears (and often simulating a yawn makes a real one happen anyway) If you have a cold, or if you let the pressure build up a lot it can be difficult to get the eustachian tubes to open, so in those instances I hold my nose, close my mouth and gently try and ...


17

I believe this chart will be of use to you. I used to wonder why they even bothered to have "No smoking" signs, but now I realise - Air Algeria, Cubana, Garuda, Iran Air and more still allow smoking in certain sections. The chart is quite old, but my friend flew Cubana at the end of 2010 and confirmed that there was smoking onboard his flight then. EDIT ...


16

Final answer: Basically almost no pharmacy in Tajikistan knows of Warfarin, Coumadin or other variants. This includes the pharmacies at the CARDIOLOGY hospital in Dushanbe. However, on the grounds of said hospital is the English-speaking Prospekt Medical Center (based from London). They get requests for warfarin "on average, every 4 or so years" and as ...


16

I just try to make a conscious effort to use only my right hand for most things when I'm in public places - paying for transportation fare or items in a market, eating in public restaurants, even pushing doors open. If you're mindful enough, you should be able to manage most of the time; if you forget once in a while, just correct yourself as soon as your ...


16

On October 9, 1994, I visited Westerplatte, just outside of Gdansk, Poland. On the way back, I foolishly put the following into one bag: My US Passport The USD 3,000 I had just earned from teaching some computer classes My computer My Eurail tickets My plane ticket home And then, even worse, I saw the bus leave with that same bag in the front seat. I ...



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