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71

The best tactic in India is to ignore beggars / paupers and keep moving on. The very fact that people give money creates a vicious cycle where people are forced into the profession by local mafia. Yes, you may think your alms to a small kid will feed him but it reality very often what happens is that the kids' parents or local mafia will take away their ...


67

I think the current usual solution is to get a debit card (or failing that a credit card) with low/no foreign transaction and cash withdrawl fees. (In the UK, the Halifax Clarity Card is the best for this at the moment) Then, when you get to the country, take out cash periodically. Not too much in case of issues, but don't assume you can do it too often as ...


62

Before you leave, call your bank. You'll want to alert them that you'll be using your credit or debit cards overseas, so as not to trigger fraud alerts. Then ask them if there is a network in your destination that involves lower fees. For example, my bank gave me names of specific banks in England, Italy, and Germany and told me that if I used ATMs at those ...


62

I live in a very corrupt country - Ukraine. Let me give you some advice. First, try to avoid looking like stranger. Try to look like the locals. That is often difficult, I know. It's the only advice about how to avoid corrupt police. They often search for strangers just to get some money from them, because strangers are easy meat. All the other advice is ...


52

If you do not look like a native, then you will be hounded by paupers/beggars. If you help one, generally onlooking beggars may come asking you for money as well. The rule to respect would be to ignore anyone asking for money - a conversation isn't going to lead anywhere. Keep yourself safe - do not make a display of your money. You never know who's ...


42

From EU traffic rules for pedestrians: If, at the side of the carriageway, there are pavements (sidewalks) or suitable verges for pedestrians, pedestrians shall use them. It is recommended that domestic legislation should provide as follows: pedestrians walking on the carriageway shall keep to the side opposite to that appropriate to the ...


36

Well, if you want to know something about culture of other country, why not to try solving general problems in that country? For example: Try to buy food in a supermarket. Or even in a small shop near the center. Try to go and use a barber. Try to find a battery for your cell-phone Try to ask people where is the best cafe they know (this is a fantastic ...


36

I have had conference organizers remind us not to wear our badges out on the street. (For example in Barcelona, where everyone I knew was robbed or had a robbery story, including someone whose bag was slit in an elevator and laptop removed.) It's not so much because strangers will know your name (I am reminded of advice not to put children's names on their ...


34

All other answers are correct, but I think there is one exception: In a sharp corner with limited visibility, walk in the outer corner, regardless of traffic direction Source: Flickr, by Wally Gobetz, Creative Commons by-nc-nd. See page for more information. When you're walking here, it's safer to go in the outer corner, than in the inner corner, even ...


33

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 ...


32

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


32

Very simply, no, they can not. In order to purchase a firearm in the US you must be a resident of the state in which you are buying it, and able to prove that residency. As a tourist is not a resident of the state, they are unable to purchase firearms. There was previously an additional requirement that non-citizens had to have been a resident of a state ...


32

In rural North America, roads without sidewalks (aka pavements) are common. In fact, so are unpaved (gravel) roads, and in winter roads narrowed by snowbanks. School children in Canada are taught to walk facing traffic: From colouring pages by Elmer. There simply is no debate. Not being able to see a car that has already passed you is irrelevant. Walk ...


31

Certainly not. As a foreigner who lived in the UK for four years, I definitely only needed my passport for international travel. I used my New Zealand photo driver's license initially for ID (eg, to get into a bar), and then my UK one. For opening bank accounts and others where you sometimes require two forms, then you bring your passport. The UK is not ...


31

Sure you can. Just go to the right gun show. Selling guns is hard for private citizens so they can skip all that background check foolishness. We've been unable to close the gunshow loophole in spite of discovering documents from Al Qaeda advising cell members to purchase weapons at gun shows. It's not legal of course but clearly no one's interested in being ...


28

First, in problematic places I would try to avoid interacting with the police as much as possible. Another strategy is patience. Usually, corrupt police are just trying to make quick money off an easy victim. Tourists are an obvious target because they tend to have more money and are more likely to be unfamiliar with the local language and customs. If you ...


28

I lived in London for four years. Perhaps I just didn't appreciate it, but I can't say I really was that aware of the class system on a day-to-day basis. Sure, you were aware that in Peckham in South London there tended to be a lower socio-economic 'category' of people than say, Kensington. And yes in Mayfair there were the private members' clubs and ...


27

Many countries have travel advice agencies run by their respective governments. The US: http://travel.state.gov/travel/travel_1744.html The UK: http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/travel-and-living-abroad/travel-advice-by-country/ Australia: http://www.smartraveller.gov.au/zw-cgi/view/Advice/ France (in french): ...


26

From the UK Highway Code: Rules for pedestrians 1 Pavements (including any path along the side of a road) should be used if provided. Where possible, avoid being next to the kerb with your back to the traffic. If you have to step into the road, look both ways first. Always show due care and consideration for others. 2 If there is ...


24

First, it's not a binary you're-in-the-tourist-zone-or-you're-not kind of thing. There's a spectrum. Second, often the "real" is only 20 feet from the "for the tourists". Something as simple as sitting down in a park and watching people go by can tell you a lot. I like to talk to the hotel clerks. On my most recent trip (to Venice), the woman who was at the ...


24

Non-airconditioned classes tend to have less strict ticket checks starting with the lowest class and gradually increasing till the highest class. Unreserved coaches are usually jam-packed with no place to sleep; you often have to travel standing even at night and not advised. Three-tier non-AC (three bunk beds in one 'column') and second class / two-tier ...


24

I'm afraid I can't find any government numbers to back up my anecdotal evidence, but Shinjuku, Shibuya and Ikebukuro are all very safe - much safer than their equivalents in London, New York or any other 'world' city. I've spent many nights in each, in varying states of sobriety, and never had any problems at all. I've lost my wallet a few times (on trains, ...


23

I suggest you don't cancel your trip. I have been working in Athens during a period of unrest. I can't predict what will happen, but usually many people demonstrate peacefully, then a small group of a hundred people starts facing the police for an hour, then a few people start throwing rocks/tear gas, and run a bit. Actual violence is very local, like one ...


22

I am glad that the Lonely Planet and Rough Guide etc exist - for the average tourist to find good places. However those then inevitably become the very tourist traps they were intended to avoid. I prefer Wikitravel - it's up to date and because most use the books, the treats on that site are often less visited and still diamonds hidden in the rough. In ...


22

India does have a well-documented problem with sexual assault and harrasment directed at women. So I start off with the basics: Try to avoid walking on streets that are not well-lit. This can be more of a problem than you think because the infrastructure in sections of big cities and / or smaller towns can be bad. Know the emergency numbers. Police can be ...


21

If you define safe as 'not contracting a water-borne disease', then yes, you will be safe from contracting typhoid, jaundice, etc when you drink tea/coffee from street-side vendors. Boiling during the preparation effectively kills of the disease-causing germs, even if kept in covered kettles/pots as they usually are. A dirty clay cup would not cause a ...


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 ...


21

There is absolutely no reason to need to pretend to be Christian while visiting the US. The US doesn't have an official religion and is a very diverse nation where people travel often. It is also a very large nation, and unfortunately some people do commit crimes against people for their religion/lack of religion. This is like any other diverse nation. ...


19

My answer is Europe centric: We are used to banks in the USA that will give you a debit or check card with a magnetic stripe. Credit cards are the same way. Some of these credit cards have a chip and none require a pin. When you fly / sail / swim across the pond to Europe, almost every local card has a pin and a chip. Most European stores will accept US ...


19

As @MarkMayo pointed out there is no official religion. As the person who had lived in Indiana (a pretty religious state though not part of the Bible Belt) the issue at hand is actually disrespect rather than religious affiliation. That actually was the whole point of the Top Gear episode you have linked. One of the few occasions you might have to pretend ...



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