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100

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 ...


100

:D I grew up using that thing. When I went studying abroad, I had problems with the toilet you guys called as the normal one (the sitting one). I literally wet my pants several times. Probably I should start a post about "How to sit on the normal toilet". Here are just some extra tips so you don't wet your pants on a squatting toilet. I will suggest you ...


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 ...


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 ...


60

Here is a video that explains how people use this thing. Seriously, it's informative and visually presented and makes it much clearer.


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

Ok, I'll take the risk in answering ;) Anyway, I'll take the notes from a Wiki How link, and add in bits from past experiences... Bring your own toilet paper. I used to think this was ridiculous. How could a public bathroom NOT have toilet paper? Then I went to Egypt where the majority of our group had Delhi Belly AND you had to pay for a couple of ...


40

I recently travelled for 6 months through Asia. During this time I met many travellers who were travelling for much longer periods, some for several years. Most people like myself had simply worked and saved hard for a year or more then travelled through counties where it is cheap. I also met a couple of people who were working on their travels, a writer ...


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 ...


37

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 ...


34

Nobody seemed to have given emphasis on what I consider the most important, the position of your arms when doing it: they must be extended away. No: Yes! I live in China and got used to them squat toilets, they are actually better for the transit, and learning this position is good for many other purposes, like waiting for the subway, watching the sun ...


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 ...


30

Probably not the answer you were hoping for, but I think the best way to get upgraded is to fly a lot with the airline. Generally when the flight's overbooked in one class, and they're trying to pick which person to upgrade, frequent flyer status is the first metric they use. The higher your status, the higher up the list you go! Having a high status with a ...


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 have done a 25 months trip (Around the world but mostly in South East Asia) and a 22 months one (Latin America). I spent about 22,000 Euros each which I saved before or between the trips. Important points: I did not have any regular expenses back home, no health insurance, mortgage, storage fees, family. But I also did not have any income either. I do ...


24

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 ...


23

This is funny. When I first read the question, I thought it a humorous prank. But, half way through the page, I was sort of convinced that it may possibly not have been intended to be. I have used squat toilets for nearly all my life. At home, we have both the squat toilets and the sitting ones. I don't mind either, but I find the squat toilets to be more ...


22

Courtesy! In my experience, simply being courteous to those behind the check-in counter (and the baggage handling staff, too) helps a great deal. Most airline staff is perennially overworked, and dealing with grouchy passengers doesn't help their cause. I have gotten upgraded (not only in traveling class, but also with excess baggage) a few times, by just ...


22

A couple of options spring to mind The first is not to fly! Take the train - either TGV in the daytime, or the Trenhotel sleeper overnight, plus onward Spanish trains as needed. You can basically take all the luggage you can physically carry. Book in advance and you can get a bed in a 4 berth cabin from Paris to either Madrid or Barcelona for only €80, and ...


21

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 ...


21

On all of the airlines I've ever flown I'd say it's extremely unlikely that you wouldn't get caught. The one exception might be on smaller flights where business class is little more than economy with slight better service (eg, many intra-Europe flights). Ignoring the possibility of a fellow passenger reporting you, or a flight attendant actually seeing ...


20

The only 'tricks' I can suggest are four methods: 1) Put dense, heavy items in your carry-on. I travel a lot, and am hardly ever weighed. Until my most recent Auckland -> London flight, when believe it or not, I had 10.5kg in my carry on, when the limit is 7, and Murphy's Law - they weighed it, first time I've had that in 10 years. We looked at each ...


20

Contrary to @Ginamin's answer, my advice, based on traveling in Mexico, as well as practically everything I've ever read on the subject, is to never use a metered taxi and always agree to a price up front. The best prices are usually had when you pay at a kiosk, such as found at a bus station or airport. Case in point: Yesterday I arrived in Morelia, ...


19

Unless it is a significant amount, changing coins isn't worth it. The amounts are small and most banks and foreign exchanges won't accept coins generally. My solution is to collect the left over foreign coins until I fly on an airline that participates in the Change for Good program and then donate them. British Airways and Virgin also have their own ...


19

If you have a brand new passport, then keep all the pages together with an elastic band, and only release new pages when the old ones are full. This has kept things nice and orderly for me so far - the only place anyone took off the band was Taiwan where they at least stamped only the next page and not some random mid-passport place. If your passport is ...


18

Wikivoyage tells you all you need to know -- and I'm going to quote most of it, since I originally wrote the entry! Don't panic — help is at hand. The first key to solving the puzzle is that the actual flush mechanism is usually not operated by the control panel: instead, there is a standard, familiar, Western-style lever, switch or knob somewhere ...


18

Short answer, no -- not really. You could always take a change of clothes (or at least a different top) in your carry on and attempt to freshen up in the toilets. Take some wet wipes too. You could also try and find a shower in the city before heading to the airport. Depending what airport you're in there may be a way to pay for lounge / shower access -- ...


17

Well they travel as cheaply as possible. There are lots of tricks and lots of levels. No matter how cheaply you do it you always meet people in comparison to whom your expenses seem ridiculously extravagant! The main three factors in a trip are 1) accommodation 2) transport 3) food You can save on all these at multiple levels depending on your sense of ...



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