Questions tagged [tips-and-tricks]

Hints for solving a variety of travel issues, especially problems that require experiential knowledge to solve or are not covered by traditional travel books or resources.

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332
votes
13answers
94k views

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

OK so for anyone that's travelled beyond North America and Western Europe you know what I'm talking about. Left: Romania, last year. Right: Turkey, last night. They start popping up in the Balkans ...
188
votes
11answers
18k views

Tactics to avoid getting harassed by corrupt police?

In Uzbekistan I was stopped, searched and questioned six times in one day. At the border with Tajikistan, one official tried hiding my paperwork to elicit something from me. In Kyrgyzstan, I was ...
166
votes
11answers
18k views

How to avoid drinking vodka?

This summer, I spent some time in Moscow and St. Petersburg; I also visited a friend and his family. Their custom was to drink a lot of vodka during the meal. We, the guests, also had to drink some ...
150
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11answers
108k views

OK, we are all adults here, so what is a bidet for and how do I use it?

Confession time: I am from one of these barbaric countries where the use of the bidet is not widespread. So I have no idea... Question 1: What is the bidet good for? Question 2: How do I use it? ...
135
votes
8answers
14k views

Passing through airport security with autism

I am a young adult with autism (Asperger's to be precise). While there are many resources on how to travel with kids with autism, resources on how to do so if you have it yourself are rare to ...
107
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11answers
28k views

How to avoid toddlers on a long-distance plane flight?

I have recently taken a London - San Francisco (12 hour) flight, with a toddler in the seat directly behind me. His parents actively encouraged the kid to speak out in that typical proto-speech, while ...
94
votes
20answers
19k views

Is there a way to prevent “looking like a tourist” in order to not be harassed?

Disclaimer - the title of this post is probably not the best On my way to visit family in Belarus and Poland, I had a long layover in Paris, so I decided to spend the day in the city. My luggage was ...
93
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5answers
22k views

How can black travellers deal with unwanted harassment from locals in China?

I recently took a trip to China with several friends. All of us are US citizens with US passports, and three of the people on this trip are black. (I am not) Throughout China, including in the most "...
86
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12answers
13k views

How to prevent “Delhi Belly”?

Montezuma's revenge or Aztec two step in Central America, mummy's tummy, or Cairo two-step in Egypt, Kurtz Hurtz in Uzbekistan, Bombay belly or Delhi belly in India. A case of the sh-- or Hershey ...
86
votes
9answers
6k views

How can I avoid or minimize jet lag?

From my personal anecdotal experience, I've found it worse when travelling east around the globe. I also tend to stay awake most if not all of the flight, so sleeping time doesn't tend to matter as ...
85
votes
18answers
37k views

How to cope with too slow Wi-Fi at hotel?

So many hotels I stayed at (3~4 stars ratings) provided too slow Wi-Fi. The speed is somewhere around 2~3Mbps, and it frequently falls down to <200Kbps. However, once you find that your hotel ...
85
votes
6answers
26k views

Can I ask for two meals for my flight without paying extra?

I know, this is a funny/sort of stingy question, but the last time I took a plane, after having the meal they serve, I was still kind of hungry so my girlfriend told me to ask for another one. I didn'...
85
votes
12answers
16k views

What's the safest way to protect your valuables from theft at the beach?

I am travelling solo to Barcelona. I was wondering if anyone has any tip on how to enjoy the beach when travelling alone. As in, is it safe to leave your belongings on the beach when you go for a ...
84
votes
11answers
45k views

What can I do to prevent passport stamps being put on blank pages?

I'm running low on blank passport pages which are sometimes needed for full page visas such as those issued by Armenia, India, and Vietnam. When I crossed the border into Turkey the other day I got ...
82
votes
13answers
11k views

Orienting oneself after exiting an underground station

I have a terrible sense of direction and frequently struggle to know which way to head when I exit an underground station. I can use the map on my phone of course (though there are some places this ...
80
votes
11answers
11k views

How should I deal with beggars in India?

I have heard that it is unsafe to show money or help someone in India. Are there any rules I should respect in order to avoid getting into trouble? How should I deal with these beggars?
76
votes
11answers
7k views

Long term travel without being wealthy - how is it possible?

Some people are practically most of the time traveling, from country to country, for a very long periods and sometimes even years. How could one be able to travel for a long period of time, over ...
75
votes
12answers
69k views

What's the best way to take a cold shower?

This is a question that most people probably never think about, because it's an every-day thing. But for many of us, such as myself, who grew up in more western cultures, with more modern ...
72
votes
11answers
18k views

How to spend a night in an unknown city without a hotel? Is there a guide or resource online?

I had a late flight recently and due to a delay on the flight I was not able to get my transport to the city where I had my accommodation. Staying in the airport was not an option either since it's a ...
71
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6answers
12k views

Will Wi-Fi passwords in Russia be in Cyrillic? How do I type them on a Latin keyboard?

I'm about to travel to Russia, and I made sure to book only accommodations that offer Wi-Fi to its customers, but a question came to my mind. As Cyrillic is the standard alphabet in Russia, is there ...
70
votes
9answers
9k views

What kind of things can you take from a hotel?

Hotels normally provide a big amount of sets (well, depending on the quality, but however, many!) that can help you feel more comfortable there. So for example you can get towels, slippers, candies, ...
69
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7answers
29k views

How to use sinks with separate hot/cold taps?

I just traveled to Ireland. I was amazed to find that water sinks (at home, restaurants and public) have separate taps for hot and cold water. If you use only the cold water, your hands freeze. If ...
67
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11answers
12k views

How do I avoid leaving my passport as a deposit while traveling?

I was looking into activities to do in Seoul and I saw a free public government sponsored bike rental. To use the rental, I need to give them some sort of ID for the duration of the rental. The ID can ...
65
votes
7answers
18k views

Where can I change my clothes at the airport?

I will have a rather formal event which I will attend in rather formal (and less comfortable) clothing. After that I will head directly to the airport, without having an opportunity to change. If I ...
65
votes
6answers
25k views

Most respectful way to set alarm when sharing the room

I'm a pretty heavy sleeper and sometimes I need to wake up earlier for a bus/flight or to catch early light. When sharing a room in a hostel type place, what's a good way to set an alarm without ...
58
votes
14answers
7k views

What techniques, tricks or otherwise have you used to get upgrades on flights?

I've travelled a lot. Living in New Zealand or the UK means anywhere is likely a flight, but I've always flown economy. Twice between LA and Auckland I managed to get the exit row after talking ...
57
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1answer
5k views

My online friend is asking for money in order to visit my home country. Is this a legit request or a scam?

On Travel.SE we often see questions about a person (usually a love interest) asking for money to pay for airfare, visas, permits and other expenses. For example Visitor requesting a cash advance to ...
54
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17answers
11k views
+50

In an emergency, how do I find and share my position?

In the wake of the accident that affected Simon Gautier who made a bad fall while trekking in Italy, and emergency services took over a week to locate him after he called them, one may wonder: in an ...
54
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8answers
7k views

What are good security tactics for sleeping in airports?

Sleeping in airports is something I've found myself doing more often than I ever expected, and while I have no issue with sleeping on the floor or chairs or whatever, sometimes I have valuable stuff, ...
52
votes
11answers
10k views

How to safely store my locker key in a hostel at night?

When staying in hostel dorms I usually place my valuables in a locker provided by the hostel and lock it, typically with my own key-padlock. When I go out I take the key with me and I'm perfectly fine ...
49
votes
8answers
27k views

Are there any rules of thumb for the most comfortable seats on a long distance bus?

I traveled recently by bus and I was wondering about comfort. In a plane there are a couple of rules of thumb when it comes to picking a place that provides a bit of extra comfort. (E.g.: sitting in ...
49
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3answers
8k 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 ...
48
votes
15answers
13k views

What's an easy way of making my luggage unique, so that it's easy to spot on the luggage carousel?

I've bought a new piece of luggage which is great in every way except that... it's completely black and looks like half the other bags. What's an easy way of making my luggage unique, ideally ...
48
votes
2answers
5k views

How to search for a flight when dates and cities are flexible but non-direct flights must not pass through a particular country?

Sometimes when booking a trip you can be very flexible with many factors but any route passing through a certain country cannot be considered. Say you're going from country A to country B either ...
45
votes
4answers
9k views

So what can I do to avoid being “that” passenger with bad hygiene?

What can I do if I'm seated next to a person with bad hygiene on an airplane? I've been that passenger several times, typically on connecting flights after a transoceanic leg. I really try hard ...
43
votes
6answers
9k views

Are drivers from mainland Europe likely to end up in an accident when driving in the UK?

I have a European license and would like to rent a car in the UK for a trip to the countryside. The only thing that worries me is driving on the left — it seems that one would need quite a bit of ...
42
votes
9answers
13k views

Driving in the UK for the the first time - rules & to-dos that are different to India

I'm planning on renting a car in the UK for my trip through London, York, Edinburgh and the rest of Scotland. Having driven in Mumbai, India, I understand there must be things I should keep in mind, ...
42
votes
15answers
8k views

Tips to avoid forgetting a bag

I have recently left a bag behind in a train. It was a long travel day, and the last stage of it was a train ride with a change half way through. We were in a hurry to catch the connection, and were ...
42
votes
16answers
7k views

Preparing in case ATM/debit cards might go missing during a long trip

I've been pickpocketed twice and had debit cards swallowed by ATMs twice over the past decade or so. I've also had cards expire during a long trip. For my upcoming trip which I envision will last ...
42
votes
6answers
22k views

How to use toilet paper

If someone who has never used toilet paper ever travels to countries where only toilet paper is used - how could one learn to use toilet paper? One of my (Asian) colleagues who is more of a friend ...
41
votes
7answers
83k views

Is leaving airport at a stop before the final destination illegal?

There are tricks such as "fuel dumping" or "hidden city ticketing" which involve booking a ticket composed of several connecting flights, then leaving the airport at a stop, possibly even "hopping off"...
40
votes
13answers
12k views

How can I deal with extreme temperatures in a hotel room?

Recently I've been on a business trip in Germany and I had a temperature problem in my hotel room. Since it was an attic room without air conditioning the temperature rose to uncomfortable levels ...
39
votes
6answers
17k views

What to do without underwear on a 4 day trip?

Ok, this might be a ridiculous question/situation but it's my situation. I'm at a football camp in boston until Friday, and I've realized I forgot to pack any underwear (I wear boxers), I have the ...
39
votes
15answers
32k views

How to remove airlines/security tag stickers from suitcases?

I travel a lot, for both business and pleasure reasons. One of the annoying things I face (beside full passport pages) is the many tags stuck to my suitcase which I like to take in almost all my trips....
39
votes
5answers
21k views

What is the hotel room card slot inside the room for?

Several hotels I've stayed in lately (in the Middle East if that matters) have a card slot just inside the door of the room, and it appears that the lights/AC in the room only work if you have one of ...
38
votes
10answers
29k views

What can I do with a plane ticket that won't be used?

I have two plane tickets for London - South America with one stop. For reasons that aren't relevant, my companion won't be able to make it, so the seat will be completely empty. I'm almost certain ...
38
votes
7answers
6k views

How to make sure that you get off at the correct bus stop in Thailand?

I find it extremely difficult to get off at the correct bus stop in Thailand, mainly for the reasons as: The bus stop usually doesn't have a recognizable sign on which stop it is. Thai characters and ...
38
votes
5answers
35k views

What are some tricks you use to buy cheap airline tickets in Europe?

I have been flying with Wizz Air, Ryanair and easyJet for some time and have found that there is really a lot to be learned about how to achieve the lowest prices. It was not uncommon for me to buy ...
37
votes
7answers
53k views

I have discovered that the hotel room toilet is blocked, but too late. What should I do?

Ok, I have used the toilet after holding myself for too long because of a long haul flight and I am not comfortable using the airplane's lavatory. The problem is, after releasing all the damn load, I ...
36
votes
4answers
13k 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 ...