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359 votes
13 answers

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 ...
hippietrail's user avatar
  • 79.5k
333 votes
9 answers

How do you know if Americans genuinely/literally mean what they say?

I have come across a few situations when an American will say something like "We should have lunch some time" or "Let's have lunch some time." Or "you should come down to visit me in D.C. (or Miami or ...
user avatar
301 votes
9 answers

My name causes an issue with any booking! (names end with MR and MRS)

My name is Amr Eladawy. Whenever I get a ticket through an agent and they put my first name as Amr, it lands as A only in the Airlines system. That happened with many airlines and different agents. ...
Amr Eladawy's user avatar
  • 2,242
254 votes
3 answers

Why are airline passengers asked to lift up window shades during takeoff and landing?

I have always wondered why the windows shades have to be raised during take off and landing. I can't think of any safety issues by having a closed window.
bobby's user avatar
  • 2,467
252 votes
8 answers

How to intentionally get denied entry to the US, without getting into trouble?

I have a multiple entry visitors visa for five years. I went to USA last year and lived there for one year with my husband (6 months entry and other 6 months of extension). I left USA legally. Now my ...
user11743's user avatar
  • 2,057
204 votes
11 answers

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 ...
Mark Mayo's user avatar
  • 160k
203 votes
8 answers

Why prohibit engine braking?

When I learned driving in The Netherlands (in a car with a manual gearbox), I learned that on a down slope¹, I should switch to low gear and use the engine to brake, thus reducing the wear on the ...
gerrit's user avatar
  • 57.3k
197 votes
12 answers

Boss is asking for passport, but it has a stamp in it I don't want him to see. What to do?

I am an Indian national who has been working in Africa for 10 months. This stay in Africa is my first time leaving India. My passport has no previous stamps or marks in it. I recently had an emergency ...
Megha's user avatar
  • 1,759
175 votes
10 answers

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 ...
RoflcoptrException's user avatar
164 votes
5 answers

I don't know my nationality. How can I visit Denmark?

I was born in a Thailand refugee camp to Vietnamese parents, but quickly as an infant, they immigrated to Denmark. We lived there for 10-11 years and then moved to the U.S. I am a green card holder of ...
Quinn's user avatar
  • 1,241
161 votes
22 answers

When traveling to a country with a different currency, how should you take your money?

Recently my wife and I traveled to Italy and before we left we got about 85% of our money in travelers checks and the other 15% we carried on in cash. When we arrived there, no one would take our ...
Darren Kopp's user avatar
  • 2,282
161 votes
11 answers

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? ...
mts's user avatar
  • 26.4k
154 votes
11 answers

Took airline plane blanket by accident; didn't realize it was forbidden. What should I do?

I'm very new to traveling in general. When I flew on a long flight, the airline gave us blankets and pillows. I, having no idea that I was supposed to leave the blanket behind, took it as I collected ...
feels-really-bad's user avatar
152 votes
4 answers

Immigration officer that stopped me at the airport is texting me. What do I do?

Yesterday my cousin arrived to Chicago from Mexico, she is visiting family there to spend the holidays, this is not the first time she visits. She was stopped by immigration, because they thought it ...
DiegoJ's user avatar
  • 1,283
147 votes
5 answers

Which museums have artworks of all four Ninja Turtles' namesakes?

I was visiting the Louvre recently, where I tried to ignore the lines to Leonardo's Mona-Lisa and looked at all the other great art instead, such as Michelangelo's dying slave and the many works by ...
mlk's user avatar
  • 1,161
144 votes
8 answers

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 ...
Belle's user avatar
  • 6,295
142 votes
21 answers

How can I deal with people asking to switch seats with me on a plane?

I'm sixteen years old, and I have mild claustrophobia so I always travel in the aisle seat. However, I'm constantly asked (not politely) by others to change seats with them. Since I usually travel ...
Vedant Chandra's user avatar
141 votes
3 answers

Canadian citizen, on US no-fly list. What can I do in order to be allowed on flights which go through US airspace?

My father and I, both Canadian citizens, were denied to board a direct Turkish Airlines flight from Istanbul to Toronto non-stop without any prior warning or information. Literally, at the gate, we ...
Aras Celik's user avatar
134 votes
7 answers

Flight tickets: buy two weeks before even during holiday seasons?

There is a common story that airline ticket prices rise significantly if you buy them less than two weeks before departure. And that any time before that will yield standard prices. Is that advice ...
themirror's user avatar
  • 2,345
134 votes
4 answers

Airline reservations require name to exactly match passport, but won't allow entering name that way

My sister's name on her passport is 25 characters not including spaces: 5 letters for her given name, 7 letters for her middle name, and 13 letters, including a hyphen, for her last name. (It's NOT a ...
Martha's user avatar
  • 1,190
131 votes
1 answer

Should I submit bank statements when applying for a UK Visa? What do they say about me?

The UK Visas and Immigration Directorate publishes guidance that provides helpful tips that can result in successful visa applications. Section 2 of this guidance opens is entitled "other ...
Gayot Fow's user avatar
  • 85.2k
130 votes
8 answers

How can I find restaurants in the USA where tipping is not expected?

I am uncomfortable with tipping and would much rather eat at sit-down restaurants in the United States that pay their employees fairly without expecting customers to supplement with tips (as occurs in ...
Thunderforge's user avatar
  • 2,692
123 votes
8 answers

Norwegian refuses EU delay (4.7 hours) compensation because it turned out there was nothing wrong with the aircraft

My flight from Oslo to Rome was delayed by 4 hours and 40 minutes. I submitted a request to Norwegian Air Shuttle requesting a compensation of 400 Euros under EU 261/2004. Their reasoning for why ...
Fiksdal's user avatar
  • 15.1k
122 votes
9 answers

How to escape hip-hop CD giveaway scam in New York City?

Here is a situation I encountered multiple times in New York City streets, lately. Usually at a sidewalk corner where people are likely to wait for the pedestrian crossing "walk" signal, a gang of ...
DavGin's user avatar
  • 11.1k
120 votes
13 answers

Prohibited item forgotten in hand luggage: what to do with it?

I guess it happens quite frequently: you have already checked in, and at the security check you realize that you have in your backpack your grandmother's Klingon bat'leth blade, an item that has been ...
Federico Poloni's user avatar
118 votes
11 answers

How can I convince airport screeners to stop asking why I prefer pat-downs?

At a London airport, a security screener ordered my granddad to the full-body scanner. As a Luddite, he requested a full pat-down. But this screener, and 3 others, kept rebuffing him: Screener: Why ...
user avatar
117 votes
27 answers

What's the longest distance that can be traveled by only using free transportation?

As an example, public transportation within the Melbourne city center is free, so one could take a free tram between Spring St and Docklands Dr: The total distance (as the crow flies) between these ...
JonathanReez's user avatar
  • 82.9k
117 votes
11 answers

Can I accidentally miss the in-flight food?

I was wondering what will happen if I was wearing headphones or asleep (or both) and I missed the in-flight food? I don't want to miss it, but I know when I get lost in my music or fall asleep I ...
MrkiBožo's user avatar
  • 1,059
117 votes
11 answers

How can I do a "broad" search for flights?

Several airline and trip planning sites will allow you to check "I am flexible with my dates" or a similar option. Is there any way to also search more broadly for location? For example, if you ...
Matthew Read's user avatar
  • 2,831
117 votes
9 answers

When and why do people clap/applaud after a plane lands?

On a recent flight to Romania, the whole flight erupted with applause once we'd landed. This wasn't a "difficult" flight - no turbulence, delays, or hijackings. Just a bog standard flight. On the ...
Terence Eden's user avatar
  • 1,640
116 votes
10 answers

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 ...
Silver Dragon's user avatar
116 votes
19 answers

Why would you wrap your luggage in plastic?

At many airports you can wrap your luggage with sheets of sticky plastic. Why on earth would you do that? I only see disadvantages. I can imagine the mess when customs ask you to open your luggage. So ...
user avatar
116 votes
6 answers

When I travel next, I want to reach the point on the earth that is exactly opposite my home, how can I discover where that is?

My wife and I are planning to travel to Japan next September (we are from Brazil). Since I was a child I have known that if I made a hole (a big one) straight down, I would reach Japan. Well, as the ...
Diogo's user avatar
  • 2,281
115 votes
8 answers

How to make dining alone less awkward?

When travelling, I'm often alone in a city. This is okay for me, except for one situation: dining out alone is just awkward. Guests in restaurants are almost always either couples or groups and being ...
RoflcoptrException's user avatar
114 votes
9 answers

What's the deal with the "string people" in central Paris?

I've taken my fiancée to Paris twice - first for our 1st anniversary, and again for our 4th - and both times we had troubles with guys bothering us around the Sacré Coeur in Montmartre. They hang ...
Polynomial's user avatar
  • 1,789
113 votes
3 answers

Why is the price on the shelves for drinks often different from what I actually pay in supermarkets in Germany?

I have used supermarkets in Germany (REWE, etc). But I found that whenever I purchase a bottled drink the price described on the selves was different from what I actually paid. For example in one ...
Blaszard's user avatar
  • 14.8k
112 votes
5 answers

I have two passports/nationalities. How do I use them when I travel?

I am a citizen of two different countries, and have two passports. How should I use my passports when traveling?
lambshaanxy's user avatar
  • 99.8k
110 votes
2 answers

How does President Trump's travel ban affect nationals of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria or Yemen coming to the US for tourism/transit/etc?

President Trump has signed an executive order which bans nationals of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from traveling to the US for at least 90 days. Does this ban only include ...
JonathanReez's user avatar
  • 82.9k
107 votes
7 answers

Do I need a serious reason to enter a US Embassy as a US Citizen?

Out of curiosity, can I, as a US citizen, enter a US embassy without a serious reason? For example, if I was traveling to Tokyo and I want to see what it looks like inside can I just walk in? If not, ...
LampPost's user avatar
  • 3,433
106 votes
17 answers

Is it rude to ask if the food contains pork or alcohol?

Some years ago, I was invited to a friend's place. The home-cooked food contained alcohol, and I don't eat or drink anything that contains alcohol (religious reasons). I was shy enough to eat it to ...
Nean Der Thal's user avatar
105 votes
8 answers

How to convince airport security that I am not dangerous when having metallic parts in my body?

I had an operation some time ago and now I have small screws in my shoulder which will not be removed anymore. When I decided to fly for vacation, I supposed that these will may bring me into trouble ...
Uooo's user avatar
  • 969
104 votes
9 answers

In Germany, what are you supposed to do if your train station doesn't have any working ticket machines?

I recently took a train to Munich from a tiny suburban station that only had a couple of ticket machines. At the time I was there one of the machines was broken, but I was able to get a ticket from ...
JonathanReez's user avatar
  • 82.9k
104 votes
18 answers

How to prevent "Delhi Belly" from eating/drinking locally?

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 ...
Mark Mayo's user avatar
  • 160k
103 votes
12 answers

Is it offensive to use 'Saigon' instead of 'Ho Chi Minh City'?

I've heard some people talking about Saigon instead of Ho Chi Minh City. Besides the fact that those people usually were French (I'm French myself as well) I was wondering if that could be considered ...
7hibault's user avatar
  • 1,461
103 votes
6 answers

Does the European number for emergencies (112) really work in Germany?

One night of some months ago I realized there were some burglars in the apartment below mine. As an Italian living in Germany, I didn't know the number to call the police, but I knew that in all ...
Fabio says Reinstate Monica's user avatar
102 votes
14 answers

Considerations for very fragile and expensive (> $100,000) items in carry-on luggage

Background: I am a part of a university student team building a CubeSat due to be launched this September. Around mid-June, we will need to transport the CubeSat from its current location in Ohio to ...
Ryan's user avatar
  • 821
101 votes
6 answers

Why are there no seat belts on trains?

Long distance trains are travelling at potentially dangerous speeds. However, I have never encountered seat belts, airbags or similar on trains at least in Central Europe, even though this is common ...
tmh's user avatar
  • 1,075
100 votes
5 answers

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 "...
user avatar
98 votes
20 answers

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 ...
galois's user avatar
  • 1,091
98 votes
1 answer

Did I opt out of compensation by accepting meal vouchers?

Today/yesterday, I had a multi-leg flight going IAD-CPH-AMS (Washington Dulles International Airport - Copenhagen Airport - amsterdam Airport Schiphol). I had a connection time of one hour in CPH, ...
EMotion's user avatar
  • 1,602

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