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95
votes
3answers
19k views

I was born in a city which is now under control of a different country. What is my “country of birth” on US visa/ESTA applications?

A member of my family (who is a French citizen) is currently applying for the Visa Waiver Program of the USA. The member was born in a city in former French Algeria (before independence). In the ...
94
votes
1answer
24k views

Why do cars need to leave their windows half open whilst on the Eurotunnel?

Whilst riding the Eurotunnel with a car, they ask you to keep your windows half open and also to open any sun roofs. What is the reasoning behind this? I've checked their website and FAQ and couldn't ...
92
votes
9answers
20k views

Why do people on airplanes often have tomato juice as a drink?

Tomato juice seems to be a favorite drink for many travelers to have on board an airplane. I've seen this on almost every flight I've been on, but I have never noticed this same trend at ground-level. ...
92
votes
3answers
20k views

What is a polite way to tell a Scottish person that I am struggling to understand his/her accent?

I am flying to Glasgow tomorrow. English isn't my mother tongue. In spite of living in London for the last 10 years, I still struggle with understanding different accents. My main concern about the ...
91
votes
2answers
24k views

How to lift a lifetime ban from Canada due to marijuana?

My husband was "banned for life" for entry into Canada for having marijuana on him back in the 90's. We had completely forgotten about this when we traveled to Toronto some years back, but were ...
91
votes
7answers
13k views

How do I identify an airport’s official free Wi-Fi network?

While traveling in the Berlin Tegel airport (TXL), I wanted to get on Wi-Fi. I found three unsecured networks in addition to a number of password-protected networks. _Free_TXL_WiFi airberlin Berlin ...
91
votes
12answers
18k 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 ...
90
votes
8answers
27k views

When someone in India asks for my “Good Name”, what are they expecting?

Quite a few times now in India, from hotel staff to taxi staff to in shops, I've had someone ask me for my Good Name. A common form of this question is someone asking me What is your Good Name, Sir? ...
89
votes
11answers
32k views

Best way to dispose of a carry-on bag in Hong Kong airport?

An odd question, I know. I'm expecting to arrive with a full-size carry-on, containing some stuff I brought on the flight but don't want to carry any further, some stuff I'll transfer into my main ...
89
votes
8answers
18k views

Why are airlines against the transferring of tickets to other persons?

Airlines usually either don't allow the transferring of tickets to another person after they've been purchased, or they do it at an extremely inflated price. What is the reason for doing this? One ...
89
votes
5answers
13k views

The UK has voted to leave the EU. How does Brexit affect people traveling to the UK and vice-versa?

On 23rd of June, 2016, the UK voted in a referendum to leave the EU. This leads to the following questions: Are UK citizens traveling to the EU affected? Are EU citizens traveling to the UK affected? ...
87
votes
7answers
31k 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'...
87
votes
6answers
16k views

What happens if you are refused entry between two countries?

Last month, I was travelling on a backpacking trip across Russia and the Baltic states (Schengen zone). I'm an Indian by nationality. So I had to get the respective single entry visa for Russia and ...
87
votes
9answers
13k views

How do airlines determine ticket prices?

Based on the question How to find historical airfares?, I got curious. Is there a guide or resource that describes how the price of a ticket is determined? When you search you often see curious ...
87
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 ...
86
votes
6answers
8k views

How can I visit Antarctica?

A year ago I was reading some magazine, and found out that there is availability to get a trip to Antarctica. Unfortunately, there was no info about how I could get there. Do you know anything about ...
86
votes
7answers
48k views

Does Venice smell?

I keep getting told that Venice smells pretty bad as a reason not to go (a lot of people say it's pretty crowded too but that's another matter). Apparently it's the canals in summer. Is this true? ...
85
votes
3answers
21k views

What are these chair-like things in hotels?

I've encountered them in most hotels but I can't figure out what they are for. Some are even mounted on the walls. What are they?
85
votes
13answers
16k views

What is the most remote airport from the center of the city it supposedly serves?

As an example, "Frankfurt" Hahn is actually 120 km away from the city of Frankfurt and "Paris" Beauvais is actually 85 km away from the center of Paris. Are there airports that are even further away ...
85
votes
18answers
50k 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
7answers
21k views

How to avoid hotels with bellhops in the USA

Many guides to tipping in the USA include a specification to tip a "bellhop" at a hotel, which is apparently an employee who expects to be paid separately for the "service" of accompanying the guest ...
85
votes
13answers
18k views

How to spot fake reviews on TripAdvisor?

I know that review sites like TripAdvisor have fake reviews (some hotels more than others) - how can I make sure I am looking at the 'real' reviews as using TripAdvisor can be very tricky to filter ...
85
votes
11answers
18k views

When flying on a very tight schedule, are you obligated to run to make it to the next gate on a connection?

In reference to this question, let's say you've bought a single ticket with a 45-minute layover. Your plane arrives on time but the next gate is so far away you have to run to make it. Assuming you ...
85
votes
2answers
12k views

Do flight attendants prefer I press the button or walk to the back? (Long-haul flights)

I fly Abu Dhabi - Amsterdam - Portland, OR and back frequently. Each leg is about 8 to 10 hours. For most people, it is their one 'long flight,' and are sleeping, but for me, because I have two of ...
84
votes
11answers
49k 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 ...
84
votes
13answers
12k 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 ...
83
votes
13answers
18k views

Why is onboard/inflight shopping still a thing?

There's an inflight shopping magazine in the pocket of the seat in front of you - that no one reads. The crew come through with a trolley of merchandise - that nobody buys. There are special offers ...
83
votes
8answers
18k views

Do I have to whistle really loud to hail a taxi in NYC?

In the movies, we usually see that people whistle really loud and yell "TAXI!" in order to hail one. I can't whistle like that for the life of me. Where I live I usually raise my arm silently and make ...
82
votes
5answers
47k views

Can I safely eat whatever goes through the x-ray machine?

This might be an odd question, but I often take a sandwich or fruit to eat while waiting for the airplane. This means that my food goes through the security x-ray machine. I don't understand much ...
82
votes
9answers
16k views

When to use the emergency brake in a train?

In almost every train there is an emergency brake. I was wondering in which scenarios a passenger would need to pull the emergency brake.
82
votes
3answers
15k views

Denied boarding although I have proper visa and documentation. To whom should I make a complaint?

I was traveling from Germany to Ireland, with UK tourist visa. I am a Turkish citizen and I am allowed to do so. (Visa waiver programme) I checked in to the flight, and made my boarding pass signed ...
82
votes
7answers
82k views

Is there a ZIP code I can enter when paying-at-the-pump in the USA with a foreign credit card?

In the USA, many pay-at-the-pump fuel dispensers that accept credit cards require a 5-digit numeric zip code that corresponds to the billing address of the credit card. In Canada, for instance, we ...
82
votes
8answers
19k views

Why is the departures level always above the arrivals level?

It seems to be a pretty strong convention for airport terminals with more than one level to have the departures above, and the arrivals below. Is this specified in some international standard? Are ...
81
votes
11answers
12k 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?
81
votes
12answers
20k views

Personal security during a business trip to Moscow

In the next few weeks I’ll be traveling to Russia for about a week on business. While there, I'd like to spend some time, although it won’t be much time, seeing as much of the city and culture as ...
80
votes
13answers
31k views

Asking same flight customers if they would agree to put my knife in their checked luggage

Issue When flying with only a carry-on allowed, I am often bothered by not being allowed to carry a small knife that I will need at my destination (backpacking trips). So far, every time I faced this ...
80
votes
9answers
23k views

Should I say hello to the passport control officers, or just quietly give them my passport?

What is the etiquette? What do the passport control officers expect? I’m asking from the point of politeness and efficiency.
80
votes
8answers
27k views

Is it rude to give up your seat in Japan?

I heard that in Japan it may be considered rude to give up your seat for someone else while you are on a train or bus, because it would make the other person feel in debt with you. Is this true? (Of ...
80
votes
10answers
209k views

How big is “too big” for an airline seat? At what point will you be required to buy two tickets?

As I said in another question, I'm bringing my parents to visit me here in Sweden next year. My mother is around 280-300 pounds and 5'6" (130-135kg, 1.67m). I am concerned that she might be asked at ...
79
votes
5answers
53k views

Can I fly with a gold bar?

Can I fly with a Good Delivery gold bar? I'll have the certificate that I have been given with it. I have looked on Google and found nothing that suggests it's a prohibited item on an aircraft. It's ...
79
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 ...
79
votes
9answers
6k views

How do you avoid “tourist traps” when traveling to a country where you do not speak the language?

Too many easily accessible restaurants and attractions cater heavily to tourists, and, in doing so, create an environment that they feel will be comfortable to people from other cultures. Spending ...
79
votes
1answer
28k views

Error when applying for ESTA: “Invalid Street Name”

When I input my address in the 'Your Contact Information' section of the ESTA application form (for a visa waiver for entry into the United States), I repeatedly get a "Address Validation: Invalid ...
79
votes
12answers
81k 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 ...
79
votes
1answer
7k views

What to do if I overstayed my e-visa for Saint Petersburg/Leningrad Oblast

I failed to leave Saint Petersburg in time because my flight would have had to stop in Moscow, which is not allowed with the e-visa I have (see also this question). Now I'm not allowed to leave the ...
78
votes
11answers
19k views

Why do flight attendants say in safety instructions that you should put on your own mask before helping others?

I have taken several flights from Emirates, FlyDubai and Saudi Airlines. Why is it announced to put your own mask on before helping others with their mask. I wouldn't do it if I am travelling with my ...
78
votes
7answers
18k views

How to book a flight if my passport doesn't state my gender?

I am asking on behalf of my friend. My friend doesn't have a gender (in other words they are gender-neutral) and on their new passport their gender is represented as X (indeterminate/unspecified). ...
78
votes
4answers
22k views

Leaving Thailand after months-long overstay (can't pay fine)

I missed my plane after staying just a couple weeks in Thailand and stayed with my girlfriend. I ended up out of money and no ticket home. I keep hearing about staying a day over here, but nothing ...
78
votes
8answers
20k views

Which safety features of the German Autobahn make it possible to have no speed limits as opposed to every other country? [closed]

Each time I cross the border from Czech Republic into Germany I note how the two highways are extremely similar - the asphalt looks the same, roadside barriers are present on both sides, the road ...
78
votes
7answers
10k views

WOW air has ceased operation, can I get my tickets refunded?

4 days ago, me and a couple of friends went and booked a flight to Iceland and back for in the summer holidays. The price of the tickets all together is almost €2500, I payed this for everyone using a ...

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