Skip to main content
275 votes
Accepted

Why prohibit engine braking?

Completely different thing! They are referring to the "Jake Brake" in heavy trucks, where the trucker opens a portal to the depths of Hades and you hear a very loud BrapBrapBrapBrapBrapBrapBrap ...
Harper - Reinstate Monica's user avatar
187 votes
Accepted

Do I have to hide anything related to the swastika while travelling to the USA?

It is not illegal to display a swastika in the US; however, the symbol is generally understood in the US to be a symbol of Nazism and displaying it publicly is likely to be extremely hurtful to those ...
ajd's user avatar
  • 11.4k
159 votes

Can I return to the United States as a tourist after being there illegally for most of my life, as a minor?

Unlawful presence does not accrue for children under 18: An alien whose unlawful status begins before his or her 18th birthday does not begin to accrue unlawful presence for purposes of section 212(...
Andrew Lazarus's user avatar
148 votes
Accepted

How do I insist that American hotels accept my employer's credit card for payment, instead of asking for personal credit card upon check-in?

The problem here is not the corporate credit card, but that you're trying to do this without a physical card. A credit card number is good enough to make a reservation, which is why the phone call ...
lambshaanxy's user avatar
  • 99.3k
137 votes
Accepted

Is it okay for a ticket seller in the USA to refuse to give you your change, keep it for themselves and claim it's a tip?

You were taken advantage of. Tipping is very prevalent in the US, but it is extremely unusual to tip someone who sells you tickets to a tourist attraction. I've never done it or heard of it. Even if ...
DJClayworth's user avatar
  • 67.3k
134 votes

Why do American gas stations' bathrooms apparently use these huge keys?

So that people don't forget them in their pocket and leave the gas station with the key.
Max's user avatar
  • 14.7k
129 votes

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

As you've discovered, US regulations apply not just to flights to or from the US, but also to flights that pass over the US. Before such flights the airline will send APIS data (basically the details ...
Doc's user avatar
  • 123k
126 votes
Accepted

My hotel "blocked" 5,000 dollars when I arrived and now is taking again the money

It is usual for hotels to put a 'block' (a deposit) on your payment card for the total amount, plus some estimated incidentials. On a credit card, this has little consequences (unless you are maxed ...
Aganju's user avatar
  • 28.7k
122 votes

My hotel "blocked" 5,000 dollars when I arrived and now is taking again the money

I'm going to disagree with the other answers here, and state that the hotel didn't follow the correct procedure for charging your card, which is what has caused your problem. When you checked in, the ...
Doc's user avatar
  • 123k
120 votes

I just entered the USA without passport control at Atlanta airport

You went through US CBP Preclearance in Toronto before boarding your flight. This is US immigration and customs, with US immigration officers stationed on Canadian soil, and unless something unusual ...
Zach Lipton's user avatar
  • 86.3k
117 votes

If I leave the US through an airport, do I have to return through the same airport?

Your question is well founded. Some type of visas to some countries allow you to enter and exit via specific entry points only. For example, ENTRI visa of Malaysia limits to persons who are appearing ...
Anish Sheela's user avatar
  • 14.8k
112 votes

Why prohibit engine braking?

Even if the signs are often referring to engine braking in general, the intention is to prohibit usage of so called compression release engine brakes. Diesel engines in heavy vehicles are often ...
Tor-Einar Jarnbjo's user avatar
108 votes

I've been warned to leave the US within 10 days as I will "overstay" my visa, but I have legally left the country by plane months ago. What can I do?

First, check that this is a genuine warning. Check it for the usual signs of a scam email (faked "from" address, links you to a website that does not end in .gov). Contact US immigration on a publicly ...
DJClayworth's user avatar
  • 67.3k
106 votes

Can Customs make me go back to return my electronic equipment or is it a scam?

No, the Customs cannot make you go back, and return the equipment. What the Customs can do is one of the following: Let you in with the item, optionally after duty is paid, if required. If you don't ...
George Y.'s user avatar
  • 22k
104 votes

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

Drive. Insurance won't help with something you can't replace and may not have time to repair, and you don't want the stress dealing with the risks of handing over control. Do yourself a favour and ...
gerrit's user avatar
  • 57.4k
103 votes

Can a person be banned from flying within the U.S. if he has a criminal record?

There are a couple of possibilities: This person received a DUI or other infraction which resulted in their driver’s license being revoked, which makes it harder to check in for a flight. However, ...
RoboKaren's user avatar
  • 16k
103 votes

Is flying from an airport from a different country than where you live considered as suspicious?

since I live in a city where there is a large airport, why did I preferred to fly out of a different country? If anyone asks you that, just answer the question honestly. "I was getting a really good ...
phoog's user avatar
  • 135k
101 votes
Accepted

What is the easiest place to cross the US Rocky Mountains, going to Oregon, in a large truck?

Downshifting - you gotta know it Avoiding hills is simply not an option. Mountain driving is a lot like a roller coaster. The truck works really hard going up a long, long uphill, and then on the ...
Harper - Reinstate Monica's user avatar
99 votes

Working in the USA for living expenses only; allowed on VWP?

As a technical matter, your niece as a UK citizen can enter the U.S. under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP); the ESTA is an authorization for the bearer to attempt to enter under the VWP. VWP visitors ...
choster's user avatar
  • 43.1k
98 votes
Accepted

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

Tipping is still the norm in any U.S. establishment where you do not seat and serve yourself—that is, everywhere except fast-food restaurants and places organized as food courts or cafeterias where ...
choster's user avatar
  • 43.1k
98 votes
Accepted

Should I declare chocolate as "food" when entering the US?

Yes, according to US CBP officers, you should declare it as food. I bring chocolate every time I fly from Europe. Generally what happens next is they ask what exactly you are bringing, you say "...
George Y.'s user avatar
  • 22k
98 votes
Accepted

Identify City Skyline

This appears to be Buffalo NY, below is a screenshot from Google Maps streetview from the I-190 looking north, approximately here (link to Google Maps).
ascha's user avatar
  • 1,491
94 votes

Is it OK for an openly Muslim person to travel to the United States post-2017?

Unfortunately, going through customs, there is a risk that Muslims will be asked invasive questions unrelated to legitimate security concerns. Consider the following two recent stories about ordinary ...
user57820's user avatar
  • 733
94 votes
Accepted

Meaning of 08:00 EST in North America

The leading zero in 08:00 implies that the time is given in a 24-hour clock, so it is not necessary to specify AM or PM. Your appointment will be at 8 in the morning. Note that it is common, but ...
phoog's user avatar
  • 135k
93 votes
Accepted

How to avoid hotels with bellhops in the USA

You don't need to worry about this. Bellhops are always optional. Usually when you check in at a place with bellhops, (and they really only exist in higher end hotels), a bellhop will approach you ...
DJClayworth's user avatar
  • 67.3k
91 votes
Accepted

What does the USA Customs and Border Protection consider a weapon?

It is never wrong to answer "I'm going camping, I have a hatchet" or "I'm going camping, I have a 5" folding knife" rather than just "yes" or "no" when you are asked a question like that verbally, by ...
Kate Gregory's user avatar
  • 80.7k
90 votes
Accepted

I overstayed in US and I'm barred for ten years, but I want to visit my kid

It is extremely unlikely that you will be able to visit the US When under a ban like this the only technical way to make a visit is to apply for a Waiver of Ineligibility. However these are granted ...
DJClayworth's user avatar
  • 67.3k
89 votes
Accepted

Is crime an issue in the US countryside, especially for a cyclist?

I've travelled coast-to-coast in the USA a couple of times, and would say that in rural areas it's pretty much equivalent to the UK. Both countries have random attacks, but in both countries it's so ...
slim's user avatar
  • 774
89 votes

What happens if you declare more than $10,000 at the US border?

I've done this once (doing all the right paperwork up front). They pulled us out for questioning: "where does the money come from" "why do you need this" "what are you planning do to with this", "why ...
Hilmar's user avatar
  • 104k

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible