Michael Lorton
  • Member for 10 years, 6 months
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What are cell phone lots at US airports for?
Accepted answer
78 votes

The idea is that when you go to pick someone up from Arrivals, instead of circling around until they show up, you go and park in the cell-phone lot until the person calls you and summons you. Ideally,...

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Where can I change my clothes at the airport?
53 votes

JPatokal gives the answer for FRA, but in every restroom in every US airport there is a handicapped stall, where it is easy to change, and typically two clothing hooks to help you.

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Will I encounter any problems as a recognizable Jew in India?
51 votes

There have been Jews in India for 2500 years, and largely without experiencing anti-Semitism. Even if there was a sudden, historically unprecedented upswing in hostility or violence against Jews, it ...

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In what language should I address foreign customs and immigration?
30 votes

Your best bet is to not speak at all. If they ask you to do anything (take your hat off, look into the camera), just do it without a word. Once you get everything stamped and taken care, they will ...

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Legality of Driving a Motorcyle in Vietnam as a Foreigner
22 votes

Three unalterable facts: Yes, you need a Vietnamese DL to lawfully operate a scooter in Vietnam No, a tourist cannot get a Vietnamese DL Nobody, nobody, in Vietnam cares about the above two ...

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Can I fly with a gold bar?
20 votes

You are carrying a half-million dollars in gold on your person and you are flying into... Russia? Keep a sharp eye out. As Nate points out, you may have to pay an import duty in Russia, but ...

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Why does US Customs & Immigration ask the purpose of my trip when I'm returning home?
Accepted answer
18 votes

You are asked those things for (as far as I can tell) two reasons. One is to simply observe your demeanor. The idea is that someone who is concealing something will give conflicting, vague, or over-...

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Do hotels in Europe permit two adults and two kids to all stay in just one room?
17 votes

Huh. I traveled with my wife and two kids throughout Europe and Asia. It never occurred to me that a hotel might object to the level of occupancy, and none ever did. Some hotels charge for extra ...

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Any tips for street parking in San Francisco?
Accepted answer
17 votes

The only real limitations are the meters themselves, some of which are active at unlikely times: read them carefully the posted signs about street-cleaning and such, so look for those signs and read ...

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Dress for First Class?
14 votes

I always dress well when I fly Business Class (I never fly First). Why? Because if am flying Business Class, I am flying on a friends-and-family coupon from someone who works for the airline, and ...

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Can a mixed-Muslim unmarried couple share hotel rooms in Indonesia?
14 votes

Haha. I traveled around Indonesia with a woman who was in fact my wife, but she carried a different country's passport and we certainly didn't bring a marriage license with us. Nobody challenged us ...

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Should I tip my Airbnb host?
14 votes

In general, you don't tip the owner of anything, let alone a landlord. I have a Airbnb unit. You want to be nice to me? don't damage the unit or the furnishings if you have any problem, bring it up ...

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Tactics to avoid getting harassed by corrupt police?
13 votes

My strategy is to not avoid getting shaken down by corrupt officials. I don't think the average corrupt cop enjoys being a corrupt cop; he finds it humiliated and demoralizing. On the other hand, ...

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Can I drink stuff bought in duty-free shops onboard a plane?
13 votes

Aircrew aren't worried about your carrying on "liquids", they're worried about your drinking alcohol. If someone is "getting high off his own supply" as Tony Montana used to say, they might have ...

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What are these "balls" that we found in Uruguay?
Accepted answer
12 votes

It might be a large specimen of Valonia ventricosa, also called "bubble algae" or "sailor's eyeball".

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

I think you have no sense of how big and how empty the US is. If the US were as densely populated as England, it would have 2.5 billion people. Unless you are in an urban center, you won't find many ...

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Does being granted a Schengen visa and not going have any consequences?
12 votes

I've never heard anyone ever being refused a visa because another stamp in the same passport is unused. I can't prove a negative, of course, but if it were me, I wouldn't worry about it at all.

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Why do dealers in Vegas check ID even if I look older than 25?
10 votes

There is a cascading "better-safe-than-sorry" effect. The law was originally 18-year-olds were too immature to play (or drink or whatever) But there are immature 20-year-olds too, so better-safe-...

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Do US hotels make a copy of the ID shown by guests?
10 votes

I have never been allowed to check into a hotel in the US without showing ID. I assume they record it. There is nothing on a driver's license that wouldn't be available from public records easily ...

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Can a shower hose be taken on planes worldwide without hassle?
10 votes

My experience: The US, the TSA agents are lazy time-servers but fairly literal-minded. If it isn't on the sign (which a shower hose isn't), they aren't going to take it from you. The Third World, ...

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Should I just not bother to "reserve" rental cars anymore?
9 votes

Oh, always make a reservation. First, you can typically get a much lower rent. The company has a "rack rate" and they discount from there. You think when a traveller limps up to the last open ...

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Weed tourism: alternatives to Amsterdam
9 votes

Have you considered the US state of Colorado? Supposedly, there are more marijuana "dispensaries" (as they are known from the days when the state was still trying to maintain the "medical marijuana" ...

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How strongly is the requirement to have return tickets when getting a visa-on-arrival being enforced in Thailand?
Accepted answer
9 votes

People from most countries don't want a VOA, they just want a visa waiver, which will allow them into the country for 30 days. Citizens of Andorra, Bhutan, Bulgaria, China, Taiwan, Cyprus, Ethiopia, ...

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How can I travel to the Great Pacific garbage patch?
Accepted answer
9 votes

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch doesn't exist, not in the sense you are thinking. The name "garbage patch" may conjure up an image of a gigantic bouillabaisse of floating trash: empty soda bottles, ...

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Most useful languages other than English in Asia and Oceania
9 votes

In all of my travels in Asia, the only places where I found speaking English wasn't as convenient as speaking the local language, or almost so, were Japan and China. Everywhere else, comprehensible ...

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What is the cheapest and safest way from Thailand to Cambodia?
9 votes

Surface crossing from Vietnam into Cambodia is much more convenient than from Thailand into Cambodia. From Thailand, you feel like you are in a John Burdett novel -- it's a maelstrom of corrupt ...

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Is it permitted to ask questions of female sex workers in Thailand to be familiar with their real life as a tourist?
9 votes

As a male traveling alone in Thailand, whenever I'm in a bar, I'm approached by bar-girls hustling drinks. I don't like to send them away since every baht they don't earn from drinks is one they have ...

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How can I travel between US towns without flying?
9 votes

Another option is to rent an RV. It's more expensive, of course, but it's very flexible and you save on hotels (plus you meet all sorts of weird and wonderful people at the stops):

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Using an Amazon Kindle onboard a flight?
9 votes

I have just done eight flight segments in 10 days with my Kindle in front of my face, never heard a peep from a flight attendant. As for the Association of Flight Attendants' reasons: Devices flying ...

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Airplane Seat Recline Measurement... in units of length inches?
8 votes

The recline in inches is the distance the head-rest moves towards the back of the plane. In mathematical terms, it's the height of the seat-back in inches times the difference between the cosine of ...

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