Travel Tips & Advice

Share travel tips, advice and your own experiences where this advice came in handy

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  1. 3 months ago
    Anonymous

    Tip: Brush your teeth and wash your toothbrush with purified water in an area with peasant water.

    Question: how much should I tip a waitress in Mexico? I'm in a small religious/pilgrimage town that mostly relies on tourism, food, and tchotches over yonder Jalisco.

    I don't tip in the States because they get paid minimum wage with or without my tip. Apparently minimum wage here is 15 pesos a day or like 90 cents American. I feel too greasy not leaving something but I'm not a Rochafeller.

    • 3 months ago
      Anonymous

      Some basic advices for first time travellers that I wished i followed
      1) If you're in one of those countries with a non latin alphabet (especially china/taiwan, korea and Japan), make sure you have the address in the local language too. Taxis are literally unable to recognize an english address.
      2) even better, if it can be helped, consider public transportation first, google maps can nowadays hook you up with that. for instance, a trip from taoyuan airport to taipei city can cost around 40 bucks. A trip using the train, 10. Bus, you're looking at 5 bucks at most.
      3) try to learn to calculate exchange rates in a smart way. for instance, 1 usd costs 35 baht, but 100 bahts/3$ is an easier figure to remember, more or less a an acceptable 5% margin of error. This will prevent you from splurging too much without realizing how much you spend.
      4) Have both USD or EUR, AND some local currency if you can help it.
      5) I know few people will listen to this but HAVE A PHONE NUMBER MEMORIZED. If weird shit happens to you where you get your phone and ID confiscated that phone number will be your only connection to the civilized world and the only proof that you're who you are, and if shit goes down they won't just leave you in the mud.

      tipping 15% wouldn't be strange but 10% what my mexican friends recommended. As a matter of not making things shittier for the locals i wouldn't recommend tipping more. It's bad enough in America already. Also, if there's a service fee included frick it.

      • 3 months ago
        Anonymous

        >10%
        Thanks anon.
        So how do I stop falling in love with every woman here? Haha

        • 3 months ago
          Anonymous

          Try talking to one

          • 3 months ago
            Anonymous

            Brutal...

            https://i.imgur.com/Ca0NzmZ.png

            Share travel tips, advice and your own experiences where this advice came in handy

            Schedule down time to not do a damn thing but BE there, sit out in the park or something and watch the world go by, strike up conversations with locals or other travelers or whomever takes your fancy. If you have an ice-breaker skill or something, deploy it -- I usually travel with a little portable kite, start flying a little kite and people will come up and talk to you.

    • 3 months ago
      Anonymous

      >never leave money at hotel
      There are risks to carrying your ATM card & emergency dollars everywhere you go, as well as risks to leaving them in your room. In SEA I have preferred the latter. Hotel rooms here are secure, you have to leave your key at reception if you want your room cleaned in most cases. In Latin America, staff often entered my room without my permission, so I'm much less likely to leave cash or passport in my room there. In three months in SEA I've made maybe two POS card transactions, there is no need to carry a card around. Having no card on hand will limit your losses to the cash in your wallet in case of theft, robbery, drugging or extortion by unscrupulous nightclubs.

      Mexico's minimum wage is 249 pesos per day. Leaving money on the table is iffy because any staffer can take it. Usually it's only fine dining eateries whose staff expect tips; the working-class places always seem surprised when I offered 10 pesos gratuity.

      Tips that can help you save money.

      First day on arrival and last day before departure. Keep your plane tickets so that you can sleep at the airport terminal for free (different countries may have different rules regarding this but most are usually like this). Airports have all your basic needs to survive minus comfy beds.
      Check your destination country's transportation network. Determine whether you can go fo specific place with public transportation or not. Also check whether they have Uber-like services too.
      Developed countries usually have Wi-Fi services everywhere you go within cities. Of course they are paid services, but usually they will offer trials. Jump between service providers once your trial ended. And once you've tried them all, delete your device's caches and reset your IP address for unlimited trials. Make sure you use VPN and install antivirus for safety measures.
      Use Google Maps for everything. From finding points of interest, to determining whether a restaurant is safe or not. Proper use of Google Maps will prevent you from getting lost or even food poisoning.
      Buy an insurance before you fly. Although this sound counterintuitive, being armed with an insurance will ensure your pocket won't be fricked up in case something bad happens fo you during travel.
      I know these are all common sense, but I know a lot of people who don't know about any of these and ended up spending more than they should.

      Most local eateries aren't on Google Maps, and 5-star reviews are often compensated by businesses. Having an offline map app like OsmAnd is very helpful to avoid getting lost if you like going off the beaten path, or if cell service is frustratingly poor.
      Insurance is a waste of money unless you are prone to accidents and sickness.

      • 3 months ago
        Anonymous

        >by unscrupulous nightclubs
        Now here's a good tip, particularly for SighSee:
        Clubbing, whoring, binge drinking, skirt-chasing and other such activities increase the risk of getting roofied, mugged, robbed or chopped up at least tenfold.

      • 3 months ago
        Anonymous

        >Insurance is a waste of money unless you are prone to accidents and sickness.
        Nobody is "prone" to accidents and sickness, those things just happen. Road accidents can happen even to the most scrupulous and diligent of drivers, especially in third world countries with poor roads and/or insane driving standards, and can have some nasty consequences requiring medical attention. Most travel insurances are relatively cheap, and instead of looking at it like wasted money, you should look at them like they're seatbelts - it's something you always use hoping that you will never need it.

        On the note of sickness, get your shots. Hepatitis A can be a real b***h and it's very easy to get even in "clean" countries (all it can take is the person preparing your food not properly washing their hands), but it can be prevented by a safe and effective vaccine. If you go to any place in the third world where stray dogs are common and/or plan to go in rural areas, get a rabies shot - the chances of you getting bitten by a rabid dog or otherwise infected may realistically be very low, but IF that happens, you WILL 100% die horribly. In general, talk to a specialized doctor whenever you visit foreign countries, especially in tropical regions, especially if their healthcare systems are subpar, and get any vaccines they recommend.

        This applies even more if you're on a cooming trip (

        >by unscrupulous nightclubs
        Now here's a good tip, particularly for SighSee:
        Clubbing, whoring, binge drinking, skirt-chasing and other such activities increase the risk of getting roofied, mugged, robbed or chopped up at least tenfold.

        ) - make sure you stay safe from STDs, use condoms, consider PrEP before sampling the thrill of barebacking thai ladyboys, get an HPV shot, all the usual

        This may seem like common sense advice and it is, but I know more than one person who caught an easily preventable disease on their "once in a lifetime" trip because they thought they were too cool to need a vaccine

        • 3 months ago
          Anonymous

          >get a rabies shot - the chances of you getting bitten by a rabid dog or otherwise infected may realistically be very low, but IF that happens, you WILL 100% die horribly
          Honestly, that's a massive overkill. Rabies PEP is virtually 100% effective even without pre-exposure vaccination. The only thing getting a shot beforehand would change is that you will not need to be administered immunoglobulin and will have a more relaxed doctor visit schedule. You'll still have to go through another couple rounds of vaccines after the bite.
          Hep A is a godsend in third world shitholes though. Typhoid is a great thing to have too but unfortunately that's not a lifetime vaccine and lasts just for 3-5 years. I know a few people who went yellow or ended up in a hospital with the latter too.

          • 3 months ago
            Anonymous

            >Honestly, that's a massive overkill. Rabies PEP is virtually 100% effective even without pre-exposure vaccination.
            That is correct, but it assumes that you will actually be able to see a doctor on the same day you get bitten. If you get infected while you're doing caving in the middle of nowhere in a SEA rainforest or get bitten in a shithole African slum where nobody speaks english and the closest decent clinic is 30kms away, you may or may not be able to get the antirabies shot in time. It really depends on what you're planning to do

            Besides, being pre-vaccinated is just better for your peace of mind. I tend to be an anxious person, and whenever there's a even a slight chance that I might be exposed, I want to know that even in the improbable case I get bitten by a rabid dog (or a rabid fox if I'm out hiking in the woods) I've already got something in my system that will act as a protection

            • 3 months ago
              Anonymous

              Fair enough. Fricking around in the Congo where the nearest stocked clinic is days away is a bit of an extreme situation, but I'd get pre-exposure vax in that case too, sure.
              Out of curiosity regarding your anxiety, did you get the jab for jap enceph? Catching it is like winning the lottery and the vaccine is expensive as frick and not lifelong, but the disease itself is exceptionally nasty.

              • 3 months ago
                Anonymous

                >did you get the jab for jap enceph?
                No, because I've never been to east asia, but I would definitely consider it and talk about it to my doctor if I ever plan a trip there, and listen to his advice. Also, thankfully I live in a western yuro country, and upon checking, the anti enceph shot would set me back between 50 and 100 euros depending on where I get it, so while annoying it's not outrageously expensive

            • 2 months ago
              Anonymous

              >I tend to be an anxious person
              Clearly, since you're a vaxtard

      • 3 months ago
        Anonymous

        >Having an offline map app like OsmAnd is very helpful to avoid getting lost if you like going off the beaten path, or if cell service is frustratingly poor.
        Google maps also allows you to download offline maps for an area, you can either do it at home before your trip or when you get to a hotel and join their Wifi.

  2. 3 months ago
    Anonymous

    Bring an eSIM capable phone. Bring two phones regardless, both unlocked.

  3. 3 months ago
    Anonymous

    honestly my best tip for trip planning is to be honest with yourself and ask yourself (and others) what they really want from this trip. I personally like my trip about food. I just look at interesting areas and check whether they got a nice food joint where i can try some nice food.

    In comparison, my parents would try to visit every "tourist" destination they looked over on google, visit it until they're hungry, and then eat at the closest restaurant, which is rarely the best one. A road trip by SF had my dad eating at fisherman's wharf every single fricking day because the only thing he wanted was clam chowder and fricking fried shrimps. the rest of a fricking trip spent in California we were almost exclusively just eating macdonald's.

    I mean don't get me wrong, i'm very grateful for them even bringing us there but I did program them a "food-based" trip the next time my parent went there (just as a couple this time). I had them go through a couple of menus everytime before they reached a city as we just faceapped during the long drives. Best trip of their lives.

  4. 3 months ago
    Anonymous

    So most of you are familiar with the carry-on liquids rule and how it works. I'll throw something in that I learned from experience:
    Try not to pack anything that "looks" big, even if it's well within the limits (100ml/3.4oz or less). I went on a multi-country trip, and my bag got flagged during security at literally every airport I've flown through. I had sunscreen that was clearly marked 100ml, but the container looked way bigger than that, so my bag went through additional screening. Realistically, it wasted only some of my time, which in the grand scheme of things isn't such a big deal.
    But if you have less patience than I do, or worse, you are seriously pressed for time (example: you have a very short layover with a terminal change, and you go through security again), this may frustrate you. Literally the little things that add up.

  5. 3 months ago
    Anonymous

    Tips that can help you save money.

    First day on arrival and last day before departure. Keep your plane tickets so that you can sleep at the airport terminal for free (different countries may have different rules regarding this but most are usually like this). Airports have all your basic needs to survive minus comfy beds.
    Check your destination country's transportation network. Determine whether you can go fo specific place with public transportation or not. Also check whether they have Uber-like services too.
    Developed countries usually have Wi-Fi services everywhere you go within cities. Of course they are paid services, but usually they will offer trials. Jump between service providers once your trial ended. And once you've tried them all, delete your device's caches and reset your IP address for unlimited trials. Make sure you use VPN and install antivirus for safety measures.
    Use Google Maps for everything. From finding points of interest, to determining whether a restaurant is safe or not. Proper use of Google Maps will prevent you from getting lost or even food poisoning.
    Buy an insurance before you fly. Although this sound counterintuitive, being armed with an insurance will ensure your pocket won't be fricked up in case something bad happens fo you during travel.
    I know these are all common sense, but I know a lot of people who don't know about any of these and ended up spending more than they should.

    • 3 months ago
      Anonymous

      Why all this trouble with WiFi hopping? You can be a large data package for like 10 bucks. Use airalo or something similar. It's an app where you can buy an esim and you get a local phone number with it too.

      • 3 months ago
        Anonymous

        Because I'm stingy and I believe Internet should be free.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      how the frick do you sleep at an airport?

  6. 3 months ago
    Anonymous

    I wear condoms on long haul flights that I pee into instead of getting up to use the WC. It's just easier. Just remember to empty it before landing.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      my dick is too big for that

  7. 3 months ago
    Anonymous

    Put a firearm in your checked luggage. You have to inform the airline beforehand and go through a special screening, but once it is tagged they will make sure they never lose it.

  8. 3 months ago
    Anonymous

    Oldgay here.

    Keep the monetary value of your luggage in perspective, many items aren't worth enough to justify bringing as baggage. You're going to have so much to do that you probably don't want to bring toys with you overseas.

    Polaroid cameras are great, the camera is worth virtually nothing, you can give the photos as gifts, avoid awkwardness around social media, you can buy film online and post it to your hotel.

    Ditch your luggage tags as soon as you leave the airport/bus terminal. They scream newbie and are a magnet for thieves and scammers.

    Your security bag isn't a purse, don't use it as a purse. You have a security bag AND a purse.

    I went to a lot of places I couldn't afford to and missed out on things I couldn't afford to see. I only saw the Colosseum from the outside for example. I still feel bad about this ten years later, in many ways it would have been better not to have seen it at all.
    I'd rather look forward to seeing the Colosseum on my next trip than regret not having enjoyed in on my last trip.

    Currency exchange is a serious business, if you don't understand it ask people before you leave. You could lose %20 of your personal savings to exchange fees and because you didn't budget them this tends to ruin the tail end of people's trips.

    There are things you can do abroad that you can also do at home, like take drugs, break the law, drive recklessly, jump off things or into things, pat stray dogs. If you want to do it that's up to you but seriously consider if out would be more sensible to do these things at home where there's hospitals, the police aren't corrupt and there is no rabbies.

    If you've never done something at home, remember you've never done it overseas. If you can't ride a motorbike at home, you can't magically acquire that skill just because you're in Thailand. Remember you're a first timer, even where everyone is a first timer. Nothing is normal on holiday so stay grounded.

    • 3 months ago
      Anonymous

      Smile and wave, even if people are trying to scam you or you feel unsafe. Being and looking scared or angry helps nobody and will cause you problems you don't need to have- especially in Asia.

      Recognise that gay culture isn't global, if you're gay do your homework. But for young men who aren't gay, you probably want to know what a local gay man looks like.

      Storage cubes just take up more luggage room, laundry bags do not. If you stuff dirty clothes in your bag, all your clothes become dirty. Keep your clean clothes clean with a laundry bag.

      The diaspora is the first gateway to pro social travel. Ask your Chinese friends about China. You can travel the whole world as a guest, or you can travel as a consumer.

      It's rude to exchange coins. Bring a stack of gifts to give locals or other travellers. Even fridge magnets of a landmark near where your live. Many of the locals you meet will never have the opportunity to travel and if you're in realtravel country might be honoured to have a foreign guest.

      You can see everything from a tower but the tower itself. You cannot photograph ulumbra if you're standing on ulumbra, you cannot photograph Uluru while standing on Uluru.

      Carry at least one ready to eat meal with you, and avoid EVERY tourist eatery that's overpriced, unsanitary or packed with other tourists. Don't be held hostage and detained for want of a water bottle and a sandwich.

      Travelling in groups means waiting outside a hundred public toilets. One of the worst characteristics of a travel partner is needing to use the bathroom frequently. Men, if you want to go far and go fast don't take women, children or animals.

      If you waited three hours to board a flight, you can wait 15 minutes on arrival to calm down and sort yourself out. Rush into but don't rush out of airports, bus terminals. Do you want to use the toilet, refil water bottles?
      Scammers will dive on the people who seem most flustered and in a hurry.

  9. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    I'm going overseas for the first time, mind you nothing dangerous (Japan) but got any tips for me?
    I.e suggestions for check in luggage and carryon,
    should I invest into a case for my passport? cheers

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      VPN is basically mandatory

      noise cancelling headphones on a flight are a real game changer

      have a backup credit card/ some cash that you always store separately from your main incase you get robbed or lose your wallet somehow. never in the same bag or pocket. usually i leave one in my hotel in my suitcase/ bag (locked with a simple tsa lock)

      i usually always carry around a generic/disposable 500ml water bottle to easily refill. when going through airport security, if you leave it out of your bag or make it easily accessible, even if it's empty, the petty c**ts working there will often just throw it out. bury it in the bottom of your bag and they'll see its empty on their screen and wont bother getting to it

      90% advice you see online is trash, especially if it's from a bl*gger or y*utuber. i think the worst one must be the ones along the lines of "don't look like a tourist". unless you can change your skin colour you wont look like you belong in most of the world no matter what clothes your wear, morons

      >carry on
      in case your checked luggage doesn't make it, take in carry on: a change of underwear or 2, spare tshirt, toothbrush, some deodorant, contact lenses and anything else you need to stay fresh for the next day so you don't smell like a disgusting backpacker while you sort something out
      >passport case
      definitely, they need to last for years so if you're using it a lot or carrying it around as many countries require than it will get bashed up, rained on, pages bent, etc. better to protect it, only costs a few $

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        Any suggestions for some sort of passport case, I'm looking at the Pelican 1020 micro case, seems like a solid bet.

        • 2 months ago
          Anonymous

          the line between troll and outright stupid is thin...
          just get some leather one you can slide it into

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            waterproof, wont get crushed, I'm failing to see the issue

            • 2 months ago
              Anonymous

              the bit where you have to actually carry it/ take it around with you

              • 2 months ago
                Anonymous

                what? putting it in a small bag and then unclipping it to pull out the passport? how lazy are you

  10. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    "People" with food allergies need to just drop dead already I'm so sick and tired of these subhumans. They only make life worse for everyone

  11. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    you can fill a neck pillow with clothes, cheat the system and nearly double your carry on allowance cause they don't count it as luggage as long as you're wearing it.
    you can also get a shopping bag from duty free and put clothes and stuff in it cause in almost every airport and airline they allow you to take on one bag of goods bought in departures onto the flight in addition to your allowed carry-on luggage. just make sure it doesn't look like there is clothes in it.
    using both these methods you can drastically increase the amount of stuff you can take carry-on.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      also, always carry a back-up phone. it's really easy to break your phone and it can absolutely ruin your plans, especially if you aren't in a city.
      i carry an old phone in my bag and it's loaded with a recent back-up. barely takes up any space and barely weighs anything but could save your trip.

  12. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Traveling while looking like a tourist is the stupidest thing you can do as a tourist.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      In most foreign countries, how feasible is blending in?

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        just a bit of makeup init

        • 2 months ago
          Anonymous

          Yep. That's why I bring shoe polish when I visit Africa.

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