Part of traveling is being put in a new environment where you may not know all the answers like you do back home. Many questions feel normal, but some may be a bit embarrassing for travelers to fess up to. With all the constant changes in the travel industry, paired with being thrust into new environments – and sometimes, new cultures – it’s perfectly normal to have what seems to be an endless supply of questions! Here are a few of our top travel questions you shouldn’t be embarrassed to ask.
1. Do I check my luggage on a train?
This question comes up more often than not, especially because travelers are so used to checking luggage on an airplane. However, the answer is almost always no! Unless you’re paying for a private service, trains these days don’t have porters or luggage carriers, and you’re responsible for getting your luggage up into the cart.
2. How much should I tip?
This question can always be one of the most awkward, because you never want to shortchange a great service. Unfortunately, people in different parts of the country are always going to tell you different percentages, so the best thing you can do is simply ask a local what the norm is – and if all else fails, apps like GlobeTipping can help give you an estimate of what that part of the country (or world!) usually expects.
3. Can I drink the water?
Generally applying to out-of-country trips, this question can get a little awkward when you don’t want to offend the locals – but it’s an important one to ask! For the most part, you can always check with your hotel or hospitality attendant, and they’ll have the best answer. And if you aren’t sure who to ask, play it safe with bottled water.
4. If my travel miles expired, can I get them back somehow?
Nothing is worse than accumulating something free, then realizing you waited too long to cash in on it. When it comes to airline miles, you may not realize how much you’ve earned until you check your balance and see that it’s already expired. Fortunately, most airlines are relatively lenient with expiration dates, as long as you ask. As a general rule – it never hurts to ask!
5. Will I have my own bathroom?
No one ever wants to seem too high-maintenance in asking this question, but naturally it’s one we’re always curious about! Usually, you can assume based on the price how many people you’ll be sharing some personal space with. As a general rule, most hotels above 3-stars will have individual bathrooms per each room, but if you’re going with a hostel, it may be different. Usually, you can find it in the hotel description.