A Round-up of Weird and Unusual Travel Advice

I usually stick to telling people how to find the best flight deals, but I love to read what others say. Here are some of the more interesting and unusual nuggets of travel advice I’ve seen in recent years.

LISTEN: Oh, yes – Rick had fun with this.

Fashion Advice

Some gems here, funny and true.

  • For tourists in New York: “Please do not wear your backpack on your front, you look silly.” Also, don’t wear your I Love New York T-shirt until you get back home.
  • For tourists in Washington, D.C.: Dress appropriately when visiting the White House which means “no bathing suits.” As long as we’re getting advice from Capt. Obvious, don’t wear pajamas, either.
  • For tourists in Venice, Italy: A Venice site lists a dozen “Useful Addresses” for visitors. The first  is Consulates; in the number two is spot is Shoemaker. Footwear aficionados rejoice.

Animal Advice

Most of this comes from the National Park Service and I encourage you to read more as these folks know what they’re talking about.

  • Advice on mules: You’re hiking a very narrow path into the Grand Canyon. Suddenly riders come toward you. Sorry, but you are not allowed to be the stubborn one because park regulations clearly state, “Mules always have the right of way.”
  • Advice on bears: “If the bear hop-charges toward you, clacks its teeth, sticks out its lips, huffs, woofs, or rushes a few steps towards you and slaps the ground with its paws, it is warning you that it is nervous about your presence and that you are too close.” You had me at teeth-clacking.
  • Advice on bison: Did you know? These magnificent animals most of us call buffalo don’t just stand around looking picturesque; they are strong swimmers and can run up to 35 miles per hour. They can also be aggressive: “There are more people hurt by bison than by bears each year in Yellowstone.”

Whimsical Advice

Popular websites and enthusiastic bloggers are represented here.

  • For hostel travelers: Lifehacker presents a step by step guide on “How to Design and Sew a Custom Backpack.”
  • For non-gambling travelers: A must-see attraction in Las Vegas – the Cupcake ATM at the Sprinkles store. Put your money in the machine ($4.59) and out pops a customized cupcake. “Yes, that’s one expensive cupcake,” writes a witty Vegas blogger, “but you can’t put a price on a unique Las Vegas experience.” Well, it would be unique if these didn’t already exist in Atlanta, Beverly Hills, Chicago, Dallas and New York!
  • For quirky travelers: Take the advice of the Quirky Travel Guy and see something different. How do sock monkey statues in Rockford, Ill., sound? Perhaps you’d prefer the Toilet Seat  Museum in San Antonio.

Attitude Advice

We began with New York and we’ll end there with advice from Time magazine: “If you’re treated rudely here [in New York] don’t take it personally. It’s just a local’s way of welcoming you to the city.”

It’s your turn. What’s the strangest travel advice you ever received?

Read more in Rick Seaney’s latest column for ABCNews.com and see all of Rick’s columns here.

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Published: July 14, 2014