There's an incredible thirst for travel advice. Luckily, the Web is loaded with it, thanks to an array of tips from vacation bloggers, tourism employees and international experts.
My advice veers toward the practical, like ways to get through security faster or how to find the cheapest flights. In other words, don't look to me for fashion tips but there's plenty out there. For example, take this blogger's warning for tourists in New York City: "Please do not wear your backpack on your front, you look silly." Then there's Lifehacker's whimsical tip on "How to Design and Sew a Custom Backpack." And this guidance from a news site: "Avoid storms on beach trip." Hard to argue with that.
Some advice is hilarious. Some is scary. Much is pretty good. Here are some favorites.
Best Scary Wildlife Tip: A U.S. National Park Service warning for visitors to Yellowstone: "Many people think that the reason for most bear attacks is that the bear wants to kill and eat you. In reality this is almost never true!" Uh, does it matter? But do as they say and bone up on "predatory" and "defensive" bear attacks since each requires a different reaction. But the good news is, "More people [are] hurt by bison than by bears each year."
Best Etiquette Tip for the White House: Do we really need to be told not to wear a bathing suit when touring the president's home? WikiHow thinks so. The article also suggests using the bathroom before the tour since the White House does not have public restrooms and, "no, you will not be able to use the president's bathroom."
Best Nightlife Tips for Los Angeles: If you believe one southern California "survival guide," there isn't much evening action: "Your day will start at 6 and end at 10. LA's a morning town." So much for those (alleged) Hollywood orgies.
Best Quirky Tips: The Quirky Travel Guy reminds us that fun stuff is not limited to major cities. He's been all across the U.S. perusing everything from sock monkey statues in Rockford, Ill., to the oddly named Zzyxx Road in Baker, Calif. He's also been to the Grand Canyon and sadly notes that "lots of people have died there" over the years (accidents, medical problems) but don't worry, the park service offers plenty of tips to keep Grand Canyon hikers safe including, "Mules have the right of way."
Best Shopping Tip for Venice, Italy: The homepage of the Visit Venice Italy site prominently displays a section called "Useful Addresses" and lists twelve of them. Number one is "Consulates." Number two is "Shoemaker." That's what I call getting your priorities straight.
Best Unusual Las Vegas Tip: The VitalVegas blog recommends the Cupcake ATM at the Sprinkles store. Put your money in the machine ($4.59) and get a customized cupcake. "Yes, that's one expensive cupcake," writes the Vegas blogger, tongue firmly in cheek, "but you can’t put a price on a unique Las Vegas experience." And to think some visitors go for the gambling.
Best Destination Wedding Tip for Guests: An article warns guests at Caribbean ceremonies not to complain about the heat and humidity but if it's that uncomfortable, there is some good news. The writer claims anyone who braves the heat and spends all that money to show up at a Caribbean wedding need not bring a gift. Which may be big news to the bride and groom!
Best Attitude Tip about New York City: Don't call it the Big Apple, don't stop in the middle of the sidewalk, and don't be surprised by the attitude, or so says Time magazine: "If you're treated rudely here, don't take it personally. It's just a local's way of welcoming you to the city." A final fashion tip: "Save wearing your new 'I Heart NY' hat until you're back home."