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The Best.....

There are a lot of questions here asking "What is the Best......"

So I would like to ask....What is the best (fill in the blank) in the best city in the best country and what is the best way to get there? When is the best time to go, what is the best way to pay for it and what is the best thing to see?

You don't need any more information, do you?

Anyone have any other "favorite" questions? (By the way, the questions above are rhetorical.)

Posted by
2941 posts

I worry that this post/thread might inadvertently make fun of the very people that this forum is designed to help. If we make fun of questions people ask, it might discourage people from asking questions.

Posted by
4637 posts

Carol, IMHO this would not discourage people from asking questions. Maybe stupid questions.

Posted by
613 posts

Best country: Hapsburg Empire
Best City: its capital
Best sight: The National Library
Best way to get there: Depends on where you are
Best way to pay: Costco credit card which rebates 3% on some travel purchases.
Best time to go: anytime you feel like it

Posted by
11497 posts

The only stupid question is often the one which isn't asked. :O)

But without disparaging folks with those "best" questions at all, the tall and short of it is that "best" is an arbitrary term that will almost always mean umpty different things to umpty different people. Best place? I know someone who would vote for Las Vegas...which is my personal hell on earth: right for them and wrong for me. It's all down to whatever floats your personal boat, and that's why it's such an impossible question! It's why many of us pester OPs for as much information about interests, travel companions, mobility challenges, length of trip, etc. to try and get closest to "bests" for their trips versus our own?

The "worth it" question is the other one that's so arbitrary that opinions, if offered up, could be 100% right for the responder but 100% wrong for the OP? Just noodlin'.

Posted by
9411 posts

So closely related to yours, Frank, is my “favorite” question:

  • What are the must-dos in _____?

Many people would think what we do when traveling is a waste of time...but not for us.

Posted by
472 posts

Yep I agree with the fact that interests vary and posters would get a better answer if they said the kind of sight that interests them.

I also find it perplexing that someone would go to the trouble of creating a forum acct then not bother to read any thing else on this website nor all the older posts. So much useful info available.

Posted by
11497 posts

cj-traveler, I've wondered the same. Still, I don't think the search box is especially easy to see, and the search function doesn't produce especially useful results enough of the time. IMHO, you have to spend some time with it to get the results you might be looking for.

There's also a risk in picking up certain types of information from previous threads. Information can change in a fat hurry so what was posted just a couple of months ago may no longer apply today.

Posted by
151 posts

It is a learning process that many of us have to go through when starting out on this forum. It is almost a rite of passage to go through the gauntlet of snarkiness(?) and condescension when asking an ill informed or ambiguous question. Then you mature and your questions become more enlightened, and before you know it, you're accepted as a peer. Kind of like a sort of boot camp. Then the addiction kicks in and you're hooked. Now I just let someone else ask the stupid question for me. Sooner or later they will. Keep it simple stupid, my Mom said, but make sure it's not simple and stupid.

Posted by
9411 posts

True, Kathy, but I think most of us appreciate it when questions are based in some research and don’t expect custom trip planning services at no charge.

Posted by
151 posts

Hope it's not to early for tongue-in-cheek.

Posted by
2089 posts

The must-see or do questions particularly irk me--if you have no idea what a city has to offer, why on earth would you be planning on going there? Especially when such info is readily available on Trip Advisor, and local events can easily be searched for. AND especially because my musts in any city may be quite different--every trip to Budapest must include time spent with the storks on Margit sziget and a visit to Ecseri piac; every trip to London I visit the Tower straight away to see the ravens and go to Portobello Rd market, and my first visit to Vienna was all about the sites in my favorite movie, The Third Man.

Posted by
3356 posts

“What is the Best......". is one of the main selling points of the huge quantity of guidebooks sold, so no surprise that people would be asking the same question to a travel forum.

I do smile a bit when I read “how can I see four countries in two weeks” type of questions. But, I do enjoy helping people who sincerely are trying to plan their trip of a lifetime and just need some guidance.

Posted by
7126 posts

Frank II, i was thinking exactly the same yesterday as i scrolled past yet another “Best” question...

Bill, you nailed it. That’s exactly how this forum (all forums?) works.
I almost quit in the beginning, 15 something years ago, because of one poster who crucified me over and over. That poster is still here. And so am i. I toughened up.

Posted by
690 posts

The good thing about a thread like this is that it isn't personal to any one person and maybe some new posters will read it and get some ideas. I have both received and given snark on the forum, even though my goal is not to do either : ).

I don't have the knowledge that a lot of the veteran posters have (yet), so it is easier for me to ignore those threads. I think if an OP didn't get any responses maybe they would get better at asking questions?

The hardest questions for me to understand are where should I go and what should I see there. Are these people traveling just because they can and think they should? If James E, or Pam from Idaho, or Chani, or Emma....etc., recommends a site, I am certainly going to take that recommendation seriously, but I am not going to spend thousands of dollars on a trip because a stranger says that it is the best. Although, to a certain extent, I am doing that when I take a Rick Steves tour, but I don't sign up for one unless I have carefully studied the itinerary and it meshes with my wish list.

Posted by
2411 posts

The hardest questions for me to understand are where should I go and what should I see there.

Vandrabrud, I am so with you on this one.

"I'm heading to Europe, where should I go?" Really? The person has no interest of their own to bring them to the decision to travel to a particular continent? If a neophyte is not going to make enough of an effort to think up a more specific and useful question, then, after a groan, I'm going to skip right over the posting.

Posted by
11497 posts

I think most of us appreciate it when questions are based in some
research and don’t expect custom trip planning services at no charge.

100% with you there, Laurel. And I'm just as baffled at the people who've already booked the plane tickets to ___ but appear to have no idea why they did it!

But as Jean mentioned, given the vast number of "Best of..." type articles out there like the one linked below, I wonder if some think that asking for opinions from regular Joes like us might provide them with regular-Joe options? I know that I'm much more inclined to pay attention to ya'll than a stock-photo magazine or newspaper piece written by someone who may not even have experienced the "bests" themselves.

Posted by
8570 posts

The point of this post was not to disparage any new or potential posters but to hopefully have them think. Think about what they really want and be specific.

We here volunteer our time to share our experiences. But if a poster is too lazy to do any research or be specific as to what they really want, I move on to the next posting.

And how am I supposed to answer "what is there to do there" if I have no idea what interests you?

Posted by
7641 posts

My least favorite questions?
"Is this city worth going to?" Followed by, "We are going to xyz, what is there to do there or is there anything there worth seeing?"

Posted by
6135 posts

The question that has me perplexed ( understatement) and wondering if a head of cabbage some how acquired the ability to use electronic devices is " I just got a great fare to X. What should I do there?"

The goal to have people ask cogent questions should not discourage questions.

A good answer needs a good question.

Posted by
13930 posts

My favorite is when the title says "Is this too rushed" or "Am I trying to see too much" It does happen occasionally that the OP has a good plan, but most of the time. . . .

Another is "Need an itinerary for . . . . " (could be a single country, could be multiple countries/cities)