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What Topics Should Be Added to Our New FAQ?

What Topics Should Be Added to Our New FAQ?: Rick Steves organization has 3 requirements that an item must comply with to be added as a new FAQ:1) The answer must be given as a short answer, preferably one sentence (see the current FAQ for examples of this).2) Any link used in the answer must be from within the RS site or is a link already previously used on this site3) The question/answer cannot be one on which opinion is divided or it's a matter of personal preference with no consensus here--such as shorts.Please Reply with your suggestions, after looking at the current FAQ to see what topics are already covered.

Posted by
1317 posts

I'm not sure if this would really belong in the FAQ per se, but I think the frequent posters here would benefit from a little blurb reminding newbies to include as much DETAIL with their questions as they can. The poster's circumstances may vary from the norm and change the advice we would otherwise give.

The classic example would be the FCO-Rome train vs. shuttle debate. The advice for a solo traveler or couple is a lot different than the advice for a family of 10 traveling with mobility-challenged grandparents and two year olds.

As for a real FAQ question, how about the follow-up to the money belt.

Q: I find money belts uncomfortable, now what?

A: Lots of other options--neck pouches, leg pouches, hidden pockets, etc. Try different options to find what works for you.

And for Italy...

Q: Should I use a railpass in Italy?

(I'm pretty sure there is only one opinion on this one...)

A: 99% of the time, point to point makes the most sense in Italy.

Posted by
10344 posts

Okay, Liz's suggested FAQs met the 3 requirements and both were just now added to the FAQ. The existing FAQ is right up against the 2000 character limit, can't do anything about that, so I copy the old FAQ to a new topic, add the new items, and delete the old FAQ--that's why you may have noticed that your old "bumps" disappeared (so far only from the General Europe and To The Boot FAQs).

Posted by
10344 posts

Pamela: Thank you. That question is already covered in two of our pseudo-sticky's:

this one

and

this one

Posted by
15675 posts

Here are some actual questions that have been on the board. Most are easily answered as I will show below, but they also prove how lazy some people can be when planning their trip.

Let's look at one area...say a trip to London:

1) How do I get from the airport (they dont' tell us which one) to London (and they don't say where);

2) Where should I stay? (They give us no clue as to what they are looking for nor their budget)

3) What should I see? (Again, they tell us nothing of their interests?)

4) I've heard there's good theater, what should I see? (Again, do you like musicals, dramas, comedies?)

5) What "railpass" do I need to travel around London? (again, where are you staying, how long are you staying, what will you be seeing.)

6) How do I get to the train station? (Which one?)

The answer to most of the questions above could be: Get a copy of ETBD, read it, and then come back with more detailed questions. May we also suggest you get Rick's guidebook specifically for that area/city/country, etc.

Posted by
3259 posts

Frank's right! Here's a FAQ (sort of) that might address that:

Q. Traveling in Europe: What is a good starting point to prepare me for my first trip to Europe?

A. For all of the basics check out Rick's travel-skills handbook "Europe Through the Back Door."

Here's another:

Q. Purchasing My Ticket: I'm traveling to xxx in xxx--when should I purchase my airline ticket?

A. Here's what Rick says: Flying to Europe

Posted by
15675 posts

In regards to the question: When is the best time to buy my airline ticket....I really, someday, want to answer: Thursday, Oct. 8, at 1:22 PM PT.

Posted by
959 posts

I didn't see anything about Cell Phones/Calling Cards/SIM cards.... That's a biggie on here.

Posted by
1317 posts

Another for Italy (sorry I know you just finished).

Q: Is the Roma Pass worth it?

If you plan to visit at least two of the attractions included on the Pass and use the bus and/or metro at all, the cost and time savings is well worth it.

Posted by
9039 posts

I think it would be nice if some sort of reminder would be made that Europe is made of many different countries and many things are different in EACH of those countries. It annoys me when people say, what is the weather in Europe? How should I tip in Europe? Is it safe in Europe? and so on and so on.

Please, list the individual countries you are going to be visitin in your question, it will make our answers more accurate.

Posted by
17 posts

I think this could become way too complicated and it seems you are trying to simplify all the questions you have ever received from "first timers to Europe?" Why don't you add a new category for "Novice Travelers Only" and then break your "iron clad rule" and allow questions for this category only.

Posted by
107 posts

I think a Tech FAQ should be done.

More and more questions on the Wall seem to be of a Tech nature such as Netbooks, Cell Phones, GPS & ATMs etc.

Posted by
10344 posts

Thanks to those who have contributed suggestions. They were all good ones. I've now completed incorporating into the FAQ all the topics suggested by people (above) that could be done in compliance with the 2 constraints that the Rick Steves organization has set forth for the FAQ: 1) answers must be limited to one sentence; or 2) expressed as a link to a site either in another section of this forum or to an external site that we've linked to in the past.

It looks like the FAQ is having the desired effect: 1) to make it easier for less experienced forum users to find answers; and 2) somewhat reduce the number of repetitive questions about the same subjects.