BootsnAll Writers Answer Some of Our Strangest Reader Questions

It’s been said there there is no such thing as a stupid question….but that might be too forgiving a view. When you work in travel, it seems that people are always coming to your with their questions. And while the vast majority of them are not stupid questions, many are definitely misguided and misinformed.

In honor of “Ask a Stupid Question Day” on September 28, we polled our WhyGo destination guide writers to discover some of the oddest questions they’ve been asked by travelers and readers. It seems most of the answers to these stupid questions can be found just by looking a map!

“Can I visit {insert place here} on a day trip from {insert place at the opposite end of the country here}?”

I get a lot of itinerary questions from readers, many of which are variations on the theme of trying to do too much in too little time. I completely understand the dilemma of not having much vacation time and wanting to check off as many things as possible on a lifetime to-do list, but there really is such a thing as pushing that too far. One of the most mind-boggling questions I ever got was something like, “I’m going to be in Venice for work for three days. Can I take a quick trip to see the leaning tower of Pisa on my last day, before my flight home?” I used to feel silly saying to people, “Umm, have you looked at a map of the country at all?” but it eventually became clear that it was a vital step in trip planning that many people were just not bothering with. I wrote a post about how to plan an Italy itinerary, and the very first thing on the list was to get a good map. It may sound like a no-brainer, but I remain surprised at how many people don’t think it’s necessary.

– Jessica Spiegel – WhyGo Italy writer

“What’s the exchange rate for Hawaiian money?”

While this is a legitimate question for the rest of the world, people coming from the 48 contiguous states don’t always seem to realize that Hawaii is part of the U.S.A. Since statehood over 50 years ago, our currency has been the US Dollar, just like rest of the country. True, Hawaii has a reputation for being a pricey destination, so you may need a bit more of that currency if you’re not careful in your planning! Fortunately, many of Hawaii’s best attractions, including all of our beaches, are totally free.

– Malia Yoshioka – WhyGo Hawaii writer

“Are the most important tourist attractions in Greece open during Winter?”

Yes, the most important tourist attractions in Greece are open during winter, but the opening times are different than during summer. Most museums in Athens and archeological sites close around 2-3 p.m.

If you want to go on the islands, then no, not all restaurants and hotels are open, especially on the Cyclades. But the museums and archeological sites are open and have the same shorter opening hours.

– Cristina Puscas – WhyGo Greece writer

“Oh, you live in Montpellier? Is that near Paris?”

My answer – that Montpellier is four hours due south of Paris, just a few miles inland from the Mediterranean – inevitably prompts a second question: “So, you live on the French Riviera?” to which I respond that Montpellier is in Languedoc, the region that shares the coast with the Riviera. At which point they lose interest, because they’ve exhausted their knowledge of France. Or have they? Because last I checked everyone with a pulse over the age of 18 has sipped Champagne, learned about the Invasion of Normandy and seen Monet’s Water Lilies and Van Gogh’s Night Cafe – all of which are here in France, waiting to be discovered.

  – Christine Cantera – WhyGo France writer

“Do people actually live in Las Vegas?”


Yes! And we chose to make our home in the lion at the MGM Grand/top of the Stratosphere/in the penthouse at the Palms. Visitors are shocked to learn that nearly 2 million people live in the Las Vegas metropolitan area, but what shocks me the most is how many people actually believe I live in the lion, at the top of the Stratosphere or in a hotel penthouse. Las Vegas thrives on tourism, and a hefty percentage of the city’s population works in the service and hospitality industries, ensuring that the millions of visitors we receive each year are treated to the ultimate Sin City vacation.

– JoAnna Haugen – WhyGo LasVegas writer

“Iceland? Why would anyone go there – isn’t it always freezing and covered in ice?”

These were actually my mother’s exact words when I told her I was going to Iceland for the first time. Like many people who have asked me the same question in some form or another,  she took Iceland’s name literally and assumed it was a frigid place of ice and snow. And sure, in winter it is – but so is my home city of Chicago! In fact, Chicago’s winters, on average, are actually colder than those in Iceland.  And sure, there are glaciers (which cover about 11% of the country) but there are also mountains and meadows and hot springs and black sand beaches, and rolling hills and volcanoes and dramatic cliffs and puffins and whales and horses and incredible people and great live music and fantastic artists and cutting edge-fashion and design. Iceland may be the land of fire and ice, but it’s also so much more.

– Katie Hammel – WhyGo Iceland writer and BootsnAll editor

See what the rest of the travel blog mob had to say as they answer some of their oddest reader questions:

Photos by: mil8taver, Wolfgang Staudt, pudda, brumd