There are many reasons people travel Russia these days, some go for the Russian experience, others go for adoption purposes and others go simply because they can. No matter your reasons to travel Russia, there are a few tips that can keep your trip less frustrating and more fascinating:
Packing to Travel Russia
In a foreign country, many items easily accessible at home are often troublesome to find, but in Russia, many you consider essential may be unavailable. So when packing to visit Mother Russia, the contents of your suitcase should be a smart mix of personal necessities and modern conveniences. Here are a few items that are easy to overlook:
- Medicine- When preparing to travel Russia, you should pack any medicine you may need, from headaches to allergies, bandages to antiseptic creams, nausea to diarrhea. Some people have even been known to pack their own IV kits so that they can have the assurance that a clean needle will be used if the need arises.
- Laundry Soap- The fewer clothes you pack, the more space you'll have for all the extras you'll need in Russia. To make up for wardrobe limitations, consider packing laundry detergent and a rubber drain stopper so you can easily wash your clothes in the sink of your room.
- Facial Tissue- Often, bathroom facilities in Russia lack toilet paper, so you'll want to bring several travel-sized facial tissue packs and keep one with you wherever you go.
- Power Converter- Like much of Europe, to travel Russia with electronic devices from the US will require a power converter.
- Comfortable Clothes- To travel Russia means plenty of walking; make sure you take comfortable shoes. And so you can spend more time touring and less time primping, pack easy-care, non-wrinkle clothing.
Learning the Language
Even though many Russians you meet will speak some English, you will want to be as prepared as possible. Knowing the basics of the Russian language will not only allow you to communicate better and allow you more independence, you'll have a richer experience. One help-check out "Learn Russian" Software , which can give you a language and cultural foundation on which to build.
You can also purchase an electronic, talking translation device that can translate words and then electronically pronounce them for you. These handy language helpers range in price from $100 to $450, depending on features.
Money Matters in Russia
Although credit cards are useful when you travel Russia, cash is the commonly accepted way to buy. Find out what the exchange rate is and then go with the best deal. You should also invest in a good money belt to wear underneath your clothing.
Transportation while in Russia
Although they are readily available, taxis in Russia can be bad news. Most taxis don't have meters and the drivers may often try to overcharge foreigners. Most bus systems are cheap and fairly easy to use. But when you travel Russia, you will need to leave your personal space behind-overcrowded buses are the norm and people often use each other to brace against the movements of the vehicle.
You should always carry proper identification as you travel Russia, since you can be stopped at any time and asked to show them.
Russian Food Facts
Due to water treatment disparities, you shouldn't drink or brush your teeth using tap water while you travel Russia. You can find bottled water in most grocery markets, (but ask for water "without fizz" or you may end up with mineral water).
Grocery stores are quite different in Russia. Stores are divided into several sections, and you must order and pay for specific items before moving on to the next section. For example, you would go to one counter in the market for bread. Once you've received and paid for it, you'd go to the next counter to buy cheese, and so on.
You should also avoid food from street vendors or from casual sources as you travel Russia, as health regulations vary and so, can make you sick. Pack crackers and other portable snacks for your trip and take them with you when you're out and about; this gives you something to eat if you find yourself hungry with no options.
When you travel Russia, you will find the Russian people to be some of the warmest, friendliest people on earth. By following the tips in this article, you'll be better prepared to make the most of your time with them.