Susan Dunn

Article Summary:

Very helpful do and don't style travel tips for travelling to Russia.

Travel Tips for Russia

Traveling anywhere, you should keep an open mind. Don't compare things in Russia by Western standards, which will be tempting, as the streets and people will look similar to "back home." However, the political, social and cultural background is very different.

1. DO read the US State Dept Travel Advisories re: safety and immunizations, and any literature from your agency.

2. DO get your passport and VISA right away; it takes time.

3. DO get immunizations, important for any 3rd world country.
Get a DT booster, hepatitis if you feel a need; bring mosquito patches or'repellant; consider the malaria treatment afterwards. (See your personal physician.)

4. DO bring American money into Russia. Russian law states that Rubles be used for all purchases of goods and services in Russian, however, many establishments and vendors will readily accept US Dollars, but they're picky about the appearance of American paper money.

5. Do NOT bring old, dirty US bills. They won't accept a bill prior to 1990 or one that's dirty, torn, or grungy. Go get some fresh, crisp bills from the bank - $50 in 1's, then 5's, 10's and 20's.

6. Do NOT take Russian money into Russian.

7. Do NOT bring traveler's cheques. They're rarely accepted.

8. DO declare your gold jewelry properly upon entry, because Russia has strict laws on letting gold out of the country.

9. DO bring a set of universal adapter plugs.

10. Do NOT expect bathrooms to have "Western amenities," such as, says my guide book, quality towels, soap and toilet paper.

11. DO pack with this in mind: in the summer the temperature can range from sunny and warm (80's) to overcast and rainy (40's).

12. DO make a copy of what you bring with you - passport, credit card, driver's license, etc. in case they get stolen.

13. Do NOT expect Russian buildings and elevators (including museums, churches and tourist spots) to be wheelchair accessible. They aren't.

14. DO inform your credit card companies before you leave you'll be using your credit cards in Russia.

15. DO remember ice is water. Most tourists understand to avoid water, uncooked food, and eating off the street in another country, but often forget that the ice in their drink was made from water!

16. DO pay for good traveler's medical insurance if you aren't covered by, say, AAA, and make sure it includes emergency evacuation all the way home, not just to "a" hospital.

Susan Dunn, MA, of The EQ Coach, offers coaching, Internet courses and ebooks for your personal and professional success. She is founder of the EQ Alive! coach certification program, which has no residency requirement and trains coaches internationally. For a free ezine, email sdunn@susandunn.cc.

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