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TRAVEL TIPS / WHAT I NEED TO HAVE


What I need to have

  • Umbrella.
    Rains in Russia are usual for any season, except winter, so take an umbrella and a windproof raincoat or jacket with you.
  • Suitable clothes and shoes
    If you're going to do a lot of walking think carefully about footwear. Depending on the time of year, you will need warm boots with a non-slip sole, waterproof boots/shoes, comfortable sandals. In winter it can get very cold outside, but hotels and homes are reasonably well heated, which makes it a good idea to dress in layers. In spring it might be chilly at times, but in mid-May it gets warmer. You can wear shorts in summer, though shorts might prevent you from entering churches. Bring a sweater or light jacket for those chilly evenings. It is in autumn that you are most likely to use your umbrella and waterproof boots, though a Russian version of an Indian summer (around mid-September) can be mild and fairly dry.
  • basic toiletries and pharmaceuticals
    Cold medicine, aspirin, Immodium AD, a few Band-Aids, tooth brush/paste, shampoo, toilet seat covers (or toilet paper), etc.
  • Travel alarm clock.

  • Money
    If your travel plans are just to the larger cities of European Russia, it's best to bring a mixture of cash, travelers checks, and credit cards. Credit cards are almost out of use in Russia and if you travel outside of larger cities in European Russia, expect to use cash only. In Moscow and St. Petersburg you will be able to pay by credit card in many places. New banknotes are best if you can get them. You need almost all the money to be in brand new $100 bills, with a small amount in $20s and even less in $10s, $5s and $1s. Dollars or another currency are officially not allowed as payment means but can be freely converted at banks. You must produce your passport for the exchange. It will be wise to have money with you in cash and travelers checks as well as a credit card.

  • Gifts/ souvenirs
    Don't forget to take special gifts for the people you are going to visit and some more small souvenirs. If you are visiting your lady, take pictures of you, your house, your city etc. Take a gift for first meeting with woman, maybe one red rose. Flowers are always given in odd numbers, even numbers and yellow are for death. Ask interpreter's advice.
  • Travel money holder (belt-type).

  • Photocopy of passport and visa
    In case police stops you to verify your registration status or you lose the originals or the bag they were in.
  • Appropriate-type film and battery for your camera.
    If using APS, be sure to bring enough film, as APS film is not sold in many shops in Russia.
  • Heavy locks for luggage.

  • A power converter and adaptor.
    Russian standard is 220 Volts AC, 50 Hertz. If bringing a laptop or other electronics from US, bring an RJ-11 adaptor for the Russian plug, preferably with two RJ-11 sockets.


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