While working on a outsourcing destinations chapter for my book I realized that tips for travel in many countries could be helpful to those not accustomed to traveling to third world countries and other outsourcing destinations. Of course there are plenty of books, websites and forums covering travel to any place in the world. I am not planning on competing with them in any way, my goal is create a simple list of items to keep in mind when visiting a vendor far away from your home becomes necessary. I am planning to put a couple posts covering few countries that I have a fortune to spend time in and let me start with the one that I lived in for 30 years…
So, here we go – a few tips on traveling to Russia – one of the top Eastern European outsourcing destinations:
- Visas are required and getting one can be a tricky process. Make sure you allocate at least one month for processing the paperwork.
- Unfortunately terrorism and street crime are a part of daily lives in many parts of the Russia. Still, on a relative scale, Russia, and especially the tier-one cities, are safe and great places to visit.
- Shop around for tickets. If you know any Russians who stay connected to their motherland, ask them for help. There are many Russian travel agencies that can find great deals on tickets.
- Staying in nice hotels can be price prohibitive, particularly in tier-one cities. Ask your vendor for help with travel arrangements.
- You can rent a car and drive in Russia. Be prepared for a manual stick shift and very aggressive driving styles. You may face very serious traffic and won’t see any signs in English, so finding your way can be a challenge.
- Ask your vendor to arrange sightseeing for you. Due to large distances and complexities in city navigation, you would be much better off on a guided tour. And I assure you Russian cities and their suburbs have a lot to offer a curious visitor such as architecture, landscape and even shopping.
- Ask your vendor for recommendation when it comes to restaurants. Nowadays, especially the big cities, offer a great variety of styles and cuisines but the cost can be astronomical. Just like many other destinations, not only drink bottled water but also brush your teeth with it.
- Prices are generally quoted in rubles. Currency can be freely converted at banks, hotels or kiosks specifically for tourists.
If you have any suggestions, ideas or tips on travel to Russia please comment or email me, I’ll be happy to update the list.