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What does a solo woman need to know before traveling to Russia?

What does a solo woman need to know before traveling to Russia?

Sep 5th, 2009, 03:11 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 220
What does a solo woman need to know before traveling to Russia?

Hi, Travel is my passion & I have traveled the seven continents so feel I have some "travel smarts" but would like to ask your kind advisement on Russia. I will be joining an organized tour for the Russia & the Baltics part but will be spending some time on my own after our daughter's wedding in Germany. I have read about women having problems with bank cards frozen, documents lost, robbed, police fines as well as flight & hotel problems. What do I need to know to educate myself? Is it really any different than anyplace else? Also, would like to fly into Tallin a day or so ahead. Can anyone recommend a good hotel for a woman. Many thanks in advance for your kind help.
ateabag is offline  
Sep 5th, 2009, 05:47 AM
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I don't think you need to know anything a man wouldn't need to know. I traveled solo in Russia without a tour group, if you're with a tour group I'm not sure what you're worrying about. And in Germany? If you've traveled to "seven continents" why on earth are you worried about Germany?

One thing you will find - less English is spoken in Russia than in many places. Learn the Cyrillic alphabet and take a good phrase book.
thursdaysd is offline  
Sep 5th, 2009, 06:58 AM
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I think ateabag meant that she would be spending time on her own in Russia after her daughter's wedding in Germany, and before she joins the group tour. At least that's the way I read the post.

I can't help with Russia but I think you could check trip advisor for the hotel in Tallin. I have a friend who went and loved it. Or just try googling hotels in Tallin.
Luisah is offline  
Sep 5th, 2009, 07:18 AM
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Luisah - maybe, but she said she'd be joining a tour for "the Russia & the Baltics part". I was wondering why she thought things like frozen bank cards and lost documents were more likely to happen to women.

The best advice for Russia is to make absolutely sure you have your visa in order, and that it's registered properly after you arrive. But if you're on a tour that should be handled for you.

It would likely be worth reading this: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntre...readID=1138063
thursdaysd is offline  
Sep 5th, 2009, 09:52 AM
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Thank you for the kind replies. I am not worried about Germany-actually speak some German. I will be traveling for about a wk after my husband goes home before the tour & some time after. Most of my travel I have done on my own independently. The reason I posted the ? is that I actually read that this had happened to a woman with some travel experience and like to get educated before my travels. I have found that Fodorites offer good guidance. Thank you again, anyone else?
ateabag is offline  
Sep 5th, 2009, 04:27 PM
Join Date: Oct 2003
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Well I don;t know who this woman was ow what happened to her - but obviously it's possible for anyone of either gender to have problems anywhere - due to plain happenstance or poor planning. I've spend several days alone in St Pet and then another several days there with a female companion and neither of us had any unusual problems. The key difference is the cyrillic alphabet which obviously makes reading harder (restaurant is pronounced almost the same but spelled I think "pectopah" or similar). So be sure to bring a small translation book.

Other than that don;t anticipate any special problems.
nytraveler is offline  
Sep 7th, 2009, 03:27 AM
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Thank you for your kind advisement. It seemed like a lot to happen to one person. As everyone knows, one travels long enough, something will happen-flight cancellation, airline strike, etc. & one just deals with it. I was more concerned with the safety aspect as a woman.
ateabag is offline  
Sep 7th, 2009, 04:38 AM
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safety wise i think you will be ok
there are soooo many people around at all hours

mind you would they help you - i dont know
i took a fall and noone stopped
and there are constant reminders on the metro to give up seats to the elderly disabled and pregnant- a sign of the times all over the world i think

biggest barrier is language
see theyre all in a rush
and i dont know how good theyll be trying to work out what youre trying to say
i speak the language and still had to get heaps of help because some of the exits round the metro were darn tricky- they were nice to me cos i guess i was polite to them- dont think they wouldve been in the mood for riddles and gestures
but i have read others have had success with that sort of communication

best get support from a good agency
i can recommend city realty for accommodation and help with guides etc- in both cities st petes and moscow
at least they turned up and they do exist - i have personally visited their premises in st petes

we werent hassled by police - i too had read a lot about this
theyre around and i never approached them for help
there were signs on the trains on what to do if police approach you - what their responsibilities were and what your rights are- must be cleaning up the corruption - at least i hope so

i wouldve hated a tour of russia - i couldnt stand the type of itinerary of churches and museums but i dont know if as a nonspeaker you have a choice really- youd need a day guide at least and i reckon that detracts from the experience for me at least

but thats only one opinion - OH and i like to stumble around by ourselves - we dont like having a third party but i can see how some people would enjoy getting an orientation of a new city

theres a lot to russia - the only place i can firmly say id want to return to
lanejohann is offline  
Sep 7th, 2009, 06:29 PM
Join Date: Jun 2008
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There is a 4 day tour from Helsinki by train to St Petersburg with the Finland Travel Bureau or with Nordicsaga.com They will get your visa for you. It is a nice tour if you are thinking at all about a tour. My sister had been in Moscow and St Petersburg before and she said it is advisable for 2 or more women to walk together. This was 6 years ago so it may be better now. This was the only tour I have ever been on - all other travel has been independent.

Also, you can take a day trip by fast ferry from Helsinki to Tallinn. We did this for a day trip 6 years ago. At that time there was a lot of renovating going on. Imagine a lot has been done by this time.
bratsandbeer is offline  
Sep 20th, 2009, 02:23 AM
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Another question, pls. I may need transportation in the early morning hours to catch my flight home. Any suggestions for mode? Is there a hotel at the airport? Anything special to know about going thru immigration & security. Have read some people are daunted by it. Thx again.
ateabag is offline  
Sep 20th, 2009, 04:33 AM
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If your documents are in order there is nothing to know or worry about going thru immigration or customs. People only get into trouble when something is not in order. It is no worse than a non US citizen going thru US immigration. Docs can be lost so keep a photocopy of your passport and visa. I don't believe the 2 or more women walking together nonsense either or that any particular precautions should be taken by women travelling alone apart from the usual common sense ones which apply to both men and women.

Don't know which airport you are flying from, if it is one of the Moscow ones then there are airport hotels but I would prebook a taxi.
Odin is offline  
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