TRAVEL TIPS FOR PLANNING YOUR TRAVEL TO RUSSIA
VISA
Russia requires American, Canadian, Australian, European and other Western travelers to have visas before entering the country. Obtaining a Russian visa is not difficult, but can still be a hassle. The price of a standard tourist visa is 200 USD and takes one month to process. You need to apply for a Russian Visa at any Russian Embassy of your country before you come to Russia. Please, contact the Russian Embassy of your country for more information. Travel agency “White Stone” provides a Visa support letter necessary for a Russian Visa application. If during your tour to Russia you plan to visit Finland, Estonia, Ukraine or another neighbor Russian country and come back to Russia, do not forget to apply for double entry Russian Visa.
DOCUMENTATION
Once you are in Russia, it is a good idea to carry a photocopy of your passport with you at all times. Also leave your passport number and other information with a family member in case the passport is stolen or misplaced. Remember that in each city you visit in Russia, your visa must be validated. As we are the travel company providing you visa support we shall control all operations for validating visa. This service is usually provided by the hotel. Normally the validation of visas in the hotel costs about 1 USD per passport. A price for registration in mini-hotels often differs from 20 USD to 40 USD per passport. 
We have detailed contract of tourist product sale which we conclude with our customers. Text of the contract will be sent to you after the application for the tour is made or on demand. Contract is in English, we put all necessary information settling legal relationship between Travel Company and Tourist in it. Some material terms may be added to the contract at the agreement of the parties.
WATER
The quality of water in Russia varies from place to place. It is recommended to drink and brush your teeth with bottled water. Also try to avoid ice, raw foods and vegetables. Living in taiga houses we often use water from the crystal clear mountain river Kazyr, quality of water in it can be compared to the spring water. It is no danger in using such water even for children to wash and swim, but we can also provide bottled water for our tourists. Drinking water is always boiled.
ELECTRICITY
The electrical current in Russia is 220V AC. The European standard 2-prong plug is used. Be sure to bring a converter with you, but it is also possible to purchase it in Russia in some stores.
At the tourist centres at Podnebesnye Zubja electricity is produced by generator only in the evening. Territory is alight in evening time, there are sockets and electricity in the tourist houses in the evening.
EXCURSIONS
Most excursions are included in tour program, but you can also choose extra excursions that should be ordered in our travel company or via it.
CURRENCY
All prices are generally quoted in Russian rubles. You may exchange currency at banks, big hotels and currency exchange kiosks. Remember that not everywhere there is an opportunity to exchange currency as big part of itinerary leads through distant places. Traveler’s checks are hard to cash. Credit cards are accepted in most places that work with foreign tourists. Visa and MasterCard are known, hence – more widely honored. ATM machines are widely available in major cities, but note: they do not have letters, do remember them as digits! Do not exchange currency in the streets if a native Russian offers to sell you rubles. Always carry some currency with you because many shops do not accept credit cards. Remember to change your rubles to dollars before you leave Russia. Most exchange offices outside Russia will not change rubles.
TELEPHONES
Despite the recent rapid improvements in the telecommunications infrastructure, telephone service to the United States is expensive in Russia. You should remember that there is no telephone communications in the taiga area, there is only emergency call service (provided by the satellite communication).
INTERNET
Most big hotels located in big cities (Moscow, Saint-Petersburg, Novosibirsk) offer its guests Internet access for free. But there are also quite cheap internet cafes in big cities.
TIME
In Moscow: UTC + 4:00
In Novokuznetsk, Kemerovo, Novosibirsk: UTC + 7:00 (MSK + 3:00)
MEDICAL CARE
If you take any prescription medication, be sure to bring enough of it for the entire duration of your trip, as some medications are unavailable in Russia. It is also advisable to bring some usual over-the-counter medications with you. These medicines are usually sold in pharmacies, however the labels are in Russian and most store clerks do not speak English.
Health insurance. Health insurance is included in the tourist package. Health insurance details and price you can specify in our travel company.
BOOKING FLIGHTS TO RUSSIA
All major airlines that are members of SkyTeam or Star Alliance offer flights to Russia, either direct or with convenient layovers in Europe. There is also Aeroflot, Russian’s national airline. You can visit its site: http://www.aeroflot.ru
RUSSIAN NATIONAL HOLIDAYS
Visiting Russia when it is in the full-swing of a celebration is a cultural experience that shouldn’t be missed. These are its most popular holidays:
January 1-10th – New Year & Christmas holidays: January 1th – New Year; January 7th – Christmas;
February 23rd – Men’s Day;
March 8th – Women’s Day;
May 1st – Labor Day;
May 9th – Victory Day;
June 12th – Independence Day;
November 4th – National Unity Day.