Winter Travel Information

If you are traveling with us on a summer mission trip you will want to read our summer travel information .

Nothing ever goes as planned in Eastern Europe - BE FLEXIBLE.

Understand that you go as a servant and so you must carry with you a servant's heart. This alone will make you stand out as a true Christian.

Bring a Bible.

We will be staying in one or two rented apartments for the two weeks we are in Russia.

Bring all of your prescription medicines. Bring an extra supply, just in case.


Do not bring brightly colored clothes, expensive jewelry nor expensive looking jewelry. This will make you stand out as a foreigner. Both men and women should bring a pair of hiking boots to wear all of the time. Tennis shoes or other casual shoes will not keep your feet warm. Wear thick athletic socks. Very thick, warm gloves are needed. Bring a couple of pairs, in case you lose one.

Clothing For Women

Women must wear ankle-length skirts while attending church. Leggings or cotton long johns will be needed to keep warm. The wearing of skirts is a Russian custom that we must honor in order to avoid offending the nonbelievers. Nonbelievers watch foreign Christians and judge them based on their own Russian culture. A plain black or dark colored wrap skirt works well, for example.

Clothing For Men

Men will be warm if they wear corduroy pants and a thick long sleeve shirt. Cotton long johns may also be needed. While blue jeans are comfortable, they are not warm. At times, I have worn jeans and corduroy, while in Russia, and I will never bother taking jeans on a winter trip again.


When we travel to Russia we take the maximum amount of luggage, which is four checked pieces per person. Instead of traditional luggage, we use Rubbermaid containers which are the maximum size the airlines will allow. Each person will be responsible for four containers. The airlines will allow you to check two pieces of luggage at no charge. You may also check two additional pieces of luggage (for a total of four), which are counted as excess luggage. Because two of the four containers count as excess pieces we must pay $129 each,for the two excess pieces. Russian Christian Missions, Inc. will pay the excess baggage fees from your travel deposits. We use the excess bags to transport medical supplies, toys, candy, Bibles, tracts, books and videos.

You may bring two suitcases to Atlanta as well as a carry on piece of luggage. You will transfer the contents of your suitcases into the containers and the remaining space will be used to pack the containers with the medical supplies, toys, candy, etc. This allows us to maximize the amount of humanitarian relief supplies we can take with us. Do not worry, you will not be solely responsible for physically carrying the luggage.

Our friends in the US will help us get to the airport and our Russian friends will meet us at the airport and will help carry our luggage.

You might be asking, "Why not just ship the stuff ahead of time?" Well, we would, except that the Russian government can, and has held up separate shipments for periods as long as one year. To avoid this, we take with us everything we will need.

Money In Russia

It is illegal to use US dollars in Russia. When you exchange dollars for rubles, the exchange rate is different if your money is written on, torn or has bank stamps on it. When I was in Russia in January of 2000, the official exchange rate was 27-28 rubles to the dollar. However, if I had attempted to exchange old dollars that were soiled in some way, I would have only received about 22 rubles for each dollar.

Why is this? You and I know that dollars are dollars, but in Russia, a dirty dollar is worth less. The reason is that if a naive tourist travels to Russia with "dirty" money and attempts to exchange it, the exchangers can make more profit by refusing to give the full exchange rate. In other words, there is no legitimate reason for lowering the exchange rate, except for greed on the part of the exchangers.

With that in mind, only take with you the new type of $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 dollar bills. Make sure there are absolutely no pen or pencil marks on the money. Make sure there are no bank stamps or anything else on the money. Make sure the fold in the middle of the bills has not worn out the ink.

Credit Cards in Russia

Do not assume you will be able to use credit cards. While in Moscow, you may be able to use a credit card at a hotel, if you are a guest, but since we will not be staying in a hotel while in Russia, credit cards are worthless. You will want to take one or two credit cards with you for use in Amsterdam, Netherlands. however, if you have an ATM/Debit card you can use these in Moscow to obtain money.

The content you find here is excerpted from our Russia Mission Trip Survival Guide. For a good understanding of our trips please read the Survival Guide in its entirety. Actually reading the Survival Guide is a requirement to go on our trips. The best time to read it is as you are deciding whether to go to Russia with us.

Other Pages of Interest

You may read about our future trips .

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