Category Archives: Trip

Tours of St Petersburg – Must Do Activities on a Trip to St Petersburg Russia

Boat trip through the canals
Take a small boat through the canals – they can be found in various places such as next to the Winter Palace and along Nevsky Prospect. You can either take a boat trip during the day or at night. During the day you can see the features of the buildings a bit better and get a sense of the beauty of the architecture. If you want a romantic time with your significant other, I’d recommend the night cruise. You can still see all the famous buildings and the lights of the city really make the time slip away making for a memorable occasion.

Climb the colonnade of St. Isaac’s Cathedral
St.Isaac’s cathedral contains the third largest cupola in the world. Its a harrowing climb to the top but well worth the beautiful views of St Petersburg that can be had up there. The cathedral itself is beautiful but the views from the top are spectacular as well.

Go shopping
Russian souvenirs are recognized around the world for their uniqueness and make a great gift. Matryoshka dolls or nesting dolls can be found in all different styles – the iconic beautiful Russian woman, political leaders, sports stars – whatever your interest you can probably find a matryoshka to reflect your personality. Also among the popular gift items is Russian caviar which is well known for its quality (and sometimes its price – be careful and shop around a bit). Another item that is widespread is cheap DVDs and Software – though technically not legal and the Russian government has been cracking down on this lately it can still be found.

Visit Peterhof and ride the Hydrofoil
Near the Winter Palace you can find strange looking boats that seem to glide on top of the water – these are the hydrofoils that can take you to one of the most beautiful places in St.Petersburg – Peterhof. The fountains of Peterhof are well known for their extravagance and beauty – this is a place you definitely must see.

Russian banya
Russia is a cold place for the most part and during the winter it is especially important to keep warm. Taking things to the extreme is literally in the Russian blood in this case – the Russia banya is a sauna where they prefer really, really hot temperatures and being beaten with birch tree branches followed up by jumping into extremely cold water. This one is not for the faint of heart but afterwards you feel spectacular.

St Petersburg Metro
There is not a better place to get a feel for what life is like for the majority of people that live here unless you take a ride in the metro. The fares are pretty cheap and the stations often contain beautiful artwork and sculptures. There are 5 lines now and you can get almost anywhere in the city efficiently and quickly.

Russian food
Russian food is filled with tradition and flavor. Russian ‘pirogi’ or pies are very tasty and come with many different fillings – meat, potatoes, fruits, etc. Russian ‘blini’ or pancakes are the best type of Russian fast food you can find with similar fillings to the pies but blini with Russian caviar is exquisite. Russian ice cream is popular year-round, even during the winter you will see Russians eating ice cream on the street – it is just that tasty. Pelmeni is Russian style dumplings filled with meat and best eaten with sour cream.

10 Tips For A Smooth Family Road Trip

Do you find yourself dreading the annual family vacation? Does the idea of a road trip with your kids make your toes curl? Sure, family vacations can be stressful, but the joys can far outweigh the woes if you begin with realistic expectations and plan carefully. The following tips will go a long way toward making your family road trip memorable for all of the rights reasons.

1. Schedule twice as much time as you think you will need. If you are planning a 4-hour road trip to the family reunion, leave 8 hours before the scheduled event. If you arrive early, find a local playground and let the kids run off some steam before they have to politely greet all of their aunts and uncles.

2. Print the map. It tempting to do a quick check on MapQuest and head on out the door. But taking an extra 2 minutes to print out the map can save you two hours of wandering around, lost in Amish country or on the big city expressway.

3. Stay clean. Kids (and parents) get sweaty and grimy on hot car trips, so bring plenty of wet wipes to wash hands and faces at each rest stop. Take a few minutes to de-trash your car at each rest stop, and you’ll feel much more relaxed and energized when you reach your vacation destination.

4. Try to maintain regular routines. Try to get the kids to bed no more than a half hour past their regular bedtimes. If your young children still nap at home, try to arrange a similar nap schedule while on vacation. An all-day adventure will quickly turn to chaos if you two-year-old misses his afternoon nap, so why not plan to enjoy the amusement park in the evening when the weather is cooler and the crowds are thinner?

5. Plan short excursions. This allows you more flexibility to work around nap and meal schedules.

6. Schedule time for goofing around. The kids (and parents) get cranky when they are constantly dragged from one activity to the next. Why not take the morning off to hang out at the hotel pool, or let the kids play with their own toys in the hotel room.

7. Keep plenty of snacks on hand, but skip any perishable foods. A bag of goldfish crackers can be a lifesaver when find yourself stuck in the slow line at Disney.

8. Pack lightly and be prepared to do laundry. Laundry day offers a wonderful bit of downtime during a hectic week of vacation and allows you to travel much lighter.

9. Let your kids take some of the pictures. You will probably be amazed at the quality and creativity of photographs taken by kids. If you want to hold on to the expensive digital camera, why not give each of your kids a disposable camera of their own for the week?

10. Keep your sense of humor! Whether it is a wrong turn, a forgotten item, or even a forgotten kid, it would not be a family vacation if something did not go amiss. But the biggest vacation bloopers usually make the best vacation memories – the ones you and your kids will be laughing about for years to come. So keep a smile on your face at all times. If you laugh, your kids will laugh along with you.