FAQ - Answers to frequently asked questions
What type of expeditions do you organize?
Drive to Russia can offer several types of programs and expeditions – fix-date tours and expeditions or individual holidays (Tailor Made Holidays). Our tours and expeditions are fix-date programs that we develop for our guests, and we offer you to join as a participant on your own or our vehicle. In this case, the program includes the maximum services; the movement takes place in a column, which is necessarily accompanied by our support car and members of our team.
Tailor Made Holidays are tours that we develop for you, taking into consideration all your desires. In this case, we only provide the set of services that you choose. These services may include the following: route development, preparation of necessary documents for the trip, hotel reservations, catering, guide escort, excursions, and anything else that you deem necessary for your trip.
What experience do I need to participate in your expeditions?
Drivers must be at least 21 years old. We expect you to be a confident and competent driver with driving experience. It is important to understand that our tours and expeditions include sections on gravel or dirt roads. Some tours even include off-road driving, but these are usually safe areas that can not damage your car, it is more for fan.
We expect our expedition members to always be prepared for the possibility that things may not go according to the plan, so you must be flexible and able to adapt to unforeseen circumstances, as well as be a good team player. We do also except you to impeccably comply with the request of the head of the expedition and listen to his advice. Remember that an expedition is always a challenge and any unexpected situations can happen on the way, which can never be predicted in advance, so you need self-control, a sense of humor and no matter what position you take in life, remember that the main leader of the group is the Head of the expedition!
What documents do I need?
Your passport should have at least six months of validity after the end of your chosen tour or expedition with enough pages for stamps in it. You need to get visa in advance. If you are going to take part in one of our expeditions that pass through several countries, you should obtain the visas to these countries as well.
If you are driving a car, you also need to have all the documents for the vehicle. In some countries, a notarized translation into the local language is required, but we will let you know beforehand. For a trip to Russia, you only need to have a vehicle document in Latin. If the vehicle is not registered to you, you will also need a notarized power of attorney from the owner to your name. You must also have a valid driver permit and an international driver's license (if this is required by the rules of the countries through which the expedition passes), the specified name must match your passport data.
One of the main conditions for admitting you to a tour or expedition: you have comprehensive travel insurance, including coverage for driving a vehicle of the appropriate engine size. If you cannot prove that you have insurance, you will not be allowed on an expedition. You must ensure that you have a policy designed for adventure travel that will cover you for personal accident, medical and repatriation costs, loss, damage and theft of personal belongings and for cancellation or curtailment.
When crossing the border with Russia, you also need to fill out a customs Declaration for your vehicle, if you are driving your own car. You have to save the declaration until your car leaves the border. Please see the link with the information – Conditions of entry and exit from / to Russia on foreign cars When crossing the border, you need to fill out a migration form, which must be kept until you leave the country. It may be required at the hotel upon check-in.
Do I need Travel Insurance?
As mentioned above, one of the main conditions for your admission to the tour or expedition: you have comprehensive travel insurance, including coverage for driving a vehicle of the appropriate engine size. If you cannot prove that you have insurance, you will not be allowed on an expedition. You must ensure that you have a policy designed for adventure travel that will cover personal accident, medical and repatriation costs, loss, damage and theft of personal belongings and for cancellation or curtailment.
We advise you to obtain travel insurance immediately when booking a tour or expedition, to insure you in case you cancel your trip beforehand as well. Please remember that part of your Deposit is non- refundable, and Drive to Russia will not refund cancellation fees if you were unable to obtain travel insurance or if you canceled your trip due to an incident not covered by your insurance.
You should also make sure that you are satisfied with the amount of insurance coverage provided for cancellation or reduction, since many cheaper policies only provide insurance coverage for significantly less amount than the cost of your trip. In such cases, you should seriously consider increasing your cancellation coverage limit by paying an additional fee.
You should also keep in mind that if you have to shorten your trip for any reason, travel insurance will not cover the additional costs incurred in bringing your car home if you are traveling in your own car, and these additional costs will fall on you.
Finally, since many policies only cover medical expenses abroad, you should also consider your insurance to cover future indirect losses that you may incur in case of a serious accident or illness (for example, loss of earnings, disability, medical care, etc.).
Do I need Third Party Motor Insurance Cover?
If you are traveling through Russia and the CIS countries with your own car, it is better to have your Third Party motor insurance, but even if you already have such insurance, in some countries you still need to issue additional Third Party motor insurance. This can be done at the border, after passing the customs procedure.
If you are traveling through Russia and the CIS countries with our car, we will take care of the insurance ourselves.
Can I bring my own vehicle?
If you have chosen one of our short tours for your trip and want to join it, please take into consideration that all short tours are based on Fly and Drive principle. In this case you can only use our cars that are specially prepared for this tour, have equal design and equal configuration.
If you want to join one of our expeditions, you can use your own car, but before we give you permission, we need to make sure that your vehicle meets the requirements. We will also send you recommendations on how to prepare your car for this trip. But in this case, you must bear all the costs of transporting the vehicle.
You can also use your cars to travel around Russia and CIS countries, and we can help you with logistics and booking services.
Can you provide me with a vehicle?
Drive to Russia provides vehicles for all tours and expeditions that we organize, and this service is already included in the price of the tour or expedition. But you can also rent a car from us if you are making an independent expedition through Russia or the CIS countries, but only if we provide you with our guide or accompanying person.
You can not just rent our cars. For this purpose you should better use rental company.
Where do we stay during the expedition?
We choose the best hotels along the route for all our tours and expeditions. Even although it is obviously impossible to find suitable hotels in some places, we try to design the route taking into consideration a possibility of good and comfortable accommodation. All our reservations are based on double occupancy rooms with breakfast included. If you need a single room, you should inform us in advance, as there are not enough rooms available everywhere, and the earlier we make reservations, the more guarantees that you will get what you expect.
The hotels we use on routes vary in facilities depending on their location, but in most cases are good mid-level hotels that include bathrooms and other necessary amenities. The key components are vehicle safety, cleanliness, safety, comfort and location. Sometimes we choose isolated areas of recreation centers, or cottages, in apartments or in cozy modern hotels. However, you should understand that the standards of hotels in Russia and most of the countries through which we plan our expeditions are not equivalent to the standards of Western Europe and North America.
In some cases, we use tent camps during our expeditions. In this situation, we will organize a tent camp with a minimum set of amenities; you will have a personal tent for one or two people. Shower and toilet are for general use. Dining tent provides you with simple food. But in this case, you need to have a sleeping bag and a mat. Sometimes, if allowed, we use clamshells.
What kind of food do we have on the trip?
We pay special attention to nutrition during the trip. But you must help us and let us know your preferences in advance. If, for example, you are a vegetarian or have some kind of intolerance, you must specify this in the application. Our program Manager pays great attention to nutrition and therefore will work out an individual menu for each such case. In recent years, we have started to practice the "buffet" approach more often, which allows each guest to choose what they prefer and enjoy their meal. But "buffet" is not possible everywhere and in this case we order food individually, paying attention to all the details and your individual preferences. Of course, when traveling to different countries, we pay great attention to the national cuisine, we try to order a variety of food, so that you can fully immerse yourself in the food culture.
Can I bring my children with me on the trip?
Yes. Children can participate in almost all of our programs. Some short programs are designed so that they will be interesting for both children and adults. Children up to 12 years are offered discounts and we provide you with child seat, if you travel with children in our vehicles
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