General Tips for Traveling to Uzhhorod

MONEY

  • Besides what you are taking in cash, plan to take about 10-15 in $1 bills and 5-10 $5 bills in USD. This is helpful for tipping, taxi, etc. Be aware though that many Ukraine businesses do not accept USD.
  • Go to your bank and get NEW bills, not old ones with tears, ink marks, and old styles.  Don’t wait until the last week.       Banks don’t always have crisp currency on hand.
  • Ukrainian currency is in Hryvnia (UAH). As of Summer 2020, the exchange is about 27 UAH to 1 USD.
  • A calculator is handy for figuring out the money exchange.
  • Call your bank and your credit card company and let them know where you’re going and for how long to avoid concerns about stolen cards.
  • Optional: Take some currency for Hungary or countries other than Ukraine that you may be visiting. You’ll need to order from your bank ahead of time. Hungary also uses Euros and US dollars, depending on the store.
  • Use a money belt or neck pouch for most of your cash, plane ticket and passport
  • Certain Credit Union debit cards will work in Hungary, but NOT in Ukraine. However, most Credit Union debit cards with a pin will work in both countries for a cash advance. Check with your credit union.

FLIGHTS

  • Boost your immune system with rest, vitamins, healthy food before you depart.
  • Pack small toiletries, an extra set of clothes & underwear, snack, book, camera on your carry-on.
  • Direct Delta flight from PDX to Amsterdam is fastest way to get to Europe from Oregon. (2020)
  • Amsterdam to Budapest flights are available quite a few times daily.
  • Chew gum on take-off and landing. Helps keep ears open from the pressure changes.
  • Keep well hydrated. Drink lots of water. Use caffeine and alcohol with meals only, they dehydrate you, as do carbonated drinks.
  • Keep airflow nozzle in the plane away from your face and top of head to avoid germs/too much air.
  • Get up and move around to stimulate blood flow to legs, every hour when not sleeping.
  • On long flights try to sleep at least 3 hours using blindfolds, neck pillow, earplugs. Remove shoes and replace with socks/slippers, prop feet with carry-on to ease blood flow to feet. Bring extra earplugs.
  • Get a blanket & pillow at beginning of flight. They run out sometimes.
  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing; layer to allow for temperature shifts.
  • Carry protein snacks, low sugar types-nuts, cheese, and jerky. They help the effects of jet lag.
  • Melatonin may work to alleviate jet lag for many.
  • Reasonably priced trip insurance is available through AAA, Sister Cities Interntl., Allianz, and other agencies.

PHONE CALLS/INTERNET

  • Bring phone numbers and email addresses of those you may want to contact while on trip.
  • You can purchase a cell phone and card while in Ukraine but it only works in that country.
  • Cell phones or tablets work for FaceTime, Skype, etc. as long as the WiFi is working at your lodging.
  • Ask your phone carrier about an international calling plan and make the arrangements before you leave.

FOOD AND WATER

  • Bottled water comes with or without carbonation. If you pefer water without “gas”, as for “voda bez hazu” or “nyet gazu”.
  • Use bottled water or take a filter if you want to use the water in your hotel room. Do not drink directly and do not drink or brush your teeth using the faucet water in your hotel room. Purchase a large bottle of water
  • Uzhhorod now has a few grocery stores very similar to ours in the state, along with 7-11 type stores.

TIPPING

Tipping is more common in Ukraine than it was a few years ago. Many establishments expect a tip on the average of about 5-10%. In a more upscale restaurant or facility, you will find that tipping is closer to15% of the total bill. There are times and establishments that will include the tip in the bill so check before you cover a tip. If you are unsure if the tip is included- ask the waiter or the manager for assistance. http://ukrainianguide.com/do-you-tip-in-the-ukraine

TRAINS, BUSES AND TAXIS

  • The cost of the Airport Minibus at Ferihegy Airport in Budapest to any hotel in Budapest is about $20 per person one way. The drive is usually about 30 minutes.
  • Cost of a train ticket Budapest to Cop (a small town with a RR depot near Uzhhorod) was $40-50 RT and about $20-25 one way in 2018.
  • Taxis around Uzhhorod are usually no more than $1-4. Hailing a taxi on the street will end up more expensive than if you ask a hotel receptionist to call a taxi to come to the hotel. Bus service is also available.
  • Good website for trains: https://www.mavcsoport.hu/en

PACKING

  • Suitcases should have wheels.
  • Consider taking suitcases that can “nest” so you only have to carry one back in case you are taking extra things over to distribute or get an “extra” one from a thrift store that you can leave there.
  • Try packing like items in separate small bags. Helps to find things and easier for security.
  • Plastic garbage bag is nice to have for anything wet, dirty, etc.
  • It is very reasonably priced to have your clothing dry cleaned or washed at most hotels. The service is usually very prompt and it’s considerate to leave a tip
  • As a precaution- remember to bring moist towelettes, Kleenex, hand sanitizer, toilet paper.
  • For most international flights for economy seating, you are allowed 1 carry-on, 1 personal item such as a purse or computer satchel plus 1 free checked suitcase (50 lbs. max).

HOTELS

  • Uzhhorod has many fine hotels that you can learn more about on any travel website such as Expedia , Booking.com, Kayak, Trivago, etc.
  • There are also hostels available in Uzhhorod for a very reasonable price.
  • See sites below for more information

MISCELLANEOUS

  • Take prescriptions in original bottles and a paper copy of prescription and carry in your purse or carry-on.
  • Keep you medications in your carry-on in case your checked luggage is missing upon arrival.
  • Take a sink stopper for doing hand laundry (optional- a laundry line to help things dry more quickly.)
  • Bring a smaller back pack or fanny pack to use when you are in Uzhhorod or for day trips while traveling.
  • Consider bringing business cards complete with your name, phone number, address and email. Ukrainians love these. You can make your own business cards from a template sheets that are available at office supply stores.
  • It’s nice to take a few small gifts to have in case you are invited to someone’s home for dinner. You can also purchase flowers or gifts in Uzhhorod at the stores and outdoor markets which are traditional gifts in Ukraine.
  • No visa is necessary for travel from US to Ukraine.

HELPFUL WEBSITES and APPS

–Duolingo- app to learn another language

–Exchange rates: https://www.xe.com United States= USD (US dollars), Ukraine= UAH (Hryvnia), Hungary= HUF (Forints)

General Information:

https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/up.html (lots of facts about Ukraine)

http://www.wunderground.com/global/UR.html  (weather information, scroll down to Uzhhorod)

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en.html (As of April 9, 2019- Ukraine was level 2 of 4- Exercise Caution)

http://uazone.net/Ukraine_Tips.html (leads to many other websites)

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g298059-Activities-Uzhhorod_Zakarpattia_Oblast.html – 15 Best Things To Do in Uzhhorod from tripadvisor

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uzhhorod
Ukrainian language/Culture:
http://www.amesiowa.us/Ukraine/Ukraine.htm

http://www.omniglot.com/writing/ukrainian.htm

Latest revision 2020 by Alice Rampton (Email at alice.rampton@gmail.com for more information.)