She went on a tour of Europe with Finnish Schengen in her arms in September 2022 and talked about what must be taken into account by compatriots when organizing an independent trip abroad.
As the tourist explained on her Yandex.Zen channel, her route, which she planned for a long time, was as follows: St. Petersburg – Helsinki – Paris – Rome – Helsinki. During the preparation, the situation in the world was heating up. As soon as the borders opened after the pandemic, the author traveled to Helsinki (Finland) and Stockholm (Sweden) for reconnaissance, and then began to monitor the current situation with European borders and visas.
“The strongest tension was 30-31 August, when countries (we were worried about Finland) were deciding whether to close their borders for entry. The Finns didn't shut down! – we exhaled and began to buy tickets, ”the travel blogger shared.
The steps of the tourist were as follows:
- On September 1, all plane tickets were bought and a transfer to Helsinki was booked.
- On September 2, two hotels are reserved – in Rome and Paris. Bought bus tickets. Bags packed.
- Departure early in the morning on September 3.
During the preparation of the itinerary, the traveler refused to visit Venice due to “inadequate hotel prices” and a rain forecast weather.
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Plane tickets, including on foreign airlines Finnair and EasyJet, the Russian woman bought with the help of a “Finnish friends card”, but there was a fallback option through “Buy Ticket” with payment by a Russian card. “For those who plan flights, check-in for Finnair opens 36 hours in advance, and for EasyJet it takes a month. That is, you buy tickets and immediately check in for a flight, ”said the blogger and said that she used VPN to open foreign sites.
The author booked them only in Paris and Rome. In the first case, through the Ostrovok special service, at the same time, she paid for the reservation with a Russian bank card in advance, requesting an internal reservation number after the operation. In the second case, the choice was made at an already familiar hotel, the reservation was made directly through a request to the hotel.
Passing the Finnish border
“We left on Saturday morning – earlier they would have said that at the peak, but in the current situation there were only 20 cars in front of us. At the exit, the Finns asked to show return tickets, hotel reservations and tell the route. They took a look at the car and didn't ask any more questions. On the way back, we passed the borders by bus, which is probably why everything went quite simply.
The Finns asked me where I was and checked the route with the one recorded on the computer. Nobody in our bus was asked about the euro and the cost of purchases was not checked,” the author said.
By the way, Turprom wrote earlier that “Russian tourists began to bury their cash euros in the forest on the border.”
“At the Russian border, everything is also like in the good old days: suitcases through the scanner and are free. Also, no questions and no weighing,” she added.
Transfer to Helsinki and back
According to the Russian woman, the current situation with buses running to Finland from St. Petersburg, difficult: there are not enough tickets, and even those have risen in price. Therefore, from the northern capital of the Russian Federation to Helsinki, it was decided to order a transfer in a group of fellow travelers in Telegram for 70 euros (4'200 rubles) per person.
On the way back, the girl bought tickets for the Ecolines regular bus, but advised the others do not follow her example and choose Lux Express, because pleasant privileges are available inside for tourists: wi-fi, water, headphones.
Finally, the author recommended crossing the Finnish border on a regular bus, since its passengers do not wait in a general queue, are not subject to close attention from the border guards and travel in comfort.
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