Our pensioner abroad: the main thing is attentiveness and optimism!
Vladimir Tsaran lives in Russia, the city of Nikolsk, Penza region. He is 71 years old, a journalist, a pensioner …
Gdansk Bay, Poland
He did not leave his profession after retiring in 2013, he publishes articles on tourism on the Internet, including on our portal. But today we represent Vladimir in a different capacity – as a traveler, an individual tourist. We think readers of tourweek.ru will be interested in his experience of independent foreign travel.
– Vladimir, it is known that Russian pensioners are not yet frequent visitors to foreign resorts. And you also travel on your own. Would the help of a travel agency be superfluous to a middle-aged man traveling alone to a foreign country?
– No, of course, travel agencies are useful, they take on the function of an intermediary between a tourist and visa services, hotels, restaurants, travel agencies, help to purchase tickets. And most importantly – they help to navigate, make a choice in favor of a city or country. But all this a tourist can organize for himself, since there is the Internet and a huge amount of information about cities, tourist infrastructure, transport, etc. What I usually do. It is important to start the search for options as early as possible, for example, right now, in the autumn, I’m thinking about where to go next summer.
An individual tourist, especially a pensioner, is usually a poor, budget tourist. Yes, on many sites of tour operators you can read: “we offer individual tours.” But carefully reading the proposal, you understand: they just want to “attach” you to some already formed group. And they persistently offer “their” cities and hotels with which the travel agent already has business contacts. This is not always the most economical option, on the Internet you can find an alternative and do not overpay.
Poland, Gizycko, Masurian Lakes
You need to look for an inexpensive and comfortable room, without stopping the search until the purchase of tickets. For example, large international resources for hotel reservations, such as booking.com, hotel.info, islet.ru sometimes offer reservations for the year ahead, without prepayment, with free cancellation. I book several options at once and regularly review new offers. There is sure to be an optimal option for the price, quality and location. So, last year I managed to book a room in the center of Berlin, with all the amenities, an excellent breakfast (buffet) for only 50 euros per day. Airplane tickets also need to be sought across the entire spectrum of offers. In short, browse the Internet and save.
– Where did you go?
– Mostly I visit the Baltic region. Not hot and not as crowded and noisy as in the southern resorts. He visited almost all resort places of the Kaliningrad region – on the Curonian Spit, Zelenogradsk, Svetlogorsk, Yantarny. Neringa really liked it, it is also on the Curonian Spit, but from the Lithuanian side, there is the opportunity to compare. Unfortunately, the comparison is not in our favor – the Lithuanian part of the braid is more well-groomed. But a little expensive, the euro area.
Last year, in August, he changed his rule and went deep into the European continent – to Berlin. What he quickly regretted, there was incredible heat. Although the city itself left an unforgettable impression: architecture, monuments, tasty beer, friendly Berliners ….
Most of all I “wrapped” kilometers in northern coastal Poland. Gdansk, Elblag, Khel Spit. I discovered the Masurian Lakes – not far from the Russian border, two thousand lakes framed by emerald lakes and amazingly beautiful resort towns: Gizycko, Vilkasy, Kentshin.
– Isn’t it scary to go alone to a foreign country without knowing the language?
– This is a serious problem, but quite solvable. When I first came to be completely alone in the center of Gdansk, in the midst of a huge crowd (the International Dominican Fair was taking place there), I experienced something like a psychological shock. Then he found out – this is not uncommon, many experience a language shock in a foreign country. But it’s adapted, because a tourist needs a little: how much it costs, how to get there, forms of polite appeals – this is not difficult to learn. And then different tricks come into play: the international sign language, certain well-known English words. If the interlocutor sincerely wants to help, something will come out anyway, you will receive some information. I was constantly lucky: it was just such interlocutors. I already know a little Polish, yet I have been to the country six times. In general, if you have a translator application on your smartphone, language is not such a big problem. I use Google translator.