You’ve made contact with your Russian (or foreign) girlfriend and had a nice correspondence for a few months. You like each other and agree that a meeting in person will be the next logical step. As I’ve stated before, the first meeting should be in her city so you start looking for hotels. But in Russia, Ukraine and other areas of the world, a hotel reservation won’t be the best choice.
You should rent an apartment for your visit and this is the conventional wisdom for many veteran bride seekers. There are a couple of reasons why renting an apartment would be a better choice:
- It’s cheaper— I’ve found that the rent per day for an apartment about 15-20% cheaper than staying in a hotel. Also, the longer you stay, the cheaper the daily rate usually is. Despite the cheaper price the apartments are to western standards. Keep in mind that when an advertisement indicates “western standards” they mean standards that you will likely encounter in western or central Europe. Americans, Canadians and Australians will still find the conditions to be on the small side (including the bed). Nevertheless, you should still be comfortable.
- More privacy— This is important if your girlfriend wants to visit with you or stay with you at your place. In certain areas of the world, only prostitutes would visit men staying in hotels and the ladies will often get harassed by the hotel staff. Even if you cleared this with the staff beforehand, they may use this to justify charging you double occupancy for that night and still harass your lady. Prostitutes also solicit male clients at hotels. You will likely get phone calls from ladies offering massages or sex or being approached in the lounge areas. It won’t matter if they see you are already with a lady or not, they’ll try anyway. Your girlfriend will know that all of this happens also. So for her peace of mind, it’s best to rent an apartment.
Most major cities in Russia and the former Soviet Union have apartments to rent at daily rates. Use the internet to find them. You should be fine with apartments near the city center or a main highway. I have used the Apartment Reservation Network with good results but there are many others. If your lady lives in a smaller town that may not have a listing on the internet, she can help you find a nice place for your stay also. Some places may only accept cash instead of credit cards so ask and plan accordingly.