Chilly St Petersburg

. What a city St Petersburg is! My grandfather lived here for something like 18 years and studied at the Conservatorium. He was a very famous Operatic tenor by the name of Kipras Petrauskas. Now that I have spent some real time here over the last year or so, I understand why he spent so much time here.The flight from Innsbruck after our wonderful day on the road in Italy was uneventful.

The Paris of the North

St Petersburg is a glorious city filled with light, life, great food, extraordinary culture and it is so so so sophisticated! Now, I am not exactly a ‘Sophisticate’ myself, but I can handle myself in a ‘well-heeled’ crowd. I appreciate the trappings that come with a city as classy as this one. When walking the streets of St Petersburg, it is too easy to forget you are not in Europe.

I find it unbelievable that so many people don’t think of western Russia as European, because it really is in every way – except politically I guess.

It also amazes me how similar Americans are to Russians, as a whole and as a country. Of course, there are obvious differences. Different languages and historic cultures, but when it comes to the big pictures stuff, I see more similarities than differences.

I know a lot of people will disagree on both sides, but this is my observation after living in the USA for several years and being here in St Petersburg several times, over the last year, and for several months. Russia is extraordinary.

Family Stuff

I went through the process of getting my health fully checked in every way, due to some family business we needed to attend to. This meant getting a psychiatric report. This entailed going to an insane asylum, having probes attached to my head in a dark room and answering a lot of seemingly unrelated questions. All this confirmed I’m not crazy. I also had to get blood tests and another report to confirm I am neither an alcoholic or a drug addict.

I was amazed by the diversity of reactions I got as a foreigner. Especially getting tests done for a report that is normally only given to Russian nationals. Some were tremendously helpful while others were nothing short of being total pigs about it. We had to ask our friends to register me.

My Amazing Wife

Somehow Vero managed to get some test in the precinct we were in, other tests were done in the precinct she was still registered in and after 5 days of endless taxi rides and lots of walking in -10c. We finally received the report from a charming, yet rather overworked fellow I like to refer to as ‘my main man’ in St Petersburg now.

Today we went to a park with the kids where they made ice slides. It was fun but very cold! the wind was blowing from the north, the temperature was around -14c and Vita had to wipe snow of the slide and everything else in the playground before she played.

It was cold for sure, but it was pretty cool too! we had a lot of fun. If you haven’t been to Russia, I suggest you go. Go with an open mind and be adventurous, ignore the red tape, just push through it. I think you will be surprised how much you like the place

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Travel Tools for You

Travel Resources We Use for Affordable Travel With Kids.

Below are some helpful links, full disclosure, when you use them, we get a commission on some of them.

This helps us to keep going along with the t-shirts and other stuff we sell. We truly use these services below and all very regularly and wouldn't recommend them if we didn't use them ourselves and think they are totally great.

So if you get inspired to book a flight or a hotel room or even start renting a place of a room, please use these links and help us out too. It costs you nothing and helps us a lot.

Book Flights
Jetradar is our No 1 first stop for finding flights.

There is no flight booking service better than this. Use the form below to find a flight now. I promise you, they are by far the cheapest and best we have found and we have tried them all. We have booked flights from Bali to Goa that cost only $120 for all 5 of us, can you imagine how happy we were about that!


Flight search

Book Accommodation

Mostly we use just 2 booking sites to find the best deals.

Sometimes we won’t or can't book in advance and just arrive at a place and look around. It can be cheaper. If you try this, get in early and not during peak holiday times. Some people find this a bit too challenging even without kids in tow.

For Long Stays


Airbnb is perfect for longer stays, but you have to be really thorough when you make a booking on airbnb. We have created a video guide on how to make a booking using airbnb, what to look for what to make sure of before confirming the booking. We have booked 100's of places and know all the tricks.

For Short Stays


We have found that when it comes to staying anywhere for a shorter time, the hotels and even apartments offered by booking.com are better value than Airbnb. They are generally more budget focused and not as well set up, but that's not always the case. we just like the hotel offers more for our family for short stays

Or use this form to search booking.com


For longer-term apartment rentals, Airbnb works out cheaper.  Mostly we find for shorter stays hotels give us better value in pretty much every way.

AirBnb works best for long-term (1 month or more even) stays there are no security deposits and leases to worry about and no utility bills either.

We’ve recently found good deals on Airbnb in Europe and London too, so Asia isn't the only place worth using it.

Become a Host

Airbnb is a great way to make some extra money and meet interesting people by being a host, Use this link to join and get a discount through us.

Booking.com will list your apartment or rooms too for you, just follow this link to sign up

Book a Tour

We have found that other than a rare exception, if you want to book a tour, the best way to do it is through GetYourGuide. The site is easy to use, the tours are all good quality and the pricing is really good, because they negotiate bulk pricing.

Travel Insurance

World Nomads is the only travel insurance we use, and it’s great. Get a quote instantly by simply filling out the form below. You can also go to our travel insurance guide page for the full details.

Miscellaneous Stuff

We’ve tried housesitting, but due to it being sporatic, we rarely do it. We are not really into couch-surfing.  Not many people would have enough couches for the whole family anyhow. We do host couch-surfers at home, we just prefer to pay our way.

We backpack fairly regularly, because it's fun (some tips on backpacking with kids will be coming soon). Stays at luxury resorts and villas we like. Going camping and glamping are good too.  Getting ready to do some blue water cruising on a catamaran is definitely our thing.

We never go on package holidays,

Thanks for reading our post, we like to think that we are inspiring people like yourself to even try long term travel, or any travel, with children, or without, maybe to more challenging destinations.

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