The FIFA 2018 World Cup is just around the corner. Fans from around the globe are excited about the upcoming tournament. While some will choose to watch it online or on TV, others will travel and watch live in the stadiums. If you’re in the second category, this article is just for you as we are going to explore some safety tips to help you on your trip to Russia.
5 Safety Tips for Russia 2018
Take a look at the tips we’ve listed below in order to stay safe and secure while you’re in Russia this summer.
1- Russian Visa and FAN ID
Russia is a country that mostly requires a visa. So, a valid passport and visa are a must. While most countries and travelers do need a visa, some don’t. Make sure you check your country’s travel advisory for more information.
If you do need a visa, arriving without one will cause problems. You will either be detained, fined or deported. Also, your passport must have six months’ validity after the expiry of your visa.
Add to that, you will also need an invitation letter for your visa. You can acquire that through your accommodation, with a small fee. Check your visa when you receive it and make sure all the information is correct.
It’s worth mentioning that a FAN ID grants you a Visa-free entry to the Russian Federation. FAN ID is a document that all FIFA World Cup spectators must have to get access to stadiums.
For more info on how to get a FAN ID, check out the official website.
2- Russian Currency
While in Russia, you’re bound to buy things and pay in cash. You should know that it’s illegal there to pay cash in other than the official currency; the rouble. Thus, you need to prepare.
It’s best if you exchange your local currency for some roubles before departing. Upon arriving, you can get roubles by trading only US dollars or euros. You should always make sure that the outlet you’re getting roubles from is trustworthy and reputable.
Changing money via street vendors is illegal. To avoid further trouble, withdraw money from ATMs during daylight. Lastly, make sure you keep your card safe if you’re intending to use it.
3- Safe Transportation
If you’re a holder of a FAN ID, you can benefit from the free public transportation during the World Cup.
Transportation in Russia offers many distinct options. Some urban centers such as Moscow and St. Petersburg contain metros. In major Russian cities, public transportation is always available and cheap. While getting around, you can have fun with the many Cyrillic signs as well as meeting locals during peak hours.
Whatever option you decide to use, you should always ensure your safety. Check your surroundings and your stuff all the time. It’s also advisable to take a licensed cab home instead of walking at night.
4- Digital Safety
Travelers often face identity theft and fraud. In order to keep your information and devices secure, you should:
- Update all your devices and turn off any file sharing to make sure they are secure from any hacker.
- Avoid using any public WiFi, especially to access online banking. They are often honeypots used by spies to get your information.
- Turn off your WiFi and Bluetooth when you’re not using them.
- Use a VPN. (See below for more)
- Install a tracking application and a wiping one. In case your device is stolen, you can easily find its location or wipe its data.
- Use strong passwords or fingerprints for more security. They delay a thief from accessing your devices.
- Use a burner phone instead of your real one. If it’s stolen, your data would be secure on your real phone.
5- Use a VPN
A Virtual Private Network provides security. All avid travelers recommend it. There are major VPN brands, like ExpressVPN, that provide services. They encrypt the users’ activity online and make sure they’re secure.
You might want to connect to a public WiFi while in Russia. In this case, you can’t always know if it’s safe or not. Using a VPN protects you. It stops any hacker from accessing your device and your data. Sometimes even if the network is from a trustworthy source, a hacker can cause you troubles if he’s using it as well.
Hackers often seek the most used public networks in order to get important data. The Russian World Cup and its fans are a perfect opportunity. People who are pouring to watch the games live and using public WiFi often are the victims. A Virtual Private Network protects you.
Add to that, you can avoid any surveillance done by the host nation on the travelers. You can stay safe from that through online encryption.
Moreover, while traveling you can watch your matches and keep up with your TV shows online. For instance, you’re from Spain and want to watch a fixture in your native language. You can connect to any Spanish server through your VPN app and add any Spanish channel online.
In case you’re looking for a VPN service provider to use while in Russia, take a look at our Best VPN for Russia 2018 review.
Tips for Russia 2018 – Parting Words
Traveling safely is very important. Starting from your visa and money up to your devices and online security. These pieces of advice help keeping you secure. So, in order to enjoy your stay in Russia and the World Cup, take all the precautions that are necessary and have fun!