Some of our TOP Frequently Asked Questions

Questions before visiting

Where does Travel Out There operate?
We began our operations in Riga in 2004 and expanded into Lithuania and Estonia in 2006. In 2010, Travel Out There began working in Belgrade, Prague, Krakow and Budapest. There are plans in place for further expansion into some of Europe’s most exciting up-and-coming destinations in the future.

Is your money safe if you book online?
Reputations are built upon reputations! We have an excellent reputation in both the Baltic States and abroad. If any company in this industry cheats its customers then you soon get to hear about it. Our own website allows people to post comments about their experiences, while travel forums also offer open access to people to post their opinions about us and other companies.

Do they use Euros in the Baltic States?
Estonia adopted the euro on January 1, 2011. The euro will replace the Estonian Kroon. Latvia and Lithuania, meanwhile, have their own unique currencies – the Lat and the Lit.
There are 100 santimi in a Latvian Lat. Lat notes come in denominations as large as 500 lats (approximately 700 euros)
Lithuanian Litas and the Latvian Lat are likely to remain in use for several more years before either of the two countries joins the euro.
We advise all our clients to take advantage of ATM machines, which can be found all over the three Baltic States.

Is the weather ‘Baltic’ all year round?
Far from it! Although temperatures can dip to as low as minus thirty around February time, the 2009 winter was the mildest on record with snow only arriving in January. Mind you, in winter 2010, the Baltics then experienced the coldest winter on record! Spring and autumn are similar to Western Europe, but with greater temperature extremes. Summers can be positively balmy, on occasion, with temperatures reaching +30 Centigrade in 2009, while in summer 2010 temperatures topped 30 degrees on around 20 days in Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania.

What are the health and visa entry requirements in the Baltics?
Citizens of EU countries do not need a visa to enter any of the Baltic countries. UK visitors are permitted to stay for up to 90 days in any six-month period. All visitors are advised to take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before they set off.
You should obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before leaving the UK. No injections are required for visitors although Tick-borne encephalitis is a problem in Latvia, especially in some parts of the countryside during the summer months from May to August. If in doubt, you should consult your GP about inoculations against Tick-Borne Encephalitis. If you plan to visit the Baltic countryside during the summer months, be sure to bring plenty of mosquito-repellent!! Elderly travellers should be aware that temperatures can drop to as low as minus 30 degrees in winter.

Isn’t the food a bit strange?
Perhaps the only thing that is really strange about the food is that it isn’t strange! The three Baltic capitals offer a dizzying selection of international restaurants including Tibetan and Uzbek, as well as the usual suspects – namely, Italian, Chinese and Indian. It’s never easy being a vegetarian anywhere but most restaurant owners are beginning to recognise that providing veggie menu options makes good business sense.

Is it safe?
Crime levels are generally lower in the Baltic States than they are in Western Europe.

But I’ve heard reports about people getting in to trouble in Riga. Is there anything I should be worried about?
There has been some media coverage about a number of male tourists becoming involved in trouble during their stay in Riga. These incidents have occurred inside some of the city’s strip clubs, so if in doubt, stay clear of strip clubs.  For more information be sure to check out our Riga Do’s and Don’ts page.

Won’t it be a problem if I can’t speak the local language?
Not unless you are planning to marry a local! English is in widespread use. In fact, some ex-pats complain that they aren’t able to improve their language skills because the locals invariably reply to them in English. Latvian, Lithuanian and Estonian are quite distinct languages, which are not similar, as many people believe, to the Russian language.
This said, there is probably no greater compliment to local people than if you try to speak their language. For a few pointers on the Latvian and Estonian languages click on the links.

How can I get around while I’m on holiday?
Most of the major sites can be reached on foot, but an extensive and cheap public transport system exists in all three Baltic countries. Taxis are rarely in short supply, although some have a reputation as rip-off merchants. But never fear! We offer transfers from the airport to your hotel in Riga, Tallinn or Vilnius.

2012 – The Year of the Smile

First of all I would like to wish everyone a very Happy New Year.   In the past I had a tendency to delay the beginning of the year to February.  Main reason being is that my birthday falls in January and I used to find it difficult making resolutions and thinking about fresh starts…when all I was really wanting was to continue the celebrations.  Perhaps, coming to an age where one begins to forget how old one is, you begin to opt for more subdued birthdays.  This year, I am looking forward to sharing my first birthday with Henry, my new boy!   He gave me the best Christmas present I could have hoped for – a smile!!!

 

Therefore, I suppose I am conforming and yes have decided to make a few resolutions both on a personal and professional front.  Yep, there are the standard eat more healthily, exercise daily, watch less TV, read more blah blah but what excites me most about 2012 is a concerted effort to smile more.

 

Some year sago, a department store in New York City, in recognition of the pressures of its sales clerks were under during the Christmas rush, presented the following homely philosophy.

 

The Value of a smile at Christmas

 

It costs nothing, but creates much.

It enriches those who receive, without impoverishing those who give.

It happens in a flash and the memory of it sometimes lasts forever.

None are so rich they can get along without it, and none so poor but are richer for its benefits.

It creates happiness in the home, fosters good will in a business, and is the countersign of friends.

It is rest to the weary, daylight to the discouraged, sunshine to the sad, and Nature’s best antidote for trouble.

Yet it cannot be bought, begged, borrowed, or stolen, for it is something that is no earthly good to anybody till it is given away.

And if in the last-minute rush of Christmas buying some of our salespeople should be too tired to give you a smile, may we ask you to leave one of yours?

For nobody needs a smile so much as those who have none left to give!

 

Lets not save up all our smiles for the festive period….no matter how austere, or troubled the world may become in 2012 it is so important that we keep smiling! 😉

 

The binge drinking generation is starting to grow up.

The media might have to re-look at the image they paint of groups of drunken men flying out on low cost airlines to places like Riga, Tallinn and Budapest for the weekend.
Instead of stag parties and sports tours spending their entire foreign sojourn sat in pubs and strip clubs the tide has turned with these groups now demanding something more meaningful and indeed, memorable from their trip.
If you visit Latvia you can experience the thrill of the bobsleigh (even during the summer), in Prague shoot an AK-47, in Budapest de-tox in a spa and wellness complex and in Tallinn play ice cricket.
The new generation of young men are interested in all kinds of adventures and experiences ranging from the bizarre, through activities such as Ice Fishing in Vilnius, to the high-class such as attending world-class opera at Riga’s National Opera House.

Every week Travel Out There delivers a whole host of interesting, strange and wonderful activities to foreign tourists in Europe. After all we are your number one experience agency! These people do not spend all their time sat in pubs and it is time the popular press realized this.

FHM Hotspot

In October 20o9 Travel Out There played host to FHM Holland for the weekend. You can read the article on our website – http://www.traveloutthere.com/en/show/page/dutch-fhm-article, at the time this coverage was great for us and the exposure in Holland proved to be a success, with many Dutch coming over to Riga and our other destinations to become part of the TOT family. We have stayed in touch with the guys from FHM and have developed a good relationship with the magazine…so you imagine how pleased we were when we received the long awaited FHM Hotspots video, made during their trip.

This 8 minute video captures Riga and some of the things you can do with the TOT team perfectly…if your Dutch its even better (the video is in Dutch). So we would like to once again say a huge thanks to the guys that made the weekend possible and to the guys at FHM for coming over and helping us share this fantastic city…

 

Happy viewing

[youtube width=”600″ height=”365″ video_id=”Ge4d7IBORyg”]

How to deal with illegal parking in the Baltics

Cycle count lanes in the Baltics are slowly popping up everywhere, however this seemingly new development is catching out drivers in the Baltic states of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. People here are used to some pretty chaotic driving and the prospect of now looking out for an increasing number of cyclists will no doubt cause a few more headaches. We all know that stopping to fix a slipped chain in a cycle lane is deemed offensive let alone parking your car in one.

In Vilnius, Lithuania that is precisely what happened. The Mayor of Vilnius and keen cyclist Arturas Zuokas took matters into his own hands when he came across an illegally parked car;

Mayor Arturas Zuokas in an armoured vehicle which is crushing a car in central Vilnius

Ok, so its all for a bit of publicity but also a serious warning to drivers who park in lanes reserved for cyclists. As the Baltics look at ways of preserving and showing their historic cities, without clogging up the streets with endless tourist buses its becoming clear that the use of bikes and other “green” transport such as Segways are becoming more and more popular…sorry car people this mean one thing, more cycle lanes and as a result less street parking, it might be time to buy yourself a little push bike for that short trip to work, if only for the summer months. You can reads the full story from BBC News here http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-14380367