Whether you are traveling to Russia to adopt or to bring your adopted Russian child on a cultural experience it is good to know what is useful to pack.
We traveled to Russia three times over the course of our adoption and we bought a lot of stuff that people recommended, but only some of it was really useful.
This is what I recommend
Packing list for Russia
dramamine (if needed)
necessary papers, tickets
nice shirts (everyone dresses nice there)
nice pants (shorts will make you look like a tourist)
sweater/coat (if necessary)
swimsuit (if wanted)
medicine (Tylenol, ibuprofen, scabies cream if adopting)
travel voltage converter (for outlet)
video camera (charged)- If adopting, video as much of the orphanage as you can inside and out. We were too nervous/excited to film as much as we should have. The little video we have is so valuable now. Piney has watched it several times and it helps her deal with her past.
change of clothes for child,
child coat, gloves (if winter)
buy shoes in Russia as you won't know size
Things you may not have thought of:
band-aids - ( I needed one when I was there- my feet were getting blisters from walking- and I couldn't get anyone to understand what I was talking about)
Franklin Speaking 14 Language Translator with Merriam-Webster Dictionary EST-5014
- This proved invaluable in the subway when we got lost. We typed in "How do we get out of here- then the electronic thing changed it to Russian and we were able to show it to people who directed us. No one speaks English there.
If traveling in winter- super warm coats (Its freezing). I recommend Lands End coats
Franklin Language Travel Phrase Card Translator (ET-2011 11)
- we had this in actual paper cards with the translation, but I couldn't find them anymore. This looks like the same idea, yet less bulky.
We purchased a Russian cartoon in Russia and a music CD (make sure they are compatible with U.S. CD/DVD players) to play for our daughter upon her arrival home (which was 2 years old). Neither the cartoons or music ever appealed to her, but they might be something she cherishes in the future.