Hotels: Let’s just say that a stay in a Russian hotel near the former Volga German colonies will be part of the “experience” of visiting the colonies of your ancestors. All hotels are clean and comfortable according to Russian standards. Each room will have a private bath. Single room upgrades are available at an additional cost. There may not be cable TV (or TV at all in some places). There should be WiFi available in all of the hotels where we will be staying, although the best signal may be in the hotel lobby.
Meals: We will be visiting a rural part of Russia, and English is not commonly spoken by the local people. The Russian language uses the Cyrillic alphabet, and reading menus and signs will be difficult unless you are familiar with this alphabet. Consequently, most meals will be included with the tours (excluding alcohol). Drinks (soft drinks, bottled water, alcohol, etc.) ordered separately from the meal are not included, and you must pay directly for them.
The four dinner meals in Moscow and St. Petersburg are not included. There are many restaurants in the vicinity of the hotels in Moscow and St. Petersburg that have English-language menus.
In general, if you adopt the attitude that food is a part of the experience of this trip, you will be happy! Particularly on the days when we are visiting the former colonies, lunch may be “picnic style” with a boxed-lunch or tasty food prepared by local hosts. Options will be limited to what’s provided. If you are really finicky about your food, it will be best to pack some snacks in your daily backpack.
If you have very strict dietary requirements (for example, completely gluten free or vegan), this trip is not for you. While some hotel locations may be able to provide dietary accommodations, some meals will have been prepared locally by people living in the former colonies and we cannot make specific requirements regarding food preparation. In general, a standard vegetarian diet should be okay.