Getting Ready To Travel To Ukraine To Adopt

Get ready for your trip to Ukraine to adopt! Lots to plan and prepare to make your trip less stressful and your stay more comfortable:

• Go online and familiarize yourself with Ukrainian currency. The look of the different denominations and exchange rate. (Currently $1 USD is about 8 Ukrainian Hryvnia) Practice converting prices to dollars.

• Make a list of places you want to see in Kyiv while you are there. You want to make it memorable. This can be before you meet your child, or fun things you can do together. Kyiv has lots of cultural activities and things to do. Where your child's orphanage will determine where you will spend most of your time, but you will not know that until after your referral meeting!

• Your clothing needs will vary depending on when you travel to Ukraine. Make sure you break in all your footwear and plan to travel light. You will be traveling around the country!

• Start pricing flights to Ukraine and determine the best routes and time options for flying to and from Kyiv. Remember you will need to have an open ticket as you don't know your exact return date. Speak to agents of the airlines and discuss if it is best to buy a closed ticket and pay a change fee or buy and open date ticket. There can be a big difference in price. Remember you will have a child flying back with you so you will also need a one way ticket! If you are considering using frequent flyer points or miles, find out what you need to do so there are no surprises.

• Go over your travel budget with your adoption agency or adoption facilitator. Think about what type of accommodation you want: hotel or apartment for example, and what your budget will be. Will you eat out or prepare your meals? Depending where you will be staying in Ukraine, less options may be available.

• Bring 2 cameras you know how to use well. I suggest one for each spouse. You want to document everything. This is a once in a lifetime experience, just like the birth of a child. You will always look back on it and wish you took more photos of your adoption journey. Each spouse should have a camera so there are photos of both adoptive parents with your newly adopted child.

• Consider bringing a camera for your newly adopted child so she or he can take photos and capture the adoption experience through their eyes.

• Go over and over the adoption process, steps and timeline with your adoption agency or adoption facilitator. Traveling and adopting will be stressful and very emotional, the more you can understand and better prepared you are, the better.

• Check that your health insurance will cover medical emergencies if you are outside the US. Consider buying supplemental travel medical insurance. Book with an insurance company that offers policies on a per-trip basis. Premiums are generally nominal for coverage up to $50,000. Cost depends on the age of the traveler and length and cost of the trip. If you are an American Express cardholder, call them first.

• Work on your Russian for traveling!

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