To be honest, it wasn’t difficult for my husband and me to pack things for a sudden departure from Russia. My husband has been using his list of things for business trips for a long time. Actually we were guided by this list. But we also added some extra items in it.
Here’s a full list of our things for departure. And I’m going to tell you about some items in detail below.
- Passports (×4)
- Documents + PCR-test
- Pet Passports + Veterinary health certificate
- Bank cards
- Laptops (×2)
- Smartphones (×4)
- Sun glasses
- Sim card opener
- Apartment keys
- Claw cutter
- Cat food
- Pet pads
- Cellophane bags
- Paper towels
- Phone chargers
- Keyboards (×3)
- Laptop charger (×2)
- Computer mice (×2)
- Laptop stands (×2)
- Electric shaver
- Razor blades
- Electronic thermometer
- Cosmetic bag
- Notepad and pens
What documents should be taken?
We went to Armenia and took our Russian passports and foreign passports. I also decided to take my invalid passport just in case we need it while making new documents in future.
In our documents pack we have: marriage/divorce certificates (they are needed to make new international passports and in some other cases), driving license. I don't think that we will need our TINs, SNILS (insurance “pension”), insurance policies or diplomas but we took them as well just in case.
We took bank cards and all the cash (500 euro) that we had at home. Unfortunately, on 4th March we didn’t have an opportunity to withdraw cash from our cards on the spot. In VTB we were told that cash could be received on 10thMarch while our departure was on 7th March. However we could arrange the money issue on arrival if it necessary. So it wasn’t a problem for us.
You need your PCR-test or vaccination certificate while you are checking in for the flight or on arrival to Yerevan. We did the tests on 5th March in one of the Hemotest laboratories and got the results by e-mail on 6th March already. We printed them out and uploaded the QR-codes to the "Traveling without COVID-19" app.
Attention: you have to notify a doctor that you want to get a test for the app to get a special sign on your test file. We didn’t do that at first so we got a file without the sign and we were not able to upload it to the app. We waste some time to solve this problem, but after calling the lab and explaining everything they sent us a new file with the sign for the "Traveling without COVID-19" app.
Oh, man, if you going alone or just together with your partner you are lucky enough and may consider to have no troubles at all. But we took two cats as well. Their preparations (documents, vaccinations, and different procedures) took the majority of our time and attention.
For the cats’ departure in Russia they have to get chips, certificates and passports with rabies vaccination mark, comprehensive vaccinations mark, notes on dehelmintization and treatment of ectoparasites.
Our cats were chipped a few years ago. At least 20 days must pass from the date of vaccination but no more than 1 year. We were super lucky with this because the validity period of vaccinations ended on 9th March and our departure was on 7th March. In tourist chats people who successfully flew out of Russia with pets said that in some vet clinics they succeed to get vaccinations backdated (somewhere for a fee, somewhere for free).
For departure from Russia to Armenia pets must got a vet certificate for the countries of the Customs Union (Form No. 1) in a special state veterinary clinic. That must be done no later than 72 hours before departure. The certificate represents a beautiful thick bluish paper, check on Google. Both the certificates and the pet passports should be presented 2-3 hours before the flight at the vet office of the airport, where they will got a permission for departure.
Pay attention for the pets’ tickets. We booked seats for our cats in the cabin while buying tickets for ourselves. If you are planning to take your pet to the cabin make sure to check it in advance if it’s possible in the airline you choose.There is a limited number of places for animals in the cabin, it may turn out that all of them are already booked.
If you have an opportunity buy your tickets and book seats for your pets as soon as possible (you can only buy tickets for pets directly at the airport during the check-in process), to tell the truth every moment counts here. This is a really important moment because many people are leaving Russia with animals now. There was another cat being carried with us in the cabin, and two dogs were flying in the luggage compartment. Keep in mind: large dogs cannot be transported in the cabin of the aircraft — they have to be carried in the luggage compartment in a special strong container.
As for the cats’ stuff I put one pack of pet food (for 1,5–2 weeks), furminator and a claw cutter into the suitcase. Cats were in the soft carriers with the absorbing pads at the bottom. In my hand luggage I took the set for a cat’s mom: 6 pads, paper towels, old rags and cellophane bags in case of cleaning up after cats or change the pads if they vomit or poop. All of that was so useful this time.
Clean up your phone
We had two laptops, four smartphones (two of them are old, we took them to use with russian sim cards), chargers and headphones in our hand luggage. We unistalled Instagram and Telegram in advance, cleaned up all the chats in WhatsApp and cleared the browser history. I added photos of vegan dishes and some recipe files on my desktop for distraction and my own reassurance. But we were lucky because our technic weren’t examined and we didn’t have to turn it on.
I got all passwords from social networks and messengers in my tiny notepad. The pen is mightier than the sword. And just in case I duplicated the information on the separate sheet of paper that I use as a bookmark.
Drugs and cosmetics
Painkillers are my must have in the first-aid kit because my periods are very painful. I took all the painkillers that we had in Tula as I thought that I could have periods in the wrong time because of the stress these days. We also had paracetamol, activated carbon and the vitamins we had at home: B-12, vitamin C (both pills and effervescent), Detrilan vitamin D3, zinc and Evalar Iron. For sure we got electronic thermometer too.
As for the toiletries we had two toothpastes: I’m Yummy, I'm Juicy; Magic drive Soap, half of bottle of Kikimora shampoo. As far as we always have a spare box of toothpastes and soaps we took some from there, so we don’t have to waste our time for shopping or making an order in Ozon. By the way it always profits having things in store. And the set of reusable pads from Tryapochki in a separate bag.
I have two makeup bags full of cosmetics. First of all I have no idea where in Yerevan I can find checked vegan cosmetics (I have been searching for such information for not the first month already). Secondly all the items I got recently based on the information on VeganRussian work awesome, I don’t want to leave them in Tula. I took everything that I had facial and sunscreen Mi&Ko with a high spf-protection because the sun is very dangerous in Yerevan even though it’s rather cool outside.
As for decorative cosmetics I got Beauty Bomb Spiritium pallet and Beauty Bomb Plus Size mascara. And a small pack of perfume from It’s Me that my friend gifted to me some time ago.
Clothes and “Extra”
We took not lots of clothes. The amount of underwear and socks that we had was only for a week and a half. We also had some favorite T-shirts and two warm sweaters. We didn’t take any hats or warm scarfs, but we obviously had better done this. The weather in Yerevan in the middle of March is about 2-7 degrees above 0. Even though it’s sunny you might feel very uncomfortable without a hat. We are lucky to have jackets with hoods.
I had one pair of jeans on me and one more in the suitcase. I didn’t take extra pair of boots having only warm synthetic converse on. They appeared to be very suitable for current weather in Yerevan.
We took 2 books – Lem’s collection of novels for me and Bergman’s Bilder for Misha. As for something “Extra” we got our new massager with us just because we didn’t have enough time to try it properly. We wished about it for a long time and choose it thoroughly. We got it only in the beginning of February and we didn’t want to leave it in Tula.
The most important thing is: Don’t panic! It’s clear that everyone has his/her own list of stuff to take with. Take a piece of paper and a pen and slowly walk around your house to make sure you don’t forget anything necessary. Check out every corner and shelf, pull out every locker and write down every thing you might have a need of. By the same way of going around the apartment I remembered about my pads, a cat’s claw cutter, an electronic thermometer and decided to take a massager with us.
Make two slow check outs to be sure you do not forget anything, so you won't have to run around in search of that in a new place.