Ukraine Travel Scams: Why You Shouldn’t Hitchhike

Ukraine

Picture by Panoramas/Flickr CC

First of all, you should know that there’s no such thing as a free ride in the Ukraine.  The system of hitchhiking is very different from other parts of the world.  In the Ukraine, everyone with a car considers themselves to be a taxi driver, and they can charge you whatever they want if you catch a ride from them.  So, it’s better to travel by an official taxi which will have state license plates.  There is also a lot of public transportation that you can take if you don’t want to travel by taxi.  If you are still not convinced that you shouldn’t hitchhike in the Ukraine, you should know that this area is known for its high numbers of missing people.

Also, be very aware if you are driving that the Ukraine has a zero tolerance law. You are not allowed to drink any alcohol 6-8 hours before driving.  They are very strict on this law, yet another reason to take public transportation.

The policemen in the Ukraine also tend to be very corrupt and will usually try to bribe you. Many times they will inspect your passport and tell you something is wrong and that you need to give them money. Usually, the amount they will ask for amounts to less than $10, so it’s usually best to just avoid the hassle and pay the money they are asking for.

Also, don’t forget that in the Ukraine you are required to register where you are staying at the government offices within two days of arriving. If you forget, the police will fine you for not doing it and this is one of the things they check for.  Another thing to be aware of is all visiting foreigners are required to purchase Ukrainian medical insurance upon arrival at Boryspil Airport.

The Ukraine is a pretty safe place to travel.  Just keep these travel tips in mind, and your travels should go smoothly.

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