Ukraine Travel Scams: Why You Shouldn’t Hitchhike
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.
Great scam tips as usual, Val! Ukraine is on our list to visit yet, but many of these also apply to Russia as well.
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What absolute rubbish! ‘best to avoid the hassle and pay the fine’…. that is exactly why they are harassing you as a guest in the first place, stupid people giving them money for no reason. A number of times I have been asked for money by police in Ukraine for made up apparently offences. Just say no. Say you thought this was Ukraine and not Russia, say the idea of corruption is offensive and just stand your ground. Advising people to pay up is the worst possible advice you can give. What are they going to do? There is nothing they can do, they are not going to ‘disappear you’ because you didn’t offer 10 dollars.
Also, it hasn’t been ‘the Ukraine’ since the USSR collapsed. It’s Ukraine.
You also don’t need to register if you are from most Western countries.
Terrible, terrible advice!!! Never pay bribes. Never.