My husband and I spent five days in Georgia. That was exactly a year ago today. Going back, I initially thought that this trip would be easy to prepare for (in terms of packing our clothes and travel essentials), but I thought wrong. It was our first time traveling to a country that had actual snow, so we were a bit clueless if what we brought to Georgia would get us through the cold. Thankfully, we survived the weather, though wished that we had packed more thermal wear. Lesson learned.
Georgia has all four seasons: Spring (March to May), Summer (June to August), Autumn (September to November) and Winter (December to February). We visited mid-November when the weather was predicted to have rain showers. Thankfully, we encountered none during our trip. The weather, however, was already freezing cold (snow was already in sight). It was a lot to handle, especially for us who were accustomed to the tropical climate of the Philippines, and with the arid conditions in the UAE.
NOTE: It’s just appropriate to share what we brought for (the almost) winter season. Hopefully, this guide will help you prepare for your trip to the country during the cold months.
· It would be ideal to pack winter clothes and thermal wear during these months because the air would be very chilly. I could barely stand the cold despite my three layers of clothing.
· Bring scarves and shawls with you. These can come in handy when you visit any of Georgia’s churches (for covering a woman's head). These can also benefit you if you need an extra layer to keep your body warm. Also, bring a beanie, so your head is kept warm at all times. Bring gloves if you can, too.
· Wear sturdy footwear like hiking shoes or boots that are ideal for walking concrete downhill/uphill slopes and snowcapped hills. If you can, bring skid free shoes for better grip on slippery floors, especially if you’re planning on walking on snow. Of course, it would be good to wear thick socks, too.
More Travel Tips!
· Traveling to Georgia is visa-free for UAE Residents.
· While most accommodations offer both airconditioning and heating units, make sure that you reserve a lodging that provides at least the latter, as this will get you through the cold nights.
· Make sure to buy bottled water (reasonably cheap in Georgia) because drinking right from the faucet isn’t recommended. You can also bring your own water bottle (like a Klean Kanteen), especially if want to carry your own drinking water when you go on tours.
· Bring a universal charger. The plug adapter in Georgia is a European adapter.
· Try not to jaywalk to the other side of a busy and wide road. There's plenty of these in Old Tbilisi. It can be frustrating for a tourist to find ways to cross unfamiliar streets. But underground walkways can be found in several locations in the city. Take these routes for a safer journey.
· Protect your gear in extreme weather conditions. If you’re concerned about the possible damages to your gadget/s, you can consult the manufacturer on the alternatives that can be done before you travel. I actually brought my Nikon Coolpix P300 to Georgia, and it worked just fine despite the drop in temperature. Though I no longer had it checked since it was already an old model.
Georgia's currency, which is called Georgian Lari, is generally exchanged for common currencies like the US Dollar, Euro, British Pound, and Russian Ruble. Good thing we brought US Dollars as it was impossible for us to find any shop that would exchange our Dirhams.
There are plenty of money exchange points in Old Tbilisi alone (several by the city's main streets). If you’d like to get the best rates, you can check all of the available counters and see their current offerings. If you feel like your currency won't be accepted, consider bringing US Dollars instead (for a higher conversion) or go to a local bank.
NOTES: You can travel via Fly Dubai from Dubai (Terminal 2) to Georgia (Tbilisi Airport). The travel time takes 3.5 hours. There is no time difference between the two countries.
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