About Traveling in Lithuania (TIPS & TOUR INFO)
Seasoned travelers will know most of the items below.
We suggest one carry on bag and a small backpack for your day pack (easier to carry around than a purse). If you are like me, and you don’t need to carry a lot around with you during the day, a tiny purse that holds your wallet, phone, passport is also handy. If you buy things, you can ship them home if you don’t want to carry them. We will let you know how.
Seriously, one carry-on size wheeling suitcase and one light-weight backpack. You will be getting in and out of a bus & traveling the country in and out of hotels. Some hotels will have laundry service. Bring clothes that will dry fast in case you hand wash items.
Bring your walking shoes. We will be visiting Museums, parks, knitting presentations, a knitting shops, markets, and more.
Here are some tips from Rick Steves on packing light.
Packing list for women: https://www.ricksteves.com/travel-tips/packing-light/packing-list-women
Money & Spending
Just like in the US, ATMs are all over the place. However, we will be traveling in some rural areas where ATMs may not be available. We suggest using ATMs for withdrawing EUROS’ for cash in Lithuania. Of course you will incur a small fee. All items are available in English. It’s best to withdraw a large sum (few hundred) than a smaller sum of cash so that you don’t incur as many fees.
The EURO at the moment is about the same as the Dollar as far as spending power. Add 8-10 cents per US Dollar.
1 USD =0.914792EUR at xe.com
In general, it is best to just use your debit or credit card that you use in the US. It is both safer and more convenient. Please bring more than one card in case your bank puts a stop on one of them (more info below).
- When you arrive at the airport, you can exchange any US Dollars you have at any currency exchange.
Currency exchanges are available at banks in the cities Vilnius & Kaunas as well as in Riga, Latvia and some small towns.
- In many stores in Lithuania, when you pay for your items, you will put you money in a dish or bowl on the counter and you will receive your change the same way instead of handing the attendee the money. Not always, but sometimes. It’s not like they won’t take your money.
- When purchasing your items in Lithuania & Latvia, TAX is already included. Prices posted are what you will pay in Euros.
- IMPORTANT! Notify your financial institution a few weeks before you leave the US about your travel plans. Best to call & tell them what countries you will be in including your flight layover country and when you will be back. July 3rd – July 15th. This is for credit card bank security.
- We suggest carrying a few Euros (100-200 Euros) around in your purse to purchase items you may want to see in case some shops do not take credit cards.
- We will contact you before your flight about tipping & miscellaneous expenditures.
- The tour includes most meals, lodging, driver, translator, entrance fees, and more.
In general, spending money is the same as in the US but their cash looks a little different. Debit/Credit cards are the way to go. There is no way to get around the bank fees which we find to be minimal in the grand scheme of things.
Knitting Items to bring
Bring something that is light to work on to keep you busy while traveling. Lithuania has fully stocked yarn stores in and around the main cities and villages. Unique yarns you may not find in the US. No need to bring your giant knitting bag.
For the workshops in Lithuania & Latvia, you will be able to purchase items & supplies.
- By the time we travel, it will be illegal to travel with a laptop in the cabin of the plane. You will need to check it. Phones ok, not sure about ipads. Traveling with a full size laptop is a pain anyway. Remember to think small & light when packing.
- You are allowed $800 worth of goods to bring into the US (without US tax) when coming back. It’s up to you if you want to tell the US customs agent of your spending. Best to mail stuff back to the US but if you bring your purchases back from Europe, remember to keep receipts if any. Remember to think small & light when packing.
- Some of you will be traveling on a foreign airline. All airlines speak English and the language of their origin. You can pay with US currency on the plane for goods and food. It is best to use a Credit/Debit card if available.
- Knitting Needles as per TSA:
Even if an item is generally permitted, it may be subject to additional screening or not allowed through the checkpoint if it triggers an alarm during the screening process, appears to have been tampered with, or poses other security concerns. The final decision rests with TSA on whether to allow any items on the plane.
- Your tour INCLUDES your transportation to and from the airports within Lithuania. This will be coordinated with Baltic Holidays. If you have not done so aready, please email Jurga@balticholidays.com with your Flight #, Time of Arrival, & Airline.
The schedule has everything knitting with a little side tours to some textile museums and a studio tour.
You can download the tour preliminary itinerary here.
Your cell phones will work in Lithuania and Latvia just as they do here in the US. However, cost is an issue. Please call your phone carrier for the best options for travel. Some offer a one month package for access international cell towers. You could also purchase a cheap phone to bring with you. Think, pay as you go.
Phone chips/sim cards are available cheaply at newsstands in and around Europe. These are pay as you go. Fill up the sim card on the go or at the newsstand. Your phone will need to be unlocked from the carrier. Most carriers will do this for free for you. Ask them.
WiFi is available all over. Coffee shops, public wifi, libraries, post offices, museums, etc. Rural areas are spotty.
Be aware the when traveling back to the US, your phone is subject to search. Which means TSA can take your phone and look at your private data including all the wonderful photos you took. If you would like this to not happen, we advise to use a pin number instead of the security fingerprint sensor when accessing your phone. Current law states that when using a pin number, the TSA agent or police need a search warrant. Fingerprint scanner needs no such warrant.
Tour Guide/Bus /Hotels
- We have 17 on the tour with us.
- Bus driver & interpreter will be with you the whole time.
- Hotels are plotted along the route of the tour
- All food is included except for occasional visits to fairs and museums. All dietary concerns should be directed to Phil at Baltic Holidays (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- The longest ride at one time on the tour bus will be 2-3hrs.
We will be sending out more info about where we will be going and the full and final itinerary to the emails that you have provided with us.
As usual, any questions about the knitting part email Donna@sheeptoshawl.com. Any questions about payments, flights, or tour related should be directed to email@example.com.
Thanks everyone. It’s going to be exciting!
Check out the photo album of our past visits to Lithuania. Click here.
Donna & Dominic