Yes, it's the Canadian guy again!!
I've been on the correspondence approach since about 3-4 months. I've talked to many women, some serious and some less serious. Usually, the really hot ones seems less serious or it's because they have so much choice that they just flush you when they find someone better. Anyway, like you, I personally think it's the best way to find a Russian women (with Skype and many pictures of course), you just need to be patient and persevere. Actually, I'm supposed to go meet one in Ukraine Cherkassy but I'm getting more and more suspicious that she's a scam. But it's not the point here.
Anyway, I always plan a fun vacation during winter. I spend about $2000 to $3000 depending where I go. Since I'm spending money for a vacation anyway, might as well put a bit more cash and make this vacation really worth it (do an individual tour). So my new plan is to continue the correspondence approach and do individual tours as my vacation time (or just go meeting that one special women from a corresponding approach). As you can see, I'm really serious about finding a Russian bride!!
I already asked you where's the best place for individual tours and you told me Kiev. You also talked about Kharkov and Poltava. So I want to go to Kiev (maybe a mix of Kiev and Poltava). You talked about group tours from AFA that can be transformed to individual tours and are very good. You also talked about Angelika and said it was very good too. I checked on the Internet and I found a few more like "Bride of Ukraine". I also saw individual tours from Elena's Models, I didn't know they had that.
But you don't say much about other companies than AFA or Angelika for tours.
My actual question is: Which is the best best company for individual tours?
Since I'm on that topic, I was wondering if you personally offer individual tours or some kind of package. I would prefer to pay you that I trust than any of the dating companies. If you don't physically come, maybe can you offer some kind of a prepared package of all the agencies in Kiev to go, places to go, tips... or whatever.
You said we can meet as many women than on a AFA tour for half the price if we go on our own, but I guess that can be hard and a bit of wasting time if we're not familiar with anything. This is where we would need your full guidance... if you offer it.
Hi Francis, thanks for your comments/questions.
I was fortunate that my girl made it easy to see that she was real. By the time went to visit her I was really already 99% sure that everything was real. And there was another online relationship before I met my fiancee that I was equally sure about. In both cases, we had extremely regular, consistent Skype time and I was left with no doubts.
But if that didn't happen that way, and I was really eager to get over there, I would do definitely do an individual tour -- probably to Kiev. Kiev is EASY to get to (any other city in Ukraine requires you fly to Kiev first, then to the other city -- IF the other city even has an airport). Kiev has the MOST people (and WOMEN). And Kiev has several good, honest agencies that can help you with individual tour accommodations (more on that below).
And there are a few added advantages to traveling in Winter. Ukraine and Russia are NOT major tourist attractions in Winter, so typically flights are cheaper, and agencies are less busy with other customers, AND the women get less attention (since no one wants to visit their arctic tundra in Winter). Five of my seven visits to Russia/Ukraine have been between October and March, and I loved it.
As for the sites/agencies you ask about... I'm pretty sure Elena's Models does not do individual tours. They used to. By the way, one sometimes-annoying feature of Elena's Models is that they don't always keep their sites in sync. If you click on "Services" on the main home page of elenasmodels.com, no tour services are listed. If you're seeing descriptions of tours linked from womenrussia.com (Elena's information site), the links are probably out of date.
AFA... It is the "easiest" in many ways. You pay. You arrange your own transportation to JFK airport in New York at the designated time, and the rest is covered (except food and dates).
But there's a HUGE problem with AFA... They are going to PUSH you to do it "their way"... and frankly, "their way" will keep you single, and going on repeat group tours. By the way, the National Geographic cable TV channel just aired a new reality TV show produced by AFA about tours. Click
here to read my review of Bachelors Abroad to get a little better feel for my opinion of AFA.
Now, to answer the most specific questions you ask... I don't review other agencies/sites because I either don't know them, or I think they are frauds. For example, I Googled "Brides of Ukraine" that you mentioned. It looks like www.bridesofukraine.com. Is that the one? Well, I don't know them. But, their profiles look a lot like the templates used by Anastasia Web/Anastasia Date. Read my Anastasia Web/Anastasia Date review to see my opinion of them!
But in ALL of my experience I have really found that for individual tours, Angelika Network really does offer the best combination of price and services available, and most of them are honest. I actually recently learned that the owner/founder of Angelika Network is a man who speaks fluent Russian, and in order to build his network of affiliate agencies, actually personally visited EVERY ONE OF THEM as a customer to test them. You see, the scammy agencies assume that their visitors don't speak Russian, and so by knowing Russian, one can learn a LOT about their character by being able to listen in on their conversations that they think are private.
He only invited the best, most trustworthy agencies to join his network.
But I can tell you about two great agencies in Kiev that could easily set you up with more great dates than you could ever dream of.
One is Daisy Bride. They are an Angelika Network affiliate. I was in Kiev for a few days on my way home from Kharkov and contacted Daisy Bride to arrange a few dates, and they really came through. Overall my experience with them was excellent.
The other is Kiev Connections. Read my Kiev Connections - Review for more about their services.
Thanks for your trust, but unfortunately I cannot be there physically to facilitate individual tours. If you want, we can make arrangements to have a few Skype visits while you're there. And honestly, in Ukraine I'm a little more familiar than you are, but I still have to rely heavily on guides. Either of those two agencies (Daisy and Kiev Connections) are located right on Independence Square, within 10 minutes walking distance to 100 restaurants, clubs, and cafes, and they would happily give you 30 business cards for these places and a map.
If you go to Poltava, definitely look up Alexandra. I know her, and she'll take good care of you. She can set up an apartment for you for some $50-$60/day, shuttle you around town in a taxi, translate for you, and suggest more places for dates than I could ever dream of.
She can actually help you in Kiev too, but you'd need to pay for her transportation to Kiev and her lodging while in Kiev in addition to her daily guide fee.
But if you go to Kiev, Daisy Bride can probably also handle all your needs.
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