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Hello and welcome to my campaign! As you know, my name is Jeralyn Merideth and I am an artist.  I currently live in Missouri. I have drawn all my...

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Violet has the chance to embark on a 10-day adventure in Spain during this year's spring break. This experience serves as the culmination of her...

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To mark my 50th birthday I am going to Tobago to volunteer at an animal rescue facility for a week. I will be working with cats and dogs and my...

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Success Stories

gofundme trips

Alice Turner, SLV.Global

Many of our volunteers have used FundMyTravel to help make raising the funds for their placements a simple and easy process. Volunteers can personalise their fundraising page and provide information about what donations will be going towards as well...

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Reynolds Whalen, Performing Arts Abroad

FundMyTravel provides a valuable resource for our participants to raise money for their programs with us. Our participants have raised over $12,000 for their programs! It also gives us an additional platform to promote our programs, as each campaig...

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Yesmeen Scamahorn

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HOW TO RAISE MONEY FOR YOUR MISSION TRIP

How to fundraise for your mission trip

There are many ways to fundraise for your mission trip. Create a plan that outlines how much money you need to raise and the timeline in which you would like to do it. You may want to break down your fundraising efforts into short-term goals, such as hosting one large event or multiple smaller ones, and also long-term goals, such as setting up an online fundraising page.

Organize a bake sale, carwash, or other events that people can attend and contribute to your mission trip mission. Hosting a dinner party is another great way to involve family and friends in your mission trip fundraising efforts while having the chance to spend quality time with them.

Online fundraising is also a great way to raise money. Set up an online donation page that provides mission trip details and explains why the mission trip is important to you. Share the link with family and friends so they can donate directly or share it on their social media accounts.

In addition, consider reaching out to your community for mission trip donations. Local businesses, religious organizations, and alumni associations may be able to help with mission trip funding.

Finally, you can also ask family and friends for mission trip donations. Ask them directly, or create a mission trip donation letter that you can send to your contacts in the mail or via email. Don’t forget to thank everyone who donates—their kind contributions go a long way!

LIST OF MISSION TRIP FUNDRAISERS

Here is a quick list of our favorite ways to raise money for your mission trip:

  • Host a bake sale, car wash, or other events
  • Hold a dinner party
  • Set up an online donation page
  • Reach out to your local community for mission trip donations
  • Ask family and friends for mission trip donations.
  • Send mission trip donation letters.
  • Thank everyone who donates.

The mission trip of a lifetime is within your reach! With careful planning and effective fundraising, you’re sure to have an incredible experience that will stay with you for years. Blessings on your mission trip journey!

What is a bake sale fundraiser?

A bake sale fundraiser is an event where people sell homemade baked goods like cookies, cupcakes, breads, and other treats to raise money for a mission trip. These events are usually held at schools, churches, or community centers. People usually charge a small fee per item so that they can recoup their costs and make some profit to go toward mission trip costs. Bake sales can also be held online, where people can purchase items from an online store or auction and have them shipped directly to their home. This is a great way to raise funds for mission trips without needing to organize a physical event.

What is a carwash fundraiser?

A carwash fundraiser is an event where people come to have their vehicles washed and detailed by volunteers. In exchange for the service, participants make a donation that supports mission trips. This type of fundraiser is best organized in areas with frequent vehicle traffic so that there are enough customers to generate a good amount of money. Carwashes are usually held in parking lots or other large open spaces with access to water. It’s important to note that carwashes require a lot of planning and organization, so it’s best to start early in order to give yourself enough time to set up the event.

What is a dinner party fundraiser?

A dinner party fundraiser is an event where people come together to enjoy a meal in support of mission trips. People can either pay for their meals or make donations toward mission trip costs. These events are usually held at restaurants, homes, or community centers. Dinner parties provide an opportunity for mission trip supporters to get together and have fun while raising money for a mission trip. Plus, it’s a great way to get mission trip supporters involved and excited about the mission. Organizing a dinner party fundraiser requires a lot of planning, so it’s best to start early and make sure you have enough volunteers and resources for the event.

How to set up an online donation page:

Setting up an online donation page is a great way to reach mission trip supporters all over the world. You can use platforms like GoFundMe or Kickstarter to create a mission trip donation page and share it on social media. This will allow people from anywhere in the world to donate to your mission trip cause. It’s important to include a mission statement and mission trip details on your page so that people have a clear understanding of what their donations are going toward. You can also include photos and videos to give mission trip supporters a better idea of what’s happening on the mission trip.

What is an example of a mission trip donation letter?

A mission trip donation letter is a written request for donations that mission trip supporters can send to family, friends, and local businesses. Here’s an example of a mission trip donation letter:

Dear Friends and Family,

I am writing to ask for your support in helping me reach my mission trip goal. I am planning to go on a mission trip and need help raising money for the expenses. I plan to use the funds for travel, mission supplies, and personal costs. Any donation that you can make would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you so much for your support of my mission trip. Your generosity will help me achieve my mission trip goals and make a difference.

By sending mission trip donation letters to family, friends, and local businesses, mission trip supporters can reach out for help in raising money for their mission trips. It’s important to include mission details so that people understand what their donations are going toward. Additionally, mission trip supporters should be sure to thank donors for their support.

Raising money for mission trips can be a challenge, but it’s possible with the right strategy and resources. By using online donation pages, carwashes, dinner parties, and mission trip donation letters mission trip supporters can reach out to more people and raise more money for mission trips. Blessings and happy fundraising!

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Fundly

18 Fundraising Ideas for Trips and Adventures

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#1: Raise Money from Friends and Family Members with a Crowdfunding Campaign for:

Airfare and travel expenses.

Whether you’re taking a train, a plane, an automobile, a bus, or another form of transportation, getting to where you need to go during your adventure might get expensive.

If you need help paying for travel costs, look into starting a crowdfunding campaign!

Accommodations and Housing

While many foreign countries have inexpensive accommodations for travelers, it can become costly if you plan on staying in one place for an extended period of time or traveling to many places.

To cover your housing costs, you can set up a crowdfunding page and ask your friends for support.

Adventurous Experiences

If you’re a thrill seeker, you know the rush of adrenaline anytime you have an adventurous experience. You also know that these experiences can cost you more than a pretty penny.

If you need help funding your next awesome adventure, set up a crowdfunding campaign.

Mission Trips

If your church or youth group is planning on taking a mission trip overseas, you’ll likely need some financial help to get where you need to go.

Your religious organization or group can easily set up a crowdfunding campaign to raise money to fund your mission trip!

You and your betrothed might opt to raise money for a luxurious honeymoon in lieu of asking for traditional gifts from a store registry.

If that’s the case, you can use a crowdfunding platform (like Fundly’s!) to ask for donations from your friends and family members.

Study Abroad Trips

Any college student that’s participated in a study abroad trip knows how impactful the experience can be. They also know how expensive it can be.

If you’re looking to travel to another country to study for a significant amount of time, use crowdfunding to raise money!

Use Our #1 Fundraising Idea — Crowdfunding

Other Fundraising Ideas that go Perfectly with a Crowdfunding Campaign for Trips and Adventures

BONUS: Get 99 fundraising ideas for trip and adventures in a free PDF!   Download our resource to raise funds for the trip of a lifetime!

Host a location-setting event to raise money for your trip or adventure

Geography Bowl

If you have a few geography buffs in your friend group or family, you can host a game of geography bowl to put their knowledge to the test and raise money for your trip!

A geography bowl is essentially a trivia night, but with only geography questions! You can host the event in your home, or you can reach out to a local restaurant or bar.

Charge a small admission fee and encourage people to make donations throughout the night. Everyone will have fun guessing the answers to tricky geography questions, and you’ll have a way to raise money for a mission trip or other travel adventure!

Sell t-shirts to raise money.

Sell T-Shirts

No one can say no to a comfortable t-shirt, which is why this is the perfect fundraising idea for your travel costs.

Work with an online t-shirt fundraising service to create t-shirts you know your friends and family will love to purchase. You can offer multiple product options, too, so that everyone receives something they’ll actually wear again and again.

Bonus points if you can tie your t-shirt designs into your upcoming trip. You can make your apparel as unique as you want, so be creative!

Writing letters is an effective fundraiser for cancer research and awareness.

Write Letters

Writing letters is a great way to raise money for your trip or adventure. You can send letters to family, friends, and anyone else who would support your endeavor.

Your letters should be genuine and personal . Always start with your recipient’s first name and thank them in advance for their generosity.

You can use letters to direct people to your online crowdfunding page, but you should also include a self-addressed envelope within your letter to encourage people to send in checks (make sure you tell donors not to send cash!).

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Hold a Used Book Sale

If you’re a recently graduated college student (or even someone who just loves books!), you likely have stacks of publications that you won’t read or have read too many times to count!

If you need to raise money for an upcoming trip, you can try to sell some of your gently used books for some extra cash.

If you have used textbooks, you can sell them back to your college or university bookstore or to other students who will need them for classes.

Host a color walkathon to spice up your event!

Do Artistic Commissions

If you have an eye for art, you can take artistic commissions in the weeks leading up to your trip or adventure to help pay for airfare, lodging, and other expenses.

Advertise your artistic services on social media and let people know what your rates are for different works of art.

Just make sure that you stay on top of all of your requests. You wouldn’t want to leave on a plane only to remember that you forgot to complete a painting for your biggest supporter!

Host a cultural cuisine night to raise money for your trip or adventure

Cultural Cuisine Night

A cultural cuisine night is perfect for the adventurous and food-loving traveler looking to raise money for a trip. All you’ll need are some friends who like to cook and eat!

Invite people to submit their unique and exotic dishes with a small donation attached. You can keep the meal specific to a country or region or just cook whatever you want.

People can then vote on their favorite dishes with their dollars. Whoever has the most “votes” at the end of the night can walk away with the pride of being the best exotic chef in your friend group.

Hold a geography bowl to raise money for your trip or adventure

Location Selection Party

If you haven’t picked a location for your trip yet, you can host a location-setting party to help you choose a destination  and  raise money for your upcoming adventure!

Invite your friends and family members over and have them donate a dollar or two to write down the name of a country or city to visit. They then place the piece of paper in a container.

After everyone has made their suggestions, you pull a piece of paper out of the container. Whatever is written on the piece of paper is where your destination is (within reason, of course!).

Create luggage tags to sell as away to raise funds for travel.

Luggage Tag Fundraiser

Selling luggage tags is a fun and simple way to raise funds for your upcoming trip. You can opt to create your own luggage tags or buy them from a wholesale provider.

Whichever route you decide to take, make sure that people have different designs to choose from. The more unique and creative your designs, the more people will want to buy them!

Make sure to let your friends and family know that you’re selling luggage tags and post about your fundraiser on social media.

Collect ink cartridges to recycle and collect a fee for what you bring in.

Collect Ink Cartridges

Recycling ink cartridges is not only environmentally friendly, but it’s also a simple travel fundraising idea you can use to earn money for your next trip.

Start collecting cartridges from your own printer as well the ones at work (if your boss lets you). Ask your friends and family to donate their ink cartridges as well.

Gather as many as you can and send them to a recycling place that pays for cartridges. You can try this fundraiser with batteries, too!

Have a spa day to treat your family and friends while earning money for travel.

Host a Spa Day

Everyone could use a day to relax and unwind, and you can give your friends and family some spa treatment and raise funds. Creating a spa day can be a fundraising idea for mission trips, vacations, and other travel expenses.

The spa day fundraiser works best with you and a few volunteers to help with the facials, pedicures, and manicures. 

You can charge donors per spa service and offer food and drinks for an additional fee. This a fundraiser that can help your supporters relax as you raise funds for your next trip or adventure.

Another fundraising idea for travel is to sell coffee to your friends and family.

Sell Coffee

Coffee is enjoyed by many people all around the world, and selling it can be a great travel-inspired fundraising idea.

Connect with a local coffee shop or a wholesale coffee bean distributor and sell bagged coffee beans or grounds to your local community. You could even sell cups of coffee in the mornings.

Make sure that you explain where the coffee comes from and how buying it will help you raise funds for your next excursion aboard.

If you're looking for fundraising ideas for trips and adventures, you can run errands to raise money.

Run Errands

Often, between work and our personal lives, we have too many tasks to accomplish. You can help your community members by completing some of their errands in return for donations.

If your next-door neighbor needs help finishing their laundry or you have a friend that needs you to walk his dog, you can complete all these tasks and raise some extra money for your trip. 

To start earning money, you’ll need to promote your services around the community. Put up flyers, tell your friends and family, and post on social media to spread the word.

Sell photos for your past trips to raise money so that you can travel again.

Have a Photo Sale

As an adventurous traveler, you’ve probably taken some unique pictures of your experiences abroad. Why not use those photos and sell prints to raise funds for your next journey?

For this fundraising idea, pick some of your favorite pictures, print them on nice photo paper, and sell them around your community. You can even frame a few and charge a little extra.

You can ask your friends and family if they’d like to purchase a photo, but you should also ask local businesses as well. Restaurants and offices could always use new artwork to put on their walls.

Raise money for your trip by hosting a themed party.

Host a Themed Party

What’s better than hosting a party to create excitement for your upcoming trip? Raising money while doing it!

You can host a party that’s themed to match your upcoming travels. Include food and decor that reflects the places you’ll be visiting and invite your friends to enjoy the festivities with you.

To add a fundraising component to the fun, you can charge a small door fee or set up a donation jar inside. When your peers get a glimpse of the culture you’re about to enjoy, they’ll be happy to get out their wallets.

You can sell custom calendars to raise money for your trip.

Create Custom Calendars

No matter how convenient a phone or laptop calendar may be, everyone enjoys having a physical calendar hanging on the wall or sitting on their desk.

You can give your friends and family a taste of your trip year-round by creating custom calendars that highlight your favorite destinations. 

Put your calendars up for sale before you leave. Then when you return, send your travel photos off to an online calendar creator and present them to your generous supporters. Talk about a creative (and useful) souvenir!

Try a charity auction as a fundraiser for cancer research and awareness.

Charity Auctions

Charity auctions can be a fast-paced and energetic way to raise more money and interact with your supporters face-to-face. You also have the opportunity to form some solid business connections!

Ask for charity auction items from local businesses; try to get as many items donated for close to nothing. That way, you can put your budget into creating a great atmosphere for your attendees.

Hire an auctioneer, send out invites, and cater in food and drinks. Make sure that everyone is aware of the rules of your charity auction beforehand . People will walk away with some unique items and experiences, and you can raise more money!

Silent auctions bring people together, making them an effective fundraising idea for fraternities and sororities.

Silent Auctions

Silent auctions are a fun way to get a little more face time with your donors while they bid on unique and appealing items up for grabs. Plus, if you find the right auction items, you have the potential to raise a lot of money!

Ask local businesses and individuals if they would like to donate items to your silent auction. Common items include gift cards to restaurants, signed memorabilia, lessons from a professional of some kind, gift baskets, and more!

You can enlist the help of a mobile bidding tool to create a tech-enhanced bidding experience for your attendees. Mobile bidding software also makes checking in, checking out, and item monitoring easier on your auction volunteers and staff.

Walkathons make great fundraising ideas for fraternities and sororities.

Walkathons are perfect for active supporters who like to show their passion for a cause. Walkathons are well-suited for healthcare-related issues and causes, but they can technically be used for any type of fundraising effort!

You’ll need to determine a location and time for your walkathon. Choose a season that is a good temperature with minimal risk of rain. Make sure you have a backup location just in case!

Then, send out invitations and design some merchandise like t-shirts and water bottles. You can sell these for an extra fee to raise money above any entrance costs you charge. Make sure you have medical and first-aid supplies nearby in the case of an accident.

Getting Started With Your Fundraising Campaign

Fundly Makes it Easy to Raise Money for Your Upcoming Trip or Adventure

It’s Fast & Simple Quickly raise money for your trip or adventure with your personalized and completely unique crowdfunding campaign. Get up and running in five minutes and start accepting donations from your friends and family members.

It’s Personalized Create a beautiful fundraising page for your adventure or upcoming trip with simple tools to upload images and videos. You can tell your story and let people know why traveling is so important to you.

  It’s Free You shouldn’t have to invest money to raise money for your trip or adventure.   With Fundly, there are no start-up costs! We charge a small fee on donations only if you raise money.

Start Your Fundraiser

With Fundly , you’ll be up and running in minutes. You can start accepting contributions for your upcoming trip or adventure almost instantly.

Add Images and Tell Your Story

Starting a crowdfunding campaign for your trip or adventure is a great opportunity to let those around you know about your passion for travel and excitement. You can use your campaign page to talk about your upcoming trip and the other experiences that have shaped your worldview.

Share Your Fundraiser

With just a few clicks, you can instantly share your crowdfunding campaign with your social networks via Facebook, Twitter, and email. As you share your campaign, you increase the chances that people could see your fundraising page and contribute to your project or cause!

Let your supporters know just how much you appreciate them! Post regular updates to highlight your fundraising milestones, and upload more pictures and videos to connect even more people to your campaign.

Benefits of Using Fundly to Raise Money for Your Trip or Adventure

Create a crowdfunding campaign for your upcoming trip or adventure for FREE. Pay absolutely no fees until you receive your first contribution.

Keep it All

There’s absolutely no need to raise a minimum amount, meet a deadline, or pay penalties if you don’t reach a goal. You get to keep whatever funds you raise, minus any fees.

Excellent Customer Service

Get set up quickly and easily, whether you’re tech-savvy or not. Our interface is super easy to use for you and  your supporters, and our team is always here to help if you run into any problems while raising money for your trip or adventure.

At only a few cents for every dollar you raise, Fundly is one of the most affordable ways to raise money for a trip, adventure, or other awesome experience!

Instant Fundraising

Create your fundraiser in a few minutes and start raising money quickly and easily. You can reach out to friends and family members and ask them for donations to help fund your trip or adventure.

Deep Social Integration

With Fundly, you can reach out to your social networks via Facebook, Twitter, and email! This means that your campaign appears in more people’s newsfeeds and inboxes, maximizing your fundraising efforts.

Fundraising Campaigns for Trips and Adventures

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Fundraiser for a Mountain Adventure

This adventurous woman started a crowdfunding campaign after being accepted into a hiking program that challenges women to hike three mountain peaks in three weeks across three South American countries. The money raised went to an organization that supports impoverished women and girls.

This campaign succeeded because of the story that the organizer told with words, images, and videos. She created a YouTube video that explained her cause and why she was raising money, which helped supporters connect with her campaign.

Fundraising Ideas for Trips and Adventures: England Calling

Crowdfunding Campaign for a Mission Trip to England

This crowdfunding campaign was started to help a young woman travel to England for a mission trip. She still has three days left in her campaign timeline, but luckily, her supporters have already helped her reach her goal of $2,500! Even though she only had 13 donors, this campaign is very successful.

One of the best things about this campaign was the update that the organizer posted that let people know about the increase in the price of a plane ticket. By keeping people in the loop, she was able to meet her fundraising goal!

Best Practices for Your Trip or Adventure-Related Crowdfunding Campaign

Share visuals.

Your supporters want to know more about the location you’re raising money to travel to! When you set up your crowdfunding campaign, make sure that you upload multiple images and videos of your destination to give donors an idea of what they’re contributing to.

Learn more about shooting and posting great crowdfunding photos .

  • Tell Your Story

Whether you are traveling to Africa for a mission trip, backpacking through Europe for a summer, or just looking to take a vacation, people will want to know your story! Let them know why your trip is unique and why they should contribute to your crowdfunding campaign.

Check out these examples of great crowdfunding descriptions .

The best way to raise money and awareness for your crowdfunding campaign is to share it on social media. You should regularly share the link to your crowdfunding campaign on Facebook and Twitter and via email to increase the chances of reaching your goal before your trip!

Learn more about sharing your crowdfunding campaign with your network .

Share Updates

Keep your supporters updated throughout the duration of your campaign and once it’s over. People will be excited to help you reach your fundraising goal and send you on your trip! Let them know how much you appreciate their support by posting regular updates, photos, and acknowledgements.

Check out these tips for writing crowdfunding updates .

See What Others Say:

gofundme trips

After I graduated college, I wanted to take a year and travel through India to learn more about the culture. I knew that it wasn’t going to be cheap, so I started a crowdfunding campaign on Fundly and asked my friends and family for donations. They helped me fly overseas and experience the trip of a lifetime!

gofundme trips

My school’s study abroad program is great, but when I found out that they didn’t cover airfare, I was devastated! I thought I wasn’t going to be able to spend the summer studying in Spain. When I found Fundly, I immediately started a campaign and within weeks had enough money to pay for a round trip ticket to Barcelona!

gofundme trips

My husband and I decided to skip a registry and asked our wedding guests and family members to donate to our honeymoon crowdfunding campaign instead. We were able to spend three weeks in Europe thanks to the generosity and support of our friends and family!

Over $330 Million Raised To Date

Start Raising Money For Your Trip or Adventure Today

Additional Resources for your Fundraising Success

Get 7 tips for fundraising success to help you raise more money.

7 Tips for Fundraising Success

Every crowdfunding campaign can use a little help every now and then!

Whether you need advice about shooting and uploading crowdfunding photos, writing descriptions and updates, or sharing your fundraiser with your friends and family members, we’ve got your back.

Click below to learn more about the top seven crowdfunding tips that can be used for all types of fundraising efforts and campaigns!

gofundme trips

10 Fundraising Examples

You’ve heard the stories about fundraisers surpassing their goal, but how often does that really happen?

The answer? More frequently than you might think! In fact, individuals and organizations often meet  and  exceed their goals when they use Fundly to set up a fundraiser and share it with their friends and family members.

Check out these ten crowdfunding campaigns that all exceeded their fundraising goals by sizable margins in just a matter of weeks!

Before your start fundraising, understand the basics with this ultimate crowdfunding guide.

Understand Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding has been used to raise money for everything from creative projects to medical costs and more!

Why is it so popular? Well, it might have something to do with the fact that a crowdfunding campaign is insanely easy to set up and share with your friends, family members, coworkers, and other peers.

See for yourself! Take a look at our Ultimate Guide to Crowdfunding and learn how you can make the most of this fundraising craze!

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GoFundMe Is a Health-Care Utility Now

Resorting to crowdfunding to pay medical bills has become so routine, in some cases health professionals recommend it.

the logo of GoFundMe becomes a health kit against a green background

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Produced by ElevenLabs and NOA, News Over Audio, using AI narration.

GoFundMe started as a crowdfunding site for underwriting “ ideas and dreams ,” and, as GoFundMe’s co-founders, Andrew Ballester and Brad Damphousse, once put it, “ for life’s important moments .” In the early years, it funded honeymoon trips, graduation gifts, and church missions to overseas hospitals in need. Now GoFundMe has become a go-to for patients trying to escape medical-billing nightmares. One study found that, in 2020, the number of U.S. campaigns related to medical causes—about 200,000—was 25 times higher than the number of such campaigns on the site in 2011. More than 500 campaigns are currently dedicated to asking for financial help for treating people, mostly kids, with spinal muscular atrophy, a neurodegenerative genetic condition. The recently approved gene therapy for young children with the condition, by the drugmaker Novartis, costs about $2.1 million for the single-dose treatment.

Perhaps the most damning aspect of all this is that paying for expensive care with crowdfunding is no longer seen as unusual; instead, it is being normalized as part of the health system, like getting blood work done or waiting on hold for an appointment. Need a heart transplant? Start a GoFundMe in order to get on the waiting list . Resorting to GoFundMe when faced with bills has become so accepted that in some cases, patient advocates and hospital financial-aid officers recommend crowdfunding as an alternative to being sent to collections. My inbox and the Bill of the Month project (run by KFF Health News , where I am the senior contributing editor, and NPR) have become a kind of complaint desk for people who can’t afford their medical bills, and I’m gobsmacked every time a patient tells me they’ve been advised that GoFundMe is their best option.

GoFundMe itself acknowledges the reliance of patients on the company’s platform. Ari Romio, a spokesperson for the company, said that “medical expenses” is the most common category of fundraiser it hosts. But she declined to say what proportion of campaigns are medically related, because people starting a campaign self-select the purpose of the fundraiser. They might choose the family or travel category, she said, if a child needs to go to a different state for treatment, for example. So although the company has estimated in the past that a third of the funds raised on the site are medical-related, that could be an undercount.

Andrea Coy of Fort Collins, Colorado, turned to GoFundMe in 2021 as a last resort after an air-ambulance bill tipped her family’s finances over the edge. Her son Sebastian, then a year old, had been admitted with pneumonia to a local hospital and then transferred urgently by helicopter to Children’s Hospital Colorado in Denver when his oxygen levels dropped. REACH, the air-ambulance transport company that contracted with the hospital, was out-of-network, and billed the family nearly $65,000 for the ride—more than $28,000 of which Coy’s insurer, UnitedHealthcare, paid. Even so, REACH continued sending Coy’s family bills for the remaining balance, and later began regularly calling Coy to try to collect, enough that she felt the company was harassing her, she told me.

Coy made multiple calls to her company’s human-resources department, REACH, and UnitedHealthcare for help in resolving the case. She applied to various patient groups for financial assistance and was rejected again and again. Eventually, she got the outstanding balance knocked down to $5,000, but even that was more than she could afford on top of the $12,000 the family owed out-of-pocket for Sebastian’s actual treatment.

That’s when a hospital financial-aid officer suggested she try GoFundMe. But, as Coy said, “I’m not an influencer or anything like that,” so the appeal “offered only a bit of temporary relief—we’ve hit a wall.” They have gone deep into debt and hope to climb out of it.

In an emailed response, a spokesperson for REACH noted that they could not comment on a specific case because of patient-privacy laws, but that, if the ride occurred before the federal No Surprises Act went into effect, the bill was legal. (That act protects patients from such air-ambulance bills and has been in force since January 1, 2022.) But the spokesperson added, “If a patient is experiencing a financial hardship, we work with them to find equitable solutions.” What is “equitable”—and whether that includes seeking an additional $5,000, beyond a $28,000 insurance payment, for transporting a sick child—is subjective, of course.

In many respects, research shows, GoFundMe tends to perpetuate socioeconomic disparities that already affect medical bills and debt. If you are famous or part of a circle of friends who have money, your crowdfunding campaign is much more likely to succeed than if you are middle-class or poor. When the family of the former Olympic gymnast Mary Lou Retton started a fundraiser on another platform, *spotfund, for her recent ICU stay at a time when she was uninsured, nearly $460,000 in donations quickly poured in. (Although Retton said she could not get affordable insurance because of her preexisting condition—dozens of orthopedic surgeries—the Affordable Care Act prohibits insurers from refusing to cover people because of their prior medical histories, or charging them abnormally high rates.)

And given the price of American health care, even the most robust fundraising can feel inadequate. If you’re looking for help to pay for a $2 million drug, even tens of thousands is a drop in the bucket.

Rob Solomon, the CEO of the platform from 2015 to March 2020 , who was named one of Time magazine’s 50 most influential people in health care, has said that he “would love nothing more than for ‘medical’ to not be a category on GoFundMe.” He told KFF Health News that “the system is terrible. It needs to be rethought and retooled. Politicians are failing us. Health-care companies are failing us. Those are realities.”

But despite the noble ambitions of its original vision, GoFundMe is a privately held for-profit company. In 2015, the founders sold a majority stake to a venture-capital investor group led by Accel Partners and Technology Crossover Ventures. And when I asked about medical bills being the most common reason for GoFundMe campaigns, the company’s current CEO, Tim Cadogan, sounded less critical than his predecessor of the health system, whose high prices and financial cruelty have arguably made his company famous.

“Our mission is to help people help each other,” he said. “We are not, and cannot, be the solution to complex, systemic problems that are best solved with meaningful public policy.”

And that’s true. Despite the site’s hopeful vibe, most campaigns generate only a small fraction of the money owed. Almost all of the medical-expense campaigns in the U.S. fell short of their goal, and some raised little or no money, a 2017 study from the University of Washington found. The average campaign made it to just about 40 percent of the target amount, and there is evidence that yields—measured as a percent of their target—have gotten worse over time.

Carol Justice, a recently retired civil servant and a longtime union member in Portland, Oregon, turned to GoFundMe after she faced a mammoth unexpected bill for bariatric surgery at Oregon Health & Science University.

She had expected to pay about $1,000, the amount left in her deductible, after her health insurer paid the $15,000 cap on the surgery. She didn’t understand that a cap meant she would have to pay the difference if the hospital, which was in-network, charged more.

And it did, leaving her with a bill of $18,000, to be paid all at once or in monthly $1,400 increments. “That’s more than my mortgage,” she told me. “I was facing filing for bankruptcy or losing my car and my house.” She made numerous calls to the hospital’s financial-aid office, many unanswered, and received only unfulfilled promises that “we’ll get back to you” about whether she qualified for help.

So, Justice said, her health coach—provided by the city of Portland—suggested starting a GoFundMe. The campaign yielded about $1,400, just one monthly payment, including $200 from the health coach and $100 from an aunt. She dutifully sent each donation directly to the hospital.

In an emailed response, the hospital system said that it couldn’t discuss individual cases, but that “financial assistance information is readily available for patients, and can be accessed at any point in a patient’s journey with OHSU. Starting in early 2019, OHSU worked to remove barriers for patients most in need by providing a quick screening for financial assistance that, if a certain threshold is met, awards financial assistance without requiring an application process.”

This particular tale has a happy-ish ending. In desperation, Justice went to the hospital and planted herself in the financial-aid office, where she had a tearful meeting with a hospital representative who determined that—given her finances—she wouldn’t have to pay the bill.

“I’d been through the gamut and just cried,” she said. She told me that she would like to repay the people who donated to her GoFundMe. But so far, the hospital won’t give the $1,400 back.

The Atlantic

GoFundMe Is a Health-Care Utility Now

G oFundMe started as a crowdfunding site for underwriting “ ideas and dreams ,” and, as GoFundMe’s co-founders, Andrew Ballester and Brad Damphousse, once put it, “ for life’s important moments .” In the early years, it funded honeymoon trips, graduation gifts, and church missions to overseas hospitals in need. Now GoFundMe has become a go-to for patients trying to escape medical-billing nightmares.

One study found that, in 2020, the number of U.S. campaigns related to medical causes—about 200,000—was 25 times higher than the number of such campaigns on the site in 2011. More than 500 campaigns are currently dedicated to asking for financial help for treating people, mostly kids, with spinal muscular atrophy, a neurodegenerative genetic condition. The recently approved gene therapy for young children with the condition, by the drugmaker Novartis, costs about $2.1 million for the single-dose treatment.

Perhaps the most damning aspect of all this is that paying for expensive care with crowdfunding is no longer seen as unusual; instead, it is being normalized as part of the health system, like getting blood work done or waiting on hold for an appointment. Need a heart transplant? Start a GoFundMe in order to get on the waiting list . Resorting to GoFundMe when faced with bills has become so accepted that in some cases, patient advocates and hospital financial-aid officers recommend crowdfunding as an alternative to being sent to collections. My inbox and the Bill of the Month project (run by KFF Health News , where I am the senior contributing editor, and NPR) have become a kind of complaint desk for people who can’t afford their medical bills, and I’m gobsmacked every time a patient tells me they’ve been advised that GoFundMe is their best option.

GoFundMe itself acknowledges the reliance of patients on the company’s platform. Ari Romio, a spokesperson for the company, said that “medical expenses” is the most common category of fundraiser it hosts. But she declined to say what proportion of campaigns are medically related, because people starting a campaign self-select the purpose of the fundraiser. They might choose the family or travel category, she said, if a child needs to go to a different state for treatment, for example. So although the company has estimated in the past that a third of the funds raised on the site are medical-related, that could be an undercount.  

Andrea Coy of Fort Collins, Colorado, turned to GoFundMe in 2021 as a last resort after an air-ambulance bill tipped her family’s finances over the edge. Her son Sebastian, then a year old, had been admitted with pneumonia to a local hospital and then transferred urgently by helicopter to Children’s Hospital Colorado in Denver when his oxygen levels dropped. REACH, the air-ambulance transport company that contracted with the hospital, was out-of-network, and billed the family nearly $65,000 for the ride—more than $28,000 of which Coy’s insurer, UnitedHealthcare, paid. Even so, REACH continued sending Coy’s family bills for the remaining balance, and later began regularly calling Coy to try to collect, enough that she felt the company was harassing her, she told me.

Coy made multiple calls to her company’s human-resources department, REACH, and UnitedHealthcare for help in resolving the case. She applied to various patient groups for financial assistance and was rejected again and again. Eventually, she got the outstanding balance knocked down to $5,000, but even that was more than she could afford on top of the $12,000 the family owed out-of-pocket for Sebastian’s actual treatment.

That’s when a hospital financial-aid officer suggested she try GoFundMe. But, as Coy said, “I’m not an influencer or anything like that,” so the appeal “offered only a bit of temporary relief—we’ve hit a wall.” They have gone deep into debt and hope to climb out of it.

In an emailed response, a spokesperson for REACH noted that they could not comment on a specific case because of patient-privacy laws, but that, if the ride occurred before the federal No Surprises Act went into effect, the bill was legal. (That act protects patients from such air-ambulance bills and has been in force since January 1, 2022.) But the spokesperson added, “If a patient is experiencing a financial hardship, we work with them to find equitable solutions.” What is “equitable”—and whether that includes seeking an additional $5,000, beyond a $28,000 insurance payment, for transporting a sick child—is subjective, of course.  

In many respects, research shows, GoFundMe tends to perpetuate socioeconomic disparities that already affect medical bills and debt. If you are famous or part of a circle of friends who have money, your crowdfunding campaign is much more likely to succeed than if you are middle-class or poor. When the family of the former Olympic gymnast Mary Lou Retton started a fundraiser on another platform, *spotfund, for her recent ICU stay at a time when she was uninsured, nearly $460,000 in donations quickly poured in. (Although Retton said she could not get affordable insurance because of her preexisting condition—dozens of orthopedic surgeries—the Affordable Care Act prohibits insurers from refusing to cover people because of their prior medical histories, or charging them abnormally high rates.)

And given the price of American health care, even the most robust fundraising can feel inadequate. If you’re looking for help to pay for a $2 million drug, even tens of thousands is a drop in the bucket.

Rob Solomon, the CEO of the platform from 2015 to March 2020 , who was named one of Time magazine’s 50 most influential people in health care, has said that he “would love nothing more than for ‘medical’ to not be a category on GoFundMe.” He told KFF Health News that “the system is terrible. It needs to be rethought and retooled. Politicians are failing us. Health-care companies are failing us. Those are realities.”

But despite the noble ambitions of its original vision, GoFundMe is a privately held for-profit company. In 2015, the founders sold a majority stake to a venture-capital investor group led by Accel Partners and Technology Crossover Ventures. And when I asked about medical bills being the most common reason for GoFundMe campaigns, the company’s current CEO, Tim Cadogan, sounded less critical than his predecessor of the health system, whose high prices and financial cruelty have arguably made his company famous.

“Our mission is to help people help each other,” he said. “We are not, and cannot, be the solution to complex, systemic problems that are best solved with meaningful public policy.”

And that’s true. Despite the site’s hopeful vibe, most campaigns generate only a small fraction of the money owed. Almost all of the medical-expense campaigns in the U.S. fell short of their goal, and some raised little or no money, a 2017 study from the University of Washington found. The average campaign made it to just about 40 percent of the target amount, and there is evidence that yields—measured as a percent of their target—have gotten worse over time.  

Carol Justice, a recently retired civil servant and a longtime union member in Portland, Oregon, turned to GoFundMe after she faced a mammoth unexpected bill for bariatric surgery at Oregon Health & Science University.

She had expected to pay about $1,000, the amount left in her deductible, after her health insurer paid the $15,000 cap on the surgery. She didn’t understand that a cap meant she would have to pay the difference if the hospital, which was in-network, charged more.

And it did, leaving her with a bill of $18,000, to be paid all at once or in monthly $1,400 increments. “That’s more than my mortgage,” she told me. “I was facing filing for bankruptcy or losing my car and my house.” She made numerous calls to the hospital’s financial-aid office, many unanswered, and received only unfulfilled promises that “we’ll get back to you” about whether she qualified for help.

So, Justice said, her health coach—provided by the city of Portland—suggested starting a GoFundMe. The campaign yielded about $1,400, just one monthly payment, including $200 from the health coach and $100 from an aunt. She dutifully sent each donation directly to the hospital.

In an emailed response, the hospital system said that it couldn’t discuss individual cases, but that “financial assistance information is readily available for patients, and can be accessed at any point in a patient’s journey with OHSU. Starting in early 2019, OHSU worked to remove barriers for patients most in need by providing a quick screening for financial assistance that, if a certain threshold is met, awards financial assistance without requiring an application process.”

This particular tale has a happy-ish ending. In desperation, Justice went to the hospital and planted herself in the financial-aid office, where she had a tearful meeting with a hospital representative who determined that—given her finances—she wouldn’t have to pay the bill.

“I’d been through the gamut and just cried,” she said. She told me that she would like to repay the people who donated to her GoFundMe. But so far, the hospital won’t give the $1,400 back.

GoFundMe Is a Health-Care Utility Now

gofundme trips

Fundraising

Have you been dreaming of your next adventure.

TFT wants to help you reach the goal of travel, so we’ve got some ideas to help get you started!

School Guidance Office

One of the first places to visit is your school counseling center or guidance office. Counselors and advisors often have access to information regarding a wide variety of financial aid and scholarship possibilities. There are opportunities for scholarships where your school can nominate students such as yourself, as well as other resources where students must apply independently. Counselors are there to help you and present various alternatives to any student, whether based purely on merit, local residency, or financial need.

Crowdfunding

There are several websites out there that you can use to help crowdfund your trip. A few are listed below to help get you started. You can even start fundraising with each of them for free! Make sure that you write a good description that outlines why you want to go abroad as well as some of your goals during your travels.

Suggested websites:

  • gofundme.com
  • indiegogo.com
  • fundmytravel.com
  • fundraising.myevent.com
  • volunteerforever.com

Letter Writing Campaign

Get the addresses or email addresses of family members, family friends, and your parents’ co-workers and write a letter telling them why you want to go abroad and what you hope to experience during your travels and how they can help you. If you choose to set up an online fundraiser, be sure to include the link to it in your letter.

Scholarships and Grants

If you’ve done everything you can to raise some funds but you still need a little more help, don’t hesitate to ask for it! Here are some websites to check out for applying for travel scholarships and grants.

  • dosomething.org
  • fastweb.com
  • highscholarships.com
  • wiredscholar.com
  • broweryouthawards.org
  • starbucksfoundation.org

There are also books in your local library and bookstores that list scholarships available to high school students. The majority of guides focus on scholarship opportunities for college, but the following may prove helpful for achieving your travel goals:

  • The Scholarship Scouting Report: An Insider’s Guide to America’s Best Scholarships (Ben Kaplan)
  • Let’s Talk About Scholarships: A Scholarship Reference Guide for High School Students Only (The Scholarship Lady Staff)
  • The Ultimate Scholarship Book 2016: Billions of Dollars in Scholarships, Grants and Prizes (Supercollege)

Donations instead of gifts

For your next birthday or for the holidays, ask your parents and family to replace the gifts and store cards with cash donations to put towards your program. This will show them how committed you are to going and having the experience rather than holding onto material things.

Host a Party

Gather some friends and family and host a dinner or movie night with a cuisine related to where you want to travel. At some point during the dinner or after the movie, get everyone’s attention and talk a little bit about your goals for the trip. Make sure to leave a donations jar by the door.

Sports Pledges

Do you play a sport? Or you do just want to keep yourself in shape? Ask friends and family to pledge a certain amount for every mile you run over the next 6 months, or for every goal you make for the rest of your sport’s season. Not only will it motivate you to keep performing well in order to earn more, but you’ll also be more motivated to keep exercising regardless!

Pet Service

Are you good with pets? If so, offer to take care of family members’ and neighbors’ furry pals  for a small charge while they are away from home or during the day at work. You can also offer a grooming service if you feel comfortable with that.

Who doesn’t love a good homemade bake sale? Put on your apron and get baking! Get some friends together and start a baking line, putting each person in charge of one part of the recipe. Speaking of recipes, make sure to check out recipes for the local treats of where you would like to go in order to put a more personal touch on the reason behind your bake sale.

Local Organizations

Often local organizations will offer scholarships or grants and leave information about them at the local library after they stop by schools. Go to your library and see if they have a section where they keep all of that information.

Here’s a list of some other places you can checkout:

  • Your local branch of the Rotary, Lions, Elks, Kiwanis, or similar organizations
  • The Parents & Teachers Association at school
  • Local medical research or pharmaceutical companies (especially if you are interested in science-oriented subjects)
  • Banks and insurance companies – although larger financial institutions often run nationwide scholarships, both big and small companies may offer more localized competitions as well
  • Companies involved in education in one form or another – these could include suppliers of educational equipment, county, and statewide educational associations, etc.
  • Local youth organizations and foundations
  • Educational publications and websites
  • Sometimes businesses will donate air miles towards your trip

Share Your Experience

Get in touch with some local businesses or larger companies and see if they will sponsor you to go abroad. Think about starting a free blog or website or even a travel Instagram to share your experiences. Offer to bring some some of their official swag with you and show off in pictures or give them a shout-out in your blog posts. Make sure to tag us in posts from your trip too and you might also win some of our swag! @travelforteens #gotft

Thank You Letters

Finally, make sure to write a thank you letter to everyone who helped back you and your travels. Sending just a simple thank you note will show your gratitude for their help, no matter how big or small it was. It’s important to acknowledge that every bit counts!

For the Parents

Meet the staff.

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Sign up for our special travel newsletter and be notified about exclusive discounts, new trips, and other announcements. Stay in the know.

2 Kentucky women say they were drugged, raped by Bahamas resort staffers, suspects arrested

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Police in the Bahamas this week arrested two people on sexual assault charges after two American women on a Carnival cruise said they were drugged and raped while in the Caribbean country.

The report comes on the heels of the United States Department of State issuing a travel advisory for the Bahamas − a popular for cruises and spring break vacations.

A "quick response" by officers in Grand Bahama , the northernmost island of the Bahamas in the Atlantic Ocean, resulted in the arrest of a 54-year-old man of Eight Mile Rock and a 40-year-old man of South Bahamia after they allegedly sexually assaulted two women on Sunday, the Royal Bahamas Police Force reported.

According to a preliminary report from the department, the attacks took place shortly after noon on Sunday while two females visited a beach in Central Grand Bahama.

The women, two mothers from Kentucky who identified themselves as Amber Shearer and Dongayla Dobson, told News Nation 's Chris Cuomo they were "relaxing on a Grand Bahama beach" when a resort employee allegedly gave them drinks spiked with a cocktail of drugs including benzodiazepines.

"They were given drinks – a coconut and pineapple drink − spiked with a series of drug and narcotics," the women's Miami-based attorney, Nicholas Gerson told USA TODAY Thursday. "They became inebriated and were both taken away and raped."

At the time of the reported attacks, Gerson said his clients, both 31, were unaware of the recent travel warning and "not aware of any warnings given by Carnival."

When reached by phone on Thursday, Dobson's husband told USA TODAY he and his wife live in Lancaster, Kentucky, a small city about 35-miles south of Lexington.

He also said his wife and Shearer are childhood friends who both grew up in Danville, Kentucky, a town about 10 miles west of Lancaster and deferred additional questions to his wife's lawyer.

'A two-for-one drink deal'

Gerson said on the day of the alleged assaults, his clients went on an excursion called "Pirate's Cove Beach Getaway" and were taken to the island by a shuttle arranged by Carnival.

There, the attorney said, a resort staffer offered them a two-for-one drink deal, and after taking just a few sips, they realized something was off with the beverage.

Dobson told Cuomo the friends went to look for seashells for their children with "a male resort employee" and the next thing she remembered "was waking up while she was being assaulted by a uniformed male resort staffer."

“I came to in the process of my rape,” Dobson told Cuomo. “I want people to be safe... Two’s not enough." She said they "thought as best friends … that we could protect each other and to be safe."

That wasn't enough, she said.

Shortly after the reported rapes, both women told Cuomo, local authorities and other staff at the resort were able to identify the men accused of sexually assaulting the women through video surveillance.

The women took toxicology tests when they returned to the ship and reported the rapes, Gerson said

Toxicology results, he said, found little if no alcohol in his clients' systems, but the women tested positive for benzos and other drugs including cocaine.

Rape settlement: Teen worker raped by McDonald's manager receives $4.4 million

'Support for the two guests'

Carnival released the following statement to USA TODAY on Thursday:

"While ashore in Freeport, Bahamas on an independent shore excursion, two guests on Carnival Elation reported to Bahamian police that they were sexually assaulted at a local beach. Our onboard Care Team provided support for the two guests as they sailed back to Jacksonville. Bahamian police are investigating the matter and Carnival is providing our full cooperation."

As of Thursdays police had not released the names of the men they arrested.

The department's daily crime report log posted online showed the case remained open and under investigation.

A spokesperson for Pirate's Cove shared a statement with USA TODAY late Thursday afternoon that said managers took swift action as soon as the incident was reported and the business is cooperating with investigators.

"We regret that our guests experienced this incident, and we remain steadfast in our commitment to aid police in the collection of evidence in response to these allegations, including providing Police access to video from the sixteen cameras around the beach facility where the assault of the two guests allegedly occurred," the statement read. "Accusations of any kind are always thoroughly investigated by Pirates Cove management and, when warranted, the organization calls in local authorities.

Level 2 travel advisory

Last month, the Department of State issued a  Level 2 travel advisory  for the Bahamas.

The advisory, posted on Jan. 26, warns travelers to "exercise increased caution" because of crime on the islands of New Providence including Grand Bahama, Nassau, and Freeport.

A security alert posted by the  U.S. Embassy in the Bahamas  on Jan. 24 also reported that 18 murders have taken place in Nassau since the start of the year.

The alert warns that murders have occurred at all hours including in broad daylight on the streets.

"Retaliatory gang violence has been the primary motive in 2024 murders," the embassy wrote.

Gerson said Carnival did not warn his clients about the travel advisory.

"The cruise line has a legal obligation to warn their passengers about danger they may know about and it applies to places passengers are visiting or expected to visit," Gerson said.

Contributing: Gabe Hauari

Natalie Neysa Alund is a senior reporter for USA TODAY. Reach her at [email protected] and follow her on X @nataliealund.

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GoFundMe Holding Money Raised For Homeless Man Featured In Viral TikTok

A new GoFundMe update is the plot twist no one had on their 2024 bingo card!

An inspiring story of how a college student helped a homeless man who crossed her path while walking to the grocery store has taken a bit of a turn.

After many uplifting videos were shared on TikTok that show all that Sanai Graden was doing for the homeless man, Alonzo Douglas Hebron, news of a violent past are coming to the surface and changing the narrative of the heartwarming story.

The Heartwarming Viral Story Has Taken A Controversial Turn

After Graden 's videos went viral, people ran to GoFundMe to help out the cause. The fundraiser has raised more than $400,000 in just a few days, and now GoFundMe is holding the money after the homeless man's past resurfaced.

Let's quickly recap - Graden was walking to the grocery store when a homeless man, Hebron, asked her for a cup of tea. The two ended up spending a few hours together as Graden picked up his medication at the pharmacy, got him some tea, and booked him a hotel room.

During their hours together, Hebron revealed that he's battling prostate cancer and alone. Graden decided she wanted to do more to help him so she started a GoFundMe page to raise money for him. In just a few short days, thousands of people donated to the cause.

Fast forward to now. A woman who was assaulted in 2020 came forward to announce that it was Hebron, who had just gone viral on TikTok because of Graden 's help.

"I'm speechless," she told FOX5 about the viral video he's in. "I do not understand how a human being can act like this. He's a sociopath. He does not have a sense of remorse."

And it's not just her word. Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police said in a news release back in June 2020 that Hebron assaulted a woman and was arrested days later.

"At approximately 1:16 am, the suspect approached the victim at the listed location. The suspect assaulted the victim and stole the victim’s property. The suspect fled the scene. The victim was transported to an area hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries," the release reads, adding:

"On Friday, June 26, 2020, 61 year-old Alonzo Douglas Hebron, of No Fixed Address, was arrested and charged with Robbery (Force & Violence) and Aggravated Assault."

After this news surfaced, GoFundMe decided to put a hold on releasing the $402,963 raised for Hebron.

TikTokers Are Voicing Their Opinions On The GoFundMe Situation

While Graden hasn't broken her silence on the situation just yet, many other TikTokers are talking about it and sharing their opinions.

One TikToker, who goes by Santana Cruise & Travel on the app shared her thoughts in a TikTok video.

"If you're following the story with the homeless man who asked the young lady for a cup of tea and she got him a cup of tea and a place to live, she got him all the things, including a $400,000 GoFundMe, come on in the room cause the story is taking a turn," she said.

After recapping the situation, she explained that the man's violent past has come out and that GoFundMe is holding the money raised.

"They will not release the funds," she said. "So you mean to tell me, because of something this man did in his past, four years ago plus, can anybody explain to me what the money that was raised to help the homeless man, Alonzo, has to do with what he did four-plus years ago?"

She also said that while she doesn't think that what he's done in his past is right, he did do his time, adding, "This is a new season."

Many others agreed with her thought process.

"Let the past go and live in the present. Come on. Don’t let them take his blessings," one person wrote in the comments. Another added, "It’s not GoFundMe’s place to pass judgement. All GFM is is a collection site. That’s where their involvement should end. Nobody knows his struggles."

People who donated on GoFundMe also left comments about the money being held.

"Please give this man his money! This is not fair or worth the lawsuit," one person wrote.

"Really a blessing. Now, why is GoFundMe holding UNC’s money? Didn’t he serve time already for an incident? Tell me who’s without fault!?! Does that make him less deserving?" asked another.

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gofundme trips

People Are Crowdfunding Vacations And It's Actually F*cking Working

If you scroll through Facebook, Instagram or other social media platforms, the majority of what you'll see is selfies and bullsh*t. It's a fact of life: Shameless self-promotion is just the world we live in today.

From an entire album of Photoshopped beauty shots (published by someone you may  have added to see if he or she was still dating your hookup) to videos of people who clearly starved themselves for weeks before partaking in the Ice Bucket Challenge (you're  way late), the overload of garbage and lack of dignity will surely astound you.

Or you might be used to it all, desensitized to just how shallow people have become.

But online trends have hit a new low, and if you've caught on, you may be questioning WTF has happened to this generation.

If you haven't noticed, let me explain. It's becoming more and more acceptable for people to crowdfund their trips, vacations and adventures with sites like GoFundMe, IndieGoGo and Kickstarter.

How does anyone think this is okay? Seriously, we're just going to let this happen? I don't think so.

What's worse is that people are actually donating to the cause. What person in his or her right mind is going to fund "Chrissy's 21st In Miami!"? Did Chrissy really get donations from friends and family so she could take Jell-O shots out of a stripper's belly button on South Beach?

The Wall Street Journal interviewed a variety of people who have used crowdfunding for vacations and other various adventures.

One woman created a GoFundMe to pay her way through circus school, and another 24-year-old raised enough money to travel to meet a long-distance, Internet girlfriend at Disneyland in California. Another person even funded her "Eat, Pray, Love" finding-herself-in-her-50s trip to Italy after getting laid off.

In some situations, I definitely see the validity in helping a friend, relative or even an acquaintance in a financial bind. But to fund a complete stranger's dream vacation while I'm trying to plan my own is just not on my agenda.

Jameelah Kareem created a GoFundMe campaign to help cover her vacation in Las Vegas. Kareem was hoping she would be able to round up enough money to see the upcoming Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao fight.

gofundme trips

Kareem received quite a bit of backlash by Team Internet in the weeks following, with many saying her campaign goals of flying to Vegas for a week of gambling, drinking and boxing were ridiculous reasons to create a GoFundMe campaign.

Still, "Jah" reached her initial goal of $1,500, raising enough money to fund her entire vacation to Vegas. She was feeling pretty blue about all the trolls and haters on social media dissing her wonderful upcoming trip, though, and she decided to do something about it.

Now, her campaign on GoFundMe has been upped to $5,000, and she's giving whatever money she doesn't use to someone she went to high school with who has breast cancer. The two haven't seen each other since high school, but Kareem says she's talked to the person on Facebook "here and there."

I'm not even going to get into the alarmingly suspicious motives behind Jah's new breast cancer awareness campaign. And you know what? I'll even refrain from throwing all the shade I have against her tacky profile photo used to solicit money from strangers.

But that people would just go ahead and give a random girl on the Internet -- who will be spending other people's money to party in Vegas -- even more money to "send to someone she went to high school with" is what truly disturbs me.

I'm sure you've also heard about the guy who's raising money for his plane ticket to Miami . This guy isn't just going on a vacation; in fact, he's somewhat of a chaperone.

You see, his girlfriend is the one who is actually traveling to the 305 -- her boyfriend just refuses to let her party during Spring Break without him.

gofundme trips

Azel Prather Jr., the man behind the campaign, wrote on the GoFundMe account,

We have a great thing going and I would hate to see it go down the drain for a little sand and sun. If you could find it in your heart to donate ANYTHING to help save my relationship, I would greatly appreciate it.

Well Azel, it looks like the Internet heard your call and decided to grant you a few more months of a possessive relationship. So glad for the happy couple, am I right?

The nervous boyfriend told the Washington Post  he wasn't actually entirely concerned with his relationship -- and why should he be? Anyone who writes he will be "overseeing all fun activities" during his girlfriend's trip is likely to be controlling enough to know about his woman's every single move.

Instead, Prather is actually more focused on Miami than anything else. When his campaign to get him to South Beach wasn't going as swimmingly as he expected, Prather began to panic.

gofundme trips

Oh no, Big Zel! I would have been nervously live-tweeting my frustrations on a failing GoFundMe campaign if I were you, too.

gofundme trips

However, Prather didn't give up on his efforts, and he succeeded in raising enough money to get to the sandy beaches of Miami! Even though Spring Break was almost over, Prather still felt the need to babysit his girlfriend in Florida.

He told the Post,

She's posted on Instagram two times and both times she was in a bathing suit and it received  more than 200 likes. I asked her to stop. That's too many likes for me. The weekend is halfway over in Maryland, but every day is the weekend in Miami.

Poor guy. Go to her, Azel. GO TO HER. Here, please, take all my money!

One religious organization has even tried its own success at crowdfunding a vacation with quite a hefty price tag.

The Root reports that Creflo Dollar Ministries recently pulled a campaign to raise $65,000,000 for a brand new Gulfstream G650 jet. The church said it needed the jet to fly to various parts of the world.

The funding page was yanked after the church was receiving quick backlash online for the ridiculous-looking campaign.

But, in all honesty, can you blame them? It's only fair God's people fly in private, high-end jets when they're closer to him than ever.

gofundme trips

I mean, shouldn't all ministries have jet planes like this? I wish I still had time to fund a campaign so deserving.

gofundme trips

The interior looks great for impromptu Bible readings -- an important obligation for any ministry flying at altitudes higher than 5,000 feet.

gofundme trips

Just in case the group is flying on a Sunday, the $65 million dollar jet appears to have plenty of comfort zones and areas to unwind and relax. Sundays are, after all, the day God gave the world to fly first class, right?

Wrong. I usually have enough patience with the World Wide Web to control my anger and conceal my frustrations with people's stupidity. But I just can't sit quiet on this any longer.

I was raised to believe in the power of hard work. I fully understand the need to take a vacation, or several, throughout the year in order to clear our heads, center our minds and remember what it is to be an actual human being instead of just a working robot.

But I've always been taught I have to work for what I want in life, and if that means taking a vacation, I need to  earn it.

This new trend of raising money through crowdfunding websites is a ridiculous and unjustified way of paying for a frivolous vacation. There's even an entire website  dedicated to crowdfunding travel and vacation now.

It's one thing if the trip is supporting someone who is traveling for educational purposes or even volunteering for an organization or non-profit abroad. But a boxing match in Las Vegas? A tumultuous relationship on South Beach? "Eat, Pray, Love" in Italy? A $65 MILLION DOLLAR JET?

This fad needs to die now.

Citations: People Are Using Crowdfunding Sites to Pay for Overseas Travel, Classes (Wall Street Journal) , Boyfriend to crowdfunders: u2018Girlfriend will dump me unless you send me to Miami spring breaku2019 (Washington Post) , Creflo Dollar Ministries Yanks Fundraising Page for Private Jet (The Root)

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GoFundMe Is a Boon for Disaster Survivors. Especially the Wealthy Ones.

Campaigns on the crowdfunding site raised more money for wildfire survivors with high incomes than for those who need help most, researchers found.

Flames engulfing a home set against a nighttime background.

By Christopher Flavelle

Christopher Flavelle writes about efforts to adapt to climate change.

As climate-fueled disasters destroy more American homes, the crowdfunding platform GoFundMe has exploded in popularity. Its appeal is simple: People can provide cash directly to survivors, which is quicker than insurance and often more generous than government aid.

But new research suggests that cash sent through GoFundMe disproportionately benefits the wealthy rather than those who most need help.

Researchers examined donations to hundreds of people who lost their homes in the 2021 Marshall fire in Colorado, which destroyed more than 1,000 dwellings near Boulder. They found that those with household incomes above $150,000 received 28 percent more money, on average, than those with incomes below $75,000.

The authors concluded that the explanation largely revolves around social networks: Wealthier disaster survivors tend to be connected to more people, and those people often have more money to give.

“Crowdfunding gives higher-income survivors a bigger leg up,” said Emily Gallagher, an assistant professor of finance and real estate at the University of Colorado Boulder and one of the study’s authors. “We cannot count on this form of private charity to fill funding gaps.”

Dr. Gallagher and her colleagues said they plan to submit the paper to a peer-reviewed journal in March.

The data comes as traditional sources of funding for disaster recovery buckle under the strain of climate shocks. Weather-related disasters pushed more than 3.3 million American adults out of their homes in 2022, census data show. Of those, at least 1.2 million people were out of their homes for a month or longer; more than half a million of them never returned, fueling a growing diaspora of domestic climate refugees .

Federal disaster aid already disproportionately helps the wealthy , data shows. The Federal Emergency Management Agency recently conceded that its disaster programs often fail survivors, and pledged to overhaul them “to reach more people, provide more benefits and help them recover faster,” said Jaclyn Rothenberg, a FEMA spokeswoman.

And insurers, facing growing disaster costs, have restricted coverage and raised prices , leaving more Americans underinsured.

Crowdfunding is filling more of that gap. Ten years ago, in 2013, U.S. disaster recovery campaigns on GoFundMe raised a little more than $3 million, according to the company. By last year, that figure had jumped to more than $106 million. That’s about one-seventh of the amount that FEMA spent on grants for individual disaster aid — $765 million.

The growing role of crowdfunding can be seen in the aftermath of the Marshall fire. Homeowners who got FEMA aid for property damage received an average of $2,564, the researchers estimated. By contrast, the average GoFundMe campaign for Marshall fire survivors raised $23,744, they found. Among homeowners whose homes were destroyed in the fire, the average was $31,422.

Those donations were unevenly distributed.

Josh R. Engel, a 46-year-old engineering manager who lost his home in Louisville, Colo., was lucky compared with other survivors. His insurance paid about $775,000 to rebuild his ruined house. (Mr. Engel instead decided to rebuild and expand his house for about $1.4 million.) He and his wife, a director at a home health care company, received about $60,000 through two GoFundMe campaigns that were set up by friends.

“Stuff just came in from around the world,” said Mr. Engel, who recently moved into his newly rebuilt home. “We’re on the fortunate side of this.”

David Leedy, a vice president at a financial services company who lost his house in the same fire, raised more than $30,000 on GoFundMe. He said the money helped pay for immediate needs — buying clothing and meals right after the fire, and then getting supplies for the rental house that he and his wife moved into as their home was being rebuilt.

“When you’ve got nothing, you need everything,” Mr. Leedy said.

Others who lost their homes were less successful.

A man who identified himself on GoFundMe as Don Wieser wrote that he had escaped the fire with only his clothing and wallet. “I am currently on disability,” he wrote on his campaign page. “I would seriously appreciate any help I can get from the community to help me rebuild my life.”

Mr. Wieser set his campaign goal at $15,000. He raised $8,183, according to his GoFundMe page.

Another disaster survivor, Adam Kucera, said on his GoFundMe page that the fire destroyed the converted school bus he had been living in. He wrote that he had been unable to navigate the requirements for getting help from FEMA or the American Red Cross.

“I am facing homelessness for the first time in my life,” Mr. Kucera wrote. “Please help me get my life back.” He raised $4,575.

Neither Mr. Wieser nor Mr. Kucera responded to messages seeking comment.

In an interview, Margaret Richardson, chief corporate affairs officer for GoFundMe, said this was the first time she had seen data examining the link between wealth and donations through the site. She said it was not surprising that wealthy survivors have access to others with money.

“We’re really a reflection of what’s happening in society,” Ms. Richardson said.

Christopher Flavelle is a Times reporter who writes about how the United States is trying to adapt to the effects of climate change. More about Christopher Flavelle

Learn More About Climate Change

Have questions about climate change? Our F.A.Q. will tackle your climate questions, big and small .

Carbon-free electricity has never been more plentiful, but it hasn’t yet been enough to reduce reliance on fossil fuels. We looked at how electricity generation has changed over time to help you understand today’s global picture .

Singapore is rethinking its sweltering urban areas to dampen the effects of climate change. Can it be a model for other cities ?

New data reveals stark disparities in how different U.S. households contribute to climate change. See your neighborhood’s climate impact .

Did you know the ♻ symbol doesn’t mean something is actually recyclable ? Read on about how we got here, and what can be done.

Overuse of America’s groundwater  in a changing climate is draining and damaging aquifers nationwide, a New York Times data investigation revealed.

Half the world could soon face dangerous heat. We measured the daily toll it is already taking .

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Russian Tours and Cruises from Express to Russia

  • Moscow Tours

Our 20 Best Moscow Tours of 2022

Join us on an unforgettable tour to Moscow, the capital of Russia. Imagine visiting Red Square, St. Basil’s the Kremlin and more. Moscow is one of Europe’s most vibrant cities and one of Russia’s most historical. All of our tours to Moscow are fully customizable and can be adjusted to fit any budget. Our most popular tours are listed below. Please click on the tour details to learn more or contact us for more information about our Moscow tours using the form at the side of the page. You can also schedule a call with one of our Russian travel specialists to learn more.

Moscow Kremlin, photo by Walkerssk on Pixabay

Classic Moscow

This is our most popular Moscow tour that includes all the most prominent sights. You will become acquainted with ancient Russia in the Kremlin, admire Russian art in the Tretyakov Gallery, listen to street musicians as you stroll along the Old Arbat street, and learn about Soviet times on the Moscow Metro tour.

Accommodation

PRIVATE TOUR

St. Basiils Cathedral, Moscow, Photo by vierro from Pexels

A Week in Moscow

This tour is a perfect choice for those who wish to get to know Moscow in depth. One of the highlights of this package is the KGB history tour which gives an interesting perspective on the Cold War. You will also have time for exploring the city on your own or doing extra sightseeing.

Photo by Andrey Omelyanchuk on Unsplash

Weekend in Moscow

This tour is a great way to get acquainted with the capital of Russia if you are short of time. You will see all the main attractions of the city, the most important of which is the Kremlin - the heart of Russia. The tour starts on Friday and can be combined with a business trip.

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Group Tour Moscow Break by Intourist

Russia's capital has so much to offer, from the Kremlin and the Metro to the Old Arbat street and the Tretyakov Gallery. Besides these sites, you will also visit a fascinating country estate which today is quite off the beaten path, Gorky Estate, where the Soviet leader Lenin spent the last months of his life.

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Kolomenskoye Tour with transport

The history of Kolomenskoye stretches back for centuries. In 1380, Dmitri Donskoi’s army passed through Kolomenskoye on their way to the Kulikovo battlefield, and it was...

Tours by car

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Kremlin, Red Sq., Cathedrals & Armory Tour

The Kremlin is truly a fascinating structure, at the same time it is an ancient tower, the city’s former military fortification, a palace, an armory, the sovereign treasury...

Walking tours

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Kremlin, Red Sq., Cathedrals, Armory, Diamond Fund Tour

gofundme trips

Old Arbat walking tour

You will be told of the street’s interesting history and view the street’s artisan culture. You will also have the opportunity to view and purchase souvenirs from the...

gofundme trips

Tour to Sergiev Posad with transport

Considered by some to be the Russian Vatican, Sergiev Posad is the temporary residence of the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church. The Trinity St. Sergius Monastery (Lavra)...

gofundme trips

Tour to Kuskovo with transport

The Kuskovo Estate often called the Moscow Versailles due to its perfectly preserved French park, is an example of an 18th century, luxurious Moscow summer residence. Its history...

gofundme trips

Tour to Tsaritsyno with transport

The Tsaritsyno Estate is located in the southern part of Moscow. The estate was constructed for Catherine the Great by the Russian architects Bazhenov and Kazakov in a romantic...

gofundme trips

Moscow Metro and Old Arbat Tour

The Moscow Metro is one of the largest and most grandly built metro systems in the world. It was meant to be a showcase of the Soviet Union’s achievements for both the Russians...

gofundme trips

Vodka Museum Tour with transport (excursion and vodka tasting)

Vodka is an important component of Russian life, an element of national identity and everyday culture. We invite you to visit the Vodka Museum and feel the atmosphere of long-gone...

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Mikhail Bulgakov Apartment Museum

This apartment museum located close to Patriarch Ponds became the prototype of the "bad apartment" described in the novel "The Master and Margarita." Currently the museum's...

Spasskaya Tower,Moscow Kremlin, Russia, image from Shutterstock

Kremlin, Red Sq., Cathedrals & Diamond Fund Tour

Portrait of Leo Tolstoy by Ilya Repin (1887)

The State Museum of Lev Tolstoy Tour

Take this opportunity to learn more about the Russian writer Lev Tolstoy. During the visit to the museum you will see part of a vast collection of exhibits connected to Tolstoy...

Novodevichy convent, Moscow, Russia, image from Shutterstock

Novodevichy Convent Tour with transport

Tour of the Novodevichy Monastery. Founded in 1524 by Grand Prince VasiliIoanovich, the original convent was enclosed by fortified walls and contained 12 towers. The structure...

St. Basil's Cathedral, Moscow, Russia, image from Shutterstock

City Tour with Visit to St. Basils & Red Sq. with transport

Panoramic City Tour. This Moscow tour is a great start to your trip and the best way to get acquainted with many of the city’s major highlights. Our professional guide will...

gofundme trips

City Tour of Moscow

Head to the heart of Moscow with a professional guide on a 4-hour private walk through the city center. See Tverskaya and Old Arbat streets, Theatre Square with the world-famous...

gofundme trips

Moscow Metro walking tour

The Kremlin, Moscow, Russia, image from Shutterstock

Kremlin, Red Square and Cathedrals Tour

gofundme trips

KGB Tour with transport

This is a very interesting and insightful tour. You will visit places connected with Stalin’s terror - a time of great repression and fear. You will be shown monuments to...

gofundme trips

Soviet and Post-Soviet Moscow Tour

The tour begins with a drive or walk down Tverskaya Street – a Soviet masterpiece. In the years of Soviet power, Tverskaya began to undergo a transformation: it was widened...

Girl with Peaches by Alexander Serov

Tretyakov State Gallery Tour

This world-famous gallery contains masterpieces of Russian art beginning in the 10th century up until today. You will view exquisite Russian icons and paintings from the 18th and...

gofundme trips

Jewish Heritage of Moscow Tour

This tour offers a detailed look into the history and present-day life of the Jewish community of Moscow. On the tour, you will visit sites connected with the cultural and religious...

Vodka, photo by Detonart at Pixabay

Vodka Museum Tour with transport (excursion only)

Customer

Lena, our guide in Moscow was excellent. She was very knowledgable and could answer any question we had for her. We liked that she could pick up on our interests and take us places we might not have thought of to go. When we realized that one of the places we had chosen to see would probably not be that interesting to us, she was able to arrange entry to the Diamond Fund and the Armoury for us. Riding the Metro with Lena was a real adventure and a lot of fun. In Saint Petersburg we found Anna well versed in the history of the Tsars and in the Hermitage collection. Arkady in Veliky Novgorod was a very good guide and answered all of our questions with ease. Novgorod was perhaps a long way to go for a day trip, but we did enjoy it. Vasily was a great driver to have and kept us safe with good humour and skill. We enjoyed ourselves so much, my daughter says she is already planning to return. We would both have no hesistation to recommend ExpresstoRussia to anyone we know.

Just wanted to let you know that My grandson Bruno and I couldn´t have been more pleased with our week in Moscow (6/15 - 6/21). We were absolutely enchanted with the whole experience, including getting lost a couple of times in the Metro during our free time. Although both our guides (both Eleanas) were excellent, I would particularly commend the first one (she took us to the Tatiakov, the KGB tour, and to that beautiful cemetery where so many great Russian artists, authors, composers, musicians, militarists, and politicians are buried). Her knowledge is encyclopedic; and her understanding of today´s Russia as a product of its past was, for us, truly enlightening. I will be taking another tour in Russia, with my wife, within the next two or three years. I will be in touch with you when the time comes. Meanwhile, I will refer you to other potential visitors to Russia as I meet them.

Tours to Moscow

Our Moscow tours are land only meaning that you arrange your own air travel to Russia and our expert staff meets you at the airport and handles everything else from there. Our online Airline Ticket booking system offers some of the most competitive rates to Russia available on the web so if you need tickets, please visit our Russian air ticket center . Rest assured that you will be taken great care of on one of our Moscow tours. Express to Russia has a fully staffed office in Moscow that will help to make your visit fun, informative and unforgettable. Please remember that of all these tours are private and can be adjusted to your taste. You can add, replace or skip some sights; you can add more days to the package or cut the tour short. Our specialists will be glad to help you create the tour of your dreams!

Novodevichy Convent, Moscow

Moscow, a City Like No Other

Moscow is Russia’s largest city with a population of between 12 and 13 million. It is also Europe’s largest city and when you visit Moscow, you can feel it. The layout and architecture of the city is eclectic, ranging from crooked, ancient streets and alleyways to wide, bustling boulevards, from medieval churches to Stalin skyscrapers and to modern, glass buildings towering over everything and of course in the center of it all is the Kremlin and the magnificent Red Square. Moscow is also home to a fantastic, efficient and very beautiful metro system – each station having its own special design. In fact, Express to Russia’s Moscow metro tours and excursions are some of our most popular attractions that we offer. On our Moscow tours, you will see this and more.

Moscow Kremlin in the times of Ivan III

Moscow Tours centering on Russian History

Moscow has a long and interesting history and has been the capital of Russia in many of its different iterations – capital of the Grand Duchy of Moscow , the Russian Empire and of course the Soviet Union (who could ever forget the Soviet Union?). Moscow, was founded in the 12th century by Prince Yuri Dolgaruki (Yuri of the long arms – he really did have long arms!). From that time on, it was home to the Russian Tsars until Peter the Great moved the capital to St. Petersburg in 1703. The city has survived invasions and sieges from the Mongols, the Tartars, the Poles, Lithuanians and Napoleon but has always persevered. Our Moscow tours will enlighten you on this great history and give you insights into Muscovites and their unique culture. Our Moscow tours show you what the city is like today but also brings to life the past. Moscow never seems to sleep and is bursting with energy. A Moscow tour with Express to Russia is truly the best way of getting to know Russia’s largest and most vibrant city.

Frequently Asked Questions From Our Travelers

What is the best time to visit moscow.

Any time of year is fine depending on what you plan to do. Summertime is pleasantly warm, ideal for exploring the city and its vibrant atmosphere, but Moscow will be much busier and accommodation is more expensive. Winter can be quite cold but beautiful nonetheless, and this is unproblematic if you intend to spend most of your trip in museums and galleries. There are also various festivals and events organised throughout the year. For more information about the best time to visit, read our guide

How many days are enough in Moscow?

If you plan your itinerary strategically and aren’t averse to a packed schedule, you can cover Moscow’s main sights over a long weekend. Most popular attractions are in the city centre, and the Moscow Metro allows you to cover much ground in a small amount of time. Ensure that your accommodation is fairly central and book tickets in advance, so that you can make the most of your days. For an informative and well-organised day out, check out our Moscow day tours with options to suit all interests.

Do they speak English in Moscow?

As Russia’s capital city, tourists are well accommodated in Moscow. There should be English-speaking staff in restaurants, bars, hotels, shops and attractions in tourist hotspots, and there are also English-speaking tourist police. Transport services have English translations on their maps and English announcements via intercom; alternatively, order taxis from the Yandex Taxi app (Russian Uber), though it’s unlikely that your taxi driver will speak English. If you get stuck and cannot communicate, it’s fine to use Google Translate.

Is it safe to travel to Moscow?

It is no less safe to travel to Moscow than to any European city if you exercise common sense and look after your belongings. As with every city some regions can be more unsavoury than others, but no tourist attractions are located there. The traffic in Moscow is notorious, so exercise caution when crossing roads. Do not take unlicensed taxis; book in advance or take public transport, which is widespread and perfectly safe. If you encounter any problems, look for the special tourist police who can help you. For more information, read our guide about staying safe in Russia .

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Home » Europe » Moscow

EPIC MOSCOW Itinerary! (2024)

Moscow is the heart of Mother Russia. Just the mention of this city conjures images of colorful bulbous pointed domes, crisp temperatures, and a uniquely original spirit!

Moscow has an incredibly turbulent history, a seemingly resilient culture, and a unique enchantment that pulls countless tourists to the city each year! Although the warmer months make exploring Moscow’s attractions more favorable, there’s just something about a fresh snowfall that only enhances the appearance of the city’s iconic sites!

If you’re a first-time visitor to Moscow, or simply wanting to see as much of the city as possible, this Moscow itinerary will help you do just that!

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Best Time To Visit Moscow

Where to stay in moscow, moscow itinerary, day 1 itinerary in moscow, day 2 itinerary in moscow, day 3 and beyond, staying safe in moscow, day trips from moscow, faq on moscow itinerary.

Here is a quick look at the seasons so you can decide when to visit Moscow!

The summer months (June-August) are a great time to travel to Moscow to take advantage of the enjoyable mild temperatures. This is considered peak travel season. Bear in mind that hotel prices rise along with the temperatures!

when to visit moscow

If you’re planning a trip to Moscow during fall (September-November) try to plan for early fall. This way the temperatures will still be pleasant and winter won’t be threatening.

Russian winters (December-February) are not for the faint of heart as Napoleon learned to his peril. Some days the sun will be out for less than an hour, and snow is guaranteed. Although winters are exceptionally cold, this is when you’ll get a true glimpse of the Moscow experience!

The best time to visit Moscow is during spring  (March-May). The temperatures will begin to creep up and the sun begins to shine for significant portions of the day. Hotel rates will also have yet to skyrocket into peak ranges!

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With a Moscow City Pass , you can experience the best of Moscow at the CHEAPEST prices. Discounts, attractions, tickets, and even public transport are all standards in any good city pass – be sure invest now and save them $$$ when you arrive!

Moscow is a large city with many accommodation options to choose from. Staying in a location that fits with your travel plans will only enhance your Moscow itinerary. Here is a brief introduction to a few great areas of the city we recommend checking out!

The best place to stay in Moscow to be close to all the action is Kitay-Gorod. This charming neighborhood will put you within walking distance to Moscow’s famous Red Square, thus cutting down on travel time. This will allow you to see more of the city in a shorter amount of time!

where to stay in moscow

It’s surrounded by restaurants, cafes, bars, and shops. If you’re a first-time visitor to Moscow, or just planning a quick weekend in Moscow, then this area is perfect for you!

Another great area to consider is the Zamoskvorechye district. This area of the city offers a blend of new and old Moscow. It has an artsy vibe and there are plenty of fun sites you can explore outside of the main touristy areas of Moscow.

Of course, as in all areas of Moscow, it’s close to public transportation that will quickly connect you with the rest of the city and make your Moscow itinerary super accessible!

Best Airbnb in Moscow – Exclusive Apartment in Old Moscow

Exclusive Apartment in Old Moscow

Modern and cozy, this apartment is in the heart of Old Moscow. Bordering the Basmanny and Kitay-Gorod districts, this two-bedroom flat is walking distance to the Kremlin and Red Square. Safe, quiet, and comfortable, this is the best Airbnb in Moscow, no question!

Best Budget Hotel in Moscow – Izmailovo Alfa Hotel

moscow itinerary

The Izmailovo Alfa Hotel is a very highly rated accommodation that provides all the components necessary for a comfortable trip to Moscow. There is an on-site restaurant, bar, fitness center, and an airport shuttle service. The rooms are modern and spacious and are equipped with a TV, heating/air conditioning, minibar, and more!

Best Luxury Hotel in Moscow – Crowne Plaza Moscow World Trade Centre

moscow itinerary

If you’re touring Moscow in luxury, the Crowne Plaza Moscow World Trade Centre is the hotel for you! Elegantly furnished rooms are equipped with a minibar, flat-screen TV,  in-room safes, as well as tea and coffee making facilities! Bathrooms come with bathrobes, slippers, and free toiletries. There is also an onsite restaurant, bar, and fitness center.

Best Hostel in Moscow – Godzillas Hostel

moscow itinerary

Godzillas Hostel is located in the center of Moscow, just a short walk from all the major tourist attractions and the metro station. Guests will enjoy all the usual hostel perks such as self-catering facilities, 24-hour reception, Free Wi-Fi, and security lockers. This is one of the best hostels in Moscow and its wonderful social atmosphere and will make your vacation in Moscow extra special!

Godzillas Hostel is one of our favourites in Moscow but they’re not taking guests right now. We’re not sure if they’re closed for good but we hope they’ll come back soon.

An important aspect of planning any trip is figuring out the transportation situation. You’re probably wondering how you’re going to get to all of your Moscow points of interest right? Luckily, this sprawling city has an excellent network of public transportation that will make traveling a breeze!

The underground metro system is the quickest and most efficient way to travel around Moscow. Most visitors rely exclusively on this super-efficient transportation system, which allows you to get to pretty much anywhere in the city! It’s also a great option if you’re planning a Moscow itinerary during the colder months, as you’ll be sheltered from the snow and freezing temperatures!

moscow itinerary

If you prefer above-ground transportation, buses, trams, and trolleybuses, run throughout the city and provide a rather comfortable alternative to the metro.

Moscow’s metro, buses, trams, and trolleybuses are all accessible with a ‘Troika’ card. This card can be topped up with any sum of money at a metro cash desk. The ticket is simple, convenient, and even refundable upon return to a cashier!

No matter which method you choose, you’ll never find yourself without an easy means of getting from point A to point B!

Red Square | Moscow Kremlin | Lenin’s Mausoleum | St. Basil’s Cathedral  | GUM Department Store

Spend the first day of your itinerary taking your own self guided Moscow walking tour around the historic Red Square! This is Moscow’s compact city center and every stop on this list is within easy walking distance to the next! Get ready to see all of the top Moscow landmarks!

Day 1 / Stop 1 – The Red Square

  • Why it’s awesome: The Red Square is the most recognizable area in Moscow, it has mesmerizing architecture and centuries worth of history attached to its name.
  • Cost: Free to walk around, individual attractions in the square have separate fees. 
  • Food nearby: Check out Bar BQ Cafe for friendly service and good food in a great location! The atmosphere is upbeat and they’re open 24/7!

The Red Square is Moscow’s historic fortress and the center of the Russian government. The origins of the square date back to the late 15th century, when Ivan the Great decided to expand the Kremlin to reflect Moscow’s growing power and prestige!

During the 20th century, the square became famous as the site for demonstrations designed to showcase Soviet strength. Visiting the Red Square today, you’ll find it teeming with tourists, who come to witness its magical architecture up close!

The Red Square

The square is the picture postcard of Russian tourism, so make sure to bring your camera when you visit! No matter the season, or the time of day, it’s delightfully photogenic! 

It’s also home to some of Russia’s most distinguishing and important landmarks, which we’ve made sure to include further down in this itinerary. It’s an important center of Russia’s cultural life and one of the top places to visit in Moscow!

In 1990, UNESCO designated Russia’s Red Square as a World Heritage site. Visiting this historic site is a true bucket-list event and essential addition to your itinerary for Moscow!

Day 1 / Stop 2 – The Moscow Kremlin

  • Why it’s awesome: The Moscow Kremlin complex includes several palaces and cathedrals and is surrounded by the Kremlin wall. It also houses the principal museum of Russia (the Kremlin Armory).
  • Cost: USD $15.00
  • Food nearby: Bosco Cafe is a charming place to grat a casual bite to eat. They have excellent coffee and wonderful views of the Red Square and the Moscow Kremlin!

The iconic Moscow Kremlin , also known as the Kremlin museum complex, sits on Borovitsky Hill, rising above the Moscow River. It is a fortified complex in the center of the city, overlooking several iconic buildings in the Red Square!

It’s the best known of the Russian Kremlins – citadels or fortress’ protecting and dominating a city. During the early decades of the Soviet era, the Kremlin was a private enclave where the state’s governing elite lived and worked.

The Kremlin is outlined by an irregularly shaped triangular wall that encloses an area of 68 acres! The existing walls and towers were built from 1485 to 1495. Inside the Kremlin museum complex, there are five palaces, four cathedrals, and the enclosing Kremlin Wall with Kremlin towers.

The Armoury Chamber is a part of the Grand Kremlin Palace’s complex and is one of the oldest museums of Moscow, established in 1851. It showcases Russian history and displays many cherished relics. Definitely make sure to check out this museum while you’re here!

The Moscow Kremlin

The churches inside the Moscow Kremlin are the Cathedral of the Dormition, Church of the Archangel, Church of the Annunciation, and the bell tower of Ivan Veliki (a church tower).

The five-domed Cathedral of the Dormition is considered the most famous. It was built from 1475–1479 by an Italian architect and has served as a wedding and coronation place for great princes, tsars, and emperors of Russia. Church services are given in the Kremlin’s numerous cathedrals on a regular basis.

The Grand Kremlin Palace was the former Tsar’s Moscow residence and today it serves as the official workplace of the President of the Russian Federation (Vladimir Putin seems to have bagged that title for life) .

Insider Tip: The Kremlin is closed every Thursday! Make sure to plan this stop on your Moscow itinerary for any other day of the week!

Day 1 / Stop 3 – Lenin’s Mausoleum

  • Why it’s awesome: The mausoleum displays the preserved body of Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin .
  • Cost: Free!
  • Food nearby: Khinkal’naya is a charming Georgian restaurant with vaulted ceilings and exposed brick. It’s a popular place with locals and right next to the Red Square!

Lenin’s Mausoleum, also known as Lenin’s Tomb, is the modernist mausoleum for the revolutionary leader Vladimir Lenin. It’s located within the Red Square and serves as the resting place for the Soviet leader! His preserved body has been on public display since shortly after his death in 1924.

It’s located just a few steps away from the Kremlin Wall and is one of the most controversial yet popular Moscow attractions!

Admission is free for everyone, you’ll only need to pay if you need to check a bag. Before visitors are allowed to enter the mausoleum, they have to go through a metal detector first. No metal objects, liquids, or large bags are allowed in the mausoleum!

Lenins Mausoleum

Expect a line to enter the building, and while you’re inside the building, you’ll be constantly moving in line with other visitors. This means you won’t be able to spend as long as you’d like viewing the mausoleum, but you’ll still be able to get a good look. Pictures and filming while inside the building are strictly prohibited, and security guards will stop you if they see you breaking this rule.

The mausoleum is only open on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday – unless it’s a public holiday or a day scheduled for maintenance. The hours it’s open for each day are limited, make sure to check online before you visit to make sure you can fit this into your Moscow itinerary for that day!

Insider Tip: The Lenin’s Museum is there for people to pay their respect; remember to keep silent and move along quickly, it’s not intended for people to congregate around. Also, men are not allowed to wear hats and everyone must take their hands out of their pockets when inside the building.

Day 1 / Stop 4 – St. Basil’s Cathedral

  • Why it’s awesome: A dazzling designed cathedral that showcases Russia’s unique architecture. This cathedral is one of the most recognizable symbols of the country!
  • Cost: USD $8.00
  • Food nearby: Moskovskiy Chaynyy Klub is a cozy cafe serving food items and pipping hot tea; it’s the perfect place to go if you’re visiting Moscow during the winter months!

Located in the Red Square, the ornate 16th-century St. Basil’s Cathedral is probably the building you picture when you think of Moscow’s unique architecture. Its colorful onion-shaped domes tower over the Moscow skyline!

The cathedral was built from 1555-1561 by order of Tsar Ivan the Terrible. It was designed with an iconic onion dome facade and enchanting colors that captivate all who see it. Fun fact: If you’re wondering why Russian churches have onion domes, they are popularly believed to symbolize burning candles!

This iconic cathedral has become a symbol of Russia due to its distinguishing architecture and prominent position inside the Red Square. It’s one of the most beautiful, wonderful, and mesmerizing historical cathedrals in the world!

St. Basils Cathedral

The interior of the church surprises most people when they visit. In contrast to the large exterior, the inside is not so much one large area, but rather a collection of smaller areas, with many corridors and small rooms. There are 9 small chapels and one mausoleum grouped around a central tower.

Visiting the inside is like walking through a maze, there are even small signs all around the cathedral tracing where to walk, and pointing you in the right direction! The walls are meticulously decorated and painted with intricate floral designs and religious themes.

The church rarely holds service and is instead a museum open for the public to visit.

Insider Tip: During the summer months the line to go inside the cathedral can get quite long! Make sure to arrive early or reserve your tickets online to guarantee quick access into the cathedral!

Day 1 / Stop 5 – GUM Department Store

  • Why it’s awesome: This is Russia’s most famous shopping mall! It’s designed with elegant and opulent architecture and provides a real sense of nostalgia!
  • Cost: Free to enter
  • Food nearby: Stolovaya 57 is a cafeteria-style restaurant with a variety of inexpensive Russian cuisine menu items including soups, salads, meat dishes, and desserts. It’s also located inside the GUM department store, making it very easily accessible when you’re shopping!

The enormous GUM Department Store is located within the historic Red Square. It has a whimsical enchantment to it that sets it apart from your typical department store.

A massive domed glass ceiling lines the top of the building and fills the interior with natural sunlight. There are live plants and flowers placed throughout the mall that give the shopping complex a lively and cheerful feel! A playful fountain sits in the center, further adding to the malls inviting a sense of wonder and amusement!

The GUM department store opened on December 2, 1893. Today, it includes local and luxury stores, including Fendi, Louis Vuitton, Prada, and many more! There are numerous cafes, restaurants, and even a movie theater inside!

GUM Department Store

For a special treat, head into Gastronom 1. This 1950s-style shop sells gourmet food items, like wine, freshly-baked pastries, cheese, Russian chocolate, and of course, vodka! Also, be on the lookout for a bicycle pedaling ice cream truck with an employing selling ice cream!

The ambiance is simply amazing, a trip to this idyllic shopping mall is an absolute must on any Moscow itinerary!

Insider Tip: Make sure to carry some small change on you in case you need to use the restroom, you’ll need to pay 50 rubles – or about USD $0.80 to use the bathroom in GUM.

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Novodevichy Convent | Gorky Park | State Tretyakov Gallery | All-Russian Exhibition Center | Bolshoi Theater

On your 2 day itinerary in Moscow, you’ll have a chance to use the city’s excellent public transportation service! You’ll explore a few more of Moscow’s historic highlight as well as some modern attractions. These sites are a little more spread out, but still very easily accessible thanks to the metro!

Day 2 / Stop 1 – Novodevichy Convent

  • Why it’s awesome: The Novodevichy Convent is rich in imperial Russian history and contains some of Russia’s best examples of classical architecture!
  • Cost: USD $5.00
  • Food nearby: Culinary Shop Karavaevs Brothers is a cozy and simple place to have a quick bite, they also have vegetarian options!

The Novodevichy Convent is the best-known and most popular cloister of Moscow. The convent complex is contained within high walls, and there are many attractions this site is known for! 

The six-pillared five-domed Smolensk Cathedral is the main attraction. It was built to resemble the Kremlin’s Assumption Cathedral and its facade boasts beautiful snowy white walls and a pristine golden onion dome as its centerpiece. It’s the oldest structure in the convent, built from 1524 -1525, and is situated in the center of the complex between the two entrance gates.

There are other churches inside the convent as well, all dating back from many centuries past. The convent is filled with an abundance of 16th and 17th-century religious artworks, including numerous large and extravagant frescos!

Novodevichy Convent

Just outside the convent’s grounds lies the Novodevichy Cemetery. Here, you can visit the graves of famous Russians, including esteemed authors, composers, and politicians. Probably the most intriguing gravestone belongs to Russian politician Nikita Khruschev!

The Novodevichy Convent is located near the Moscow River and offers a peaceful retreat from the busy city. In 2004, it was proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The convent remains remarkably well-preserved and is an outstanding example of Moscow Baroque architecture! 

Insider Tip: To enter the cathedrals inside the complex, women are advised to cover their heads and shoulders, while men should wear long pants.

Day 2 / Stop 2 – Gorky Central Park of Culture and Leisure

  • Why it’s awesome: A large amusement area in the heart of the city offering many attractions!
  • Cost: Free! 
  • Food nearby: Check out Mepkato, located inside Gorky Central Park for a casual meal in a cozy setting. There are indoor and outdoor seating options and the restaurant is child-friendly!

Gorky Central Park of Culture and Leisure is a large green space in the heart of Moscow. The park opened in 1928, and it stretches along the scenic embankment of the Moskva River. It covers an area of 300-acres and offers a lovely contrast from the compact city center.

You’ll find all sorts of wonderful attractions, from boat rides to bike rentals to tennis courts and ping-pong tables, and much more! there are an open-air cinema and festive events and concerts scheduled in the summer months.  A wide selection of free fitness classes is also offered on a regular basis, including jogging, roller skating, and dancing!

Although many of the options you’ll find here are more suited for outdoor leisure during the summer, you’ll also a selection of winter attractions, including one of Europe’s largest ice rinks for ice-skating!

Gorky Central Park of Culture and Leisure

If you’re trying to decide what to do in Moscow with kids, the park also offers several venues designed specifically for kids. Check out the year-round Green School which offers hands-on classes in gardening and art! You can also feed the squirrels and birds at the Golitsinsky Ponds!

The park is very well maintained and kept clean and the entrance is free of charge, although most individual attractions cost money. There is also Wi-Fi available throughout the park.

With so many attractions, you could easily spend all day here! If you’re only planning a 2 day itinerary in Moscow, make sure to plan your time accordingly and map out all the areas you want to see beforehand!

Day 2 / Stop 3 – The State Tretyakov Gallery

  • Why it’s awesome: The gallery’s collection consists entirely of Russian art made by Russian artists!
  • Food nearby : Brothers Tretyakovs is located right across the street from the gallery. It’s a wonderfully atmospheric restaurant serving top quality food and drinks!

The State Tretyakov Gallery was founded in 1856 by influential merchant and collector Pavel Tretyakov.  The gallery is a national treasury of Russian fine art and one of the most important museums in Russia!

It houses the world’s best collection of Russian art and contains more than 130, 000 paintings, sculptures, and graphics! These works have been created throughout the centuries by generations of Russia’s most talented artists!

The State Tretyakov Gallery

The exhibits range from mysterious 12th-century images to politically charged canvases. The collection is rich and revealing and offers great insight into the history and attitudes of this long-suffering yet inspired people!

All pictures are also labeled in English. If you plan to take your time and see everything inside the museum it will take a good 3-4 hours, so make sure to plan your Moscow trip itinerary accordingly! This gallery is a must-see stop for art lovers, or anyone wanting to explore the local culture and history of Russia in a creative and insightful manner! 

Insider Tip: When planning your 2 days in Moscow itinerary, keep in mind that most museums in Moscow are closed on Mondays, this includes The State Tretyakov Gallery!

Day 2 / Stop 4 – All-Russian Exhibition Center

  • Why it’s awesome: This large exhibition center showcases the achievements of the Soviet Union in several different spheres. 
  • Food nearby: Varenichnaya No. 1 serves authentic and homestyle Russian cuisine in an intimate and casual setting.

The All-Russian Exhibition Center is a massive park that presents the glory of the Soviet era! It pays homage to the achievements of Soviet Russia with its many different sites found on the property.

The center was officially opened in 1939 to exhibit the achievements of the Soviet Union. It’s a huge complex of buildings and the largest exhibition center in Moscow. There are several exhibition halls dedicated to different achievements and every year there are more than one hundred and fifty specialized exhibitions!

All Russian Exhibition Center

The Peoples Friendship Fountain was constructed in 1954 and is a highlight of the park. The stunning gold fountain features 16 gilded statues of girls, each representing the former Soviet Union republics. 

The Stone Flower Fountain was also built in 1954 and is worth checking out. The centerpiece of this large fountain is a flower carved from stones from the Ural Mountains! Along the side of the fountain are various bronze sculptures.

You will find many people zipping around on rollerblades and bicycles across the large area that the venue covers. It’s also home to amusement rides and carousels, making it the perfect place to stop with kids on your Moscow itinerary! Make sure to wear comfortable shoes and allow a few hours to explore all the areas that interest you!

Day 2 / Stop 5 – Bolshoi Theater

  • Why it’s awesome: The Bolshoi Theater is a historic venue that hosts world-class ballet and opera performances!
  • Cost: Prices vary largely between USD $2.00 –  USD $228.00 based on seat location.
  • Food nearby: Head to the Russian restaurant, Bolshoi for high-quality food and drinks and excellent service!

The Bolshoi Theater is among the oldest and most renowned ballet and opera companies in the world! It also boasts the world’s biggest ballet company, with more than 200 dancers!

The theater has been rebuilt and renovated several times during its long history. In 2011 it finished its most recent renovation after an extensive six-year restoration that started in 2005. The renovation included an improvement in acoustics and the restoration of the original Imperial decor.

The Bolshoi Theater has put on many of the world’s most famous ballet acts! Tchaikovsky’s ballet Swan Lake premiered at the theater in 1877 and other notable performances of the Bolshoi repertoire include Tchaikovsky’s The Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker!

Bolshoi Theater

Today, when you visit the theater, you can expect a magical performance from skilled singers, dancers, and musicians with the highest level of technique!

If you don’t have time to see a show, the theater also provides guided tours on select days of the week. Tours are given in both Russian and English and will provide visitors with a more intimate look at the different areas of the theater!

The stage of this iconic Russian theater has seen many outstanding performances. If you’re a fan of the performing arts, the Bolshoi Theater is one of the greatest and oldest ballet and opera companies in the world, making it a must-see attraction on your Moscow itinerary!

moscow itinerary

Godzillas Hostel

Godzillas Hostel is located in the center of Moscow, just a short walk from all the major tourist attractions and the metro station.

  • Towels Included

Cosmonautics Museum | Alexander Garden | Ostankino Tower | Izmaylovo District | Soviet Arcade Museum

Now that we’ve covered what to do in Moscow in 2 days, if you’re able to spend more time in the city you’re going to need more attractions to fill your time. Here are a few more really cool things to do in Moscow we recommend!

Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics

  • Hear the timeline of the ‘space race’ from the Russian perspective
  • This museum is fun for both adults and children!
  • Admission is USD $4.00

The Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics is a museum dedicated to space exploration! The museum explores the history of flight, astronomy, space exploration, space technology, and space in the arts. It houses a large assortment of Soviet and Russian space-related exhibits, and the museum’s collection holds approximately 85,000 different items!

Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics

The museum does an excellent job of telling the full story of the exciting space race between the USSR and the US! It highlights the brightest moments in Russian history and humanity and is very interesting and fun for all ages!

If you’re a fan of space or just curious about gaining insight into Russia’s fascinating history of space exploration, make sure to add this to your 3 day itinerary in Moscow!

The Alexander Garden

  • A tranquil place to relax near the Red Square
  • Green lawns dotted with sculptures and lovely water features
  • The park is open every day and has no entrance fee

The Alexander Garden was one of the first urban public parks in Moscow! The garden premiered in 1821 and was built to celebrate Russia’s victory over Napoleon’s forces in 1812!

The park is beautiful and well maintained with paths to walk on and benches to rest on. The park contains three separate gardens: the upper garden, middle garden, and lower garden.

The Alexander Garden

Located in the upper garden, towards the main entrance to the park is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier with its eternal flame. This monument was created in 1967 and contains the body of a soldier who fell during the Great Patriotic War!

The park stretches along all the length of the western Kremlin wall for about half a mile. Due to its central location in the city, it’ll be easily accessible when you’re out exploring The Red Square.

It provides a bit of relief from the city’s high-energy city streets. Bring a picnic lunch, go for a walk, or just sit and people watch, this is one of the best Moscow sites to wind-down and relax!

Ostankino Television Tower

  • Television and radio tower in Moscow
  • Currently the tallest free-standing structure in Europe
  • Make sure you bring your passport when you visit, you can’t go up without it!

For spectacular views of the city, make sure to add the Ostankino Television Tower to your itinerary for Moscow! This impressive free-standing structure provides stunning views of the city in every direction. The glass floor at the top also provides great alternative views of the city!

Ostankino Television Tower

It takes just 58 seconds for visitors to reach the Tower’s observation deck by super fast elevator. The tower is open every day for long hours and is a great site in Moscow to check out! There is even a restaurant at the top where you can enjoy rotating views of the city while you dine on traditional Russian cuisine or European cuisine!

The tower is somewhat of an architectural surprise in a city that is not known for skyscrapers! To see the city from a new perspective, make sure to add this stop to your Moscow itinerary!

Izmaylovo District

  • The most popular attractions in this district are the kremlin and the flea market
  • Outside of the city center and easy to reach via metro
  • Most popular during the summer and on weekends

Travel outside the city center and discover a unique area of the city! The Izmaylovo District is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike, and one of the coolest places to see in Moscow! The two main attractions we recommend checking out are the Kremlin and the flea market.

The Izmailovo Kremlin was established as a cultural center and molded after traditional Russian architecture. This colorful complex is home to several single-subject museums, including a Russian folk art museum and a vodka museum!

Izmaylovo District

Next to the Kremlin is the Izmailovo open-air market, which dates back to the 17th century! The market is connected to the Izmailovo Kremlin by a wooden bridge. Pick up all your Russian souvenirs here, including traditional handicrafts, paintings, books, retro toys, and Soviet memorabilia!

You will find many hand-made and hand-painted options available at higher prices, as well as mass-produced souvenir options at lower prices!

Museum of Soviet Arcade Games

  • Closed on Mondays
  • Filled with old arcade games that visitors get to try out!
  • The museum also includes a small cafe and burger shop

For something a little different, check out the Museum of Soviet Arcade Games! The museum features roughly 60 machines from the Soviet era, including video games, pinball machines, and collaborative hockey foosball! The machines inside the museum were produced in the USSR in the mid-1970s.

Museum of Soviet Arcade Games

The best part is, most of the games are still playable! Purchase tickets and try the games out for yourself! The museum also has a neat little screening room that plays old Soviet cartoons and an area with Soviet magazines! This unique attraction is a fun addition to a 3 day itinerary in Moscow, and an attraction that all ages will enjoy! 

Whether you’re spending one day in Moscow, or more, safety is an important thing to keep in mind when traveling to a big city! Overall, Moscow is a very safe place to visit. However, it is always recommended that tourists take certain precautions when traveling to a new destination!

The police in Moscow is extremely effective at making the city a safe place to visit and do their best to patrol all of the top Moscow, Russia tourist attractions. However, tourists can still be a target for pickpockets and scammers.

Moscow has a huge flow of tourists, therefore there is a risk for pickpocketing. Simple precautions will help eliminate your chances of being robbed. Stay vigilant, keep your items close to you at all times, and don’t flash your valuables!

If you’re planning a solo Moscow itinerary, you should have no need to worry, as the city is also considered safe for solo travelers, even women. Stay in the populated areas, try and not travel alone late at night, and never accept rides from strangers or taxis without a meter and correct signage.

The threat of natural disasters in Moscow is low, with the exception of severe winters when the temperature can dip below freezing! Bring a good, warm jacket if you visit in Winter.

However, please note that Russian views on homsexuality are far less accepting than those in Western Europe. Likewise, Non-Caucasian travellers may sadly encounter racism in Russia .

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Now that we’ve covered all the top things to see in Moscow, we thought we’d include some exciting day trips to other areas of the country!

Sergiev Posad (Golden Ring)

Sergiev Posad Golden Ring

On this 7-hour guided tour, you’ll visit several scenic and historic areas of Russia. Start your day with hotel pick-up as you’re transferred by a comfortable car or minivan to Sergiev Posad. Admire the charming Russian countryside on your drive and enjoy a quick stop to visit the Russian village, Rudonezh!

You’ll see the majestic Saint Spring and the Church of Sergiev Radonezh. You’ll also visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius, one of the most famous Orthodox sites in Russia!

Lastly, you’ll swing by the local Matreshka market and enjoy a break in a nice Russian restaurant before returning to Moscow!

Day Trip to Vladimir and Suzdal

Day Trip to Vladimir and Suzdal

On this 13-hour trip, you’ll discover old Russia, with its picturesque landscapes and white-stoned beautiful churches! You’ll visit the main towns of the famous Golden Ring of Russia – the name for several cities and smaller towns north-east of Moscow.

Your first stop will be in the town of Vladimir, the ancient capital of all Russian principalities. The city dates back to the 11th century and is one of the oldest and the most important towns along the Ring! Next, you’ll visit Suzdal, a calm ancient Russian town north of Vladimir with only 13,000 inhabitants!

The old-style architecture and buildings of Suzdal are kept wonderfully intact. If you’re spending three days in Moscow, or more, this is a great option for exploring the charming areas outside the city!

Zvenigorod Day Trip and Russian Countryside

Zvenigorod Day Trip and Russian Countryside

On this 9-hour private tour, you’ll explore the ancient town of Zvenigorod, one of the oldest towns in the Moscow region! As you leave Moscow you’ll enjoy the stunning scenery along the Moscow River, and make a few stops at old churches along the way to Zvenigorod.

Upon arrival, you’ll explore the medieval center, including the 14th-century Savvino-Storozhevsky Monastery. Next, you’ll take a break for lunch (own expense) where you’ll have the chance to try out the Russian cuisine! Next, you’ll visit the Museum of Russian Dessert and sip on tea at a Russian tea ceremony.

The final stop of the day is at the Ershovo Estate, a gorgeous place to walk around and enjoy nature!

Day Trip to St Petersburg by Train visiting Hermitage & Faberge

Day Trip to St Petersburg by Train visiting Hermitage and Faberge

On this full-day tour, you’ll enjoy a a full round trip to St Petersburg where you’ll spend an exciting day exploring another popular Russian city! You’ll be picked up from your hotel in Moscow and be transferred to the train station where you’ll ride the high-speed train ‘Sapsan’ to St Petersburg.

Upon arrival, you’ll start the day by touring the Hermitage Museum and the Winter Palace. Next, you’ll visit the Faberge Museum, where you’ll explore the impressive collection of rare Faberge Eggs! In the afternoon, enjoy a sightseeing boat ride and a traditional 3-course Russian lunch.

If you’re spending 3 days in Moscow, or more, this is an excellent trip to take!

Trip to Kolomna – Authentic Cultural Experience from Moscow

Trip to Kolomna - Authentic Cultural Experience from Moscow

On this 10-hour tour, you’ll escape the city and travel to the historic town of Kolomna! First, you’ll visit the 14th-century Kolomna Kremlin, home to the Assumption Cathedral and an abundance of museums!

Next, enjoy lunch at a local cafe (own expense) before embarking on a tour of the Marshmallow Museum – of course, a marshmallow tasting is provided!  Your final stop is the Museum of Forging Settlements, where displays include armor and accessories for fishing and hunting.

Discover this beautiful Russian fairytale city on a private trip, where all of the planning is taken care of for you!

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Find out what people want to know when planning their Moscow itinerary.

How many days you need in Moscow?

We recommend that you spend at least two or three days in Moscow to take it all in.

What’s the best month to visit Moscow?

The best time to visit Moscow is over the spring, from March to May as temperatures are mild, crowds are thin and prices are reasonable.

What are some unusual things to do in Moscow?

I mean, queuing up to see an almost 100 year old corpse is pretty unsual! Check out Lenin’s Mausoleum if you fancy it!

What are some fun things to do in Moscow?

The Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics is a fun place to explore the famous space race from the perspective of the ‘other side’!

We hope you enjoyed our Moscow itinerary! We’ve made sure to cover all the Moscow must-sees as well as some unique attractions in the city! Our addition of insider tips, favorite food stops, and day trips from Moscow is an added bonus and will guarantee you make the most out of your exciting Russian vacation!

Immerse yourself in the modern and traditional Russian lifestyle! Get lost in museums, witness awe-inspiring architecture, and indulge in Russian cuisine! Spend the day strolling through all of the charming sites of Moscow, admiring the beautiful scenery and discovering the city’s fairytale-like enchantment!

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And for transparency’s sake, please know that some of the links in our content are affiliate links . That means that if you book your accommodation, buy your gear, or sort your insurance through our link, we earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you). That said, we only link to the gear we trust and never recommend services we don’t believe are up to scratch. Again, thank you!

Alya and Campbell

Alya and Campbell

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