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Time To Get Out of Here

Путёвка: package tour

I just heard the saddest thing. I was bemoaning the fact that for the first time in my life at the end of May I haven’t gotten out my summer wardrobe, put away my wool coats, or changed my car tires back to summer tread, when someone said: “Зачем менять-то? Осень начинается через три месяца!” (Why change them? Autumn begins in three months.)

Just let that sink in.

And once it has, you’ll want to book the fastest plane south for some sun. To help you do that, here’s a little travel primer.

First, book transportation. Say boldly: Я хочу забронировать авиабилет на курорт в Турции. (I want to book a plane ticket to a resort in Turkey.) Clarify: Туда и обратно. (Round trip.) Think again: Или только туда. (Or just one way.) To make life easy, book путёвка (a package tour). If you are desperate, poor or both, look for горящие туры (last-minute travel offers, literally a “hot tours”). These are package tours that travel agencies have already paid for but haven’t sold, and they sell them for a song at the last minute.

Once you have your ticket, you need to shop. If you want to lie in the sun, the verb you need to remember is загорать (to tan), and buy лосьон для загара (tanning lotion). If you are fair-skinned, the verb you need to remember is сгорать (to burn), and you should buy jumbo-sized солнцезащитный крем (sunscreen). It’s not hard to choose, since Russian labels use “SPF” and numbers like elsewhere in the world. But you might ask the salesperson for крем с самой высокой степенью защиты (sunscreen with the highest level of protection) or, say, водостойкий (waterproof) if you plan to be hopping in and out of the water.

Then make a list of what to bring: солнцезащитные or тёмные очки (sunglasses); майки (T-shirts); шорты (shorts); нижнее бельё (underwear); плавки (swimming trunks for men); купальники (bathing suits for women); and of course — вьетнамки, which are not, as they sound, Vietnamese women, but that beach essential — flip flops.  Some people might bring бикини, which is, happily, just what it sounds like (bikini). And be sure to stock up on another beach necessity: пляжное чтиво (beach books).

Next up: time to pack. The old way of talking about this involved the verb собирать (to gather together, to pack) and noun сборы, usually used in the phrase сборы в дорогу (packing, getting things together for your trip). You can ask for help: Помоги мне, пожалуйста, собрать чемодан (Could you please help me pack my suitcase?) The answer might use that native Russian verb or the borrowed упаковать (to pack). Сам упакуй свой чемодан. (Pack your own suitcase.)  

Before you go, make sure you have key items in your carry on (ручная кладь): деньги, билеты, документы, зарядные устройства (money, tickets, documents and chargers). Finally: убрать квартиру (clean your apartment); вынести мусор (take out the trash); закрыть окна и задёрнуть шторы (close the windows and curtains); and отключить воду и электроприборы (turn off the water and unplug appliances). What’s left? Присесть на дорожку (sit for a moment before your trip) and you’re an official отдыхающий (vacationer). When you neighbor says: Приятного вам отдыха! (Have a good vacation!), you say: Счастливо оставаться! (Have a good time at home!)

Поехала! (I’m out of here!)

Michele A. Berdy is a Moscow-based translator and interpreter, author of “The Russian Word’s Worth,” a collection of her columns. Follow her on Twitter @MicheleBerdy.

The views expressed in opinion pieces do not necessarily reflect the position of The Moscow Times.

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