What kept me up until 3:00 am tonight?

Trying to develop a strategy for getting both Chinese and Russian visas with the least amount of stress and cost as possible 🙂

I’ve only needed a visa once before (for Egypt) and it was not this complicated. Both visas need flights and hotel reservations (which we don’t have, so that means booking and canceling.) Both require they keep your passport for several days, which I’m not super comfortable with, but nothing I can do. Both are pretty pricy – $140 for China, $193 for Russia. So it’s just a headache overall, all though less so than if I didn’t live easy traveling distance from a Russian Consulate, because they charge you another $85 to apply by mail :/

I think I might use an agent for the Chinese visa, since I found one with great reviews that only charges an additional $20. It would cost more for Jason and I to take Caltrain to SF and apply there in person. The agent has an address in Fremont I can use to drop off (and hopefully pick up) everything. If they only allow drop off, it’s another $25 to return the passports via FedEx, but still worth it.

It is my hope that I can start the process this week and have the passports back by the time I go see my family in New Jersey on December 29th so I have plenty of time to deal with Russia. I believe the process starts with applying online and then appearing in person at the consulate in San Francisco, so I can take care of that after I get back January 3rd.

Well, that’s what I’ve been working on this week. That and the packing list 🙂



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