Organizers of shopping tours lure Belarusians with a cheap night market in Bialystok, the largest shopping and entertainment center in Central Europe in Lodz, the opportunity to get vaccinated with foreign drugs and even issue a Polish card at Millennium Bank.
However, all travel companies immediately warn that tours are possible only with a Schengen visa and insurance that covers the costs of covid.
Shopping trips to neighboring Poland were quite popular before the pandemic.
Belarusians went to Bialystok or Warsaw for cheaper products, household chemicals, and technology.
For more than two years, this business had a forced break due to the coronavirus restrictions.
During the pandemic, the shelves of stores like "Island of Purity" or "Mila" began to overflow with goods for an acceptable price.
And in Minsk GUM, TSUM and other stores, discounts reached up to 30% on certain days.
Now the situation has changed.
Shelves were emptied, prices rose rapidly, discounts were canceled.
But demand begets supply.
And some travel companies quickly got their bearings.
Prices for shopping trips to Poland start from 100 rubles.
For transportation of bulky luggage (washing machine, oven, dishwasher) you need to pay an additional 50 rubles.
You will also have to pay 20 rubles for an additional bag.
And no one canceled the norms for the import of goods: 31 kilograms, worth no more than 1,000 euros.
There are many announcements about tours from the border cities - Brest and Hrodna
For example, on December 10, Brest travel agency "Znahodka" offers to take tourists purposefully to the rather large Arkadia shopping and entertainment center in Warsaw.
Shopaholics are promised stores of well-known brands RTV Euro AGD, MediaMarkt, Carrefour, Dyson, Leroy Merlin, Zara, H&M, Adidas, Nike and others - a total of 208 stores.
Departure from Brest from "Euroopt" to Warsaw at 23.50.
Travel is promised on a comfortable SETRA bus with two drivers and free WiFi.
The travel agency mentions the advantages of its service, for example, VAT registration.
On many scheduled buses, in particular, the companies "Ecolines" and "Minsktrans", there are notices that this may not be possible.
Recently, the media wrote about a sad story when the driver of the Vilnius-Minsk minibus of the Expressbus company did not wait for two women who were trying to celebrate Tax Free at the border.
Organizers of shopping tours promise to help transport bulky goods.
There is only a weight limit - no more than 50 kg per person.
Tariffs are as follows: 100 Belarusian rubles per person, plus a surcharge of 20 rubles for additional luggage space, 40 rubles for oversized luggage.
Plus a commission of 25 rubles.
We asked travel agencies if there is a guarantee to cross the border quickly and not be delayed for several hours.
They did not get a clear answer.
Like, "hope for the best."
In addition to shopping, you can get vaccinated and even get a Polish bank card
Capital travel agency "Ekonomim.by" resumes shopping tours in Bialystok.
The site says:
"The flights are operated as usual!
You don't need any additional documents, except for a passport with a visa and insurance."
12 tours are planned for December, starting from the 9th day.
Departures from Minsk, Borisov, Zhodzin, Smolavichy.
Stops near duty free shops at the border are promised.
those willing in Bialystok will be able to be vaccinated with Western drugs Johnson & Johnson, BioNTech/Pfizer.
However, vaccination is possible only in everyday life.
During the trip, you can also buy flights from Itaka and TUI operators with departures from Warsaw, as well as issue a Millennium Bank card, as indicated on the website of the Belarusian travel agency.
Shopaholics are attracted by the cheap night market FASTY, supermarkets Selgros, Auchan and Makro, large shopping centers Atrium Biała and Alfa.
The same travel agency reports that the time of return to Minsk depends on crossing the border, weather and road conditions.
The price of the tour is from 100 Belarusian rubles.
50 rubles will be charged for the transportation of bulky items.
Shopping in Lodz plus a cultural program
On December 9, the Minsk travel agency "Ekatur 6" invites you to travel on the Minsk - Warsaw - Lodz route.
The price of the tour is 145 euros plus 80 Belarusian rubles with an overnight stay in Warsaw.
Two overnight transfers.
But it is not only for shopping.
In Warsaw, they promise free sight-seeing tours of the Old Town and Lazenki Park.
For an additional fee, those willing will be able to visit the zoo, the Copernicus Museum, the water park and other interesting places.
It is also recommended to visit shopping centers Arkadia and Złote Tarasy.
Overnight in Warsaw in a three-star hotel.
The price of a double or triple room is 120 euros, a single room will cost 145 euros.
A sightseeing tour of the city is also planned in Lodz.
As for shopping, it is provided in Central Europe's largest entertainment and shopping center Manufaktura with 250 stores and Europe's largest 300-meter fountain.
As for the return to Minsk, the website also states that the time depends "on crossing the border".