1. Planning. There are lots of tourists traveling in Georgia without planning tours well. After few days spending in the country they discover some cool places and then they try to get there but then it becomes difficult and cost much more than it would cost to be planned in advance. Georgia is a small country but there are lot's of beautiful places to visit and interesting things to do. Canyons, caves, mountains, glaciers, waterfalls, national parks, seaside, old towns, churches monasteries and wineries and so on. Range of choices is pretty wide. If you want to receive maximum from this country plan your trip well and booked everything in advance before traveling there. Use TripAdvisor, reviews, blogs and blogs, articles, TV shows ask opinion to locals and so on. There are lot's of ways to plan trip in advance.
2. Do not spend all nights in one city. Lots of travelers make this mistake. If they arrive in Tbilisi they book one hotel for 5-6 night and try to organize day trips from there. Guys, in this case you miss chance to visit remote and amazing places like Katskhi pillar, Svaneti region, canyons, caves, Batumi and so on. Yes, you can reach these destinations on day trips as well, but in this case you need 10-15 hours driving and I'm sure you aren't going to spend your holidays in a car. So, overnight in different cities and villages if you want to explore this country well and not to miss some great places.
3. Avoiding Georgian food. I have met travelers who try to avoid Georgian food and try to eat at their country's restaurants or at fast foods. Georgian has one of the most delicious cuisine across the world. Khinkali, Khachapuri, Shqmeruli, Elarji, Sinori, Chaqapuli.. all of these dishes are extremely delicious and satisfying. If you're blessed enough to travel in Georgia use every meal to try new and different Georgian food. I understand that some guests might have health problems and try to avoid experiments or just don't like international food, but trust me, everyone, every single person from every country can find food in Georgian cuisine that meets their needs and taste. So, don't try to avoid local food. It is really good.
4. Wine. Georgia is homeland of wine. This is well-known fact. We were the very first people starting making wine from grapes 8000 years ago, but this doesn't mean there is sold good wine everywhere in Georgia. In most tourist areas and shops are sold pretty shitty wine. If you try wine in every corner trust me, you will hate Georgian wine. There are some nice places where you can taste really high quality and not that expensive wine. These places are family wineries like "Baia's wine" near Kutaisi and "Dimitri's wine" in Borjomi, wine galleries and shops like "Satsnakheli" in Kutaisi and "8000 vintages" in Tbilisi, wine restaurants and etc. To my mind family wineries make much better natural bio wine than big factories do. But this is only my opinion. Anyways, I suggest not to try everything that has label of Georgian Wine.
5. Tourist traps. Amount of tourists increases by 30% every year. That's a lot, right? Yes, it is. And more tourists means more traps for them. There are lots of individuals and companies try to cheat and rob tourists. Taxi drivers, tour companies, restaurants, souvenirs shops and so on. Last summer there was one case when some guys paid 80 dollars for 18 km driving in the city. They wanted to travel from Tbilisi airport to Black seaside that is actually 400 km away. Taxi driver took them to Tbilisi sea and told that this was black sea. C'mon. Just be aware guys. Explore in advance where you go and how much it really costs. Also, there are some cases when night clubs asked for 800 USD for one shampane bottle and so on. So, be aware if you want not to look foolish.
6. Take a local guide. Reading about country and visiting it is great way to explore it, but if you don't take guide you might have wrong information about lot's of things. Professional guide will tell you the real facts and history about country, will show you nice places and will make your traveling much more exciting you could ever imagine. If you can't afford a private tour from tour operator you can join group tours that are much cheaper way of traveling than taxi or renting a car. Tour operator companies have professional guides that are very informative and friendly. In the end of tour you'll have at least one local friend.
7. Trading. We - Georgians are not get used to trade and negotiate. We are very honest people and when Georgian says that something costs 10 bucks it really costs 10 bucks and there is no room for trading. It's just not part of our culture and most of us take it disrespectful when people start trading with them. I as a tour operator had lot's of cases when guests try no negotiate on price of package but I reject because we say minimum prices. The whole team is trying our best to provide cheapest packages, we use microelectronics formulas to set minimum price and when someone asked for discounts we roll eyes back and just say no. So, don't try to negotiate on price with Georgians. Maximum only one time.
Author - Giga Paghava
Since 2017 I try to help people to travel in Georgia easier, cheaper and faster. I publish tips about my country and provide low cost service for travelers. So, take notes and follow us to Georgia.
The low cost tour operator in Georgia