I'm attending a close friend's wedding in Russia in July. We'll be visiting St Petersburg for a few days first, then on to Moscow. We have a toddler who goes to bed early and we would much rather stay in Airbnb type apartments than hotels. There seem to be many such apartments, and I read elsewhere that this sort of thing is quite popular amongst foreigners.
It's unlikely I'll be able to get a Homestay visa from my friend's family because there are many such visitors. I know that for a tourist visa I need confirmation from the hotel or travel agent, but these apartments aren't really either of those, as far as I know.
Perhaps the Airbnb hosts hold get me a homestay visa.
Perhaps I could go to a travel agency, explain my itinerary and ask for them to sponsor a tourist visa.
Are either of these options or are there any other possibilities?