Travelling overseas can be a harrowing experience, full of unexpected bumps and challenges along the way. Take stress out of the equation by remembering to do these 10 things before you leave for China with a tour.
Over the last 4 years I have travelled to and through every single country in South East Asia. I’ve experienced much of what’s great about these countries, and I’ve suffered through the worst travel blunders in the history of human kind. And even an ounce of my own personal travel failure stories is worth something for the soon-to-be world traveller.
But how about I save you the stories for brevity and just deliver some cold hard facts you need to consider before any travel to South East Asia –namely China.
China has got it all and the world has noticed. Tourism numbers for China are falling off the charts, year after year, and with good reason. Its economy is booming, it has a rich, beautiful, authentic culture, and a lot of sights to see.
And without further adieu, here are my best China travel tips!
1. First Time? Travel with a China Tour
China is as complex as it is beautiful, and as with any tourism hotspot, it also comes with its own unique set of challenges. You do not know what you do not know, and a China tour is probably the best way to travel for first –or even second or third-timers.
By booking a China tour with companies that excel at ensuring comfortable, quality trips to China such as The China Travel Company, you are quite likely going to avoid things like;
- Overpaying for hotels, attractions
- Winding up in shady neighbourhoods
- Missing out on key cultural sights and events
- Being alone in a strange place
The China Travel Company can support your journey with either a group tour or self guided adventures in China. So if you’re looking to make new friends along the way and share your experience, take a group tour. If you’d rather be in control of your China trip, then go with the self guided option. There’s something for everyone.
2. Bring Financial Backup
Bank machine ATMs sometimes gets hungry, and on a bad day they might even gobble up your bank card. It’s happened to me and I didn’t have a backup that was easy to manoeuvre. To make matters worse, my bank wouldn’t send my card outside of my home country. So I had to get it mailed to a family member and then sent over to China where I was staying. It took 6 weeks to arrive!
Imagine that. While I relied on trusting strangers enough to send them money via PayPal to convert into the local currency, it isn’t something I’d suggest. Consider back up cards, packing more than one wallet with more than one bank card or credit card, and keep all of your bank’s contact numbers handy.
3. China Travel Immunizations
Travelling in China also means it’s possible you might catch some freaky viruses. It’s never happened to me, so I’m not sure whether it’s because I’ve got all my shots or not –but never take a risk on your health. Ever. Trust me. I’ve seen my fair share of completely avoidable illnesses. Thank goodness they weren’t mine.
Personally, I’m a fan of World Nomads. They find the best travel insurance deals local to my home country and I can even file claims while still travelling. They also cover “adventure activities” most insurance companies won’t cover.
This is only the beginning, other tips that don’t need their own paragraphs include;
- Never pack for eventualities, if you need it once your whole trip, pick it up along the way and avoid lugging things you don’t need all over China
- Ensure that you have 6+ months left in your passport from the date your journey ends
- Don’t forget important prescriptions but leave them in a clearly labelled container so crossing the border is a breeze