China Travel Tips

china travel tips GINGERBREAD

Traveling so easy a Gingerbread can do it!

  • Use a reliable and affordable visa service.

Chinese Visas cannot be mailed. Its Easy Passport & Visa courier service was the most affordable visa courier we found. Customer representatives were very responsive and our visas were received before the estimated delivery date.

  • Carry the local currency in cash.

Yuan is the most popular form of payment, and in some areas, the only payment accepted. Credit cards and US dollars were not accepted at most places.

  • Know the exchange rate.

The IPhone XE Currency app kept us up to date on current exchange rates.

  • Plan to maximize your free time.

Before our trip we read several DK Eyewitness Travel Guides. The books provided maps, tips, and popular attractions. We were able to maximize our free time during  our G Adventures tour. 

  • Rest comfortably regardless of accommodations.

We purchased Therm-A-Rest Compressible Pillows for the overnight train, but used them almost every night in addition to the hotel pillows. The pillows provided weren’t all like the fluffy, feather or foam pillows we were used to in the United States.

  • Bring snacks.

Many times there were long breaks between meals or we were unsure of the available food options. We brought a lot of snacks to keep up our energy levels and eat something we were comfortable with.

  • Safely carry essentials.

I carried a Travelon Anti-Theft Classic Mini Shoulder Bag everywhere. It had enough room to fit our necessities, but was flat enough not to be a burden. The locking main compartment zipper and slash proof cross body strap kept our valuables safe.

  • Carry hand sanitizer and toilet paper or tissues in your day bag.

Many of the bathrooms do not have soap, paper towels, or toilet paper. Also, squat toilets are much more common than Western style toilets, which takes some getting used to. 

  • Take advantage of freebies!

Multiple times complimentary hotel toiletries saved the day, especially on the overnight train. In China, most hotels offered disposable slippers, toothbrush and toothpaste sets, shampoo, and soap. On more than one occasion I was glad I saved the Delta sleep kit (earplugs, headphones, and eye mask) and blanket from our flight.

  • Pack light.

We had another week of traveling after our G Adventures China Express tour ended. Knowing we would constantly be on the go, we packed as light as possible and booked an Airbnb with a washer during the next leg of our trip. Between both of us, our luggage consisted of 2 backpacks, a carry-on bag, and a half empty check-in bag with room for souvenirs. We also packed 2 fold-able Longchamp Le Pliage Travel Bags we could check on our flight home if necessary.

  • Bring comfortable shoes.

I wear flip flops all 4 seasons and comfortably walk miles in them. I never expected to wear sneakers every day. My light gray Asics MetroLyte went with almost every outfit and were lightweight, casual, and very comfortable.

  • Purchase travel insurance.

We easily found affordable insurance satisfying the G Adventures requirements at Travel Insurance.

  • Download a translation app.

We used the Google Translate app every day to read menus, tickets, signs, and labels.

  • Write hotel names and addresses on note cards.

Before the trip, we wrote our hotel addresses in English and Chinese on note cards to hand the taxi drivers. This eliminated the stress and confusion of relaying our destination to our drivers with a language barrier.

September 2017


Author: The Traveling Gingerbread

My husband, Mitch, and I have been traveling together over 6 years. Living and working full-time in Pittsburgh, PA, we travel as much as our vacation days and finances allow. We cram each adventure with activities, tours,  and experiences to maximize our time. We always try to visit to a local brewery and can't walk by an Irish pub without stopping in for a pint of Guinness. CREATION OF THE TRAVELING GINGERBREAD: In Tokyo, we smiled every time we saw someone talking on their large, animated phone case. We had to buy one. Having an obsolete IPhone 5, the selection was limited. We purchased a gingerbread off a neglected rack in Shinjuku, Tokyo and The Traveling Gingerbread was born. You can purchase your own gingerbread friend here! The Traveling Gingerbread offers realistic budget travel tips for full time employees, fun facts, and where to find the best craft beer.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s