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5 Tips To Budget Travel In China

Want to learn how to budget travel in China? Most definitely, China can be one of the cheapest places to travel in the world, but a lot of new travelers fall for tourist traps and spend unnecessarily.

Save where you can and use these must-know budget hacks.

#1 Alternative Transportation

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Although taxis and planes may be the most convenient way of transportation and can be quite cheap compared to that in north america, it is definitely not the most affordable. Taking public transportation within cities is the most affordable way of travel.

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In many big cities in China, public transportation is very well developed and easy to navigate. When traveling between cities and provinces high speed trains and long distance buses are available instead of flying. You can choose what to take based on how much you’re willing to spend. For long distance, trains have sleeper beds, but if you want to save as much as possible there are options for less comfortable but extremely affordable seats or long distance buses.

#2 Eat like a local

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In general, eating in China is considerably cheaper, however western and european style food is still very expensive in China. Fast food in China is similarly priced to that in North America, which can be quite expensive compared to other options in China. Street vendors in China are extremely cheap, you can buy a whole meal on the street for under $5 USD. However, if you don’t want to eat on the streets, most restaurants serving local dishes are quite affordable. With a quick search through Trip Advisor you can find the best and most affordable restaurants in the area you are traveling.

#3 Venture away from the big cities

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Yes, you could spend days in cities like Beijing and Shanghai, but it’s going to cost you. The most iconic landmarks are quite costly for entrance fees alone. If you are looking to save, but experience as much as you can, I would recommend trying to go to all the major tourist spots you want to visit as fast as you can and spend the remaining of your time in small towns around the city. For example, there are great water towns like XiTang near Shanghai that are really quint and can give you a more traditional experience of China

#4 Learn some Chinese

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Learning some basic Chinese will help you save a lot of money while traveling. Not only will this help you make sure you’re not getting scammed and getting the best price possible. You can learn some basic words to bargain with locals. Learn how to understand and say numbers in Chinese, how to say expensive or cheap, etc.

#5 Save where possible

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There is a lot of unnecessary expenses that incur while traveling, that can be easily avoided. Find out the bank fees for your credit cards and rates to exchange money, try to avoid paying extra in fees, by converting your money beforehand and only using your credit cards for emergencies. Instead of staying in Hotels, consider hostels that also offer private rooms. They can be more than 50% cheaper than staying in a hotel and just as comfortable.

You want to save as much as possible so make sure to do your research before you begin your trip!

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Monica Guan

Monica Guan

Monica is a Canadian-Chinese travel blogger and marketer that has spent time in beijing, nanjing, guangzhou, shenzhen, hangzhou,and xitang, shanghai. When she isn't watching YouTube videos, you can find her writing or creating videos.
Monica Guan