China’s international visitors have increased to almost 27 million in 2013. China is set to become the first tourist destination with world’s largest number of visitors. Chinese citizens are also traveling abroad in increasing numbers, so it is vital that they take precautions and make preparations

Tips for Chinese Travelers Abroad

  • Practice your English before you leave on your trip abroad if traveling to an English Country. The same goes if you are traveling to a French or German speaking country as there lots of resources both offline and online.
  • Make a detailed plan of your trip before you go
  • Make sure you look into the local customs of the country you are traveling to


Tips for Travelers to China

  • Try to break the language barrier by learning some key Chinese words and phrases. Purchase a Mandarin phrasebook before you travel to China
  • Check the weather in China before you travel as you will need to make preparations before you go. Spring and Autume are the most comfortable seasons, but not in all parts of China
  • Make an itinerary before you leave because China is a massive and diverse country with lots to see and do. China has some of the world’s highest mountains, largest cities, remote jungles and deserts and endless countryside.
  • Enjoy the food! China has a wide array of food that differs from region to region. Experience the many flavors that are offered.
  • Try to use public transport where possible. Experience China like the Chinese do as traffic in China has become horrendous.

General Travel Tips for all Travelers

  • Health
  • Safety
  • Extra Safety Tips for Women
  • Travel Insurance
  • Transportation
  • Customs
  • Tipping & Etiquette
  • Packing

Health

  • In developing and third world countries it is often wise to avoid raw vegetables, salads, unpeeled fruit, raw shellfish (clams, oysters, etc.), cream, ice cream, ice cubes and even undercooked or cold food, which can be contaminated. Freshly cooked foods are often safer.
  • Try to avoid swimming, bathing and wading in freshwater streams and marshes as they often contain microbes that can make you sick. It pays to check with authorities to confirm that there is nothing dangerous in the water if you intend on swimming.
  • See your doctor and check with a Travel Health advisory such as the Centers for Disease Control or the World Health Organization to see what shots you need for the country you are visiting. Remember to do the same for children who are traveling with you.
  • It’s always a good precaution to have a full check-up prior to departure, including a dental check. A visit to an optician for an eye test is also advisable
  • Check if it is ok to drink the water – if not, drinking bottled water or soft drinks. Make sure the bottles are not counterfeit.
  • Try to acclimatize yourself slowly to changes in heat, environment and altitude.
  • Always wear something that covers your feet as you might catch diseases such as ringworm or athletes foot.
Safety

  • Don’t open your hotel door to just anyone, even if they say they are security – call down to front desk to check their ID
  • Consider putting your money and passport in a money belt or shoulder belt
  • Be very careful in subways, busses and other crowded places where pickpockets prowl
  • Get to know the neighborhood in which you travel. Learn the locations of police stations, fire stations, hospitals, restaurants and stores that are open late.
  • Be wary of hotels which do not have adequate fire protection, such as smoke detectors, fire alarms, sprinklers and fire escapes.
  • When you go abroad. You do not want to appear too much like a tourist as it attracts thieves.
  • Although you should avoid bringing valuables, if you are must bring something, store it in the hotel room safe.
  • Avoid parking lots that glitter with broken glass and get advice from your hotel on where and where not to park.
  • Try doing a general security check of your hotel and room when you arrive — such as checking to make sure windows are locked, see if there is a dead bolt on the door and make sure rooms that are connected to your room are locked.
  • Don’t tell strangers where you are staying.

Extra Safety Tips for Woman Travelers

  • If someone asks if you are alone, say that your husband or boyfriend will be right back.
  • Have your key ready when you get near your hotel.
  • Use cabs at night instead of walking if possible.
  • Do not hang onto your purse if someone grabs it – it isn’t worth your life.
  • Avoid wearing expensive jewelry in public.
  • Trust your senses, if it looks dangerous, it probably is. Be aware of your surroundings at all times.

Travel Insurance

  • Arrange for your travel insurance at least a month before leaving.
  • If you are covered through work, examine your plan booklet and call the insurance company to make sure you know what you are covered for. Most plans do not cover you abroad or do not cover evacuation expenses.
  • Make sure the insurer has a toll free line or collect number that you can call in the event of a claim.
  • The larger the deductible, the lower the premium.
  • Be careful about buying your travel insurance from a cruise line, airline or other travel company that may go out of business, and your travel insurance may not be honored.
  • Remember that the insurance generally only covers emergencies. So if you broke your arm before leaving and it needs treatment, it probably won’t be covered.
  • As obvious as it sounds, pay your premium! Coverage will not take affect if you forget to pay your premium.
  • Make sure you tell someone you are traveling with and / or a friend or relative at home that you have travel insurance. Make sure that they have the policy number and insurance company contact.
  • Make sure that the travel insurance company is able to pay claims directly to hospitals.
  • Most plans do not cover pre-existing medical conditions – make sure you read the plan terms and conditions carefully.
  • Get a travel insurance quote now!

Transportation Tips

  • Double check that you brought your tickets, passport and money with you before you leave home.
  • Make a list of things to bring.
  • Confirm your transportation, especially airline departure times as they can change without notice.
  • Arrive at the airport at least 3 hours before departure to avoid complications and delays.
  • Bring some currency of the country you are traveling to.
  • Avoid exchanging money at airports and train stations as they usually have bad rates. Try a bank
  • Put a lock on your luggage as you may get something stolen or someone may smuggle contraband in your luggage
  • Never lose sight of your luggage, even at security checks
  • Travel lightly 
  • Avoid excessive alcohol on the airplane as you will want to have your wits when you arrive and alcohol lowers your immune system and can make you dehydrated

Customs

  • Make sure you bring your prescription receipts with your prescriptions so you can avoid potential problems with customs authorities
  • Bring along a copy of your bill for expensive items such as jewelry and cameras so you can prove to customs that you purchased the items in your home country
  • Get a pamphlet or check your county’s customs rules before you purchase that expensive watch or ring
  • If you are bringing something valuable, bring proof of purchase with you to clearly prove that you bought it before you left on your trip.
  • Always be polite and respectful

Traveling Etiquette and Tipping

  • Make sure you don’t forget to say thank you local language
  • Check your bill or menu to see if it already includes service because you don’t want to tip twice

Packing Guide

  • Try to travel lightly – this can’t be said enough
  • A bag with the dimensions 9″ x 22″ x 14″ will fit under most airplane seats. Check with your airline!
  • Rather than take a huge supply of toiletries, bring just enough to get started. You can find anything you need in most countries.
  • Bring Travel detergent, usually in a tube – this will mean you won’t have to take as much
  • In the third world, try to avoid “cheap” hotels
  • Do not tell people you meet on the street what hotel you are staying at
  • Your hotel’s concierge can be a valuable resource, so make sure you give him/her a tip

Money

  • Make sure you check expiry on credit cards before you leave on your trip
  • Also check if credit card limit will be high enough for those fancy hotels
  • Photocopy front and back of all credit cards, debit cards and travelers checks and leave a copy in a safe place at home and with a trusted relative who you can call in the event your wallet is stolen or lost so that the cards can be cancelled
  • Plan a daily budget for incidentals
  • Banks often have the best exchange rates. Be wary of currency exchange booths at the airport and rail station as their rates are often sub-standard.

Some Links
Here are some links to site with important information about health, environmental and political conditions that could be encountered on your next international trip. 

Center for Disease Control (CDC)

US State Department Travel Warnings