Taking the family on a trip to see China? It’s a wonderful place for you all to discover, and very family-friendly too. In the bigger cities like Shanghai and Beijing, or even Chengdu (the city famed for pandas), you’ll find it even easier to navigate. Despite the language barrier, you’ll find the people of China to be incredibly kind.
Load a translator app on your phone and follow these 7 best tips for your China travel with kids!
1. Don’t plan your trip around Chinese holidays
Even if you’re from a big city, the crowds in China can be daunting. While it’s a relatively safe country all around, trying to keep track of your kids in a crowd can be stressful. That’s why you should plan your trip so you’re not visiting during Chinese holidays. All the landmarks you want to see will be packed to the gills during these times so plan accordingly!
2. Don’t be alarmed by the photo requests
China is a very homogenous country, and in some parts of it, people will stare or even take photos of you and your kids. They mean no harm at all. They just don’t usually see foreigners in their parts. Some will even ask to take photos with you. Enjoy feeling like a celebrity for a day!
3. Strollers are fairly useless in China
Unlike the states where ramps are common, China is full of stairs. It’s not very accessible, so toting a stroller all that way will only become a burden. If you have a baby, you can use a carrier and be much more comfortable.
4. American food can be found if your kids get picky
Chinese food isn’t the same in America as it is in the homeland. It’s delicious, but your kids might be disappointed because they expect it to be like the Chinese food they’ve had from your corner takeout place. Try to talk to them about it first but if they still don’t like it, they won’t starve. There are plenty of recognizable establishments from the west like KFC and McDonald’s.
5. Always carry tissues and hand sanitizer
Unless you’re in a luxury hotel, most bathrooms in China won’t have soap or toilet paper. They also usually feature squatters which are porcelain holes in the ground. You’ll have to hold your little ones over them to let them go to the bathroom. Make sure you have tissues and hand sanitizer on you at all times, and it doesn’t hurt to have some kind of fragrance – even a scented lip balm – to dab under your noses when you go into a bathroom to help block the smell.
6. Stay in a large hotel chain
With kids, never stay in a hotel that isn’t part of a big chain. It will be much easier on your whole family, especially if you need a crib.
7. Bring first-aid items
Be prepared with bandages and OTC medications (or any prescriptions). They will be harder to find in China, plus you don’t want the stress of an injury to spoil your travels.
And one last bonus tip: Whether you’re in China or anywhere else in the world, always keep your kids close and don’t ever leave them unattended. By following these tips, you and your family will have a wonderful time exploring China!
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