As one of the world's most popular tourist destinations, China is a viable holiday hotspot for not only couples and solo travellers but also families. Home to some of the region's most iconic landmarks and recreational highlights, a holiday in China can be the experience of a lifetime for those travelling with their children. From deciding when to travel to signing up for the right tours, here are some tips to help you plan your family vacation in China.
1. When to Travel and Holiday Duration
The first priority when planning a getaway in an exotic location such as China is deciding the right time to travel. While China is a year-round holiday hub, there are particular times of the year when the local weather conditions are especially conducive to a hassle-free travel experience. The peak tourist months in China fall between April and May and then once again from September to October. Families on a budget may wish to visit during the winter months as it is the off-season although the weather in the Chinese capital and cities such as Xi'an is very cold although the beach hubs of Sanya and Guilin are dry and sunny. As a vast country, it is best to spend at least a week or two in China to truly experience the country as anything less would mean not even scratching the surface.
2. Selecting Your Stops
The next step is choosing which parts of the country to spend time in during the visit. As a large nation, there are plenty of big cities and charming beach towns to choose from but there are certain locations that are ideal for families and first timers. Beijing is such a destination as it is home to the top landmarks in China including the Forbidden City and the Summer Palace. Shanghai is another popular hotspot and the second-largest city in China. Xi'an is strictly for culture buffs so families with an interest in history can include it in their itinerary. Chengdu is a must for all families as it is where giant pandas are found.
3. Using Gateway Cities
When creating a travel itinerary for China, it is crucial to keep the various gateway cities in mind so that you can travel from one location to another with less hassle or paperwork. Some of these cities including Tianjin and Shanghai offer 144-hour visa-free transit passes as well.
4. Finding Accommodation
Regardless of how many cities or towns in China are in your travel plans, your family should have a comfortable and convenient base at each venue. Whether you select Star Apartment Beijing or any other luxury serviced residence in Beijing or elsewhere in China, it is necessary to gauge the creature comforts on-site as well as the venue's proximity to major attractions. Ensure that the property also entails kid's clubs, swimming pools and other recreational amenities that are important to your family or children as it will go a long way in offsetting boredom.
5. Sign up for Activities
From walking a stretch of the Great Wall of China and hiking in the countryside to enjoying water sports in Sanya, the activities that families can enjoy in China are truly limitless. Those who are visiting China for the first time with young ones in tow must enlist the help of a local tour operator to incorporate such activities, excursions, and adventures into their itinerary. Even if one only hopes to attend a show by the Peking Opera, indulge in a shopping spree in Beijing or visit a panda sanctuary, the assistance a local tour organiser can offer is invaluable.