- Visit a travel health specialist
- Get a pre-travel physical exam
- Check the weather
- Break the language barrier
- Verify China’s Entry & Exit Requirements and ensure your passport is current
- Get vaccinated
- Locate all U.S. Embassy Locations
- Pack smart
- Be aware of travel notices
- Get the most out of your trip by planning activities
According to the Lonely Planet China Travel Guide, “China is home to one of the world’s oldest and most remarkable civilizations. You’ll need a well-made pair of travelling shoes and a strong stomach for long-distance wayfaring.” Of course, those aren’t the only items you’ll need for an enjoyable trip to China.
1. Visit a travel health specialist.
Before embarking on your journey, it is important you meet with a Travel Medicine Specialist. From vaccinations and medications, to packing list essentials, to entry and exit requirement, your Travel Health Specialist will advise you of common pitfalls and help you steer clear of them.
2. Get a pre-travel physical exam.
A pre-travel physical can help you address potential problems before they occur. Your physician will make you aware of your current health status and inform you of any precautions you may need to take prior to travelling.
3. Check the weather.
China is a big place, to say the least. Tune in to the weather reports for the regions you plan to visit so you can pack accordingly.
4. Break the language barrier.
As with travel to any international destination, your experience will be enhanced if you make some effort to speak the local language. Carrying a phrase book, or learning a few well-chosen words can go a long way towards immersing yourself in the culture and will ingratiate you with the locals.
5. Make sure your passport is current and verify China’s Entry & Exit Requirements.
Long before you plan to depart, it is wise to obtain your passport and double check all of the travel requirements so that there are no last minute surprises. This is especially true if you are going to be entering China from a country other than the United States.
7. Make certain you know where all of the U.S. Embassy Locations are.
The US embassy can be a key resource should any problems arise abroad. Embassy personnel are there to help American citizens, so be certain you know where the embassy locations are in China.
8. Make sure you packed everything.
Your packing list should include not just clothing but also key travel supplies. You are likely to need mosquito repellent, sunscreen, plug adaptors, and a water purification kit. Purchase these items and take them with you on your trip.
9. Look for Travel Notices in Effect.
Visit the CDC website, and check for any travel advisories or restrictions. This is especially important with regards to disease outbreaks. If there are any regions that have become dangerous due to health or political factors, the CDC will advise of the notifications, and your Travel Health Specialist will make you aware of these issues as well.
10. Plan your itinerary.
It’s impossible to take in all that a country as large and diverse as China has to offer in one vacation. To get the most out of your trip, do plenty of advance planning. Bring your itinerary with you to your visit with a Travel Health Specialist so he/she can make detailed recommendations tailored to your specific plans.
China is a fascinating vacation destination that is certain to be a trip of a lifetime. The country boasts a perfect blend of history and modernization, delicious cuisine, architectural sites, stunning landscapes, and a distinct culture. Don’t let a lack of planning ruin your trip; prepare well, and travel even better!
Harper, D., & Low, S. (2013). Lonely planet China travel guide (13th ed.). Lonely Planet.