7 Tips and Tricks to Travel China on a Budget

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Last Updated on: 3rd April 2023, 12:36 pm

Traveling abroad is one of the best experiences!

However, to travel, you need to spend a lot of money. Traveling to international countries doesn’t come cheap. 

Because of this reason, most people travel to developing countries like China. If you don’t have much money but still want to explore beautiful places, China is an ideal tourist destination.

To travel to China, you need to obtain a China visa. It acts as your entry ticket to the country. You can easily apply for a Chinese visa online. It takes only a few days to get a visa to China

When you are visiting China, you can save a lot of money by making some smart decisions. Travel bloggers mostly follow these tips so that they can travel to different places. 

If you want to visit China on a budget, we can help you. In this article, we will show you some tips and tricks to save money when traveling to China.

My Favorite Travel Booking Sites for 2024

These are my favorite companies that I use on my own travels.

Protect Your Trip via Safety Wing

Find the best city tours, day tours, bus tours, & skip-the-line tickets on GetYourGuide and Viator.

Find the best deals on hotels & vacation rentals on Booking.com.

For English-speaking private airport transfers, book through Welcome Pickups.

For road trips and independent travel, rent a car through Discover Cars.

Find information and cruise reviews on Cruise Critic.

For packing and travel essentials order via Amazon.

Book an affordable family or romantic photography session on your trip through Flytographer (Use the code HISTORYFANGIRL for 10% off your first photoshoot).

For travel guidebooks to have with you during your trip, I always pick one or two from Rick Steves and Lonely Planet.

Tips and Tricks to Visit China on a Budget

Here are some tips and tricks you can follow when visiting China. It will help you to save a lot of money and easily complete your trip on a limited budget. 

Avoid Plane and Travel by Train

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There are many benefits to traveling by train, and the ability to save money is just one of them. While flying into any airport can be an expensive proposition, traveling by train instead of a plane can be quite cost-effective in some instances.

If you are living in a country that shares a friendly border with China, you can travel by train instead of a plane. Although it will take longer to complete the journey, you can save hundreds of dollars when traveling by train.

Likewise, if you are taking a cross-country trip and are traveling from city to city, then train travel is going to end up saving you some money as opposed to plane travel.

Another benefit of train travel is that you will be able to visit more cities along the route, which allows for some interesting destinations to be included on your journey.

Avoid Big Cities and Explore Small Towns and Villages

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The first and perhaps most important way to save money on your vacation is to avoid using private transport to travel around China.

By taking the bus or train to all of the main cities in England and being prepared to walk or cycle to various destinations, you will dramatically reduce your overall traveling cost for that holiday.

If you want to travel light and save money, avoid big cities when traveling. Big cities are expensive as you have to pay more money for accommodation, food, and travel.

While you might miss out on the best things to do in Shanghai or Guangzhou, you’ll get to see a different side of the country while also saving money.

Obtain China Visa and Look for Visa-Free Options

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Visa is mandatory for traveling to China. You can easily apply for a Chinese visa online from different parts of the world.

However, if you want to save money, it is better to apply for a visa to China on your own.

Apart from that, you also need to look for visa-free options. There are many cities in China where you don’t need a visa. If you specifically target these cities, you can save visa money. 

Avoid Carrying Too Much Cash

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With all the money that many of us have, we can sometimes end up carrying a lot of extra cash with us on a trip.

Even though China is a safe place, it is not advisable to carry much cash in hand. It is wise to carry little cash to avoid getting robbed.

Even if you don’t have a choice, don’t carry too much with you as it is easy for thieves to steal wallets, credit cards, and other important documents that can be used to access your money.

You want to be as safe as possible by only taking the smaller denominations of cash with you that you trust. Make sure you keep money on a debit card or credit card. Apart from that, you also need to consider the transaction cost to avoid spending more money.

Stay in Hostels Instead of Hotels

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If you are traveling to China or if you want to experience Chinese culture, why not try staying in a hostel instead of staying in a hotel?

Hostels in China can provide the basic facilities that you need while on tour. Most hostels offer dorms with private bathrooms and a kitchen.

If you are on a budget, a stay in a hostel can be cheaper than a stay in a hotel and is also a good option if you don’t want to spend time in a tourist trap.

Most of the hostels in China are available at cheaper rates, and you can even rent a room for the night if it is available. This way you will be able to save some money. You will find that the food in the hostels is quite good and if you choose to eat outside, they will serve you well. 

Opt for English Teaching Job

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There is a good reason why there are jobs in China for English teachers. China is now one of the fastest-growing economic centers in the world, so there are plenty of job opportunities for English teachers in big cities like Beijing and Shanghai.

For people who have previous teaching experience, the benefits of moving to China are immense.

You can easily find a job in big cities where there are lots of students who want to learn English, and you will not have to pay high costs of living.

On top of that, there are no cultural gaps in the teaching profession in China, as the majority of the people speak English, especially in major cities.

If you are traveling to China and planning to stay there for a few months, you can take virtual English classes.

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