How much does it cost to travel to China? is a bit like asking ‘How long is our favorite noodle?’.
While it’s not impossible to answer this question, because there are so many variables, it can be hard to give a definitive answer that meets every traveler’s needs.
So, to keep things simple, we’ve decided to break down the answer to the trip-to-China-cost question for all those people dreaming about the day that borders reopen and planes fly again. *sigh*
Believe us when we say, we’re just as keen as you to start exploring again, which is why we thought it wise to share some of our biggest insider tips with our lovely customers.
Feet feeling itchy and ready to unleash your travel revenge?
Let’s do this!
Is it expensive to travel to China?
Comparatively speaking, once you’ve arrived in the Middle Kingdom (that’s China), you’ll find expenses are considerably lower than in most developed western countries. You can thank the lower cost of labor and relatively low unemployment. Consequently, expect to get more bang for your buck when you’re traveling or shopping. Of course, be sure to check the exchange rate, which can be calculated quickly via a smartphone app, before making any purchases so you can be confident you’re getting everything you expect.
How much does it cost for a flight to China?
Well, in these unusual times, there’s been a widely acknowledged spike in flight costs for travel anywhere around the world, however, generally, an international air ticket to China from the USA ranges from USD800 to USD1200.
Looking to save your cash for all those take home travel mementos? Perfect! Choose a flight with stopovers, because there are savings to be made. Make the most of your extra dollars by enjoying an in-country layover somewhere else en route (bonus!) or save the cash for special experiences when you arrive in China. And remember the insider’s secret weapon for the best cost for a flight to China: Book early and save!
Is eating in China expensive?
Most western travelers don’t realize just how fabulous Chinese food is – until they arrive – and then start sampling real Beijing Duck, authentic Sichuan hot pot, and genuine Xiao Long Bao dumplings (we’re getting hungry just writing this!).
Not only is it really good, it is incredibly inexpensive too. There is a super abundance of options, from street food stalls to Michelin star fine dining, however a good rule of thumb is to allow USD10 to USD20 for a meal in a regular restaurant.
Unlike a western dinner, a typical Chinese meal involves more than one dish. You might start with a wonton noodle soup (USD3 – USD5), follow it with a plate of dumplings (USD1 – USD5), then round it out with fried rice (USD2 – USD5) and a dish of Sichuan chilli chicken and some sweet and sour pork USD5-6, USD4 to USD10).
What does it cost to travel around China?
Once known as the land of bicycles, modes of transport in China have certainly evolved in keeping with the country’s almost unceasing march towards development.
From Beijing to Xi’an, roughly a 5 hour trip covering 1,200 kilometers, expect to pay about USD80 for a second class seat. From Xi’an to Chengdu – about 600 kilometers and a duration of four hours, a second class ticket is about USD40. The great thing about train travel is that unlike air travel, ticket prices don’t fluctuate between high season and low season.
Domestic flights in China are generally on relatively new aircraft, however, ticket prices are still surprisingly low. From Beijing to Xi’an, an economy class ticket is usually about USD120. Keep in mind, though ticket prices will be higher or lower depending on the time of day and whether you are traveling in high or low season.
Getting in and around a city is easy too simply because there are so many choices. By way of example, if you take a taxi in Beijing, the starting price is USD2 for the first three kilometers, then USD0.30 per kilometer thereafter. The local version of Uber, called Didi is another option for those not wanting to take advantage of the exceptional Metro rail system, which is fast, cheap, and designed to move millions of people everyday. And if none of these suit, take a bus. These are by far the cheapest way to make your way around a city.
What is the cost of accommodation in China?
If you think it’s expensive to stay in hotels in China, think again. Comparative hotel accommodation is nowhere near as expensive as it is in other countries. While you can expect to enjoy the same quality and level of hotel in a similar inner location, you’ll discover the price is vastly different. A five star hotel in Paris is roughly USD500 per night; in Tokyo, about USD400 per night; and in Beijing – the same hotel is about USD250 per night. As you’d expect, the difference is reflected at the four star level too, with per night prices for Paris, Tokyo and Beijing around USD230, USD200, and USD120 respectively per night.
Shopping cost in China
As the origin of so many consumables around the world, it’s hardly a surprise that a shopping experience in China is really something else. With every conceivable item available to buy, ‘made in China’ means you’re limited only by your imagination. This means good value buying on anything from kids’ toys to high end electrical goods. You can even have your clothes (including that must-have suit or wedding dress) tailor made and buy luxury brand items, like designer sunglasses or prescription glasses. Expect excellent quality, but at significantly less cost.
With all that said, we’ve found most western travelers are looking for something a bit special; a travel memento or two they can take home as a treasure from their trip. Fortunately, there is plenty to choose from: exquisite silk, delicate porcelain, wonderful tea. Whatever it is you’re looking for, we’re certain you’ll find it shopping in China.
What is the cost of a tour in China?
There are so many variables to determine the cost of a tour: Budget, personal interests, duration, destinations, whether you want a small group, private, or custom tour. Fortunately, we have all bases covered.
ChinaTours.com offers tours in China from a half or full day trip to multi-city tours that extend beyond two, three, or even four weeks if you’re up for adventure. As a point of reference, an 8 day small group tour including time in Beijing, Xi’an, and Shanghai staying in 4 star hotels for a couple will cost around USD2,800 (not including international flights). For a private tour, the cost is closer to USD3900.
How much pocket money/cash should I take on a China tour?
To say that China is leading the way with the shift to a cashless economy is an understatement. You’ll quickly discover that even street food stall holders accept payment via WeChat Pay and AliPay. While this is great for locals, the convenience isn’t so available to western travelers, although we do recommend installing WeChat Pay on your mobile because it does provide some flexibility for making payments.
The good news is credit cards are accepted widely throughout China, although a certain amount of cash is a necessity. Let’s say you’re traveling on the 8 day Beijing, Xi’an and Shanghai tour, allow for USD1000 to buy small souvenirs, handcrafts, meals, and pay gratuities to guides and drivers in every city.
Whether you’re a savvy traveler or a first time visitor to China, doing your research is the best way to make the most of your trip to China. Be sure to get the information you need on travel costs, including hotels, tours, food, and experiences from people who truly care about your holiday. Talk to the ChinaTours.com team. We’re travelers too, and we’re committed to helping you create beautiful travel memories that endure long after you’ve arrived home. We welcome online enquiries via direct contact, with responses delivered within 24 hours.