In addition to reading these blog posts, scroll down and click the link to my Vlog on YouTube. Each video episode is short, easy to watch and will make you feel like you are there with us on our journey. Have fun watching and reading!
Travel Blog - Day 1 - Getting to Beijing China 中国北京
We left Fort Collins, Colorado at 3:00 AM for a trip to the other side of the world and after an hour drive to the Denver airport, fourteen hours on a plane, one hour on a bus and thirty minutes on the underground subway, we arrived in Beijing, China, the next day!
Of all the places in the world, why go to China you ask? It is a bit nastalgic for us to travel to China because in the mid-2000’s we lived in the Northwest province of Xinjiang for three years. Our children were so young that they don’t remember much of the experience, so this year we decided to bring them to China and to experience this amazing place with us.
We used our previous knowledge and experience living in China to plan this trip. Instead of using a travel agency, staying at top hotels or eating at expensive restaurants, we decided to give our kids more of a local experience. They definitely received some culture shock during this trip, but we hope that by experiencing other cultures and different ways of life, that they will really appreciate the freedoms and conveniences that we have in the United States.
For a family of four, It is no small feat traveling to China because you have to overcome some hurdles at the beginning in order to get there. However, we highly recommend adding this trip to your bucket list as it truly is an adventure of a lifetime and one that you will never forget.
Here are some of those hurdles:
- Passports - We already had ours, but if this is your first time out of the country, you will each need a valid passport. The application process for the USA is quite lengthly and takes some time to process, so start early. Here's a link to the US application requirements and instructions.
- Airline tickets - They are very expensive during the summer months as this is peak travel season in China. Plan, look for the best deals and save up ahead of time! We recommend using Kayak.com for booking international flights and Ctrip.com for all domestic travel inside of China. You can also easily create and follow your travel itinerary as well as get real-time travel notifications with Tripit.com.
- Visas - Every foreigner who visits mainland China is required to have an approved travel visa. It takes a bit of work and requires travel to a China consulate in the US if you decide to do this all yourself. However, we strongly recommend using a travel visa service to reduce the hassle. We had great success using PassportVisasExpress.com. They were great answering questions ahead of time and returned our approved visas to us in a matter of a few short days without paying extra for a rush service. Note that they require the first few days of your itinerary in order to apply, so be sure to plan your itinerary ahead of submitting your visa application.
Ok. You've now read the blog post for Day 1 - Getting to Beijing China and I hope that the resources provided above will help you plan your next trip to China. Now go take a look at our short Vlog on YouTube to see first hand, how our Day 1 transpired.
You can also continue reading our Day 2 blog post here.