China on a Budget

Many of us have dreams of travelling the world. But before any trip some research must be done before the ticket is bought. If travelling to China is on your vision board for 2019 and beyond, then this compilation is sure to help you prepare to head there, the land known as the Middle Kingdom. And on a budget!


Figuring out how to get to China should be the first part of your research. It’s important to note that regardless of where in the world you are coming from, you will arrive at one of the main cities, Beijing, Shanghai or Hong Kong.

And don’t be surprised if you feel a tad bit crowded when you arrive; China has one of the largest populations in the world - 1.3 billion people. I know – that’s a lot. But as most people would tell you, when going to China, take an open mind with you and you should be fine.

Please also note the time difference, for instance China is 12 hours ahead of Barbados.

Overall, autumn in China has the best weather conditions with less rain than spring or summer, and more clear days. At this time. most of China has warm to cool temperatures, and the summer rains have stopped (apart from around Hong Kong). It is important to book any ticket early, that’s how to get the cheapest prices.

Lowest flight (only) found US$1099 (spring) US$1685 per person (autumn)


Finding accommodation in one of the world’s largest cities is quite easy. China offers options for all travellers’ tastes, so whether you are a luxury traveller and prefer hotels or a backpacker/rolling stone who is comfortable in community accommodation, better known as hostels, there is something for you.

According to some blogs, those travelling alone can save good money by staying in a hostel. Just a cosy place to rest your head and have a warm meal before setting off on your next adventure. But let us emphasize, hostels are shared accommodation.

There are also options to have a ‘private room’ when staying in a hostel, a bit more expensive but still more affordable than an actual hotel, by at least 50 per cent.

This option would be nice for families or couples.

Price for 14 nights (spring time) Twin Room Max two persons: $US272 (includes taxes and charges)


Food is probably one of the main things you would want to consider when travelling to any destination.

In China though, one must be extra careful and cautious but remember, keep an open mind.

If you’re down for trying new and exotic foods, then this would be a haven for you.

NB! Drinking tap water is a no no in China, but bottled water is readily available and inexpensive.

Example: Restaurants


Range (US$)

Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant

20.00 ¥


Meal for 2 People, Mid-Range Restaurant, Three-Course

150.00 ¥


McMeal at McDonalds
(or Equivalent Combo Meal)

30.00 ¥


Domestic Beer (1-Pint Draught)

6.00 ¥



China has a wide range of transportation options all of which are affordable.

Visitors are reminded however that they should avoid travelling by train in China during holidays as it’s at its busiest and most crowded.

It is also noted that travelling in and around China can create quite a headache so when planning to take public transport, it should be planned carefully and precisely and being early or on time is of extreme importance.

The earliest you can buy a train ticket is 10 days before travel. And if it’s a busy time of year you should be in line as early as possible.

With that said, China is top in the world when it comes to transport, being serviced by a fantastic network of buses and trains including the high-speed G-Trains that can whisk you across the country in a matter of hours.

Taxis in China are cheap and plentiful. Most drivers will not speak English, so it’s a good idea to get your destination address written in Chinese by somebody at your hotel or hostel.

(Prices will vary based on where you are going and mode of transport so budget US$2000 approx.)

Where To Go

Whether you’re interested in ancient or modern culture, there is something for everyone in China. According to one website, “Beijing and Xi’an offer the best way to explore the imperial and revolutionary past; Shanghai presents a glimpse of the future.”

There’s lots to see and do but coming high on the must-see list are the Great Wall of China, the Hometown of Giant Pandas, China's Prosperous Largest City in Shanghai, The Forbidden City and The Yellow Mountains among many others.

Things To Note

  • China only recognises its own currency.

  • Many social media sites are blocked so if you have plans on plugging in while you’re there, you’ll need to purchase a VPN.

  • Having an interpreter, whether in person or an app, is encouraged.

  • Ask questions before buying food.

So, with an open mind, the right expectations and good translator, you are sure to have a grand time in the East Asia country of China. Enjoy! Or as the Chinese say 请享用. And all for an approximate total of US$7000 for two weeks in China depending on time of travel and location. (These rates are based on Bejing during spring season.)