Practical China Travel Information

China travel tips – Useful information

Time difference: During the summertime it’s 7 hours later in China than it is in the UK. During winter time it’s 8 hours later in China.

Best time to travel: The best time to travel is during the months Aprtil through October. However, it’s best to avoid the first week of May and the first week of October. These are Chinese national holidays.

Language: Mandarin Chinese is spoken in most of China. However, countless dialects are also spoken. English is gaining popularity in China, but you still won’t find many people who speak English, especially in rural China. Bring along a Chinese pocket dictionary.

Currency: The official Chinese currency is known as the renminbi (‘peoples money’), RMB for short. The monetary unit is the Yuan. Hong Kong has its own currency – the Hong Kong Dollar. The Hong Kong Dollar is pegged to the American Dollar. It’s accepted in Guangzhou (Canton) and Shenzhen.

Tips: Tipping is customary for guides and drivers. They are generally reliant on tips for a large portion of their salaries. It’s not customary to tip in restaurants.

Visas: You’ll need a Chinese visa in order to travel in China. You’ll have to apply for your own visa at the Chinese Visa Application Service Centre (CVASC). A single entry Chinese visa will cost you around £60. This is made up of a £30 visa fee, and a £30 processing fee.

Telephone calls: Phoning home during your China trip using your mobile usually isn’t a problem, but it can be a very costly affair. Internet Phone (IP) cards are the cheapest way to phone home. You can buy these cards at kiosks and hotels in larger cities. If you want to use your own mobile phone during your trip, it’s best to buy a prepaid sim card at a Chinese phone shop.

Internet: Nearly all parts of China offer Internet access. You’ll find more and more cafés and bars that offer mobile Internet in China.

Photography: The Chinese are usually honoured if you would like to take their picture. Don’t forget to ask their permission first though. Taking pictures or shooting a video at military sites in China is highly illegal. Many museums, palaces and temples also do not allow pictures to be taken or only allow you to take pictures for a fee. It’s best to always be on the look-out for the signs posted regarding photography and to be careful.

Voltage: Electricity in China is 220 Volts, alternating at 50 cycles per second. It’s best to bring along a universal plug adaptor.

Hygiene: Using public bathrooms during your China trip will be quite an experience. The level of hygiene is commonly poor and you’ll have little privacy. Be sure to add toilet paper or tissues, anti-bacterial hand wipes and disinfectant to your China Travel Plan packing list.

Air Ambulance Traveler Information: What To Know Before You Go

In the United States, approximately 550,000 medical patients are flown in either rotor or fixed winged air ambulance aircraft each year. This Traveler’s Guide will help answer common questions such as what to bring in terms of identification, how much to pack, traveling during religious holidays, and much more.

Understanding checkpoints and knowing what identification to bring

Routine air travelers can be in for a bit of a shock when it comes to understanding security checkpoints and what types of identification to bring. Normally, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) works together with the Federal Flight Administration (FAA) to make sure public air transportation is secure. However, medical flights are not treated the same way as commercial airlines. For example, there are no security checkpoints to pass through and no specific federal requirements on what types of identification to bring. Instead, each provider sets their own guidelines.

How to board your flight faster

Whereas flight delays on a commercial airline can be an annoyance, they can be life threatening to those on medical flights. The best way to avoid delays is to request a transfer in advance. A brief explanation of the patient’s condition and other important information (time sensitive concerns, originating and destination location, along with an approximate travel date) will help the flight director coordinate a customized travel itinerary.

How to pack for your flight

The TSA puts a litany of restrictions on carry-on items that do not apply to air ambulance travelers. Portable medical oxygen concentrators, gel-type candies, and non-service pets are just a few. However, certain medical travel recommendations are the same. For example, select patients will want to be sure to bring along the following:

  • prescription medications (i.e., nitroglycerin tablets)
  • a list of current medications including specific dose intervals and pill sizes
  • copies of your last ECG results
  • pacemaker card (if applicable)
  • a list of dietary restrictions
  • an electric cart or wheelchair (if not restricted to a stretcher)
  • a pacifier for children and toddlers

Traveling during religious holidays

Traveling during Ramadan (July 9-August 8, 2013) can be especially stressful for practicing members of the Muslim faith. These travelers might feel more comfortable contacting a provider that takes a holistic approach to patient care. Providers specializing in holistic care are highly skilled in creating an environment that is more relaxing and comfortable than traditional emergency medical transport systems.

Traveling with children

Medical flight professionals know that ill or injured children pose a unique challenge when traveling by air. Oftentimes, these patients present with little or no symptoms before their health deteriorates. As a result, flight coordinators frequently put together teams of highly trained doctors and specialists with pediatric and neonatal intensive care unit (ICU) experience in advance. When flying outside the US, parents will want to ensure their child’s vaccines are current.

Cheap Family Trip – Travel Insurance For the Unexpected

There can be no doubt that it has become even more important to plan a cheap family trip. Travel insurance is very much a part of traveling. When times are tight and every cent is being stretched to the limit in order to have a family vacation it is so tempting to simply ignore insurance.

However, the consequences of doing this could be so expensive in the end that it’s just not worth the extra bit of money you must pay for travel insurance.

A lot of people don’t want to think about what could go wrong. This is understandable if you are putting together something as exciting, fun and happy as a family vacation. To many people thinking about the negatives at such a time is a downer.

This is not the case. Those who are willing to acknowledge that the unexpected may happen are actually taking charge of their vacation and their lives in a very positive way. Nobody wants to think about their luggage going missing or an illness taking hold.

Apart from negative thoughts you may have taken quite a long time finding the right cheap family trip. Travel insurance may seem like a waste of money because you will probably never get anything back for it. The thing is, none of us can see into the future and it is better to be prepared for any unexpected event.

There is no way anyone can be assured of complete security. The only assurance you can be given is that if anything does go wrong awry you will be covered financially.

Your cheap family trip travel insurance should be part of your vacation budget right from the start of your plans. Not only should you think about cover for luggage and medical but also if you should need to change your flight plans.

This will protect you from having to pay a large penalty or having to buy another ticket from scratch. There are many reasons beyond your control for having to change your family’s flight plans.