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International Traveling Tips!

Hey guys!

The 2014 CLP Global Summit is coming up, and it seems like everyone is planning on exploring China or the nearby countries either before or after summit.

The first thing that needs to be done to get ready for traveling is to make sure all of your papers are in order. Make sure your local ID is up to date with your current address and that it is not expiring within a month or two of your trip. Most foreigners will need a visa to enter China, and Meili has taken some time to write a nice post regarding the visa application process here.

It’ll probably be difficult to communicate with each other in China since most of us won’t want to pay for international roaming, but there are many ways around that. One of the most popular messaging apps, WhatsApp, uses data to send messages so you can use it anywhere you have a Wi-Fi connection. It automatically detects which of your contacts currently have a WhatsApp account and lets you chat with people from all over the world for free. Other great apps for messaging are Viber, Kik, and Telegram. They all provide similar features, and Viber will let you call people over the internet as well.

If you’re planning on driving at all while outside of your home country, don’t forget to try to get an international driving license. They’re generally pretty cheap and can be gotten through your local auto club or insurance company. Some places in Asia may let you by with your local driver’s license, but most will request an international driver’s license. Also, be sure you know how to drive a manual/standard/stick car before trying to rent a car in Asia, and try to book your car in advance through a travel website such as Kayak for better deals.

For traveling in between cities in China there’s a great railway system, and in between Shanghai and Beijing, there’s a high speed rail that takes about 5 hours to get from one city to the other. You can book tickets a few weeks in advance here, and here’s a fairly comprehensive train schedule with prices.

If you need to fly, any type of travel website will help you find cheap flights. My favorite by far is CheapOAir since I generally will find the lowest prices on there. Most airlines in Asia don’t charge you to check bags, and while there is no limit to the number of bags you can have, they usually have a maximum weight limit of around 20kg or 44lbs.

While you are looking for lodging in China, don't forget you have many other options outside of expensive hotels. Airbnb is a great place that offers cheaper options through locals that are renting out their properties for much lower rates than hotels. It's also a great opportunity to meet the locals and get their advice on what the must see places are! Hostel World is also a great place to search for cheaper lodging as well. Couchsurfing is a great community where you can meet up with locals in most cities around the world, attend events in those cities, and possibly even stay with locals for free. I've had a lot of experiences with Couchsurfing in multiple countries, and the people I've met through it are some of the best people I know.

Once you’ve finalized your travel plans, don’t forget to post them on the Colab page so people can meet up while traveling!

Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions during your trip planning process.

Written by: Yifei Li (Oil & Gas/Houston, TX)

Reader Comments (1)

Really good information, although I have never been to China till date. But want to visit in future, so will book the flight from the site that you have mentioned but will first check the prices otherwise too. But do you think that going to China will not be good as you do not know the language at all. Anyways, once I plan to go to China, will get in touch with you for more information.

October 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSunny

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