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How to travel on a budget

by lliu0528 Online Now Mar 11, 2013 at 5:54 PM

I will be forced into early retirement August 1, 2013, and my wife (already retired) and I would like to travel China for 6 months, starting with Hangzhou. I have started a budget and the biggest cost is lodging (not including the flight from the US). Even the cheapest hotels runs about $30 a day. That alone with eat away my saving quickly. How do you travelers go to so many places each year? Any advice and how to travel for half a year on the cheap would be appreciated.

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6 Answers
  • Poling's Profile Photo

    Re: How to travel on a budget

    by Poling Online Now Mar 11, 2013 at 6:05 PM

    You can choose to stay in the dorm of some hostels.
    http://www.yhachina.com/

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  • by lliu0528 Online Now Mar 11, 2013 at 8:14 PM

    Thanks Poling, but this may be a silly question, do you have to be a youth to stay at one of these places?

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  • cal6060's Profile Photo

    Re: How to travel on a budget

    by cal6060 Online Now Mar 12, 2013 at 1:51 AM

    I travel to China every year for the last ten years on a budget. I spent around US$1100 (RMB 7000) for a 3 week trip, excluding airfare. I truly enjoyed my trip covering Fujian, Guangdong, and Hong Kong Dec 2012 . The budget for this trip was considered a luxury for me comparing to many trips I had in the pass because I chosen to stay in proper hotels most of the time and the cheapest hotel I stayed was single room cost RMB99 (US$16) for a tiny single room in Gulangyu, Xiamen.

    China gets more expensive every year. The infrastructure and public facilities are improving and the standard of living is improving but getting more expensive.

    China is huge like the U.S. So, it is very diverse in term of population, cost of living, food, culture and etc. For example, Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou are more expensive than the rest of other cities in China.

    To me, China is still a bargain for many travellers. Rooms' rate ranging from RMB99 (US$15) to RMB200 (US$32) for double ; Actually the expenses for the room is not a big issue,in fact the admission charges to attractions, the food, and the language might be the challenge for foreign travellers.

    Luxury to Dorm beds: "Accommodation In China" - China Hotel Tip by cal6060 (might help you to understand the accomodation issue in China).

    Few advises:
    1) Plan your trips including itinerary, transportation, and accommodations.
    2) Estimate your budget!
    3) Learn some basic Chinese or use language app to help you along the way!
    4) Ask as many questions as you want in VT, people will help to answer!
    Hope this helped a little!

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  • cal6060's Profile Photo

    Re: How to travel on a budget

    by cal6060 Online Now Mar 12, 2013 at 2:05 AM

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  • Re: How to travel on a budget

    by coriejim Online Now Mar 12, 2013 at 11:24 AM

    Hi,
    My wife and i after retiring spent 6 months traveling in China last year. It was an incredible experience. We stayed in hostels ( young at heart) and "business hotels", most booked a few days ahead on hostelworld.com or agoda.com. I agree with cal6060 things are changing but still inexpensive. We traveled by train and bus with the occasional flight all very reasonable. Our budget for us was $100 cdn a/day and we managed to stay within it. You might want to find an out of the way place (Quanzhou... there are many), and try to find a cheaper apartment for a few months as a base to work from..eat local, do as locals do and it will be an unforgettable experience.

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  • Re: How to travel on a budget

    by lliu0528 Online Now Mar 13, 2013 at 8:04 PM

    Thanks Richard for all your advice.

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