Going to China, you can take advantage of the services and effective support from the hosts if you know how to harness the benefits of booking.
As a strongly developed tourist country, China offers tourists a variety of accommodation services, including those suitable for self-reliant travelers. The following experiences will help you get good accommodation at a reasonable price that is convenient to move into.
Preparing my own personal stuff.
Most accommodations in China offer a full range of personal supplies (toothbrush, shampoo, bath milk, hairdryer, head brush, etc.). But they’ll appreciate it if you make those personal items yourself to reduce waste. Just like in Europe, where China has been focusing on the environment for years, limiting disposable use is the way you contribute to a clean, green world.
When renting a room, you should also use water and electricity reasonably, because energy and resources are important in this country. Don’t turn on the air conditioner at too low temperatures to save energy and protect your health. Whenever you leave the room, turn off the electrical appliances. Be a fun and civilized traveler.
Watch now → Universal Beijing Resort Ticket
Rent an apartment.
Renting apartments in high-rise apartments without sharing them with the landlord is quite common. A large group of tourists can rent a whole apartment, and if you travel a little and want to save, you can rent one room in a multi-bedroom apartment. These apartments are often fully equipped with furniture and household appliances such as a kitchenette, electric kettle, refrigerator, washing machine, desk, free wifi, and a private toilet. Guests can cook, do laundry, and live at home. The disadvantage is that most apartment owners do not offer regular hotel services such as daily room cleaning, breakfast, or laundry service.
If you want to enjoy the full service, you should rent a hotel room. But at the same price, your area of use will be much smaller than renting an apartment and in a more central location.
Watch now → Yu Garden Admission Ticket in Shanghai
Rooms near the center
Most of China’s cities are huge, the landmarks and popular sights are vast, and visitors can travel all day without seeing a single spot. So you should save time and energy by renting a room close to the city center or the sights you want to visit. The price may be more expensive, but the transportation is much more convenient; you don’t have to switch too many train routes and walk for hours before you get to the sights.
Depending on the quality of the rental room, the prices are very varied, and there are significant differences between large cities and small localities. In Beijing and Shanghai, the common rental price is over $100; in some other provinces, it could be $100 to $400 a night.
Choose the optimal booking app
When you travel to other countries, Airbnb, Booking.com, Agoda.com are popular booking apps. But when you’re in China, you can hardly find any results with Airbnb, and there’s not much choice over the other two apps. Most hotels and hosts are listing their rooms on the popular app in China, Trip.com. This app has a Vietnamese version, with Vietnamese staff ready to support you via chat and phone, even if you’re in China.
Please note that most hotels and hosts in China require visitors to pay before the check-in date, and allow free cancellation for a certain period of time.
Contact the landlord first.
If you don’t know Chinese and you do not know the way back, then finding a way or asking for a way will be a little difficult. So as soon as you make your reservation, proactively contact the host (e-mail, WeChat, or texting through the booking app). You can ask the landlord for essential information such as the metro station, the nearest bus stop, the shortest distance from the airport, the train stop to the apartment or hotel, and whether there are convenience shops or supermarkets nearby.
Wechat is an indispensable app when you travel to China, so as soon as you arrive in China, buy a SIM card and ask the seller to support the installation of Wechat. Then you can easily communicate with the landlord and the hotel staff. Most of them are very professional, enthusiastic, and ready to help travelers quickly, no matter how early in the morning or late at night. They can send you all the information you need on WeChat: lists of attractions, shops, and restaurants you should try; photos and locations of popular destinations; train routes to places; ticket prices; and even help you talk to locals in difficult situations. They’re “value-added” services that you’ll rarely see from homeowners in other countries.
Watch now → Mission Hills Resort Shenzhen
Use the shuttle service.
In China, because of the development of public transportation, you can easily get from the airport or train station to your hotel or apartment by bus or subway. If the time is too early or too late for taking the metro or bus in the city, do not hesitate to ask the owner about the shuttle. It’s not always possible to call a taxi; it’s a Chinese app, and you have to communicate with the driver. Many homeowners are willing to offer a passenger shuttle service at a reasonable cost, and you can be more confident getting in their car instead of picking up a car on the road.
You should also talk to the landlord in advance about the time of arrival and departure if you arrive and leave outside their usual check-in and check-out hours. Most of us will work with you to make your trip as convenient as possible, even if you want to pick up at midnight or leave your luggage there all day after check-in.