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10 Kid-friendly Tips for Travel in China...


Journeywoman is so pleased to have Dr. Jane Liedtke as part of our worldwide network of women who love to travel. Jane has traveled to China 14 times since 1987, she lived in Beijing in 1992, returned in 1998 and has been living in Beijing with her daughter since then. We asked Jane to offer some of her expertise on travelling in China with children. She writes...

Kids in China...

-- I find that kids who have been to preschool and school do better in China because they are more social and are used to structured time frames as a result.

-- Pack antibacterial hand wipes for kids and anything else that will help them keep their hands clean is important. P.S. Grape-scented wipes are now available in USA.

-- Encourage children to drink lots of water during our hot seasons. Bring along powdered drink mix and put it into bottled water. Then shake it up so you have pink lemonade or other flavors during your treks.

-- Prepare your children for peeing in pit toilets. Often parents show their adverse reaction to these toilets and then, of course, the kids will feel that way, too. Ed. note: I carry mentholated or peppermint chap stick to be applied right under the nose before going into "smelly" bathrooms. That might make "going" more tolerable for kiddies as well.

-- I also encourage people to have their kids (those old enough) be responsible for their own luggage which means kid-sized fanny packs, kids wheely bags that are sturdy enough for them to pull (sometimes a brightly colored adult wheely is best), and a backpack.

-- I think it's worth saying something about safety in China. When traveling with children, kids are generally safer from crime in China than in the U.S. However, in terms of personal safety and health - the crazy traffic, congestion in shopping areas and train stations, etc., it is more risky. In case your child should become separated from you, parents traveling with kids should prepare a note (preferably bilingual) that has information for the police or anyone who may find that lost child. The child also should be prepared with what to say and do if this situation occurs.

-- Looking for toys in Beijing? I recommend The Children's Department Store on Wanfujing right near the Beijing Hotel. It is one block north on the east side of the street near MacDonalds.

-- Yes, there's MacDonalds and Pizza Hut in Beijing and the tastes will be very familiar to the kiddies.

-- Lastly, I've created a new website called "The Best in China" for travelers to China and those moving to China. We've asked expats throughout China to identify "the best in the country" from their point-of-view. Now new arrivals can have first-hand recommendations from those of us living here. In it you'll also find one entire section devoted to Beijing for Kids including travel to Beijing with kids. Welcome everybody! Come and visit:

-- Looking for some suggestions on where to eat in Beijing, click here.

Family Tours in China...

This touring company headed by Jane is a member of our Journeywoman Network of classified advertisers. We thought it made sense to display her ad in this article. It reads:

OCDF CHINA TOURS provides family-friendly tours and programs for independent travelers throughout China. From Beijing to Tibet we can help you fall in love with the country. Our licensed travel planners and guides are selected carefully by OCDF's CEO (Chief Energy Officer), Dr. Jane Liedtke, who lives and works in Beijing (with her 10 year old daughter, Emily).We do tours for groups of families, groups of educators and/or businesspersons, and independent travelers - families, pre-adoption, couples, etc. Contact: or visit:

P.S. When my daughter and I travelled to China, Jane was a great help to Journeywoman. Through her company, she arranged for a car and driver to pick us up at the Beijing airport, rates were reasonable and the transfer worked smoothly.




Back to Travel with Kiddies



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