BEIJING, XI'AN & SHANGHAI
BEIJING, XI'AN & SHANGHAI

Have questions about the nitty-gritty for this trip? Look no further—here's everything you need to know.


Don't see what you're looking for? Give our Traveler Support Team a call at 800-665-5364.

Physical rating

Average: 2 (out of 3)

Moderate walking and may include light hiking and climbing up hills or stairs.

Tour pace

You will walk for about 2 hours daily across moderately uneven terrain, including paved roads, with some hills and stairs.

Travelers should be healthy enough to participate in all included walks without assistance. Adding optional excursions may increase the total amount of walking on your tour.

You should feel comfortable managing your own baggage.

EF Tours for Girl Scouts and the Tour Director who accompanies your group are unable to provide special, individual mobility assistance to travelers on tour. 

If you have any mobility concerns or physical restrictions, please contact our Traveler Support Team.

Passport & visa

In order to enter China (and Hong Kong on the tour extension), U.S.  citizens need a valid passport with an expiration date extending at least six months beyond the date of return.

We recommend having at least two blank passport pages for entry stamps.

U.S.  passport holders must obtain a visa in advance in order to enter China. You may choose to apply directly to the Chinese consulate or use a visa provider, such as our partner company, VisaCentral.

If you’re not a U.S. citizen, you must contact the Chinese consulate (and Hong Kong’s consulate if you are traveling on the tour extension) for specific entry requirements.

Baggage allowance

We highly recommend that travelers do not check a bag due to storage limitations, airline fees and lost luggage. We suggest one carry-on suitcase and one personal item.

Contact your airline(s) for baggage size and weight restrictions for your flights. 

Make sure you label your baggage and keep valuables, medication, and documents in your carry-on bag.

Clothing & packing tips

We recommend packing lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that can be easily layered to accommodate varying temperatures, as well as a light jacket or rainwear.

A sturdy pair of walking shoes or sneakers is recommended for sightseeing.

Waterproof shoes or sandals, a swimsuit, sunscreen, and insect repellent are recommended for outdoor activities.

A small bottle of hand sanitizer may be helpful when other facilities are not readily available while on the road.


It is preferable not to visit temples or other religious sites with bare legs and shoulders (and entrance may be denied on this basis).

Health

There are no major health risks associated with traveling to the countries on this tour.

At least 60 days prior to departure, check with your doctor or healthcare provider for the latest updates and entry requirements, or visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website at https://www.cdc.gov.

Please be sure to take proper care with sun exposure, the sun can be especially strong in some of the areas you are visiting.

Drink bottled water only. Refrain from drinking tap water, including when brushing your teeth.

Avoid eating fresh fruits and vegetables unless they are washed in clean water and peeled.

Depending on season and weather patterns, air pollution in some locations may be problematic for travelers with a history of respiratory problems. Based on your health history, please discuss any precautions with your healthcare provider prior to departure.

If you have medication that you take daily, be sure you have enough for each day of the tour as well as any possible delays encountered. Certain over-the-counter and prescription medications may be banned in one or all of the countries or regions on this tour. Please consult your healthcare provider prior to departure to ensure that any drugs you may want to bring with you are legal in all countries or regions you will visit.

If you have dietary restrictions and/or food allergies please notify us at least 70 days prior to departure by calling our Traveler Support Team.

Cuisine

Breakfast and dinners are included on tour and are pre-set with some local traditional food - don't worry picky eaters, there will be some familiar options too. 

If you want to be adventurous for lunch try some authentic staples.

The diversity of Chinese cuisine reflects China’s long history. With each dynasty, new recipes and cooking styles emerged. You will have the opportunity to try many of the country’s Eight Cuisines— Shangdong, Sichuan, Guangdong, Fujian, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Hunan, and Anhui.

Popular ingredients throughout include noodles, tofu, bok choy, bitter melon, Chinese broccoli, and meats like chicken, duck, and shrimp. Most meals are served with rice, and are often seasoned with ginger, garlic, and white pepper.

Electricity & air conditioning

China (and Hong Kong on the tour extension) operates on 220 volts and uses Type A, C, and I plugs with two flat pins, two rounded pins, or three flat pins set at an angle, respectively.

We recommend packing a universal adapter, as well as a voltage converter if you plan on using your own hairdryer or other device without a built-in converter.

The strength of the air conditioning in Asian hotels is often not as strong or as cool as what you might be used to in the U.S.  When air conditioning is available, it is usually regulated seasonally and controlled centrally by the hotel.

Your hotels may provide hairdryers, irons, and other small appliances. However, these amenities cannot be guaranteed.

Connectivity

Wi-Fi is available in most hotels, though some charges may apply.

There is no Wi-Fi on any of the motor coaches.

Please contact your mobile service provider for information on roaming charges.

Internet access in China is strictly regulated by the Chinese government, and a number of censorship laws restrict which sites can be accessed from within the country. You may be unable to visit websites such as Google, Facebook, or other email servers. To learn more about which websites may be inaccessible in China, visit blockedinchina.net.

Time zones

China (and Hong Kong on the tour extension) is 12 hours ahead of Eastern Time (ET).
When it’s noon in New York, it’s 12am on tour.

Currency

The renminbi (the people’s currency) is the official currency in China. The yuan is the basic unit of the renmibi you will use on tour, and the two names are often used interchangeably. (You will use the Hong Kong dollar on the tour extension.)

Better rates of exchange are usually available overseas, although it’s worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive.

We strongly advise that you take debit/bank cards and credit cards, which can be used to withdraw cash at local banks as needed.

You can use most debit/credit cards at ATMs on the international networks Cirrus and Plus, but make sure to check with your home bank about withdrawal fees.

Inform your bank and credit card company of your travel plans so that they won’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges.

Tipping

It's customary to offer your drivers and your Tour Director a gratuity in local currency. Please keep current exchange rates in mind. 

We recommend tipping the equivalent of $10 USD per person per day for your Tour Director and the equivalent of $3 USD per person per day for your drivers.

If applicable, we also recommend the equivalent of $2 USD per local guide. 
Tips can only be paid in cash.

Girl-led opportunities

There are plenty of ways that girls can take the lead throughout their experience before, during, and after their tour. Here are a few examples below, many of which could help them earn a badge as well:

Before tour:

  • Lead pre-departure meetings
  • Organize activities to earn money
  • Do destination research
  • Learn the local language
  • Cook local cuisine

During tour:

  • Navigate public transportation
  • Speak the local language
  • Lead others during free time
  • Initiate friendships with the other girls on tour who they don't know
  • Get to know a local

After tour:

  • Take action in the community in regards to something learned on the tour
  • Continue to study something learned on the tour
  • Present experiences from tour to others
  • Research or apply for volunteer opportunities abroad