Help me calm anxiety about travel to China.
March 13, 2013 2:18 PM Subscribe
I am travelling to China from Canada in the near future. I have hundreds of questions and concerns but mostly just need reassurance that I'm not forgetting anything. Bonus, what should I do for carry-on?
posted by sarae to travel & transportation around China (19 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'm travelling domestically in Canada, then from Toronto to Shanghai (Air Canada), then Shanghai to Guangzhou (Southern China Airlines). I have my visa, tickets are booked, I've got some RMB, and I'm not worried about actually being in China other than the travel aspect of it. I've travelled within Canada by air before but only internationally once, as a child. I am not an experienced traveller.
1. I know the luggage restrictions for both airlines as far as size, weight, and quantity go. If I understand it correctly, I can put pretty much anything that I need to in my checked luggage (other than my laptop, things with lithium batteries, and things I need). Correct? I'm not talking about prohibited items, although if there is something that would shock me, please let me know.
2. My luggage is going to be transferred from Canadian domestic flight to the international flight without any issues (same airline, same ticket) but I will have to pick it up in Shanghai and check it for the Chinese domestic flight (different airline, different ticket). Right? Will this mean anything as far as customs/security goes in Shanghai, will I be going out of the secure area and back in?
3. What are your experiences with dealing with airport staff (airline or airport, I guess) in China? I expect that someone will speak sufficient English to deal with any problems if my major fear is realized and I've missed my domestic Chinese flight or my luggage is lost or something. So long as the language barrier doesn't present an additional challenge I'll be happy.
4. My carry-on issue: I don't want to put my laptop in the overhead storage. I want to take a small purse with all my money, camera, ipod, and documents in it. I will also have things like food, carry-on appropriate toiletries, with me, and I don't want to be annoyingly going back and forth to the overhead compartment every time I want something. What carry-on container should I use? Here are my over-analyzed options as I see them:
- backpack. good size, but accessible to pick pockets. could I use a rain cover or something? is leaving it at my feet an awful idea? that way, I could sleep with my laptop tucked away and would be woken if someone tried to get into my bag
- small suitcase. don't want to keep it at my feet. will not leave it in overhead compartment if it has the laptop in it. if I keep the laptop on my person and put the suitcase up, what do I do with the laptop while I sleep?
*I know I am being paranoid about my laptop being stolen, most people are just travelling like me and have no interest. The more I plan, the less anxious I will be (hopefully)
5. Are there payphones in the Shanghai airport? If I needed to call the person meeting us at Guangzhou, how could I do it (without a Canadian or Chinese cell phone)?
6. In Shanghai, will I have to change terminals going from international to domestic? I don't have that info since I only have an e-ticket number. Do you have a good map of the Shanghai airport?
Am I missing anything? Do you have any experiences you could share? Am I flat out wrong about something? Anything else I should know?
Thanks in advance! I know I am over thinking and probably irrationally anxious.