Know Before You Go
Good preparation can make a China Tour more enjoyable and care free. The following information will help clarify what to expect on your China travel vacations.
Do before you go
Make sure that you have 1) your valid passport ready, and 2) obtain the right China visa. 3) Check your name spellings on your airline tickets to make sure it matches EXACTLY on your passport. 4) Check the weather in the places you are going to visit in China and pack your baggage light and smart. 5) Call the airline related to get your seat pre-assigned and your special dietary request placed as soon as you receive your airline tickets.
Make two copies of your passport identification page. This will facilitate replacement if your passport is lost or stolen. Leave one copy at home with friends or relatives. Carry the other one along with a passport size photo with you in a separate place from your passport. Leave a copy of your China Tour itinerary and contact information with family or friends at home so that you can be contacted in case of an emergency.
Flights to China
Contact the airline concerned to confirm the flight number and any possible schedule changes prior to leaving for the airport. Connecting passengers should verify, at the time of check-in, that luggage can be checked through to your China destination. For transpacific flights, you must check in at least three hours prior to the scheduled departure time. Please check the detailed Air China Flight Schedule for your China Tours.
If you choose to arrange your own add-on flights to the designated gateway city, you must take the following facts into consideration before booking any flights. China Spree is not responsible for any missed connections and penalties/loss as a result. For a peace of mind, please buy trip interruption insurance. Note:
- For transpacific flight, you must check-in at least three (3) hours ahead of departure time.
- It takes at least one (1) hour to clear customs and claim your checked baggage.
- For domestic flight, you must check in at least two (2) hours prior to departure time.
Most airline tickets are issued using a special fare which cannot be changed or canceled without incurring additional cost. Should you lose or misplace your tickets while traveling, you should immediately notify the airline. In most cases the airline will have you complete a Lost Ticket Indemnity Form, and for a fee, issue replacement tickets.
Passport & China Visa
All foreign nationals traveling to the People's Republic of China must travel on a valid passport with at least six(6) months remaining validity after the entry date into China. A tourist visa must be obtained prior to entering the PRC. Please read complete details about Passport & Visa for your China Travel Vacations.
A China Spree representative will greet you once you have cleared the Customs area at your China arrival airport. Please wear your name badge for easy identification, and look for a China Spree sign. We provide an illustrated China arrival procedure at our member area. If you take care of the flight to China on your own and book our "Land only' package, your airport/hotel transfers on arrival/departure days are excluded. The metered taxicab from Beijing Airport to your Beijing hotel costs about $15 per ride depending on the traffic. Optional private transfer is available up on request. The hotel address in both English and Chinese is available at "Contact Information" page in the travel documents sent to you two weeks prior to departure of your China trip.
Baggage allowance differs for the Trans-Pacific and the China domestic sections of your China trip. Baggage allowance for the Trans-Pacific flight is two pieces of checked baggage per person. Total dimensions (Length + Width + Height) of the two pieces must not exceed 107 inches (273cm); maximum dimensions of single piece shall not exceed 62 inches (158cm). Maximum weight per piece is 50 lbs. Each passenger may carry one piece of carry-on luggage, the combined dimensions of which shall not exceed 45 inches (115cm).
China domestic flights are more restrictive than Trans-Pacific flights. You are allowed only one piece of checked baggage, and that must not exceed 44 lbs per person. In addition, you are allowed one carry-on bag not to exceed 11 lbs, and one personal item such as a purse or camera bag. The carry-on must fit in the overhead bin or under the seat. The airport authorities seldom weigh your carry-on baggage, but the size of it does matter, particularly when the flight is full. This is the rule. Sometimes it is enforced strictly and sometimes it is not - depending on the local airport and how full the flight is. The checked-baggage rule, allowing only one piece and its weight allowance are usually enforced, particularly in the inland cities.
Overweight luggage in excess of allowances will incur excess baggage charges payable on site by the passenger. For domestic China flights, you may be asked by the airline to pay fees of approximately $2 to $4 per pound in excess of the weight limit.
Baggage Lock & Liquids
Per Transportation Security Administration (TSA), you should leave your baggage unlocked for flights to and from a U.S. airport. Or, if you wish to lock your baggage, you MUST use a TSA recognized lock, which allows TSA screeners open and re-lock your bags for security screening. Ordinary locks will be cut if physical inspection is required.
However, China aviation and transportation authorities have a different rule on this issue and your checked baggage must be locked during the transportation in China. You only need to lock the main compartment of your baggage. This is a Chinese regulation. If your bag is found unlocked during transit, the airline or the train station will lock it for you and you will be billed for the locks. So prepare locks for the main compartment of each bag and any lock will do.
Liquids & gels over 100 ml must be packed in checked luggage at all airports in both U.S. and China
Make sure that you attach China Spree luggage tag for each checked suitcase. A copy of your itinerary and contact information should also go in an outside pocket of your luggage to aid the airline personnel to locate you in case you and your luggage become separated. Never check luggage containing prohibited items (i.e. lighters), valuables (i.e. cash, jewelry, and cameras), fragile items (i.e. undeveloped film, bottles, eyeglasses) or critical items (i.e. medicines, travel vouchers). You should read more information about TSA Permitted and Prohibited Items.
China Spree will not be responsible for loss or damage to your luggage and/or personal belongings. You must report any loss or damage immediately at the time of the incident and obtain a written report from the local authority for submission to your travel insurance provider. Travel Insurance covering lost and damaged baggage is strongly recommended. If you luggage is lost or damaged by the airlines, a baggage claim form must be filled with the carrier before leaving the airport.
Your checked baggage must be locked during transportation while in China. This is a Chinese regulation. No specification on type of locks as long as there is one.
For more information about your air travel to China, please visit All About Flights.
No inoculation is mandatory for your China travel. However, we remind you that traveling in China does require certain precautions. Most seasoned travelers get immunized for Hepatitis A&B and Tetanus. Note we are not in the position to tell you that you should or should not take certain inoculation. We, therefore, highly recommend that you consult your family doctor to verify your particular needs, or contact your local Travel Clinic for their professional advice. You can locate a Travel Clinic in your area by a Google search using keyword “Travel Clinic” or look at your local Yellow Pages. Some shots need to be taken well in advance. For the latest overseas travel health information, please contact the Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) by visiting www.cdc.gov/travel or by calling toll-free 1-800-232-4636.
If you take prescription medication, be sure to bring enough to last the entire trip. Always carry medications in the original prescription container when traveling just in case you are hospitalized your Chinese doctor needs to know what medication you are currently on. Keep these medications with you and do not pack them in checked baggage.
Long-term travel overseas might cause tourists to develop stomach upset; a change in water, food, sleep habits and/or climate may all cause discomfort. Bring anti-diarrhea medications such as Imodium and Lomotil just in case.
If your China tour includes Tibet (elevation of 12,000 feet), you are strongly recommended to visit your family doctor for his or her professional advice about traveling at high altitudes. People may experience light-headedness, shortness of breath and may tire a little more easily at that high elevation. Medication to reduce mountain sickness may be advised by your physician. The hotel we use in Tibet offers oxygen bag to you for free.
Internet access is available at almost all hotels on your China Spree travel itinerary. You can use the computers in the business center at your hotel for a fee. Internet access is usually charged by minute and may be expensive. Many hotels offer free internet access at your hotel room, so you may want to bring your own laptop, but some hotels do charge for that and it could be expensive (up to $15-18 per day). Wi-Fi is not commonly available in China hotels. Most hotels in China either do not have WiFi at all or only have WiFi in a public area. Usually you will not have access to WiFi from your hotel room. In order to use iPad or iPhone in your hotel room, you may buy a AirPort Express from Apple to convert the internet access from the cable modem to wireless. Your iPhone can roam to China but data roaming could be expensive. As a matter of fact, you will be very busy on your China Spree tour and you may not have much time to browse the internet.
China Tour Guides
We use double guiding system to ensure your maximum safety and convenience while you are in China. For a tour group with 10 travelers or more, a professional China Spree National Guide (a Chinese national) will be assigned to accompany the group throughout mainland China, supervising the work performed by local agencies and smoothing over any possible difficulties along the trip.
Your National Guide is a licensed professional who gives you a personal care and is accessible 24 hours a day throughout your trip in mainland China (For tours in Hong Kong you only have a Hong Kong local guide). For your convenience, your National guide will give his/her cell phone to you at the beginning of your China tour.
In addition to your national guide, a local guide is assigned along the trip in each destination to provide in-depth tour services to you and offer assistance on local tour arrangements. Sometimes, your National Guide may also act as your local guide in the city where he/she is from, provided he/she has a local tour guide license and is eligible to do so.
If the group size is under 10, the tour will be locally guided, from arrival to departure, with a local guide in each destination area or city. Your local guide will offer professional services of local tour arrangements and will be at your service while you are in his/her city, taking care of your accommodation, sightseeing tours, meals, transportation and transfers. Your local guide will assist you with airport check-in at the conclusion of your local tour, and see you safely take off before he/she can go home. You will be flying on your own from city to city. Most airports in China are newly built, equipped with modern facilities with instructions in both Chinese and English including the airline boarding notice. You should have no confusion or difficulty during transit from city to city without an accompanying tour guide.
From time to time, our staff in the North American office may contact our customers while they are in China to ensure their China tour is progressing smoothly and satisfactorily.
China Spree tour guides are well trained and service oriented, and we strive to hire only the best. We know the success of your China trip largely depends on the quality of your tour guides.
China Tour Group Size
China Spree is committed to small group travel. We are the only tour operator on the market who sells first class China travel at bargain pricing but still trying to limit the group size. Only small groups can give you full individual attention and maximize your exposure to the local culture. The average group size of a China Spree Tour is 10-16 travelers; the maximum group size is 24.
- Affordable Luxury: Maximum group size is 16. We guarantee the departure for 2 pax.
- First Class Travel: Average group size is 12-16 pax; the maximum size is 24 pax. We need a minimum 6 pax for guaranteed departure.
- Super Value: We do not limit the group size. 10 people are required for a guaranteed departure.
- Private Tours: There is no limitation of group size as long as you are comfortable with it.
If we cancel a departure due to low participation, you may either reschedule your trip or receive a complete refund of all monies paid to China Spree.
China is very much a cash-based society – bring a money belt or clothing with secure pockets because you’ll need to carry around a fair amount of local cash. Major credit cards are only acceptable at hotels, tourist stores and upscale shops. We recommend you use credit card towards the big purchases at tourist stores and buy insurance for the shipped items. Don’t count on ATMs for the credit card and bank card cash advance, they are not common in China. Please call your credit card company to notify them of your trip to China so they won’t decline your transactions made while you are in China. Tipping can be made with either U.S. dollars or the equivalent Chinese RMB. Pay in smaller bills when shop with street vendors.
- Chinese Currency
The Chinese currency is known as Renminbi (RMB), literally "People's Money". The basic unit of RMB is Yuan (dollar), which is divided into 10 Jiao (dime), which is divided again into 10 Fen (cent). Bank of China issues RMB bills in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 Yuan and 1, 2, 5 Jiao. Bronze and nickel coin equivalents exist for the smaller units.
As of November 2010, USD$1=RMB 6.6, Exchange rate fluctuates daily. Check here for current rate.
Chinese RMB is not internationally exchangeable; you must wait until you arrive in China to change your money and spend them all or exchange back to U.S. dollars before you leave the country. Hong Kong's currency is the Hong Kong Dollar (HKD). It is internationally exchangeable and worth slightly less than RMB. Note, Hong Kong dollar cannot be used in mainland China and you must convert all your HKD back to USD or CAD before leaving Hong Kong.
- Exchanging money
You can change money at hotels, China arrival and departure airports, and at Bank of China branches. The official exchange rate is used in most places so it’s unnecessary to shop around for a better deal. For the sake of convenience and safety we suggest that you change money in your hotel. Almost all hotels in your China trip offer foreign currency exchange service supervised by Bank of China. Retain the exchange receipts because you will need the receipt to convert RMB to your home currency at the end of the trip. Those traveling to Hong Kong can change RMB to Hong Kong Dollar there, but make sure convert all Hong Kong dollars to RMB or your home currency before departing Hong Kong. You must empty all Chinese RMB before the last day of your tour because you won’t have time to convert it back to your home currency at the airport.
- Traveler's Checks
The fact is that Traveler’s Checks become more inconvenient to use in China, particularly in the smaller cities and in local Chinese hotels. So don’t rely on Traveler’s Checks.
If you are lucky to cash your Travleler’s checks, you will find the advantage of it is obvious: you can always void them if they are lost. Keep your exchange slip; you will need it when buying back your home currency. We recommend you use only Traveler’s Checks issued by major financial organizations such as American Express and Visa. But note, cash, particularly in form of U.S. dollar is easier to use than Travelers Checks.
- U.S. Currency (or Canadian dollar)
Cash advance service is not commonly available in China, so you need to bring cash with you. Please note: foreign coins are not acceptable in China. All paper bills should be complete, not badly worn and free from graffiti. Partial, badly worn or defaced bills will not be accepted by local vendors.
- Credit Cards
Major credit cards are only acceptable at hotels, tourist stores and upscale shops. We recommend you use credit card for any big purchases at tourist stores and to purchase insurance for the shipped items. Please call your credit card company to let them know you are traveling in China so they won’t decline your transactions made during your trip.
- Personal Checks
Personal checks are generally not acceptable outside North America.
- ATMs (Automated Teller Machine)
Do not count on ATMs in mainland China, although they are commonly used in Hong Kong. ATMs can be found in a growing, but still limited number of large banks in mainland China. You can use Visa, Master card, American Express, Cirrus and Plus to withdraw cash. The network is only available in sizeable cities like Beijing and Shanghai. Most ATMs in China can only be used for withdrawing RMB. The exchange rate on ATM withdrawals is similar to credit cards but there is a maximum daily withdrawal amount. For credit-card cash advance, service fees apply.
- Carrying Money
You may feel more comfortable using a money belt for a large sums of cash and credit cards. Care and good judgment is a must in all travel.
Although P. R. China covers five time zones, only Beijing Standard Time is adopted for the entire country. It is 8 hours ahead of GMT, 16 hours ahead of Pacific Standard Time (15 hours ahead of PST in daylight saving time). People in China's far western regions like Tibet follow a later work schedule to keep pace with the official centralized Beijing Time. Please check World Clock for current regional time.
When it's 8 am in Beijing, the time in the following U.S. cities at Daylight Saving Time is:
|San Francisco||Denver||Chicago||New York|
|5 pm (previous day)||6 pm (previous day)||7 pm (previous day)||8 pm (previous day)|
The following is the easiest way to convert U.S. time to Beijing time during Daylight Saving Period:
Pacific Time + 3 hours, then switch AM and PM. For instance, it is 5 pm in San Francisco, Beijing time is 8 am, the next morning.
Eastern Time only change AM and PM. For instance, it is 8 pm in New York, Beijing time is 8 am, the next morning.
China's electrical current is 220V, 50 cycles AC. Plugs and Outlets come in a variety of shapes and are different from that in North America. Adapters and converters are readily available at all hotels but may be limited to a small number. So if you have to use them in urgency you are advised to bring along your own adapters and converters for your North American appliances. As soon as you check-in, you should contact the Housekeeping to borrow adaptors and converters. Hair dryers and irons are readily available also.
Tap water is not considered safe to drink in China despite the fact that water in China is commonly chlorinated and processed. Drink only bottled water or boiled water. Bottled purified water and soft drinks can be easily obtained at reasonable prices. All your hotels you stay offer boiled water to your room daily, with which you can safely make tea.
Most meals are included as specified in your China Tour itinerary. Breakfasts included on your China Tour are usually American buffet breakfast to give you a good start for the day. Lunches and dinners are usually served in local Chinese restaurants with a set menu and in a family style. China Spree strives to improve the meal arrangements for foreign group travelers to China. China Spree prides ourselves for the achievements we made and will continue to improve the meal quality and variety to focus on China’s many famous regional specialties, meanwhile use as many good local restaurants as we possibly can and eliminate junk tourist restaurants at all cost. This is one of a MAJOR difference that set China Spree apart from ALL OTHERS.
A regular lunch/dinner is composed of 6-12 dishes shared by 6-10 people sitting at a round table (which symbolizes union and perfection-harmony). One beverage of your choice (beer, mineral water and soda) is included per person per meal at no additional charge; Chinese tea is always complimentary. Special meals such as an authentic Peking Duck dinner, Dumping Banquet, Tea Lunch, Hot Pot dinner, and Dim Sum that reflects China’s many famous regional cuisines, are arranged for China Spree travelers to provide opportunities to further enhance your culinary experience. Starting from September 2010, Mongolian BBQ buffet lunch in Shanghai is removed from our meal list due to the poor quality and sanitation concern.
China is a huge country with varied climates. In general, the north is cold and dry in winter. In the south, summer is hot and humid. The rainy season is in July and August. The best season to travel in China is April, May, late September, October and the first two weeks of November. Climate in Hong Kong is sub-tropical, similar to that of Hawaii. Read more on average temperature in China's major tourist cities and their current weather conditions.
Dress & Laundry
China is a country with few dress taboos. Dress for comfort. Sandals, shorts, and jeans are widely accepted. Coordinate your outfits for multi-tasking. Dress in layers to suit various weather/temperature changes. No formal dress is required.
China hotels offer laundry service. It is convenient but may appear expensive for someone. The least expensive places to do laundry are in smaller cities like Xian and Guilin. Please check pricing at Hotel Laundry List from hotel information page of each tour.
Your China Tour hotels have postal service allowing you to send postcard and letter to overseas. It usually takes more than 10 days for a postcard to reach North-America. The postage is charged in Chinese RMB equivalents to about 50 cents U.S. for a postcard, and 80 cents U.S. for a letter up to 20 grams.
China publishes various newspapers and magazines in English. Among them, China Daily is a popular English newspaper, complimentary at most hotels. Imported publications like Time, Newsweek, and The Economist can be found at certain hotels. BBC, CNN or even HBO are becoming commonly available in most tourist hotels.
Blackberry and iPhone can roam to China, but data roaming could be expensive. Check with your phone carrier for their special internal roaming plan. You may also buy a SIM card in China to use it on your cell phone if your phone is unlocked. You may also get an unlocked tri-band (multi-band) mobile phone from the States (Canada), and buy a local SIM card as soon as they arrive in China. The cards are prepaid -- e.g. RMB100 will get you quite a bit of talk time and at lower cost than the hotel IDD service.
For your convenience, you may rent a cell phone. Please visit Pandaphone.com for details.
Both international and domestic calls can be made from your hotel room. Domestic long-distance rates in the PRC vary according to distance and are usually inexpensive. Local calls are either at a very low rate or free of charge depending on the hotel. International Direct Dial (IDD) calls made from hotel room could be expensive when hotel adds surcharge on top of China's already high IDD rates. Some hotels may request that you pay a deposit before you can access international line from your hotel room. Use a phone card for international calls; it is becoming more widely available and the rate is reasonable. Simply consult your Tour Director regarding this matter, he or she will be happy to assist you.
North America from Mainland China
Dial 00 (international access code) + 1 (North America country code) + local number
China from North America
Dial 011 (international access code) + 86 (China country code, or 852 for Hong Kong regional code) + China area code (minus initial zero) + local number
Numbers in China
There are several telephone numbers that are the same throughout China. However, only
International Assistance and Local Weather Forecast are likely to have English-speaking operator.
International Assistance:115Local Directory Enquiries:114Long Distance Enquiries:113 or 173Local Weather Forecast:121Police Hotline:110Fire Hotline:119
Area Code listCITYCODECITYCODEBeijing10Guilin773Shanghai21Wuhan27Suzhou512Chongqing23Xian29Hangzhou571Nanjing25Wuxi510Lhasa891Canton20Chengdu28Hong Kong852
Camera, Memory Card & Film
Your camera bag is considered a personal item and can be carried onboard in addition to your carry-on baggage. Make sure to bring many camera memory cards with you for your China travel vacations. The card is easy to obtain but may not compatible with your camera.
If you still use conventional camera and film you should aware that when flying U.S. domestic and transpacific flights, you should pack all undeveloped film in carry-on baggage. Repeat screening on checked baggage will damage undeveloped film. Most X-ray machines in China's airports and railway stations are marked "film safe". However, films with a higher ASA rating could be fogged by repeat exposures to X-rays. You should carry such film by hand.
It is wise to bring hand wipe to use before dinner and after toilet. Also bring a handkerchief or bandanas; this can substitute for hand towel. Often after washing your hands, there will be no way to dry them. Generally speaking, public toilets in China could be dirty. Be prepared for that. We understand your concern and China Spree tour guides know where to find “clean” restrooms and will assist you with that regard. Always bring your own toilet paper as it is not usually available in public toilet.
The best packing question a traveler can ask is "do people where I am headed live without this item"? Don't pack the stuff which is readily available in the hotels where you will be staying. Don't cram your suitcase with unnecessary items, and so you'll have room for the "treasures" you collect along the way. Remember that you will have access to:
- Convenient, same day laundry service in all your hotels, if you send clothes in the morning you should have them back in the evening. The price is reasonable. For any destination city where you stay two or more nights you can do laundry.
- A hair dryer and iron are readily available at most hotels for your use; simply contact Housekeeping.
- Bath accessories in your private bathroom include disposable tooth brush and toothpaste, comb, soap, shampoo, body lotion, sewing kit, sanitary bag, shower cap etc.
- You can easily purchase a shoulder bag or small piece of luggage to carry your purchases back home.
- Virtually anything you require can be secured along the way. It is part of the adventure. Travel in China involves a lot of walking. Comfortable walking shoes are essential. Make sure to check current weather before you decide what clothes to pack. Consult our Essentials to Pack list.
Tipping can be confusing for group travelers to China. Tips, as a prime motivator for tour guides, are their main source of income, and therefore are expected in China's booming foreign inbound travel segment.
China Spree considers gratuities from our patrons to our service staff as a rewarding system. It means if you are not completely satisfied with the services you received, DON'T TIP. Furthermore, please report any services and behaviors that you think do not live up to China Spree's standard to our office immediately so we can make correction promptly. It is crucial for us to maintain a high level of quality services.
We recommend USD$7 per traveler per day to cover all tour guides, bus drivers, porters and maids at hotel and restaurants. The detailed information about gratuity will be available to you in the final travel documents. This gratuity guideline is introduced solely for the convenience of our travelers so you can include it in your total travel budget. Of course, whether you tip, and how much, is always at your own discretion.
Recommended tipping guideline: $7 per traveler per travel day to cover all guides, porters and drivers as below:
China is the world's factory and bargain shoppers' paradise. We are aware of fact that shopping is an integral part of an international travel particularly to countries like China. However, your valuable travel time in China is limited and therefore China Spree tours features the minimum arranged shopping stops compared to all other tours.
We allow only one arranged shopping opportunity in each major city (no arranged shopping in Tibet, Hong Kong or on the Yangtze Cruise), and that shopping stop must be related to a learning experience. The shopping time must be strictly limited to 40 minutes. Forced shopping is prohibited with China Spree tours. We appreciate your input and feedback on this matter.
We strongly recommend you buy travel insurance to protect yourself and your travel investment against the unexpected. Please read more details about Travel Insurance.
Air China mileage
As a general rule, the airlines don’t give mileage for discounted group airfares which are lower than the published fares. It is possible that you might not earn mileage when traveling with Air China on your China Spree tours.
Air China group tickets (classes: T/E) do not earn mileage points. Some individual air tickets can earn partial to full mileage with Star Alliance depending on the Air China ticket booking class. L class earns 50% mileage, K class and higher earn 100% mileage. Business class 130% mileage; First class: 150% mileage. Note the class of service mentioned above has nothing to do with where you sit on the airplane and the class of your seat. Mileage points are calculated using the airline booking code and pricing system.
Frequent traveler programs are administered by the airlines, and are beyond the control of China Spree. If you have questions or concerns regarding your frequent traveler mileage points, you must contact the AIRLINE about this when you receive your air tickets from China Spree. The Air China Call Center can be reached at: 800-882-8122. In order to claim your frequent traveler mileage, you may be required to provide the original ticket receipt and boarding pass, so be sure to save these papers.
Air China does not allow upgrade to business class using your United Mileage. Neither can you get a free Air China ticket by redeeming your United Mileage through Air China or China Spree.
United Mileage points can be used to purchase Air China flights. This must be done directly with United Airlines. It is your sole responsibility to verify the flight information with United and Air China, since flights and schedules are subject to change.
Jet Lag Precautions
Jet lag happens when your body's inner clock falls out of sync with daily cycles of light, rest and meals as you cross time zones to reach your destination. Its symptoms are fatigue, irritability and vague disorientation. You cannot totally avoid jet lag, but you can minimize its effects. Here are some suggestions:
- Get several good nights of sleep before your trip departure.
- Set your watch to your destination time when you board the plane, and adjust sleep and meals accordingly.
- Try to sleep on the plane.
- Walk around the plane occasionally, do isometric exercises at your seat.
- Drink plenty of water and fruit juice while flying.
- Avoid alcoholic and caffeinated drinks during and after the flight.
- On arrival, throw yourself into your new schedule, avoid naps, and try to stay awake until your normal sleeping time at home.
U.S. Duty-free Exemption
When shopping in China, keep receipts of all purchases. Upon reentering U.S, be ready to show customs officials what you've bought. Effective November 4, 2002, the standard personal duty-free exemption is $800 if you are a returning U.S. resident and the items you acquired abroad accompany you.
Duty on items you mail home to yourself will be waived if the value is $200 or less. Antiques that are at least 100 years old, and fine art may enter duty-free, but folk art and handicrafts are generally dutiable.
Only 1 liter of alcohol and 200 cigarettes or 100 cigars may be included in this exemption. Items purchased in "Duty Free" shops are subject to duty if the value of your total purchases exceeds $800.
Family members who live in the same household and are returning together to the United States may combine their standard personal exemptions. Children and infants are allowed the same exemption as adults, except for alcoholic beverages and tobacco products.
Read more information on Duty-free exemptions available on the U. S. Customs Service Web site.