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Air Travel to China

Flying to China can either be a relatively cheap and easy experience or a massive expense depending on what time of year you intend to travel there. Traveling during the low season, meaning January to early April (excluding Chinese New Year) or from the end of September to November will ensure that the fares will [...]

Flying to China can either be a relatively cheap and easy experience or a massive expense depending on what time of year you intend to travel there. Traveling during the low season, meaning January to early April (excluding Chinese New Year) or from the end of September to November will ensure that the fares will be as low as possible.

Be aware of the fact that there are currently a massive amount of Chinese students studying abroad, so attempting to fly to China when these students are attempting to return home for their breaks (May, early June, and December) will mean shelling out roughly 2X the cost for airfare.

The main air travel hubs of China are Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Beijing. Flying into the country via these cities is the cheapest and easiest way to go, as they are linked up well to virtually all the major cities of the world.

As of 2012, during the low season expect to pay around $400 – $550 for a flight into a major air hub of China from the east or west coast of the USA. Plan to pay twice this amount if traveling during the high season.

These fares are roughly the same if coming from a major hub in Europe.

Flying to China from Southeast Asia, other countries in East Asia, as well as India is a breeze. There are many budget airlines working these routes, and flights can easily be had for under $300.

If you’re not in a city that has cheap and direct air travel options to China it is often cheaper to first connect to the nearest city that does and then fly on from there.

More information about finding cheap airfare

Find more information about China

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Filed under: China, Uncategorized

About the Author:

Wade Shepard is the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 90 countries. He is the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to The Guardian, Forbes, Bloomberg, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3541 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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  • Carlos March 10, 2011, 2:42 pm

    Can I connect flights in China,guanzhou from Taiwan,Taipei to LAX? Do I need a transit visa?holding nicaraguan passport

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    • Wade | Vagabondjourney.com March 10, 2011, 2:46 pm

      Hello,

      It is my impression that, unless transffering in Shanghai, are in China for under 24 hours, and don’t leave the airport, you do not need a transit visa. More on this here:

      ★Visa-free transit
      1. Visas are not required of aliens who hold air tickets to the final destination and have booked seats on international airliners flying directly through China, and will stay in a transit city for less than 24 hours without leaving the airport.
      2. Visas are not required of passport holders of the following countries, who transit through Pudong Airport or Hongqiao Airport of Shanghai, provided they hold valid passports, visas for the onward countries, final destination tickets and have booked seats, and stay in Shanghai for less than 48 hours : Republic of Korea, United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxemburg, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Austria, Greece, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Iceland. –Visa free entry and transit visa for China

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