Travel Tips

To all our Travel clients, please pay attention to the following:

Passengers traveling from and return USA
US Homeland Security requires that passengers traveling to and from the US should not have any dangerous matter such as [Knives, lighters, tools]. Such items may be transported in checked baggage. Items bought in the Duty Free area are not exempted.

Effective on  1 January 2011 from Transportation Security Administration.
There are two significant changes:

  1. Travelers may not carry through security checkpoints travel-size toiletries (3 ounce or less) that fit comfortably in ONE quart size (7 x 8 1/2"), clear plastic, zip-top bag
  2. After clearing security, travelers can now bring beverages and other items purchased in the secure boarding area on board aircraft.
  3. In addition, larger amounts of prescription liquid medications, baby formula and diabetic glucose treatments must be declared at the checkpoint for additional screening.

Security checks and check-in times:
Passengers are reminded to be at the airport for check-in at least 3 hours prior to departure and proceed to the departure area immediately after check-in. Due to additional security measures, the security processing time will take longer than usual and passengers are advised to have minimal hand-carry baggage. Sunlight Express Tours are without any responsibility if any law/regulation changed. Please contact airlines if any questions.

Any question regarding the security regulation, please check for updated.

Visa Information
A visa is needed for all tourists entering China. Visa must be obtained prior to arrival in China. In order to obtain a China visa, you need a valid passport at least 6 months, 1 passport photo, and a visa application, available at the Chinese Consulate or download from Sunlight Express Tours’ web site, and sometimes at your travel agency. If you prefer to have Sunlight Express Tours obtaining your visa for you, please submitting everything 4 weeks prior to departure. For further information regarding your passport and visa, please contact your travel agency.

Travel Documents
Passport must be valid for at least six months on the return day of your trip. Resident Aliens need both a passport and an Alien Resident Card for re-entry into the States. Please bring the name, phone number, and address of the person you wish to contact in case of emergency. We suggest you make copies of all your travel documents and keep them in a safe place. Also, we recommend that your passport, air tickets, cash and other travel documents not be kept together, so you would not lose everything in case something happens. Be sure you have everything before leaving for the airport.

Airport Taxes
China airport taxes are already included in your air tickets to China.

We suggest you bring comfortable, casual clothing, blue jeans and two pairs of good walking shoes for the trip. A raincoat, an umbrella and a light jacket are useful for traveling in all seasons. Check websites or newspaper for weather conditions before you go, and pack accordingly.

What to Pack     

  • Contact lenses solution, sunglasses, hat, shavers, hair dryer, electrical converter and adapter.
  • Books, magazines, snacks, music tapes & walk-man, notebooks, etc.
  • Camera, video recorder, extra quantities of films, tapes, and battery
  • Since you may not have time during the tour to replace something or finding the brands you like, it maybe worthwhile to bring extra quantities of certain items.
  • Coordinating clothes is the key.   Remember:  "The traveler who travels best travels light."

For your convenience, we suggest you bring one large suitcase and one carry-on small bag. Do not over pack, leave space for purchases in China. Since your suitcase will be transported frequently during trip, be sure it is strong enough to withstand all the handling. Also be sure it has wheels and a lock.

  1. Baggage allowance for USA-China flight may vary by airlines and is subject to change at any time. Travelers are required to check online before departure. The standard free baggage allowance of Air China is two pieces per person for checked baggage with size allowed (length +width +height) 62 in/158 cm each, maximum free weight allowed 50 lbs/23kgs each, carry-on baggage is limited to one piece. The standard free baggage allowance of United Airlines; Delta Airlines & America Airlines are one piece per person for checked baggage with one carry-on baggage is limited to one piece.
  2. For China domestic flight, each passenger is allowed one piece of check-in luggage, up to 44 lbs., and one carry on bag. Checked luggage must have a lock (combination locks are recommended) and a luggage tag showing the name and contact information of the owner. (Please use Sunlight Express Tours tags for easy identification by our airport staff.) Baggage without a lock may be refused for transport.
  3. Consider packing one change of clothing, one set of underwear and toiletry in your carry on bag to avoid inconvenience caused by delayed or lost luggage.
  4. DO NOT pack medicine, valuables and other personal necessities in checked luggage. Keep them in your carry on bag.

Chinese Customs Procedures
Foreign visitors are allowed to import, free of duty, one carton of cigarettes, one 750ml bottle of alcohol. There are no restrictions on importing the following items for personal use: medicine, camera/camcorder, rolls of film, foreign currency, etc. Professional recording equipment is not allowed without an import permit. Pornographic magazines, weapons, inflammable and explosive items, books of a political nature and certain drugs are illegal and are not allowed to be taken into China. Merchandise labeled as “cultural relics” or “antique” may not be taken out of China without an official export license. Save all your currency exchange receipts and purchase receipts for possible Customs inspection.

Traveler’s Checks and Local Currency

  • Chinese currency is called Ren Min Bi (RMB) and is issued by the state bank, the People’s Bank of China. For your trip, we suggest you bring a combination of cash (in various denominations) and travelers checks for safety reasons. US dollars in cash form are accepted at many places while travelers’ checks must be converted into RMB first. You need original receipts to convert RMB back to US dollars. The exchange into local currency can be made in the hotel or at a nearby bank.
  • Credit Cards are not widely accepted in China but are becoming more popular in major cities. International hotels, department stores and shops frequented by foreign tourists generally accept well-known credit cards, such as MasterCard VISA and American Express. Cash advance by credit card is not common and is only possible at a few assigned banks.
  • As of May 2011, the exchange rate apply US$1 = RMB 6.35

Tipping is customary and rewards quality service. Sunlight Express Tours suggests the following amount as a guideline: Local-guide, US$7 per person per day; Driver, US$3 per person per day; Tour Director, US$3 per person per day. Of course, the final amount is at your discretion.

For direct dialing to China, the country code is 86. Major city codes: Beijing-10, Shanghai-21, Guangzhou-20. For other city codes, please contact telephone operator for assistance. Hotel telephone operators can dial US numbers for you, but the cost is high. You maybe want to bring a calling card (AT&T, MCI etc). Prepaid local phone cards are available at hotel shops or reception. Your tour conductor or local guide will assist you in this matter.

China’s electrical system operates at 220 volts. The electrical outlets are either for fat round pins or for flat angled blades. Please bring your own voltage converter and adapter.

As indicated in the tour itinerary. B= Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner.

Misc. Reminders

  1. Please keep an eye on your valuables at all time. Watch out for pickpockets while sightseeing.
  2. Bring name and phone number of an emergency contact
  3. Read your itinerary and hotel information before departure. Leave a copy of your itinerary and hotel list with your family
  4. For special requests (China domestic flight reservation, flight change & confirmation, Hong Kong & China hotel reservation etc), please have all the arrangements made with your travel agency before departure. Sunlight Express Tours do not take any responsibilities for itinerary deviations or bookings made by other travel agencies
  5. Individual domestic flights in China must be re-confirmed at the airlines office (of the departing city) 3 days prior to departure. Re-confirmation by phone is not accepted. Since you may not have sufficient time for re-confirmation after arrival in a city, Sunlight Express Tours can help by arranging to have the ticket issued locally and re-confirmed.

New rules for taking liquids through security:
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Japan travel update – New immigration procedures for Japan

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