Traveling with teens to Shanghai, China can seem like an overwhelming task, but there are plenty of familiar things to keep you comfortable, as well as lots of different sites to make it interesting. Here’s what you need to know before visiting Shanghai with teens.
Disclosure: The writer was hosted for this trip.
6 Things You Need to Know Before Visiting Shanghai with Teens
Teens love traveling to faraway places, especially if they are very different from where they live. Shanghai is a very modern city with lots of old world flair. It’s a perfect destination for hard-to-please, seen-it-all teens. However, before you apply for that visa, here are six things that Shanghai families know about their city that you should, too, before heading on an adventure.
What to Know Before Visiting Shanghai with Teens
1.Watch for Cars. Cars have the right of way in Shanghai, not pedestrians. Be VERY careful crossing the street, and look ALL ways before you cross – cars, bicycles and mopeds can come from virtually any direction. Better yet, take one of the many pedestrian overpasses in Shanghai.
2. Personal Space in China. Chinese are close, sometimes very close; especially on long haul train journeys and in airports. During our trip to Shanghai, I felt the crowds were manageable, although our elevator ride at the SkyWalk at the Shanghai World Financial Center got a little pushy.
3. Bathrooms. There are two kinds of bathrooms in China, the kind with seats and the kind without seats, where you just squat down and hope for the best. The kind with seats can be typical seats, or supped up seats with controls for a variety of different experiences. The squat kind is generally BYOT – Bring Your Own Tissue, and found in the public and more rural areas.
4. Food in China. Whether your teen is a picky eater or an adventurous one, you can find something to eat in Shanghai. The variety of a traditional Chinese meal means there’s something for everyone. Although you want to try the local cuisine, according to our Mandarin Journeys guide, you do need to be careful where you eat. Street food can be fantastic, but make sure you know where you are going. This is one area where having a local guide can be very helpful.
5. Shopping in China. Teens like to shop, so make sure to prepare them for a Shanghai shopping experience. The best bargains are going to be in the street markets, and everything is negotiable. Don’t take the first price you’re given. Make sure your teens know the conversion rate, and the relative value of the item. There’s nothing worse than realizing you paid $50 for a $10 item. China is known for pearls, jade and silk, but there are lots of faux products, so when purchasing high dollar items, make sure you know what you’re doing, consult with an expert, or at the very least a known and reputable dealer.
6. Safety. There is virtually no crime in Shanghai because of the stiff penalties, so it’s very safe. So go ahead, explore.
Planning a trip to Asia can be overwhelming. To get the most out of your visit, consider visiting Asia with a reputable guide. Mandarin Journeys is a luxury family tour company that crafts experiences tailor made for your brood. They’ll also make sure you know all the tips and tricks for a fantastic vacation.