With travel suspended all over the world, the only view you’re getting an eyeful of is your Netflix account, the grocery store, and the four walls of your home! Not to add insult to injury or anything, but don’t you wish you could wake up tomorrow and find yourself somewhere in the Great Wall of China or surrounded by vibrant green bamboo trees?! Ever thought of traveling to China? China is a land of beauty and charm, from its scenic landscapes to its unique and diverse culture. If you’ve never been to China but want to in the near future, there are some things that you should know before traveling to China. Otherwise, you’re set for a not-so-enjoyable trip! If you’re traveling to China soon, this is a list of 7 practical tips that will make your visit easier.

1. Plan Early For Your Chinese Visa

Getting a tourist visa might take a while, depending on the country. But, it is safe to apply for your visa a month or two before; you will be less stressed, and you’ll be able to book a cheap flight ahead. If you’re traveling to China as a tourist, you need a single entry visa to stay in the country for 30 days.

2. Get a travel insurance before traveling to China

Though China is generally a safe country, there is still a risk of theft and loss of belongings. That is when having travel insurance comes in handy. So make sure to get travel insurance before traveling; it will cover any personal belongings, including damaged luggage, etc.

3. Don’t drink tap water

Locals do not drink tap water, and neither should you! In China, tap water is not safe for drinking unless you’ve boiled it, as it’s not purified or sterilized, containing heavy-metal particles that can be dangerous for the health. Make sure to buy bottled water once you’re there. Note: you can still brush your teeth using tap water in China as all Chinese people do, but if you’re unsure, you can use bottled water.

4. You can haggle in markets, not stores

We all have it in us — those haggling skills! Just don’t go haggling everywhere, even if you hear from a friend that it’s okay to haggle anywhere in China! If you go to markets in cities, it’s okay to haggle just like locals do. But, if you’re at any shops, stores, or department stores. Just imagine haggling at the supermarket, for example!

5. Bring toilet paper

Traveling to China? Well, you might see a lot of those squatty potties in public bathrooms, and they may not have soap or toilet paper. Make sure to get toilet paper with you every time you’re out, and don’t forget soap and hand sanitizer! Also, don’t worry, the hotel room you’re booking will most likely have a western toilet, so you won’t have to squat!

6. Use a language app

Language apps can be such life-savers for tourists who want to inquire about something when they don’t know the local language. If you want to make your visit to China even more fun and easy, download a language app like Pleco, the best Chinese language app, Duolingo, Google Translate, HelloTalk, etc.

7. Buckle up, buckle up!

You may be used to wearing a seatbelt, but that’s not always the case for locals in China. In fact, you might struggle a little bit to dig out the buckle of a seatbelt in a taxi, so make sure to buckle up and stay safe because traffic gets super chaotic. If you’ve never been anywhere outside of your country, consider traveling to China! Make sure to get your visa early on, get your travel insurance, book your cheap flight, and keep your passport with you at all times!