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Train Trips in China with Children

Written by FabioUpdated Jan. 23, 2024

Taking a train in China with children can present challenges, requiring careful preparation for a smooth trip. It's advisable to plan ahead and consider some key factors. Notably, it is not recommended to take babies under 3 months of age on long-distance train rides, particularly during peak travel periods.

Child Ticket Rules

According to China Rail's policy, children under 14 years of age cannot travel on a train alone and should be accompanied by an adult.

A child's ticket can be booked online. The fares for children's tickets are as below:

1. Children, who are younger than 6 years, can travel for free, but without their own seat or berth. A child ticket is needed if a seat or berth is required.

2. One adult can bring only one child (younger than 6 years) for free. If there is only one adult and more than one child, the other children need to buy children's tickets.

3. Children with a age older than 6 years and younger than 14 years are eligible for the children's tickets policy. The children's ticket price is half that of an adult ticket, except for sleeper tickets, which are 75% of the adult ticket price.

4. Children more than 14 years old need to buy adult tickets at the full fare.

Read more about how to buy train tickets in China.

Tips For China Train Travel With Kids

Traveling by train is safe, comfortable and affordable for most people. If you prepare well in advance, a train trip with kids can also be fun and relaxed. The tips below may be helpful.

Taking a train with your kids can be funnyTaking a train with your kids can be funny

Avoid Chinese holidays

It is recommended to avoid train-travel during Chinese holidays. The overcrowded train stations and noisy carriages make it difficult to take good care of babies.

Choose an appropriate train-type and seat-class

Day-time high-speed trains and overnight bullet trains are best. High-speed trains are nearly always more punctual, comfortable and stable than normal-speed trains. Diaper-changing tables are available on high-speed trains.

If you need to travel on a long-distance train, an overnight high-speed train may be best.

Avoid hard seat and hard sleeper if you are going to travel with children. Soft sleeper is quieter and provides more privacy.

Bring your own food

It's worth noting that food on board Chinese trains can be relatively expensive, may not be very tasty, and often comes with limited choices. For a more satisfying and convenient experience, it is advisable to bring your own food and beverages, especially for children. Parents traveling with babies are encouraged to bring one or two bottles to take advantage of the boiling water provided at the end of each carriage.

Take baby items on board

Foldable portable strollers can be brought on board. Remember to bring a baby-blanket in case the air-conditioning on the train is too strong.

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