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How to Plan a Multi-Generation Family Trip to China

Written by Ruru ZhouUpdated Mar. 4, 2024
family travel to China

China, a land steeped in history and rich in culture, offers a wide range of experiences that are perfect for a multi-generational family trip. In this article, we'll provide you with tips and insights on how to plan a memorable journey, catering to the interests and needs of different age groups, while ensuring that everyone remains engaged and entertained throughout the trip.

Choosing the Best Travel Destinations for All Your Family

Here we will give you some China destination suggestions based on different lengths of the holiday. A 10-day trip is most families' choice.

Around 10 Days

Family visiting Terracotta Army

With smart planning, you can visit four cities at a comfortable travel pace in 10 days. We recommend choosing Beijing, Xi'an, Guilin, and Shanghai for a rich and diverse set of experiences for the whole family.

In Beijing, the whole family should enjoy the Great Wall. On the Great Wall, parents and grandparents tend to enjoy the stunning scenery and grand architecture, while kids enjoy the adventure of exploring it. Take some lifetime memorial family photos on the wall.

In Xi'an, explore the Terracotta Army, and let our guide help take some memorable family photos in front of the awesome warriors. The entire family, especially kids, should find this experience fascinating and memorable. Make a Terracotta warrior yourself, which can be an interesting and engaging activity, particularly for children.

In Guilin, relax on a Li River cruise boat from Guilin to Yangshuo, and enjoy the picturesque scenery along the way. The soaring karst formations and peaceful riverscapes often leave a lasting impression on the entire family.

If your family enjoys outdoor activities, consider taking a biking trip through Yangshuo's picturesque countryside. This is a great opportunity for some exercise and bonding while experiencing the rural charm of China.

In Shanghai, enjoy a leisurely walk with your family on the historical Bund, learning about its fascinating history. Encourage your children to face their fears (or maybe they need no encouragement to enjoy high-up experiences) when visiting the glass observation deck on top of Shanghai Tower, the tallest building in Shanghai, and anywhere outside Dubai.

Recommended China family tours of around 10 days: 

Around 2 Weeks

Chengdu, Giant panda

If you are planning a two-week journey in China for your family, we suggest visiting Beijing and Chengdu, taking a Yangtze cruise, and exploring Shanghai. This itinerary ensures that kids will be entertained, while parents and grandparents can see the highlights of China while also enjoying some relaxation.

In Chengdu, your family will meet the cute giant pandas. These adorable creatures will melt your heart, and the entire family should enjoy this wildlife experience, especially the kids.

Take a Yangtze cruise ship trip from Chongqing to Yichang. Grandparents can relax while taking in the stunning views along the Yangtze River. Kids can participate in interesting activities onboard, such as Tai Chi practice, and the whole family can explore the various stops along the way, including the breathtaking Three Gorges.

Recommended tour: 

The Most-Chosen Multi-Generation Itinerary

During this most-popular tour, your family would visit three of the most famous Chinese cities — Beijing, Shanghai, and Chengdu — as well as embark on a Yangtze River cruise. Explore the Great Wall and the Bund, get close to giant pandas, and relax on a cruise boat along the Yangtze River. Here's the suggested itinerary:  

  • Days 1–3: Beijing
  • Days 4–5: Chengdu
  • Days 6–8: Yangtze Cruise
  • Days 9–11: Shanghai
Family playing Taiqi

In Beijing, visit the Great Wall at Mutianyu. Take a cable car up to the wall and enjoy a walk with your family. Capture precious memories by taking family photos on the wall. Visit a local family in the hutongs, learn to make dumplings, and enjoy a delicious dumpling dinner. Your kids will hopefully feel proud to eat the dumplings they have made themselves. Also, make sure to visit Tian'anmen Square and the Forbidden City.

In Chengdu, meet cute giant pandas at the Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding Center. The whole family should enjoy this experience, especially the kids.

On the Yangtze cruise, the whole family can relax and enjoy the rich range of activities on board, such as tai chi practice.

In Shanghai, the whole family can enjoy a leisurely walk on the Bund. Take a family photo in front of the Oriental Pearl Tower. Your children may enjoy being super high up on the glass observation deck on top of the highest building outside Dubai — Shanghai Tower.

Perfect Accommodation for Your Family Trip in China

It is okay for parents and a child to share a room. However, if you want to share a room with two or more kids, it is not allowed in most hotels.

We would endeavor to book family-friendly hotels for you that meet your requirements with family rooms or connecting rooms and as much space and comfort for everyone as possible. These hotels are limited and can get fully booked quickly, so book 3–6 months in advance if at all possible.

We recommend staying in downtown areas, as this will make it easier to visit night markets and explore a city freely. We usually arrange hotels for our customers traveling with family in the city center, and whenever possible with swimming pools to ensure a more enjoyable stay for everyone.

The Best Time to Visit China for a Multi-Family Trip

Most families have relatively fixed travel windows, typically aligning with winter breaks or summer vacations. In this article, we will explore the advantages and disadvantages of these two periods, highlighting factors like weather, crowds, and costs.

The Winter Break: Low Travel Season, Quiet Experience

Shanghai, winter family trip to China

If you choose to travel during the winter break, you would have the quietest experience in China, with fewer travelers almost everywhere. For example, you would not need to rub shoulders with others in the Terracotta Army Museum.

However, the weather may be very cold, even freezing, and very dry in northern China. In South China's Guangdong Province and Hong Kong, the weather is comfortable though.

As winter is the low travel season in China, travel prices are lower.

The winter break (for Christmas and New Year) would not coincide with the busy Chinese New Year holiday in late January or February, which sees the highest traveler numbers in China and colorful festivities. If you want to experience China's winter-peak-season festive time, it requires early planning, particularly regarding hotel bookings and flights. Accommodation prices may rise significantly, especially in popular cities like Beijing and Shanghai.

The Summer Vacation — Peak Travel Season

The summer vacation is usually from late June to late August. This is the busiest travel time in China when attractions are crowded and prices for hotels may increase 2–3 times. If you plan to visit China during the summer vacation, plan in advance and consider letting an experienced travel agency help you navigate the peak months to make your experience as smooth and value-for-money as possible.  

Li river

Our Private Tours Are Very Family-Friendly

 Our private tours provide a hassle-free solution for planning your family trip. With a thoughtfully-planned itinerary, comfortable accommodation, suitable transportation, and tailored activities, we would ensure that your family explores the beauty and charm of China smoothly while creating lifelong memories.

We are ready to tailor-make a unique tour for your family based on your requirements with 1:1 planning help. Or see our most popular China family tours again below, which may make a good starting point for your customized trip:

Start planning your tailor-made tour with 1-1 help from our travel advisors. Create Your Trip

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