How to save money on a trip to the Olympics

Anyone who has been to an Olympic Games will be able to tell you it is not a cheap trip to take. Businesses are overwhelmed with demand that they can basically charge what they want. Some hotels in Beijing for instance will be charging up to ten times their usual rates.

China is still a developing country so even though you can expect prices to increase there are some things you can do to to save money.

Getting to Beijing

Flights to China and Beijing especially are going to increase in price leading up to the Olympics. You could consider taking a flight to either Shanghai or Hong Kong and then taking an overnight train up to Beijing. If you have plenty of time, you could combine your China trip with a stay in Vietnam; fly into Vietnam then take a couple of days to take the train up to Beijing. If you are in Europe you could take the Tran Siberian Railway through Russia and Mongolia and down to Beijing. Travel in China is going to be crazy the weeks prior to the Olympics, so it would be wise to get there at least a couple of weeks in advance.

Getting around Beijing

Beijing Taxi >

Taxis in Beijing are cheap and they are unlikely to increase their fares during the Olympics. It is not necessary to tip in China. Beijing taxis almost always use the meter and the initial flag costs around $1.50, which can get you almost anywhere in central Beijing. The subway costs just 2RMB per trip no matter how many lines you ride on. New lines are currently being built to reach most Olympic venues. A Chinese company will be offering free bike rental during the Olympics. Bicycles will be available at major tourist spots and Olympic venues.

Accommodation

You are going to have to get very creative here. It is practically impossible already to get a room now in Beijing for the Olympics - let alone a cheap one. There are a few foreigners living in Beijing who are looking to leave the city and might be interested in doing a house swap. You could post a message on the thebeijinger.com forum. Couchsurfing is another option or something similar. Homestay Beijing is another website worth looking into.

Eating out

Eating out is one of the pleasures of visiting China. Avoid all of the regular tourist traps like Hard Rock Cafe which charge extra taxes and head off to where local people eat. Many restaurants, even in the budget range have menus with pictures. The street vendors offer an array of snacks to try and are very cheap.

Beijing Snack food

Olympic tickets

This is one area which is difficult or impossible to save money. One option would be to attend some of the warm-up events leading up to the Olympic Games. The events are held at the actual Olympic venues and ticket prices start from as little as 10RMB (just over a dollar). Check out the Good Luck Beijing website for further details and a list of events.

Good Luck Beijing

Posted by Mike 11 years ago

filed under: News

Comments

Ursula - December 4, 2007 @ 11:58 am

Hi!
I am the founder of http://www.JewettStreet.com - worldwide Home Exchange Network. We do have several members in Beijing who are offering their homes for home exchange during the Olympics. Good luck!
Ursula

[...] How to save money on a trip to the OlympicsBy WuFlights to China and Beijing especially are going to increase in price leading up to the Olympics. You could consider taking a flight to either Shanghai or Hong Kong and then taking an overnight train up to Beijing. …Beijing Olympic Games 2008 - http://2008gamesbeijing.com [...]

[...] How to save money on a trip to the Olympics » Beijing Olympic Games 2008 [...]

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