Lotus Travel Inc
Letter from Louie Yi  
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In This Issue
Culture Camp
Travel Forecast
Budget Travel Tips


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The July Beijing Language and Culture Camp trip geared for adolescents and teens has an early bird special of $400 discount for first 10 people.  Click Culture Camp for full details.


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2011 Tour Schedule

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Travel Forecast:  2011 and Beyond

Louie in guilinI know many families are working hard to save money for a heritage trip to China. I would like to share some updated traveling information so they can make a smart decision on their trip. 

It is tempting to think that it is good to travel in 2012 or possibly in another few years.   However, if you are a budget conscious traveler, there are some details that make 2011 look very appealing.

We at Lotus have kept the same exchange rate as last year's although the Chinese currency has appreciated almost 10% within less than one year.  Even though the yuan is stronger against the dollar, we have been able keep the same exchange rate on our touring prices for families.  

 In order to keep the most reasonable travel expenses, we negotiated successfully with our local hosts in each city to keep the same rate as last year although the inflation rate is going up every month. The inflation rate in China during 2010 was 7%. The Chinese government hopes to keep inflation at no more than 5 - 7% inflation for the year of 2011. Because of these reasons --- exchange rate and inflation, next year's tour prices could be 15% or higher than this year's prices.

I know that families must plan ahead for making such an important trip.  If some families make plans for this summer, it should be a great time to travel. 

Knowing these factors, we at Lotus Travel are also preparing new 2011 Fall and Winter tour options.  This will be useful for families to take advantage of this year's rates.  As I tell my families, "There is no bad time to return to visit China."   However, if you are watching budget closely, 2011 looks to be an ideal year for a trip.   

Additional Ways to Keep the Travel Budget Trim 

There are also some other steps families can take as they plan, in order to save on the budget for travel. 

First of all, it is ideal to complete a trip before your children turn 12 years old.  This way you can have the child discount on both international airfare and touring in country. Once a child turns 12, China tour companies and airlines consider them as an adult and charge full price.  For international air fare, child under 12 years old often pay 75% of adult fare.  And for China domestic airlines, children under 12 receive a 50% discount, so as general tour cost which will be discounted.   This can make a difference for the overall budget, as it is often 20% or so discount on overall cost. 

 Secondly, it is great to travel during low season, when airline ticket prices and sometimes accommodation prices can be less expensive.  Another plus, not related to cost, is that the weather is cooler so it can be a more comfortable time for travelling for many people. The low travel season in China is between November 1 and March 31st

Also, if families would like to create a travel group,-- whether an FCC group, a reunion of their original travel group or wish to join one of our small groups-- it can save on the cost.  If there are 10 or more adults (including children over 12) this allows for the best group rates on in-country travel cost. 

I would love to see all families that we helped with adoption travel and others to be able to return to China at the best time for them.  I hope you find these tips useful.


Louie Yi 
Lotus Travel Inc