Travel to China

Q: My 18 year old daughter has been invited to visit China with her friend and his family. They have family in Beijing and will be staying with them so there will be no hotels needed. Someone told me I would have to make her reservations through a travel agency and I could not make the reservations on line? Is this correct?

You can book your daughter's flights online. Major travel web sites do offer plane tickets to China. There are two issues to consider, however. One is whether travel agents, especially those who specialize in China travel, can get you better deals. Secondly, if your daughter's itinerary includes connections, etc., especially domestic flights in China, online reservations may not be your best option (web sites in the West mostly do not handle domestic flights in China). Since your daughter is going to stay in Beijing, domestic flights do not seem to be an issue. Assuming the host family will meet your daughter up at the airport, local transportation should not be an issue either. That leaves you the international flights. You can shop around and see what you can find. If your daughter is going over this summer, keep in mind that the Beijing Olympic Games will be under way from August 8 to August 24, which may mean that it is harder than usual to arrange trips to Beijing.