1. Research your location.
I am a list maker. If you are not, I recommend you become one in this case. I first made a list of the things I wanted to do and see while in Hong Kong. This helped me determine where to choose a hotel (step 2). TIP: Knowing that most people I would encounter would likely not speak English, I also printed out a list of the locations I wanted to see in English, Cantonese (I used Google Translate), and included a picture of the location. While this may seem extra, this proved very useful in taxis.
2. Figure out your accommodations.
I spent a great deal of time researching hotels in Hong Kong. I ended up staying at Holiday Inn Golden Mile Hong Kong and got a great deal through Booking.com TIP: Read reviews, read reviews, READ REVIEWS. I wanted basic accommodations with security features like indoor entrances and keycard access for elevators. I also liked that breakfast is included and they had 24 hr room service – for those late night grilled cheese cravings.
3. Plan your transportation.
Another thing I planned in advance was my transportation to and from the airport. I booked a reputable shuttle service with Hong Kong Shuttles. If you plan no other transportation plan this one. This ensures you get to your hotel safely and get home at the end of your trip.
TIP: Luckily taxis are highly regulated and have meters. But if you are going somewhere where taxi drivers have more freedom – this can be a big money trap for tourists. Plan a shuttle in advance and save your money for other things.
4. Plan any guided tours in advance.
Typically booking tours in advance saves you a lot of money. My first full day in Hong Kong was on a guided tour to the Po Lin Monastery (Booked through Viator.com) They picked me up at the hotel and dropped me off later that evening. This was by far my favorite thing about the trip and included a vegetarian meal at the monastery.
TIP: Plan your guided tours for the first This allows you to get acclimated to the city and figure out a better plan for your future adventures.
5. Have fun!
Embrace that you’re in a new city and you can do what YOU want. Being able to enjoy things at my pace and make decisions solely on what I wanted to do was wonderful. I was able to experience the city in the way that was meaningful to me and make the trip truly memorable.
Disclaimer: This trip was not sponsored by any of the companies mentioned in this article. I am not sponsored or paid to promote any of the companies mentioned in this article.