Stacey Barton, her husband Gabriel, and their four children: Bailey (10), Sydnee (8), Rylan (6), and Korynn (2).
During Chinese National holiday, the Bartons flew to Hong Kong with China Eastern Airlines. They switched planes in Shanghai on the way there and in Nanchang on the way back. A roundtrip flight for six people costs around RMB 9,400. Stacey and Gabriel wanted everyone in the same van rather than split the family into two taxis. The van transportation to and from the airport in Hong Kong was RMB 1,300.
The Bartons stayed at the Royal Plaza Hong Kong Hotel in Kowloon. They booked two rooms for eight nights, which cost them around RMB 13,620. The Bartons ate at the hotel buffet for breakfast every morning, bringing food costs to about RMB 5,500. They note that travelers could probably eat for much less.
For attractions, they paid RMB 2,185 for two-day entry tickets to Hong Kong Disneyland and RMB 800 for a single-day entry to Ocean Park. Both prices reflect the total cost for two adults and three children. Admission to both parks was free for two-year-old Korynn. Public transit totaled around RMB 485. In total, the Bartons’ one-week vacation in Hong Kong came to just over RMB 33,000.
The Best Part
The best part of the trip was going to Disneyland. The kids loved it. What’s more, the Bartons were chosen to be the Grand Marshals in the Flight of Fantasy Parade. They rode in the lead float with a procession of Disney characters behind them: Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald, Daisy, Pluto, Buzz Lightyear, and more.
The Worst Part
Because it was typhoon season, the worst part of the trip was the weather. The Bartons could never tell if it would rain or not, and Hong Kong was very overcast the whole time they were there. At some point, they had no choice but to start taking their chances with going out. However, there was a hot tub at the family’s hotel, which the kids loved on the days that weren’t warm enough to swim in the outdoor pool. The hotel was also connected to a mall, so they could walk around the mall or grab a bite to eat there.
Traveling With a Big Family
Hotels are always hard to book, because it’s impossible to stay in one room and some places don’t have adjoining suites available. Fortunately, the hotel that the Bartons stayed at in Hong Kong had adjoining rooms. This made their stay much easier as a large family. Food can sometimes be a problem, because the kids are very picky. The family didn’t really get a chance to try local cuisine; they stuck with American-style fare like McDonald’s, Spaghetti House, and Burger King. English was spoken by most of the people they talked to, including hotel and restaurant staff.
Transportation is another issue for big families, since they didn’t want to split up the crew. Managing children in a busy city is also never easy. Stacey and Gabriel had to use a stroller for Korynn, so they found themselves dodging people all over the place. However, it was very easy to get around Hong Kong once they got used to it – even with four kids. The Mass Transit Railway (MTR) was easily accessible from just about anywhere in the city.
Stacey suggests booking a hotel closer to Hong Kong Island or on the island itself. If you choose to go in October, be prepared for rainy weather. Families that travel light can consider taking the MTR into the city from the airport.
Stacey also recommends taking a nonstop flight, even if it’s a little more expensive. The Bartons booked the flights themselves on Cheapticket.com to save money, but that ended up creating a huge headache for them. Because Hong Kong is considered an international flight, the family had to go through immigration and customs in Shanghai. On the way back, they changed flights in Nanchang and not only had to wait for the airport to get more exit cards, but also ended up walking 400m to what they thought was the right terminal. There were no directions, so the Bartons ended up running through the airport with four kids in tow and made it to their gate with five minutes to spare, only to be shuttled back to the original terminal – where they finally boarded their plane to Beijing.