While the tour price of the VIPKid is actually quite reasonable, it is only a portion of the budget you need for this trip. First, you must book your own flights. Also, my son and I added a few days in Shanghai as well as a quick jaunt to Hong Kong so that I could work on my bucket list of seeing all the Disneylands in the world. But here is a rundown of some of the “extra” budget items you may have.
Evening shows – We did two different evening shows which cost 380 and 580 CNY so plan on about another $150 if you plan on seeing the shows. (Of course, we had to have popcorn at one!)
Evening meals – You have many options for evening meals. We were able to find a great restaurant just down the street that both my son and I could eat for under $10. However, there were other places that were not as economical. I would budget at least $20 per person per meal for each evening. Add more if you plan to hit the nightlife and do a little drinking. If you are going farther from the hotel, you may need to add in some transportation costs.
Dino Swag – We were offered quite a bit of Dino swag that is not available in the store at one of the meetups. I spent quite a bit more than I had originally planned, but hey, it’s Dino!
Souvenirs – You will want to buy some souvenirs. You may need to add an extra suitcase if you go too crazy. This part of your budget will vary quite a bit. There are so many opportunities to buy some very unique items. You will want to plan on taking enough so that you don’t regret not buying that special item.
Bullet Train Upgrade: I believe it was an extra $55 to upgrade to first class on the bullet train. I will say, I really enjoyed the nice, big, comfortable seats.
Free day – This was a place that I spent a bit more than expected since we spent our free day at Shanghai Disneyland. The tickets to Disneyland are quite reasonable, about $60 a day and the metro tickets were VERY cheap, less than $2 round trip. Also, consider the meals and souvenirs at Disney are not as cheap as eating outside the park, but there are few options nearby. We had a great meal inside the park, but it was more than we had paid for any single meal. Obviously, you can choose a much less expensive option for your free day, but what can I say, I’m a Disney Nut!
Bund River Night Cruise – You can pay for an upgrade on the Night Cruise that will get you a little snack, a drink (beer or juice) and a nice seat on the upper floor. (I’m sorry I can’t remember the price, but it was actually not very expensive. I know it was less than $20 each.
Massage – We also had a chance to get a massage done in our room for 200 CNY ($28) for 90 minutes. I will say it was absolutely amazing! This price included the tip and it sure helped the sore muscles from walking so much.
I will say that I had planned on spending $500 extra on the trip, and that went very quickly. I would have liked to have a bit more for souvenirs (I really wanted a nice piece of jade, but that was definitely out of my budget), but I still was able to bring some many things that I really wanted. We did end up buying an extra suitcase mostly because my son really wanted it (Avengers suitcase from Disneyland) not because we necessarily needed it. Just be prepared that you do have more expenses than just the tour package.