If you are interested in coming to Taiwan this Christmas, we have two weeks of activities planned. You may choose to come for both, or just one. Please read carefully and then contact us to help begin planning your trip.
Start Date: December 28, 2015. Please try to arrive on December 27 if possible. (Dec 28 is okay)
End Date: January 3, 2016 or based on your own travel plans. Please plan to stay for at least a week to ten days.
Start Date: January 4, 2016. Please try to arrive on January 3 or before if possible.
End Date: January 10, 2016 or based on your travel plans. Please plan to stay for at least a week to ten days.
What Now? How do you make it happen? I’ve written this guide to help you with the details. Don’t worry, it’s not as hard as you might think. Whether you are a seasoned international traveler, or this is your first trip, you are in good hands. Over the years, I’ve helped bring over 250 people to Taiwan and have lots of experience with this particular kind of trip.
After you let me know (CLICK HERE to send me an e-mail) that you are thinking about or planning on coming to help, here is a checklist to help you get started.
First, Pray. Ask God to begin preparing your heart and mind for what He has already planned. Also, begin praying for the people He is going to put in your path while you are here. There is no doubt that when we prepare ourselves, God does His part to bring people to hear the Gospel. Jesus said that the field was ready for harvest, this couldn’t be more true in Taiwan.
Second, do you have your passport? If not, you should immediately begin the process of applying for a passport. CLICK HERE. If you don’t have at least 4 weeks left before the trip date, it is probably too late.
Third, you need a plane ticket. How much? Generally, the earlier you buy, the better, so it’s time to get cracking. If you are coming with a group of people, it would be good to work together to purchase tickets. If alone, then start pricing tickets with a travel agent or using some online tools. I prefer kayak.com as well as looking at the individual airline sites. Just a note – the more direct the flight, the higher the price. I know that seems crazy, but it’s true. People are willing to pay more to spend less time getting to their destination, so the direct flights tend to be more expensive. If you can tolerate a few stops along the way, you may end up with a cheaper ticket. Also, using a travel agent can also reap some rewards. For anyone coming from the middle of the country (i.e. Texas), I highly recommend a stop in California or Washington State and then catch the direct flight to Taipei. It is a much easier trip. I also encourage you to buy a refundable ticket. It’s usually just an additional $30-50 – and well worth it if you have something happen at the last minute.
Your travel destination is TPE, Taipei Taoyuan International Airport. For more about flights, please see the end of the article.
Fourth – you’ll need to plan for your expenses while you are here. You can count on about $50 dollars per day for your lodging, food, transportation and miscellaneous expenses. So take the number of days you are in the country and multiply it times $50 and there is your additional cost. Unless otherwise indicated, you will be staying in housing provided by the National Taichung University of Education. CLICK HERE for a look.
The other options are:
A business type hotel at around $30USD per night depending on how many people per room.
A backpacker type hotel is going to be $600 – 800 TWD per night.
There are also some private B&B type places which are actually quite nice and near our center city district. These average around $10-$15 per person per night.
Fifth – Get some support! Allow your family, friends, co-workers to get involved. You want to ask people to pray for you, and give people an opportunity to participate spiritually and financially. I know for many people, this feels a little weird or strange, but I’m telling you after years of working with people, this is one of the best parts of going on mission trips. Share with people a clear vision of what you are going to be doing and give them an opportunity to support you. I’ve learned that most people are pretty smart with their money, and they are looking for good places to spend / invest it. If they don’t want to, they won’t. Just don’t get your feelings hurt if they don’t. Pray first, trust God to provide your needs – it’s all His – then ask confidently, be willing to put your own resources on the line and go for it. The part that is really important is to keep people informed. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate! Get the e-mail address of every person and send out regular updates while you are on the trip with stories! People want to know stories, they don’t want endless pictures of food and tourist sites. They want to know that their prayer and money made a difference in someone’s life.
Sixth – get your church involved. Talk to your pastor / mission pastor / youth pastor and ask for their prayer and encouragement. Ask for your church to be praying for you.
Once we know you are coming, we will provide you with the resources you need to prepare for when you get here. We are going to be sharing in classrooms in several college campuses, at the invitation of professors. The presentations will consist of two parts, the first part will be American Christmas and New Year Traditions followed by the real meaning and story of Christmas. Your part of the preparation will be to collect pictures, video and prepare to talk about your family traditions and stories related to how you celebrate these two holidays. We’ll provide you with a guide about how to share the real meaning and story of Christmas.
We will be spending the majority of each day on various college campuses in classrooms connecting with students, sharing the above mentioned programs.
During the evening hours – you will have time to follow up with students who show interest in spending further time with our team. This is a very natural part of each trip. You’ll be busy from morning to evening each day.
If you are here for New Year’s Day – we will take some time to experience some traditional Taiwanese presentations and performances that can only be seen around this time of year. In addition, we’ll give you the opportunity to connect with Taiwanese host families and join them for a traditional Taiwanese New Year’s Meal.
Over the weekend, we’ll have more opportunities for follow-up as we take in some of the beautiful sights the island is known for as well as introduce you to some of Taiwan’s unique culture and heritage, including the religious side of Taiwanese life. In addition, you will get to experience our church, Taichung Baptist! For those who are able to stay longer, the University will provide more opportunities to enter the classroom and work in an English exchange environment the following week if you are able, if not, you can depart at your convenience. We’ll make sure you are taken care of from beginning to end.
Travel Agents we recommend:
Keren Yu out of Dallas with Gateway Travel. Her contact information is: email@example.com
Also, I highly recommend Justin Bachus at Book it with Miles. If you have airlines miles (or if you don’t) he can help you immensely to make the most of your travel buck. It’s a fee for service, but well worth it. CLICK HERE
Golden Rule Travel. Contact: Sharon(800) 950-3599; (330) 852-8805; http://www.goldenruletravel.com/
Suzanne at 1.866 .NOW.EXIT
There are many ways to come to Taiwan. Most of the time using a search engine, your route will go through one of three major cities, Tokyo, Hong Kong or Seoul. It is possible to end up with another route. Here is what you need to watch out for when booking an overseas flight yourself. Long layovers – check your total travel time. From most anywhere in the United States, you should be able to get to Taiwan in around 24 hours or less, total travel time. There are some places where it will be a great deal less if you can get a direct flight. (New York, Houston, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago).
Most airlines allow you to purchase an upgraded economy plus seat. If you are a little older or have trouble with long legs, I highly recommend this option. For about $150 extra each way, it can make a big difference in your travel experience.
Don’t be afraid to use a travel agent. With a little work, you can put together a great route. For many, a shorter overseas flight is important. So a stopover in San Francisco or another West Coast city is important. An agent can help you sort out these details.
And of course, please don’t hesitate to ask us. We’ve made the trip multiple times on multiple airlines. We don’t know everything or all the tricks, but we know who to ask.