Travel, Teach, Live in China
If you're planning to visit China for a short or even an extended length of time, it's important to give some thought as to what you should be taking along with you. As is the case with traveling to many other countries, there are some definite "must-have" items that you should plan to bring with you. Here is a packing checklist that you can use to help prepare yourself for your trip to China.
Wardrobe Needs - Keep it Casual
For the most part, China is fairly casual when it comes to wardrobe. This fact can greatly simplify packing your suitcase, since you can focus mostly on items that will be comfortable and are easy to pack. For daytime wear, simply focus on bringing items from your everyday wardrobe. For a night out on the town, a casual and yet smart outfit can be the best choice. If you're planning to stay for an extended period of time, pack lightly and plan to do laundry at your hotel. This will greatly simplify your packing chores and make your bags a lot less heavy. However, if you're planning to do a lot of walking of sightseeing, be sure to bring your most comfortable walking shoes. If you have larger feet, bringing adequate shoes is even more important, since it can sometimes be difficult to find large shoe sizes in China.
Personal Hygiene Items
When traveling within a person's own country, many people opt to simply purchase personal items such as shampoo or deodorant once they reach their destination. While this way of thinking can definitely lighten one's suitcase, there are some items that tend to be difficult to find in China. This is especially true if you are very loyal to your particular brand of choice. For example, finding anti-perspirant products is sometimes difficult in Chinese stores. Sunscreen is another item that tends to be limited in availability. If you are a woman who prefers tampons instead of pads, be sure to bring a personal supply along with you when traveling to China. Although you won't have any problems finding pads, tampons can generally only be found in limited supplies at expat supermarkets.
Medications and First Aid Supplies
Although many first aid supplies and medications are the same in China as they are in other countries, you don't want to risk having to spend time locating what you need in unfamiliar surroundings. If you have medications or vitamins you must take daily, be sure to bring an adequate supply of them with you. It can also be a good idea to pack a first aid kit, so that you won't have to worry about finding supplies locally if you experience an emergency. Your kit should include medications for headaches, nausea and diarrhea, band-aids, antibacterial ointment, an Ace bandage in case you twist your ankle, and any personal medical supplies you commonly use at home. If you're planning to visit a high-altitude area in China, you should also pack an altitude sickness medication.
Traveling with Children
You probably won't have problems finding basic supplies such as diapers, wipes, baby food or infant formula in China. Of course, if you have particular brand requirements, it may be best to bring your own supply of even these common items. Some items that can be difficult to find include diaper creams and ointments, disinfectant gel and effective bug repellents. As a general rule, it's also a good idea to bring medication brands that your child is accustomed to, even if it's something as simple as a fever suspension medication or antihistamine. By doing so, you won't have to worry about any unpleasant surprises that could occur as a result of using an unfamiliar product.