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What to Pack

Be Prepared for Your Visit to China

It’s no secret that there is an abundance of things to explore in China, from scenic views of mountains and rivers to busy cityscapes.  Once your tour of China is booked, however, you owe it to yourself to learn what you should bring with you to have the best experience possible.  

Below are some ideas of what to bring along and things you should be aware of before your China adventure gets underway.  Feel free to reach out to our China tour experts for other questions you may have.

Before Packing

Check the weather of your destination a week before your trip and get a sense of the clothes you’ll need to pack. Determine the purpose of your trip and decide what to pack. Make a packing list and mark the number according to the importance. Leave keys, your contact information and a copy of your travel itinerary to family or friends.

If you have unlocked your cell phone, you can buy a pay-as-you-go SIM card before or after your arrive in China so it will function abroad.

Hygiene

It’s a good idea to bring some toilet paper with you when travelling within China.  While 4-and 5-star hotels and many major airports will have western-style toilets and plenty of toilet paper, trains will not typically have toilet paper, as well as smaller towns and villages.  Bringing some hand sanatizer along with you will go a long way as well.  Non-alcohol based santizer would be best, as those with alcohol are sometimes confiscated at Chinese airports, at Guangzhou for instance.

Many Westerns are surprised that deodorant is quite hard to come buy in China, even in bigger cities, so make sure you pack enough for yourself.

Water

Keep plenty of bottled water with you, as tap water isn’t the cleanest, especially in more rural areas of China.  You shouldn’t have an issue in your 4- or 5-star hotel, but if you decide to brush your teeth somewhere else, do so with bottled water.  It may be a good idea in such areas to chew a couple Pepto Bismol tablets just prior to eating to ensure you don’t get an upset stomach is the water used to cook your food is less than ideal.

Essential Items

Passport, Visa, and other necessary travel documents. Airlines, cruise or train tickets. A guide book or phrasebook with English. Map of places you are going to visit. Emergency card with your detailed contact information including full name, address, phone number. Money, credit card, Traveler’s checks, and cash. First-aid kit. Your medical record and medicines like vitamins. Alarm clock or watch with an alarm. 

Clothing

The casual outdoor clothes are highly recommended. A pair of comfortable walking shoes. Socks, pants, and underwear. an umbrella and waterproof. Hat, Sunscreen, and sunglasses depending on the season and your destination. Laundry bag.Bring clothes according to what season you are traveling.

  • Spring (Mar – May): Western suites, sports coats, jackets, sweater, long sleeve shirts.
  • Summer (Jun – Aug): T-shirts, short sleeve shirts, skirts, sandals, caps, rain wear.
  • Autumn (Sep – Nov): Western suits, jackets, sports coats, light woolen sweaters, rain wear.
  • Winter (Dec – Feb): Down garment, overcoat, thick woolen sweaters, lined coats, cap, gloves and cotton-padded shoes.

As you can see, when it comes to packing the right clothes for your trip to China, timing is everything.  Take a look at our page on the best time to visit China for more on the nature of seasons there.

In general, it is better to keep covered up when in China; not necessarily for modesty reasons, but culturally speaking, lighter skin is considered more attractive, so both Chinese men and women often make an effort to limit their exposure to the sun.  Consider longer and more loose-fitting clothing if you don’t wish to stand out.

Luggage

Carry-on luggage for flights within China must be no more than 11 pounds (7kg). Checked luggage should be no more than 44 pounds (20kg). Maximum dimensions for “Carry On” luggage are 56 x 36 x 23cm, 22 x 14 x 9 in.

Virtual Private Network

The internet is censored in China by the government, meaning if you want to access your Facebook page or YouTube, you will need to have your own VPN.  You can find some of the best proxy servers here to purchase.  With a VPN, you can share pictures and videos of your trip to China on social media before returning home.

Other Items

Camera, films, and batteries. Camcorder. Mobile phone. Chargers for your mobile phone, digital camera etc.

Adapter or Converter

In the U.S., electricity runs on 110 to 120 volts, while many other nations run on 220-240 volts.  This means you could end up ruining your laptop or cell phone by trying to charge it overseas.  China specifically runs on 220 volts at a frequency of 50 Hz.  Check out this list from REI of countries to determine if you should bring an adapter or a converter.

In short, if your electronic device is single-voltage (the voltage requirement listed on the device reads only one number, such as “120V”), you will need a power converter.  If your device instead has other voltage requirements such as 110V/220V or 110-240V, all you will need is a travel adapter to plug it into the wall.

You can purchase adapters in China, but it is recommended that you buy one prior to leaving.

 

Other China Packing Tips

  • Make copies for all your important materials and keep the copied items separately to the original one
  • Store a backup of your information in your email account or on a USB thumb drive
  • Do not put too much money in the same place, spread it around your pockets
  • Do not carry expensive jewelry and watches. Do not keep your credit card and identification card together
  • Do not pack excessive quantities of drugs as you may have problems at China Customs
  • Rolling your clothes together instead of folding them one by one to save space. Put the items you uses regularly at the top of your carry on
  • Leave some room in your bags for gifts and souvenirs
  • Bring mosquito repellent

If you have other questions or concerns concerning your upcoming trip to China, please don’t hesitate to call our highly-experienced team.  If you are looking to book your next adventure, Chinatour.com can book the perfect excursion for you.  Take a look at our tour packages to learn more!