Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Extra Packing List for China - Things to Consider

Another post for my yahoo group. This is a list I made for the aforementioned friend who traveled last summer.

Consider adding some of these items to your already loooooooooooong list! Then take out half of the clothes you packed (see below) to make room - I am not kidding.
This is a toddler oriented list, it will not work for everyone. This is not an entire packing list (are you nuts?) just some highlights about what worked for us.
  • Sippy cups (2) (just in case the only sippy you have falls into a drainage ditch and your travel partner has to go retrieve it - thanks Craig!)
  • Baby bottle (1 just in case)
  • Ramen (2) You can get 4 meals out of 2 packages of Ramen & buy more there, we figured that if Maggie had Ramen every day for the short time we were there, it wouldn't kill her.
  • Pampers Pocket Bibsters (love these! they sell them at Walgreen's)
  • Big bag of Cheerios (leave the actual box at home)
  • Plastic deodorizer bags for throwing away stinky diapers (must have!)
  • Toys: One touch and feel board book, 1 gallon size bag of toys - no more are needed (we brought Fisher Price Little People and cars), soft snuggly baby blanket, one stuffed animal. That's it - don't go overboard on toys, and DO NOT buy toys in China - we had a battery operated keyboard melt. Melt! Fire Hazard much?
  • Plastic bowl (2) (big enough for an adult to eat soup or oatmeal out of too)
  • Travel/throw away baby forks and spoons, and big ones for Mom and Dad too
  • California Baby Super Sensitive body lotion.
  • California Baby Super Sensitive Shampoo/Body Wash and Conditioner.
  • Nail clipper! 
  • Meds for every ailment you can think of. Take out of box, flatten the box and put the meds and the flat box in a ziploc to save room.
  • Clothes in the size you'll think your kid should be in and clothes one size smaller. Make sure all pants have an adjustable waist &/or belt loops, consider buying a belt here before you leave and make more holes in it to make it smaller.
  • Carter's tight-fitting pj's can double as long-johns if it's cool outside.
  • Small fold-up potty seat (see previous post about potty training) edited to add: The front desk of your hotel may have a kid size chamber pot style potty chair, or you can buy one at Walmart.
  • Pull-ups in addition to diapers
  • Constipation Medicine for baby (very important)
  • Pepto Bismol for the grown-ups (and lots and lots of Tums) Bonus: Sell these to your travel mates who forgot tummy medicine! Help pay for your trip!
  • Many Travel Packs of Puffs Plus - Chinese kleenex is scratchy (can double as t.p.!)
  • Sun Hat and Sun Block (Sunblock with zinc oxide does not irritate sensitive skin)
  • Ergo Sport for carrying a distressed toddler who can't be put down - they're good for up to 44 pounds!
  • Starbucks VIA coffee (regular and decaf) and French Vanilla Coffeemate.
  • Ziploc bags of all sizes - Everything we packed went into a ziploc organized by type to keep things organized (Kitchen items, bathroom items, baby clothes, toys, electronics adapters, etc)
  • Small bottle of dish washing liquid and a dishtowel.
  • Crayons, color book and stickers for the flight home (we did not pull these out until the Tokyo - Portland flight so it was new and interesting)
  • Bring home Chinese money as souvenirs for nieces and nephews (easy to get, small and cheap!)

**start a blog (or caringbridge site), bring a laptop and update the site every day with a post and some pictures, that way you don't have to call or email everybody** If you do want to call home, have your guide arrange to get a phone card for you, some phone cards bought in Beijing will not work in other provinces. Be aware of this and don't trust the guy at the airport to tell you the truth.
**download a VPN before you leave. This will get you around the Great Firewall of China.

Things to buy there:
  • More ramen
  • Peach juice (Maggie would not drink any other juice for months)
  • Snacks
  • Water. Buy a 12 pack of bottled water your first day. You will need it for cooking, drinking and brushing your teeth.

Things we brought but never used:
  • DVD's for Maggie (she had no interest in TV whatsoever)
  • Travel pillow
  • If/when we do it again, we are not going to bring the video camera, we are going to take movies with our small Canon Digital Elph.

Things they will provide for you:
  • Bottled water is usually provided, or you can buy it at the gift shop or grocery store. There will be an electric kettle and tea in your hotel room. Bring food that you can make with hot water (ramen, soup, oatmeal, etc.). If they do provide bottled water, take it and hide it somewhere so the maid brings you more water the next morning!
  • There should also be a fridge in your room, ask your guide to bring you to the grocery store and fill up the fridge with juice and snacks.
Where will you find room for all this stuff?
Only pack enough clothes to get you halfway through your trip and have the hotel do your laundry at the midpoint. It's worth the money - just do it. For an 11 day trip - bring 6 days of clothes. Yes hotel laundry will set you back $50, but you're packing half as much. Totally worth it. Only pack one set of nice clothes, nobody cares if you wear the same outfit to pick up your child, and then the next day for the adoption and then later at the US Consulate. Nobody will notice, and I won't tell. Also - wear capris instead of shorts and bring something to cover your arms/shoulders if you go to a temple.
We packed everything into 2 backpacks for carry-ons and 2 - 25" upright suitcases. We then bought an extra suitcase in Guangzhou to bring home the extra stuff we accumulated while there. Backpacks are crucial for keeping your hands free to take care of baby or hold paperwork, etc. We also used one of the backpacks as a diaper bag when traveling around Hefei and Guangzhou.

That's it. Just some extra stuff that I wish I knew before we left.
Have a great trip!
Any extra thoughts or ideas? Add a comment!

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