Monday, January 21, 2013

Packing for China: Luggage and Carry-on

Suitcase by Lasse C on Flickr, via Creative Commons
Hi, guys! So after a bit of e-mailing back and forth between myself, my sister, and the visa processing center, my visa is finally on its way to being approved and my passport should be back in my hands by Thursday. Yay! After that, I'll try to get a ticket to China as soon as possible. I'm so excited... and going a little stir crazy, to be honest. I'm impatient to be there and volunteering already!

I thought that for today's post I could go over a bit of what packing for China entails, at least for me.

The Luggage

I'll be bringing one large duffle bag for my clothes and such, and most likely another duffle full of things for my sister that she can't easily get in China. Last time I went there, I ended up packing more clothes than I really needed... filling up two duffles instead of just one. So for this trip, I'm making sure to pack only what I'm sure I'm going to wear regularly.

Since I'm headed there during the winter, when the temperature in Beijing is hitting single digits, important things I'll be packing (besides my staple t-shirts and jeans, underwear and socks, and a few nicer outfits) will be:
  1. Winter coat.
  2. 2 pairs thermal underwear.
  3. Sweatshirts and sweaters.
I get cold easily, so I'll definitely be piling on the layers, methinks! I'll also be stocking up on waterproof earplugs, since my ears get infected nearly 99% of the time if they get water in them. I use the earplugs in the shower, since I'm not a big swimmer. 

The Carry-on

My carry-on will be a backpack. I will be packing all of my important things that I do NOT want to lose in there, mainly electronics and my wallet, since it's a bad idea to pack valuables in your main luggage. It's also a bad idea to pack things that are going to make your carry-on heavier than you can manage running to and fro from gate to gate as they change your flight around (which they might, and most likely will. Ask me how I know this). 

Since it's a 13 hour flight from here to Beijing, I'll also want some entertainment that will help cut down the hours.

Into the carry-on will go:
  1. Laptop and charger, which will make up most of the weight.
  2. A couple of books.
  3. My Nintendo DS (fully charged) and a couple of games.
  4. My wallet.
  5. My medication.
Also, the seats in economy cabins are REALLY unergonomic. That means if you need special support for your back or hips, invest in a special cushion. Really. You will thank me for this advice once you take it and spend 13 hours on a plane in those seats. You CAN get up and stand in the back of the plane for a bit (in fact it's encouraged you do so to help your circulation and such), but a cushion will really help.

Special Packing Tip

If you're not sure you can get it in China, buy it before you go! You do not want to get there and find out that you can't get something you need or use regularly. For me, it's my waterproof earplugs. I'm sure they must make them in China... but if I end up being wrong, that would be bad. SO. I'm stocking up just in case.

If you take prescription medication, like I do, you might want to stock up on that too. Warning, though, it will cost a LOT more to get your meds prescribed for a year's time instead of just a month or so.

What I'll be doing, since I'm still covered by my parents' insurance, will be to (hopefully) get my medication from a hospital in Beijing that the insurance is accepted in. If this works, it will drastically cut down on the cost.

The End (?)

That's pretty much all I have to say on the subject of packing for the nonce. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask me and I'll do my best to answer.

Do you have any packing advice, or an interesting/fun travel story? Share in the comments!

2 replies:

Anonymous said...

**Love (1)**

but what about yarn?

Leah Waig said...

I forgot about that! I will probably be bringing some with me, yes, as long as I can fit it in with the rest of the luggage. :)

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