The Ultimate Packing List You'll Ever Need for a China Trip

Sorting out what to pack for today's China travel isn't easy, so we are here to help! Check out the ultimate packing list below, and you can travel more easily without having to carry along tons of suitcases. 

How to Pack Right for A Trip to ChinaHow to Pack Right for A Trip to China

Essential Things to Pack

The luggage allowance for taking a Chinese domestic flight is usually 40kg for first class, 30kg for business class, 20kg for economy class, and 10kg for infants with booked seats. Therefore, to avoid extra charges for overloaded bags, you need to pack wisely.

1. Important Documents & Papers

The reason is very obvious. By important documents, I mean:

- Travel Documents: Original passport with the visa issued (if needed) and photocopies of it. Don't put all your eggs in one basket - pack them in separate bags in case you lose any of them. I would also suggest storing the scan where you can access it online.

- Transportation Tickets: Original Air/cruise/train tickets or copies if booked online.

- Confirmation Letter of Tour Booking: Print the letter out and bring it with you, for it contains all your tour information, including the daily itinerary and contact of the people who will be involved in the tour operation.

- Money & E-wallet: Wallet, credit card, and a small sum of cash, but never put them in the checked baggage! Popular currency can be easily exchanged into Chinese currency in the international airport. E-wallets are quite a popular payment method in China. With WeChat Pay or Alipay on your smartphone, overseas visitors can now go cashless in China.

- Unlocked Phone: You can use your phone to stay connected as a prepaid SIM card with the data plan easily available in China.

Essential Documents & PapersEssential Documents & Papers

2. Hygiene and Beauty Products

Note that the same brand products you find in China may not be as effective as the ones used at home. If you are conscious of familiar experiences, bring your own toiletries and make-up kits. Besides, a few extra items worth stressing are: 

- Hand Sanitizer & Wipes: Many public toilets in China won't offer toilet paper/soap/towels. Tissues are sold everywhere, so no need to overload your luggage.

- Moisturizer: To cope with the very dry weather of western and northern China, moisturizer can be a lifesaver.

- Deodorant: Oftentimes, there are fewer than two brands of deodorant in supermarkets.

- Feminine Products: Prepare your own tampons as sanitary pads are more popular in Asia.

Toiletries for a Trip to ChinaToiletries for a Trip to China

3. Clothes

The dress code for the Chinese is smart casual. That being said, you should pack as suggested:

- Travel Type Attire: Bring something dry quickly, such as hiking-type shirts and pants. Though summer in the South is hot and humid, a light jacket would come in handy in aggressively air-conditioned environments. Winter in the north can be very cold and dry, so warm clothes are essential. Revealing clothes is usually considered inappropriate for Chinese females, but people are quite ok with foreign visitors who dress "less conservatively." Meanwhile, wear comfortable shoes for long walks (China is huge, you know). Keep in mind that sizes are much smaller in China - you may find it hard to get attires of the right size for Westerners.

- A Respectable Outfit: For places like upscale restaurants, nightclubs, or for important events, e.g., wedding ceremonies. 

- Dress Taboo: There is no dress taboo on most occasions in China, but in some religious occasions, such as temples or mosques, it is best not to be too exposed.

- Umbrella/Hats/Sunblock/Sunglasses: Make sure these items are readily available in the summer. (Not only China, but this is also a prerequisite for traveling the globe.)

Clothes for a Trip to ChinaClothes for a Trip to China

4. Medications & Vitamins

Pepto-Bismol and antibiotic cream are usually helpful just in case you get travelers' diarrhea. Consult your healthcare provider for the use of your daily pills and vitamins, and bring your medical record as well as sufficient medications with spare portions. 

Medicine for a Trip to ChinaMedicine for a Trip to China

Not Must-Have But Always Helpful Items

Power Converter

The electricity of mainland China and Hong Kong runs at 220V and 50Hz, while that of Taiwan is supplied at between 110 and 120V. Three-pronged angled and two flat style plugs are commonplace. Your hotel may (or may not) offer a converter for free, but I would suggest having your own for convenience. 

Face Mask

Sometimes, the air quality in developed cities tends to be less interesting on winter days. Get yourself prepared.

Trekking Pole

Only when your tour involves strenuous mountain hiking or the off-the-beaten-path sections of the Great Walls, such as Jiankou, Jinshanling, Gubeikou, etc.

Virtual Private Network (VPN)

Many Western websites (Facebook and Google included) are banned in mainland China due to censorship. To break the wall, you need to install a workable VPN before your trip.

WeChat Account Sign-Up

Widely used in China, WeChat (Weixin) is a popular instant messaging application that lets you send text and multimedia messages and even have a live chat with an active internet connection. Get a free account with your phone number (to receive a confirmation code) to connect with your travel consultant/tour guide/friends. It's much more efficient than texts and emails.

Things Worth PackingThings Worth Packing

Packing List for Kids

Traveling with children is great - only when everything is packed right! It is common sense that kids can be more vulnerable to a new environment than adults. Therefore, you should go over all the items and make sure they are there whenever you need them.

Packing List for Children for a Trip to ChinaPacking List for Children for a Trip to China

- Diapers: Bring sufficient. Technically, you can find nothing other than Pampers in many supermarkets unless you search in an upscale shop, which is usually not available outside developed cities.

- Baby Carriers: It'd be safe to keep your children immobilized to deal with the chaotic traffic. 

- Baby Formula & Food: Stick to what your children have back home to avoid upsetting their tummies. For teens, you can always find rice, dumplings, or noodles in restaurants, no matter what destination you are visiting. One more thing: DO NOT drink tap water, ever.

- A Car Seat: Only when you are on a private tour or travel by car for long distances. Seat belts are not installed in the back seats of most taxis. 

- Toys/Storybooks/Snacks: Bear in mind that what appeals to grow-ups may be boring to kids to ensure they enjoy the trip, too. Besides cliché tricks, I find it extremely helpful to give them a simple digital camera to photograph what they are interested in. To make them engage, you can also do some homework and design games before the trip starts.

- Medicine: In addition to day-to-day medications, the basic med-kit would include electrolyte solution, anti-colic pills, anti-inflammatory and anti-itch drugs, DEET, etc.. Consult your pediatrician to know what vaccines your children need for peculiar situations.

Final Thoughts…

The mantra is "Always pack light and pack right." The challenging pre-trip job can be easily done with this checklist for adult travelers and those who travel to China with children. If you are seeking more value and comfort, a private tour would meet your needs. Write to for a personalized itinerary, and have a wonderful stay with us in China!

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