· Backpack (for carrying larger amounts), Money belt (for security) and Fanny Pack (easy access).
· Books, magazines, toys To pass time on the plane ride and late nights.
· Calculator Vendors in cities have them, but handy in outlying areas or to do your own calculations.
· Cameras and extra memory card and chargers. USB cable if you plan to email or blog photos.
· Clothes, parents and kids - 5 or 6 shirts and 3 - 5 pants/capris each; hats.
· Credit cards, major (not Discover)
· English/Chinese Phrase book. I recommend “Essential Chinese for Travelers” by Fan Zhilong, available at Amazon.com (my full review of the book is listed there).
· Dish soap, a small container of anti-bacterial dish soap.
· Hand sanitizer
· Electrical adapter. A full set of outlet/plug converters. Electricity is 220 volts/50 cycles.
· First Aid/Medical Kit
1. Immodium for diarrhea,
2. Cipro for anything very bad that comes along (including serious diarrhea),
3. Insect repellent,
4. Benydryl (liquid and cream),
5. Sunblock ,
6. Tylenol, aspirin/ibuprofen/etc. (Excedrin Fast Tabs are handy – no water needed),
7. Pepto-Bismol tablets,
8. Antibiotic ointment and liquid,
9. Syringes: You may not need to use them (we didn’t twice), but take a few along in case you do,
10. Sterile Tongue Depressors,
11. Gatorade powder,
14. Cold Medicine, for adults and child
15. Surgical face masks
16. Proof of H1N1 vaccine
· Flashlight with batteries packed separately in your luggage for airport security purposes.
· Foodstuffs In major cities you can find most items, e.g. Diet Coke, KitKats, Pringles (try the curry ones - wish they had those in the States), even Dove ice cream bars! But sometimes you just don’t want to go foraging so take a small supply of quick eats. These are what we took: oatmeal packets, quart-sized ice tea bags, granola bars, snack cheese/crackers, corn nuts, instant coffee. Packed them in a small quart plastic pitcher that we used to make iced tea in.
· Gifts and red bags/envelopes. Officials’ gifts. We gave money to everyone that we could because it is easier and preferred. We also took good quality pocket tees and a sharpie for the entire group to sign as an extra special gift for our guides (with the group number on the pocket), if addition to cash, of course.
· Paper goods, small Kleenex packs (for use in public bathrooms) and pre-moistened towelettes.
· Phone numbers for pediatrician; your doctor; internet access; phone access; congressmen. We also had a separate sheet with our credit card and traveler’s check info and contact numbers in case they were lost or stolen.
· Documents. Important documents plus a copy (or on thumb drive); numbers of your travelers checks; contact info for congressman and home contacts.
· Swiss Army pocket knife. Indispensable! Put in checked luggage for security reasons. Also small folding scissors and cork screw, if not on your knife.
guide info on
· Umbrellas or rain jackets, if traveling during rainy season.
· Utensils. Chopsticks and a few plastic spoons and forks for in-room eating. Drinking straws.
· Ziploc bags. All different sizes. Another thing you will be amazed at all the uses for. I packed each person’s clothes in really big 2 or 3 gallon ones – you can compress them into a small space that way by squeezing the air out. I used them to pack fragiles on the way home with air in them. Snack kits. Ice packs. And a zillion other uses.
· Extra duffle bag – packed for purchases – empty on the way over; stuffed coming home!
· Empty mailing tube – for prints or posters you might buy