China Massage Guide

Traveling to China Pack What You Need for the Trip of a Lifetime

2017-07-19 14:01:40 | views

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The Obvious

 

Passport and Visa: Make sure you get all the documentation you need several weeks before you leave. Passports can be applied for at the Post Office and can take a long time to arrive, so be sure to get one as soon as you decide to travel. China requires a student visa for study abroad, and that can be obtained through your study abroad office. If you lose your passport while abroad, the United States Embassy can issue a new one for a fee.

 

Money: Take plenty of cash, but also be sure to have a reliable credit card for emergencies or large purchases. You won't be able to charge anything from a street vendor, but larger stores should at least take Visa and MasterCard. If you are staying in hotels, you shouldn't need to change your dollars to Yuan until you arrive. Most hotels will exchange money at their counter. If you wish to exchange before leaving, be sure to allow a few weeks, as most banks do not keep Chinese currency on hand and will probably have to send away for it. There is usually a minimum amount for this as well. Some visitors like to take traveler's checks as well, but that is a personal decision. Make sure to have at least some of your money in cold hard cash, however, because buying a trinket on the streets of Beijing will be hard enough without trying to use a traveler's check. It's also a good idea to keep your money in more than one place on your body. That way if someone gets your wallet you won't be flat broke.

 

Luggage: Don't over pack. This is an extremely exotic vacation, and no matter how frugal you are at home, you will be buying plenty of souvenirs. So leave room to bring them home. Or fold up a spare duffel bag inside your suitcase to bring home souvenirs. Be sure to check with your airline about baggage restrictions.

 

The Not-Quite-So-Obvious

 

Medications: Prescriptions shouldn't be a problem crossing borders, especially if they are labeled. If you are in the mood to be extra cautious, you can ask your physician for a spare copy of the script to have on hand. The most important thing about prescriptions is making sure you have more than enough medication to make it through the entire trip. As for over-the-counter medications, be sure to bring plenty. You may or may not be able to find the same medications in China as you can in the United States, and unless you are fluent in Mandarin or Cantonese, chances are you won't be able to read the dosage instructions even if you find them. The best bet is to pack these in your luggage and not carry any on, unless you plan to take them en route. Tylenol PM can be a blessing on the 14-hour flight from the U.S. to China. So can Dramamine, even if you aren't prone to motion sickness. You also may want to visit your doctor a few weeks before the trip to get your shots up to date. While there, ask for some Cipro. It's an antibiotic that is effective against traveler's diarrhea. You definitely want to have that on hand just in case.

 

Batteries and Electricity: You can find batteries in China, but it's best to be prepared, because they can be hard to find if you are outside of the major cities, and can be expensive as well. Also, be sure to bring a plug converter. Make sure it has an adaptor for China. If you are unsure about which will work, bring them all along. Then you can see which one fits in your hotel room and you won't have to go without a hairdryer or a phone charger for the bulk of your trip.

 

Cell Phones, Landlines, and Other Forms of Communication: Check with your carrier to see what kind of international coverage is available. Some carriers also have specific international plans that may work out to be cheaper. It can't hurt to buy an international phone card as well. That way if your cell phone doesn't work, you can still call home. Don't count on e-mail if you are staying in hotels. If you have free time, you may be able to find an Internet caf, but if it's a shorter trip it may not be worth it to try when you could be out seeing the sights.

 

A List of Necessities You May Not Have Thought Of:

 

Toilet Paper: It comes in travel rolls. Bring one for each week you will be there. Most public restrooms won't have TP available. Oh, and exercise those thighs, especially women. Many public restrooms in China are little other than a porcelain hole in the floor for squatting.

 

Imodium and/or Pepto: The food will be completely different, and will more likely than not upset your stomach at least once. Imodium and an understanding roommate are key when this happens.

 

Hand Sanitizer: If the restrooms don't have toilet paper, do you expect sinks? You won't be able to wash every time you go, plus you'll be out on the streets a lot and encountering all sorts of new dirt. Two or three (or more for a longer trip) travel-sized bottles of sanitizer can be your best friend.

 

Really, Really Good Shoes: If you're in an exotic location, the last thing you want is sore feet to keep you from exploring.

 

Sun block, Bandages, and the Like: You never know what's going to happen.

 

One Final Tip...

 

Don't drink the water. It houses bacteria that Americans aren't immune to and it will make you sick. If you drink it you will experience cramps, diarrhea, and general discomfort. This is where the Cipro comes in. You need to avoid drinking tap water. This also means not brushing your teeth in it, and being careful about getting it in your mouth while showering. Be careful of fruits and vegetables, too. If they aren't cooked, don't eat them. Chances are they were washed in tap water, but cooking does kill the bacteria. Be careful, you don't want a nasty bout of traveler's diarrhea ruining an otherwise amazing trip.

 

China is an exciting place to visit. It's rich with culture and history unlike anything we experience in the U.S. However, it is an entirely different world, and can be very hard to adapt to if you aren't prepared. If you go in expecting everything to be new and different, you will enjoy yourself more than if you expect it to be comfortable and familiar. Get out there, see the sights, and enjoy yourself. Travel to China is a unique experience and if you are prepared you can enjoy it to its fullest extent.