So you’re going to China, or other Asian country – what should you pack and what should you leave at home?
Big backpacks VS trolley bags
The best option in a backpack as is allows you to move freely. If you are in good shape and are used to travel with a backpack – then it’s settled
If you don’t have a backpack or kinda don’t see yourself traveling with one – you can take a trolley bag. But remember: it has to be not too big, up to 7-8 kg, since sometimes you’ll have to take the stairs (on most of subway and railway stations) carry it and walk on sand and other not very suitable surfaces.
The best idea is to divide you stuff between a bigger piece of luggage and a smaller one. Small one will almost always be on you and while the big one you can store in the bus/train luggage compartment and not have to worry about valuable and useful stuff.
1) In a bigger piece of luggage you’ll keep:
– most of your clothes
– shoes and sandals
– a shower-bag with shampoo, lotion, comb, dental floss, toothpaste and toothbrush
– a towel, which as we all know is one of the most important things in the intergalactic space
2) In a small backpack, 20-30 liters, you should have all the valuable and useful stuff you frequently use, such as:
– money and credit cards
– a phone
– all of the cables and chargers
– adapters (can be bought in Beijing or Shanghai)
– light-weight book or reader
– hand cream/sunscreen/repellent/lip balm
– tissues (toilet paper is usually absent in Chinese squats) and a small-pack of wet wipes
– earplugs (sometimes guesthouses and trains can get noisy)
– basic medicine: painkillers, plasters, something for the stomach and anything specific you might need. all the rest can be bought here
– tampons for women, shaving blades for men, deodorants. It can be a problem to buy these things outside Beijing.
– en extra shirt or a shawl
– umbrella or a compact rain coat
– small head flashlight – can be useful, but not necessary
– some healthy snacks like nuts, bars, dried fruit or you favorite chocolate
– tea/ coffee and a small thermos cup (bring or buy on the spot) as China is a tea (and instant noodles) empire – hot water is available everywhere and you’ll be able to enjoy your cuppa anytime you like
The list for the small bag is much longer, but the things are small and light, so don’t worry.
3) Casual every day shoulder bag or pouch
It is completely unnecessary to look like a hardcore backpacker in trekking boots with a backpack, pith helmet, binoculars and a scoop-net 24/7 .
Surely you will spend some of your time in big and small cities, where you can leave all you stuff in the room, wear jeans and walk around with you fav shoulder bag.
Most of the valuables you can safely lock in your room of in a special locker in your hostel, you won’t need more then a bag with passport, money, camera keys and a map.
Things you don’t need to bring with you:
– Bag full of drugs, bandages and a stretcher
– Giant red suitcase
– Huge economy packs of shampoo and soap. In China you can buy small bottles of everything, including the toothpaste. You can buy a new one when you’ll finish the old one, no need to carry extra weight.
How much for how long?
* If you plan to travel for a month or more in various weather conditions – each person will probably need a 60-70 liter +20-30 liter.
* If you’re a couple and the weather is not too cold – you can share the 70 liter for clothes + take each one a small 20-30 liter bag
* If you’re one, it’s summer (or spring or autumn) and you plan to visit 1-2 weeks – it’s possible to manage with a 30-40 liter backpack + a small everyday bag or pouch. I promise you’ll feel light and warm 8)