Essentials:

  • Passport (put extra copies of your passport in your luggage in case you lose it and/or one of your bags)
  • Driver’s license
  • Important health-related documents and medications
  • Health insurance card and phone # to call in case of emergency
  • Travel insurance policy and contact information of the insurance provider
  • Money (see separate information page about money)

Clothing:

  • Comfortable clothes and shoes to do a lot of walking around
  • Nicer clothes if you want to go out to bars/clubs at night
  • Shorts/dresses plus short-sleeve shirts in case weather is hot
  • Jacket in case of rain or if you're cold
  • Sunglasses and/or hat for sunny weather
  • Bathing suit (optional) if you want to use the hotel pool
  • Workout clothes (optional) if you want to use the hotel gym

General:

  • Toiletries
  • Book/e-book
  • Electronics (see separate information page about electronics)
  • Camera (plus charger, extra batteries, extra SIM cards)
  • Phone (plus charger) - check with your carrier about using the phone while abroad
    • Though not required, if you want to buy a SIM card in China to have a local Chinese cell phone # during your trip, make sure you've "unlocked" your phone before you leave your home country. Most people on the trip will simply use their phone for taking pictures and using internet in wi-fi areas, in which case you will not need to "unlock" your phone nor will you need a local Chinese SIM card. 

Optional

  • Mandarin Chinese phrase book (you will have an English/Chinese translator with you at all times so it's okay if you don't speak a word of Chinese)
  • Eyeglasses prescription if you want to buy eyeglasses
  • Medicine just in case – aspirin, anti-diarrhea, etc.
  • Pollution mask (if you are sensitive and if the pollution is bad)
  • Toilet paper (some places might not provide any)
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Tissues
  • Sunscreen
  • Cutlery (if you can’t use chopsticks)