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What to Pack for a Trip to China

If you're reading this and you enjoy packing for a long trip, raise your hand.

Did you raise your hand? Very doubtful. Nobody likes it; it's stressful.

For your first trip to China, China Highlights has got you covered. From passports and visas, to itineraries and toiletries, follow this guide for a more enjoyable packing and planning experience.

Essential Items

Ensure you have all your passport and visas, as well as all other documents readily accessible. We would also recommend making copies of these in case the originals are lost.

Store your wallet and credit cards safely. If you opt to bring cash, don't put it all in one place. Spread it around your luggage to keep it more secure.

Brush up on Chinese currency and ATMs in China before you go too.

Itinerary Information

What to pack

Note the names, addresses, phone numbers, and confirmation numbers of the places you'll be staying throughout your trip. Keep this information on a single sheet of paper, rather than bringing your whole address book. This will save weight in your bags.

Keep your airline, train, and cruise ticket information in a secure location as well. E-tickets do not need to be printed out, so if you prefer this option, be ready to show your phone for confirmation.


It's always a good idea to check the climate of your destination before deciding what type of clothing to bring. Generally, pack lightweight clothing for the summer months, warm clothing for the winter months, and layers for the fall and spring months.

Having a comfortable, durable pair of walking shoes is always recommended, regardless of the time of year. A trip to China often involves a lot of walking, often on hard, uneven surfaces and stairs.

Many attractions are quite exposed to the weather, so be sure to pack waterproof clothing for the rainy seasons and sunscreen, sunglasses, and hats for the sunny seasons.

Toiletries and Medications

Bring any medications you take regularly and be sure you have enough supply to last the length of your stay.

We would also recommend bringing medications for common ailments, such as pain, allergies, indigestion, and diarrhoea. These are often difficult to find in China.

Insect repellent is important to bring along, particularly during the summer months and for travelers who are visiting more rural areas.


Laptop and Mobile Phone

Aside from your smartphone and digital camera, pack adapter plugs. China's electrical system operates at 220 volts, so converters are necessary. Some Google technology won't work in China AT ALL without a VPN.

Don't leave your chargers at home either!

Other Tips

Check your airline's regulations for carry-on and checked baggage. Read more information on China airlines baggage allowance.

Familiarize yourself with China's customs regulations to avoid any hassle at the airport.

Purchase travel insurance to ensure a safe and secure experience.

Leave room in your bags for gifts and souvenirs. You'll want to return home with something unique. For more on this see Shopping in China, and China Post — How to Mail Big Buys Home.

For more packing recommendations, check out our guides for seniors, women, and kids.

First Trip to China?

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