My good friend Jami has the opportunity to go to China for a month to teach at a university. She will be leaving in less than 2 weeks. She is so excited and I don’t blame her! I asked her to share some of her tips and tricks she plans on using for her big trip, not only about China but international travel in general.
So I have never travelled abroad. I have been to Mexico, Canada, and some Caribbean islands on some cruises but I have been told those do not count. Traveling to China is one of the craziest but exciting experiences that I am looking forward to. Having never traveled abroad, or anywhere for more than a week, there are so many things that I haven’t thought of and people keep telling me to prepare for!
Here are the 10 things that I really had no idea what to do or how to pack!
1. We got our Visas done through a company called Visibility out of Salt Lake City. They were so great to work with! They gave us a specific checklist of everything we needed to submit and processed all the paperwork for us. There were a few things wrong on 1 of the applications so they simply called us to get the correct information. There was no sending it back and forth or waiting for information to get denied before we had to fix it. The process was so simple and I thank Visibility for that!
2. We are all worried about how much money to bring over with us and nervous about carrying around so much cash. We then found out that our American Debit Cards will work in Chinese ATMs! This make withdrawing simple and doesn’t charge the huge exchange rates. We also were told to only carry enough money on us each day that we are willing to loose in case it gets stolen.
3. Something I thought about last minute is outlet adapters! We found an awesome deal on Amazon to get 4 adapters…but you can plug 2 devices into it! Also, any American plug that only has 2 prongs that are the same size (like an iPhone charger) will fit into their outlets!
4. Apparently there are no dryers in China for us to do laundry with and their washing machines aren’t the greatest and tend to ruin some clothes so we plan on washing everything by hand in our sink! Problem is, the humidity is supposed to be really high so it’s going to take 15 hours for anything to dry. They have these cool drying closets that you can purchase that will bring drying time down to only 8 hours! We plan on buying one…no matter the price.
5. Make copies of your passport! I was told to lock my actual passport up in my room and keep a copy of it in my suitcase and a copy with me. You never know when you will get pick pocketed and that is something you do not want to lose!
6. Bring any medications with you that you think you may need. Allergy pills, pain killers, cold medicine, anything! You wont have access to the same time of medicine that we have in America so if you get sick, being prepared will help.
7. Don’t ever drink the water. Be careful to not get any water in your mouth while showering and even brush your teeth with bottled water
8. Bring your own toilet paper and hand sanitizer for public restrooms. To limit waste used in the area, these types of things wont be provided for you!
9. Pack towels for shower! Many of the towels provided over there are smaller than we are used to so if you are a 2 towel must have shower person, bring your own!
10. Embrace everything about it! I am a very picky eater but I plan on setting that aside and diving head first into the culture, specifically food. This may be my one and only time to ever go there, so I plan to make everything count!
Have fun Jami! We will miss you:)