Avoiding the “Uh-Oh’s” of International Travel: Packing Must-Have Items

My husband  and I are preparing to travel to China with 22 college students for the month of May. Though immensely looking forward to the trip, I always get a little worried about finding myself without an American necessity while travelling overseas. Since I spent two years as a professor of Oral English in Dalian, China, I have a very good understanding about what can be bought in China, what should be brought from home, and what isn’t really necessary.

In a recent prep meeting with the team (20 of which are females), I created a list of packing essentials. In lieu of a regular “subject matter” blog, I imagined that it could be helpful to my readers as they anticipate summer travel adventures in far-off places. Always remember to check weight limits before you travel; I was once burned in Tokyo because I didn’t check the weight limits. Not cool.

I’ve listed several “elements” of packing including an emergency kit (kept in your backpack, carry-on, or purse at all times), checked baggage, carry-on bags, and possible items to include. Hope this helps!

Emergency Kit Essentials

Energy Bar
Powdered Drink Mix
Starbucks VIA
Band Aids/First Aid kit
Travel Pepto Bismal
Vitamins (C, multi)
Asprin/Advil/etc
Blister relief
Extra supply of ANY/ALL medications
Favorite Candy
Roll of Travel TP
Mouthwash
Hand Sanitizer
Chapstick
Sunscreen
Wet Wipes
Shout Wipes
Sewing Kit
Deodorant
Girl Stuff
Perfume Counter Sample
Tissues

Positively Prepared Packing

 Girl Monthly Stuff
Girl Monthly Stuff medicines/heat pads
Personal Journal (unlined)
Shampoo/Conditioner
Gel/Mouse/etc
Deodorant x2
Body Spray
Hand Lotion (Scented)
Make Up
Shower Gel
Toothpaste
Neosporin
Razor + replacement blade/cream
ACE bandage
Alarm Clock
Chargers (ereader/laptop/etc)
Adapter
Extra batteries
USB drive for extra photo storage
Magazines/Book (1/2)
Ziploc bags (quart and sandwich size)
Bug Spray
Safety Pins
(Think about necessity of hair dryer/straightener)

S.O.S Snacks (Save Our Sanity)

EasyMac
Granola Bars
Energy Bars
Favorite Cereal
Microwave oatmeal
Powdered drink mix/coffee
Pre-packaged, microwaveable goodies
Rice Krispie Treats
Candy Bars
Gum (and lots of it!)
Peanut Butter snack packs
Dried Fruit
Nuts
Crackers
Sugary Snack Cakes

Necessary Adornments (based on 3 weeks)

 6-10 shirts (t-shirts, casual, business, short and long sleeved)
At least 2 pairs of flats
Tennis shoes
Dress shoes
Jacket – outer or business
Sweatshirt
3 pairs jeans/casual pants (one you wear, one clean, one in the wash)
Dressy pants (black, navy, khaki, no white)
1/2 skirts
One formal
Lots of socks
Double amount of undergarments
Winter hat/beanie
Gloves
PJs (no more than 2 – tshirts can double)
Backpack

Survival by Carry-on

Medications (do not check them!)
Epi-pen or other emergency medical items
License, Passport, Tickets
Emergency Contact Card
Travel Pillow
Advil/Asprin
Pepto Bismal/Tums (travel sized)
Granola/Candy Bar
Deodorant
Chapstick
Extra shirt
Earplugs
Sleep mask
Shout wipes
Girl stuff
Gum
Suitcase keys
Ipod/ereader/paperback book
Soduku/Games
Pen/Paper
Remember: you’ll have a personal tv

In one-quart Ziploc bag:

Hand cream
Moisturizer
Toothbrush/Toothpaste
Mouthwash
Water Spritz bottle
Contact lens solution/Eyedrops
Anti-bacterial gel (travel sized favorite scent)

Optional:

Extra undergarments
Easy flats
Socks
Extra pair of contacts
Sleeping pills
Collapsible travel cup

Seriously? That’s a No-No.

 Sentimental Jewelry
Family/Personal Treasures
Extra credit cards
Wallet ID Stuff
Perishable food
Your Entire Library
Liquids over 3 oz.
Large Quantities of Cash
Shorts/Minis

Possible Maybes

Day pack/messenger bag/purse
Guidebooks (Lonely Planet)
Laptop
Towel
Umbrella
Something to swim in
English-Chinese phrasebook
Money belt (worn close to skin)

Make Up Miracles

Only take what you will use!
Foundation
Powder
Mascara
Eye liner
Blush
Compact of eyeshadow colors
Lipstick
Makeup remover sheets


Happy Summer Travels!

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One thought on “Avoiding the “Uh-Oh’s” of International Travel: Packing Must-Have Items

  1. Be aware: Don’t always plan on a personal tv. My flight to China was on an older Air China aircraft and was devoid of the personal television. Other than that, great list (of course 🙂 ) But you did forget one essential: Bring at least one bag of your favorite coffee!

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