Arriving in China you’ll quickly realise this is an entirely different world the what you may be familiar. Even compared to its nearby neighbours, China is unique, and when considering the things to take to China, you need a completely new list!

When packing for my trip to China I of course included everything in my Seven Essentials for Solo Travelers list, but after just a few days I realised there some specific things to take to China you should not forget.

#1 Flip-flops

Few people in China walk around barefoot. Carpets aren’t really a thing and with the outside in many it Cities being so filthy, the floors inside aren’t cleaned as much – instead, shoes are worn.

In all hotels, you will find a pair of flip flops in the room, but if like me you’re a touch funny about feet, take your own. [eafl id=”1674″ name=”Flip flops amazon” text=”Search for Flip Flops here >”]

#2 Pocket Sized Tissues

Tissues make it to most of my lists I am sure, however, in China, toilet roll in bathrooms isn’t always common. I remember using the toilet in a really fancy mall with Burberry and Pravda stores. You didn’t wild your hands on tissue, no no, instead posh individual mini towels – you get the picture. Despite all this, no toilet roll in the cubicles.

If you’re trekking out each day I’d recommend tiny pocket-sized options like these, you can buy them over there as well of course.
Search for Tissues here >

#3 Lip Balm

If travelling in winter one of your essentials things to take to China will be lip balm. Especially in the north and Beijing, the air is very dry and you’ll find yourself with really broken lips.
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Jack Wolfskin Northern star

#4 A multi-weather coat. Not too big and not too small

For China, you need something that can be warm, cool, wind-proof, water-proof and light. Getting in and off the metros it’s easy to get hot and stuffy, and in the winter you don’t want to be getting sweaty and then going out into the cold. There are lots of great brands out there but I personally have the Jack Wolfskin Northern Star. Upon arriving in China my friend laughed, thinking it was nothing more than a fashionable jacket! But with two layers underneath and a scarf, this thin Jacket is as good as any other big heat maker. [eafl id=”1673″ name=”Jack Wolfskin Coat” text=”Jack Wolfskin Northern Star >”]

#5 At least one Visa card

Stupidly arriving in Shanghai I thought that my Visa and American Express cards would work in most places. This was naive and stupid! Due to using a totally different system of payment, my cards worked no-where, apart from Starbucks… don’t ask how I know that! As a result, I ended withdrawing cash, with my bank charging me 2.99% each time.

My advice would be to get a Visa card that you either preload or one that comes with no fees. This will save you quite a bit of money. Take a second card with you as well, though, just in case you come across a machine that eats your card. CC cards and AMEX are always good backups of course and can usually be used in the duty-free at the airport.

#6 3M Mask

Often people are unsure as to the whole mask situation. It’s common knowledge that the likes of Beijing and Shanghai are smoggy, but in the short term what’s the damages, and how smoggy is smoggy.

For Beijing and Shanghai, I would take a 3M Mask, easily bought on Amazon. Then, download an APP called PM2.5. This will tell you the PM rating in the locations you are traveling, giving you advice on the level of health impact and you can make your own choice as to whether or not to wear your mask. Search for masks here >