Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

Fodor's Travel Talk Forums (
-   Asia (
-   -   Please Help With Packing For 3 Week China Trip (

lynclarke Oct 4th, 2007 04:48 AM

iamles-We are planning a China trip next Sep. My husband and I usually pack a 22" suitcase and a backpack each for all our stuff. We have learned from European trips that it is best to be independantly mobile. BUT, we are definitely not fashion minded and if you work in the business then you have a different standard to maintain, especially if you are meeting with other people in the business. I love Chico's clothes and I have also picked up a couple of pieces of Mirasol. One of the Mirasol jackets is reversible and much warmer than it appears. Both companies make clothes which pack beautifully. We will probably pack only zip off/ convertible pants because we are only going to Beijing, Xian, and Yangshuo. It sounds like you have a good packing plan. Please come back to the boards after your trip and tell us how your clothing choices worked. I am wondering if we need to pack a fleece and a rain jacket to overnight near the Great Wall. Have a great trip.

Cicerone Oct 4th, 2007 05:34 AM

I don't know how you people do it. I have 7 books in one of my suitcases for the trip I am leaving for tomorrow. This is for a 2 week trip. Reading on planes and in the evening is one of my true pleasures, and more so on holiday when I can relax by a pool with a book, or while waiting in airports or on long train trips. And in some places it's hard to find good ones so I don't want to be left high and dry. (Airport bookstores can be a wasteland). OK, perhaps the 600 pages Pepys diary is not completely necessary for this trip, but I haven't read it since I was in my 20s and I saw it in a bookstore in Bangalore last week for US$3.50 and could not resist.

Then I have hiking boots and hiking pole, and then hiking clothes for going to various altitudes on various hikes. Scuba and snorkel gear, sneakers and workout stuff. That's a pretty typical vacation for me, and even for business trips I often bring some of it along just in case I get time at the end. No way could I get all that in a carry-on, nor would I want to. I really don't worry about what to wear to dinner so much. But I do need room for when I hit an Indian book store (last week: 12 books; prices are so good).

Nutella Oct 4th, 2007 05:39 AM

Shanghainese, I've been debating the down jacket as I know it will be overkill for half my trip. But I've been reading reports that Lijiang and Zhongdian are pretty cool this time of year, especially in the very early morning and after dark, when I'm likely to be out with my camera. But I do realize I'll be carrying it during the day. I suppose I can always buy something else cheap when I'm there. As for the turtlenecks, I'm afraid that those two are the only sweaters I own! They're very lightweight and silk blend knit, so I think they'll be okay. Oh, I think Jade Dragon Mountain is out, after seeing Anthony Bourdain's program where his brain nearly exploded from the altitude!

Les, yes, a FL GTG would be great!

Shanghainese Oct 4th, 2007 09:12 AM

iamles -- Yes, we have Chico stores in northern California and a City of Chico too. Btw, if you come to San Francisco, please post on the California board, there are GTGs whenever an out-of-town Fodorite visits and calls for one.

Nutella -- I didn't mean for you not to bring turtlenecks! Don't give up on JDM yet, you can rent waterbottle size oxygen canisters.

rkkwan Oct 4th, 2007 09:58 AM

There are different style of travel. No one is right and no one is wrong. Even for myself, on some trips I pack light, on others I pack more.

No need to criticize others how they travel. My 72-year old dad went to Germany in April with just a backpack. Would I do it? No. But it's his trip, his problem.

Anyways, the OP is only going to 6 places, and I don't think she's changing hotels everyday and need to carry everything she has everywhere she goes. And the places she's visiting has both good transportation as well as taxis/hired cars. So, she has lots of options - take more, take less, no big deal!

iamles Oct 4th, 2007 07:55 PM

rkkwan- what does OP stand for? I agree that everyone has different styles of travel. To each his own. I think that where you're going and what you'll be doing there also impacts what one might bring.

lynclarke- I googled Mirasol clothing and couldn't find any info.

Shanghainese- thanks for the invite. I love SF and it's been too long since I've been there

There are so many great things about this board. For me, one of the benefits is to be able to throw out a question, get different points of sometimes get confirmation and sometimes change my mind...

rkkwan Oct 4th, 2007 08:26 PM

OP = Original Poster (i.e. YOU), or Original Post (that post you wrote at the top).

janeos Oct 8th, 2007 02:52 PM

Of course you can take just a carry-on. My husband and I went to Australia and New Zealand for three weeks with a carry-on and tote each, and that included packing the hiking poles. OK, I wore the boots. I don't even own a larger suitcase. Layers is the answer. For plane; hi-performance black jacket with hood, weight depending on how cold it will be; black knit pants, long-sleeved knit shirt, cashmere v-neck. In suitcase: black jeans, black dress pants, short knit skirt black or navy; three T's, polyester sport fabric; three long-sleeved T's, same fabric; couple of cashmere sweaters, one of them black; two silk scarves; undies; nightie & robe; tights, socks (tights under pants if it's cold); toiletries & make-up; throw in a dressy top if there's room; and of course a couple of books.

janeos Oct 9th, 2007 06:04 AM

Forgot the shoes. Wear one pair Sesto Meucci walking shoes (very smart looking); pack another; plus one pair pretty ballet flats.

Nutella Oct 9th, 2007 06:56 AM

Time to be humble and eat my words... there's no possible way I can fit everything in my rollaboard! :( I did a packing test run over the weekend, and it looks like I'll be going with my medium sized suitcase. Not too many clothes, but add guidebooks, toiletries, doodads, tripod, etc, all combined they take up LOTS of room!

TC Oct 9th, 2007 08:57 AM

Regarding packing for cold (cooler) climates, I layer a black silk long sleeve tee (from the long underwear dept. of LL Bean)under a cotton tee + a very thin fleece (Fitness fleece zippered jacket - LL Bean)on top + my rain jacket if needed for wind or water. The three total take up hardly any room or weight and can be used together or separetly for any climate. I've found this to be the perfect travel combination.

As for "dressy", in warm climates I've found the best to be simple black capris (or skirt) + a black silky cami + fancy flip flops (from Target) and a pair of big glitzy earrings. If needed, I can add a lightweight silk shawl/scarf around my shoulders for a little more glamour and warmth without much packing weight or space.

Girlspytravel Oct 9th, 2007 12:02 PM

iamles-I'm not one of those who sees a benefit in packing light, and never have done it in decades of traveling around the world, as an independent traveler, and otherwise-I believe you're definitely making the right decision to check a suitcase-it's actually a lot less hassle than bringing a heavy carry-on and trying to find a space for it in the overhead, getting it on and off the plane, dragging it around an airport between gates, and or having to guard it while waiting in an airport, etc. I also like to have a variety of clothing when I travel-and I can't stand it if I don't have with me what I want. Last year, I spent 6 weeks on the road in Europe-and I had a 30" suitcase plus a smaller handbag tote, and I managed to get it on and off trains, buses, boats, ferries, vaporettos (Venice) cars, taxis, and airport baggage carrels without a problem-you'll get a lot more help in China with luggage than you will in Europe, that's a fact-and I'd rather be with, than without, on a trip.

And yes, black jeans with a dressy top will be just fine for nice restaurants-however, a pair of non-jean black pants could be packed as well.

lynclarke Oct 11th, 2007 04:16 AM

iamles- I buy Mirasol pieces at Macy's. I do not know if it is their brand or not. I found a black printed sleeveless blouse this week on clearance. YAY!! TC- I agree with your laying advice. I love Cuddleduds for a base layer in chilly areas. By the way, as a nurse, I pack a pretty extensive first aid kit and as a realistic, I pack a smoke detector! I have not found walking poles which will collapse to under 22" in my price range. (cheap) Any suggestions?

shangrila Oct 11th, 2007 11:05 AM

I realize that it is a little late for Les' trip to China... but some awesome products are available at they carry solid shampoo and cream rinse as well as body gel's.

Also powder toothpaste is available at most health food stores.

Shanghainese Oct 11th, 2007 11:38 AM

What type of knit pants (assuming elastic waistline) do you wear on the plane? Are they sweat pants, yoga pants? Please help.

TravelingGal Nov 6th, 2007 07:53 PM

The most comfortable traveling pants I have found are from the LLBean catalog..they come in black, are totally stretchy with elastic waist and the original ones have great deep pockets for an ID or some quick tip money. I use these pants for everything, including yoga, and new ones (not too washed out) could pass for dressy with a nice top. Also I use the silk LLBean top and bottoms underwear for extra warmth as needed.

I am enjoying this thread as I always pack too much and then promise myself I won't the next time. HaHa.

toobusytoday Nov 10th, 2007 08:30 PM

I've been reading this thread with interest and wondering what I'll be packing for our trip to China in April and then I got to the last post by Traveling Girl about LL Bean stretchy pants - I'm wearing them now! I like to wear them with a long sleeve tank and a fleece jacket for plane rides.

When my daughter left for China (she's there for a YEAR) she took a backpack, one 28" rolling suitcase and one 28" rolling duffle. She's pretty petite so I'm sure she will be buying things and then mailing things home next summer so she can get by with the same two bags on the return trip.

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 09:44 PM.