Friday, September 10, 2010

Notes for friends who will travel!.....

Hello from China on our last full day.

A few notes for those who will travel after us.

1. Be prepared, but do not worry! All will go well if you follow directions, research and plan.

2. Don't stress about clothing. Laundry was perfect, cheap and easy. Take it early in the am and get it back the same day.(Not at a hotel, ask your guide!)

3. Take ONE pair of shoes and a pair of flip flops. I brought old flip flops wore them for a change, to the pool, around the hotel and I will now throw them out here in China. The other pair was a comfy pair of versatile shoes. (the kind that can be dressed up or down)

4. Take travel packs of Puffs and Waterless Hand Cleanser-you will be glad you are prepared. We shared our supplies at times with others. Squatty Potties are not a big deal (unless you are at the Great Wall) but check each stall, the last one may very be a Western Style Toilet.

5. Don't worry about adapters/converters. Ask the hotel. They have supplied us at no charge for what we needed. However, be prepared to pay daily (maybe 5 bucks) for internet. This was no big deal to us as it allowed us to write our blog, check email and SKYPE with the kids. We didn't spend much time online doing anything else, but the money was well worth it to us.

6. Ask your guide what things are special to your child's Province and buy those items. Skip out on all the other stuff! In Nanning, we bought South Sea Pearls and Love Balls. In Guangzhou, we bought lots of art to frame at home, silk clothing and a few other novelty type things. Save your shopping for Guangzhou-most things can be found here.

7. What We would do different next time?

One pair of shoes plus flip flops (we brought 2 pairs and flip flops) I think I would bring my own blowdryer, they had them in the rooms but they were such a pain!
I would have packed many more snacks from home. Although, you can find familiar snacks, they were often stale. If you adopt a cleft lip/palate baby, bring your own cleft bottles despite what they tell you!! (This was a big mistake on my part!!!!)

8. No matter what, bring LOTS of medicine. There were many families who were sick and did not have what they would have used at home with them. We have not used anything we brought, but we were so glad we had it.

9. Truly, we were perfectly fine with what we packed. We forgot to pack the right USB cord for our camera and had to rely on our iphones for our pictures which was not ideal, but it all worked fine.

10. I bought -after much research- a Baggallini bag and after three days in Beijing couldn't use it anymore as the zipper came out. Had I had saftey pins, that would have helped. (The bag is going back to the store when we get home, they can order me a new one!) Someone else had a new pair of shoes and the strap broke after a few days in Beijing. So be ready!

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