We are embarking on another trip to China this week, making it a total of ten trips between the two of us for 2012, so we thought we would share some tips on why Hazz Design does more than survive a trip to Asia. Business and pleasure travel are full of pitfalls nowadays, both domestic and international, but after so many Asia trips, being prepared and being flexible do not have to be contradictory or cause for panic attacks. Here are some of our tips on packing just the right items to prepare for the unknown.

Packing Right

Because we travel so much, we have duplicate sets of all of all our toiletries so we can pack quickly and be sure not to forget anything. There is nothing worse than getting over to China and realizing you forgot contact solution or toothpaste. The entire toilet kit goes into a waterproof pocket in the suitcase or gets wrapped in a plastic bag because there is a very good chance for leakage during the high altitude flight. We also always keep a separate reusable FAA-approved bag filled with additional regulation sized liquids of the essentials, convenient for use on the plane and a back-up for lost bags or those leaks.

Tom & Tracy’s China Essentials Pack List:

  • Ample Layers of Clothes – the flight is always very, very cold or way too hot, same with the factories
  • Neck Pillow – there will be many long hours in the car where it will come in handy even if you get upgraded on the plane and get a full size pillow
  • Hand Sanitizer Wipes – this way you don’t carry extra liquids and can wipe down the airline seat around you – think “Contagion” before you fly and you will never leave home without these
  • Closed-Toe Comfortable Shoes – factories are big and dirty
  • Bags of Nuts – not just for the plane, but for a bit of protein when your body clock is still off and you get hungry at 5am
  • Toilet Paper or Tissue – this is a whole bigger issue about bathroom protocol, but very often tissue is communally located outside the stall and you will forget or the tissue available will be like rough hard paper
  • Tampons – obviously this one is from Tracy, so cue the collective male groan… but women you do not want to buy the ones in China (theirs has some chemical that feels like menthol)
  • In-Flight Power Adapter – ours is a Kensington Auto/Air Power Inverter – worth every penny of the $70 when you need to keep working or entertaining yourself on the long flight
  • Airport Express¬† – there are many hotels that don’t have WiFi so plugging the Ethernet cable into the Apple Airport keeps you from being tied to the desk when you want to work in bed – works for both Mac & PC

Other Quick Tips:

Packing your undergarments on the top helps deter theft and lengthy manual security checks. This works better for women and you can also put those tampons on top too for good measure.

Many China airports will reexamine your carry-on bag if you have a pair of tweezers, so even though tweezers are allowed leaving the US, it might slow down your security check or be confiscated on your return.

Rules regarding liquids, batteries and mobile device use are different on flights within China. Unless you absolutely must have it on the plane, pack it in your checked bag. Overhead bins are very small, but are usually very empty. The Chinese prefer to keep their belongings very close instead – which is why you need to choose an aisle seat. Also, their seats are even closer together, so a bulkhead is a must-have.

During every trip to China, we both look forward to the chance to accomplish design and development tasks that can only be done in person, build strong personal relationships with our factory clients and partners and enjoy some really great food. Being prepared helps us be more productive and enjoy the trip.

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