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Duffle Bag

Don't Go Anywhere In China Without These Life-saving Items

By David Wang - OKDeal Travel Editor

Travel in China can be fun, energizing, and exciting or upsetting, frustrating, and exhausting
Air pollution? Food poisoning? 
Screaming baby two rows behind you? Hotel room with dirty sheets? 
There are plenty of products out there that will solve most of these travel problems with a minimal investment. 
Check out our list and find something that just might eliminate your travel pet peeves.
And you could easily find them on Taobao!

Travel Tips

1. Anti Pollution Mask


China has a serious pollution problem, especially in winter. You’ll see a lot of local people wearing masks as they go about their everyday lives on the street, so don’t worry about looking like a tourist while wearing one – it’s a good idea to protect yourself when in areas with dense pollution.


2Hand Sanitizer


For years I’ve underestimated the effect of hand sanitization. Some even say most food poisoning cases are caused by dirty hands rather than the food itself, which makes me feel a bit uneasy!

The truth is keeping your hands germ-free with a product like this regularly is a great idea. You may not realize, but you’re touching all kinds of stuff when you’re traveling. This is the first layer of protection you have for viruses and bacteria causing all kinds of diseases.


3. Travel Sheets


For a bit of extra comfort and safety, take along your own travel sheets. The washable fabric adds warmth and softness, whether used as an extra layer in hotel bed or as a sleeping bag liner. There’s a pocket to cover your pillow, and they pack down to a pouch that's not much larger than an iPhone.

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4. Activated Charcoal


 I can’t speak highly enough about these activated charcoal capsules. 

Traveler’s diarrhea is an unfortunate truth that can happen while exploring new places like China, and in any situation where you’re going to be trying new foods and traveling to unfamiliar territory, it’s a great idea to have these with you. 

The charcoal absorbs irritants and toxins that may be causing upset, and helps your system “reset” so that you can get back to feeling normal and travel-ready.


5. Mosquito Repellent Wristbands


Malaria and Dengue Fever affect many parts of China and so it’s best to be prepared to fend off mosquitoes. These wristbands are remarkably effective and are deet-free. I also recommend bringing mosquito repelling spray to be sure to prevent getting bitten.


6. Immunity Boosting Kit

免疫力软糖 / 紫雏菊白毛茛胶囊 /  消化益生菌

A big part of staying healthy while traveling in China is by maintaining excellent immunity. Below are some of the key items I bring to keep my going strong naturally.

Elderberry Gummies – These tasty little gummies deliver a powerful punch of elderberry extract (vitamin C and Zinc) which are known to boost your body’s immunity.

Probiotics – One of the best ways to boost immunity is to improve your gut health. Probiotics are a proven way to replenish the “good bacteria” which helps fight off the bad bacteria thereby making you less susceptible to travelers diarrhea.

Echinacea Goldenseal Pills – These pills are perfect for combating sinus infections, mild colds and flu symptoms which can be common for tourists to experience upon landing in China


7. Various Wipes


Being on your own, you want to avoid getting sick at all costs, so I go crazy with wipes to ensure minimal contact with germs. 

Before every trip, I stock up on every form of wipes: anti-bacterial wipes for my hands and disinfecting wipes for my plane and train seats and the hotel room.


Things to keep you warm and comfortable

8. Travel Pillow


Conventional, U-shaped travel pillows work for some people, but if you can’t see the appeal, I recommend trying out the Trtl pillow— essentially a fleece scarf with a support system built in — or the Infinity pillow, which applies the infinity scarf concept to your comforter for grade-A cozy results.

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9. Steam Eyes Mask


The Hot Eyes Steam eyes mask helps to soothingly relax tired eyes due to long travel  and reduce the look of puffy eyes and dark circles around the eyes in just 10min. An absolute must-have travel item.


10. Scarf

muji 围巾/披风

Whether to keep warm, dress up an outfit, cover your head, or use as an extra blanket, a large scarf can serve any number of purposes. I’ve even used them to pad a fragile souvenir, and I’ve seen a fellow traveler metamorphose one into a draped outfit.


11. Foldable Down Jacket

Uniqlo 便携羽绒服

Another dual-purpose essential? A packable warm jacket like Uniqlo’s Ultra Light Down Jacket which is so compact it can lay flat like an almost paper-thin layer in your suitcase. Or roll it into its pouch and it suddenly doubles as a travel pillow.

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12. Compression Socks


Colorful and comfortable, these socks provide support and make legs feel less tired after too much sitting or standing. Compression socks improve circulation and may decrease the risk of blood clots. Plus, they keep your feet warm!


13. Mini Tens Pad for Body Pain Relief


If you're prone to persistant pain but don't want to let it stop you exploring nature, this clever mini TENS pad from Beurer is perfect for you. 

It adheres to your skin and delivers 20 minutes of TENS pain relief, and if thin and discreet enough to wear underneath your clothes without anybody knowing. It has 15 levels of intensity so you can achieve the stimulation level that is right for you, and the replaceable battery lasts for up to 20 sessions. 

It is so much easier to travel with than a bulky TENS machine and there's no need to worry about attaching electrodes to your skin; simply adhere the pad, turn it on and experience immediate relief.


14. Waterproof Shoe Cover


With these shoe protectors, rain, mud and snow are no problem.


15. Emergency Blanket


You can’t go wrong with an aluminized polyester blanket. It fits flatly into a corner of your bag and opens into a gigantic cover-up, perfect for chillier than expected nights under the stars, like I experienced out in northern Africa’s desert. It can also double as a ground cover for sticky situations.


16. Microfiber Towel


Plenty of the accommodation places I’ve stayed in don’t provide bathing towels. Specially in China. When they did, they charged for them as a first-necessity item they are.

A simple microfiber towel like this one does the job, does not occupy much volume and dries super quickly. Plus, it can double as a little blanket!


17. Disposable Underwear


Wear & discard! Perfect for traveling.


18. Lumbar Pillow


Perfect for cars, planes, or anywhere, this lower back pillow helps maintain healthy posture and reduces the strain of sitting for long periods. It’s lightweight and easily packable.


Things that bring convenience to a whole new level

19. Dry Sack


Even though I bought my Dry Sack for my camera and phone when I found out it would be raining during my hike, I’ve now taken it along on almost every trip. If anything, it serves as an extra pouch, where I know all my electronic and chargers will remain organized and dry.


20. Collapsible Water Bottle


One of the ultimate travel essentials, this clever, leak-proof “water bottle” rolls up into a compact package about the size of your fist when you’re done drinking. It comes in 11 fun colors and is virtually indestructible, also known as a traveler’s best hydrating friend.


21. Noise-cancelling Headphones


One way to make traveling en masse more bearable? Block out the noise. With our top over-ear pick, Bose’s QuietComfort headphones, or our in-ear favorites, TaoTronics’ active noise-canceling earbuds, you’ll never even know about the toddler crying in 15B.


22. Laser Lite Ear Plugs


Continuing on the theme of blocking out unwanted sound, I wouldn’t travel without a good set of ear plugs. When I have the opportunity to order my favourites, I always choose Laser Lite Foam Ear Plugs.

They’re soft, comfortable and block out the most sound possible without hurting your ears. You can pick up a pack of 200 of them for just over $20 and they’re worth every penny. To get the most out of them, you’ll have to pinch them down and insert them into your ear, and then let them expand deep within the canal.


23. One Drop Deodorizer


One-Drop is the easy way to get rid of potentially embarrassing toilet odors. At home or when travelling, a single drop in the bowl before using the toilet delivers a pleasant, fresh fragrance and helps reduce unpleasant smells.


24. Crease Release


This travel size spray makes life easier while away from home. Toss one or more in your toiletry bag.

In a world of over-packed schedules (and suitcases!), ironing isn’t always an option. This quick fix easily removes moderate wrinkles from clothing and fabrics—both in the home and on the go.


25. Eagle Creek Lightweight Travel Umbrella


Into every life, a little rain must fall. That sometimes goes for vacations too, so be ready for rain or sunshine with this compact umbrella. At just seven ounces, it’s convenient to carry, and it comes with a matching pouch.


26. Luggage Tracker


I have to be honest, I promised myslf I’d pick up one of these things after Turkish Airlines lost my luggage back in 2016. I “forgot” to buy one and in December of 2017 Alaskan Airlines misplaced my luggage.

On both occasions, I was able to get my luggage back in a week, but it’s that horrible feeling you have that you’ll never see your backpack again. If I had a luggage tracker in my bags, I would have known exactly what airport they were at and I could’ve even told the airline so that they could retrieve it faster.

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27. Virtual Private Network (VPN)

China’s firewall and Internet monitoring/censorship is legendary. If you don’t have your own private network you will not be able to access your favorite websites while you’re traveling. 

I recommend NordVPN or ExpressVPN to solve this problem. Do keep in mind that even with a VPN, the Internet is still monitored and you’ll want to avoid raising any red flags with your browsing habits.

Another reason to get a good VPN is because it protects you with 1 click from losing your passwords, credit cards and identity. Hackers are known to target tourists on unsecured WiFi networks.


28. Female Urination Device


I know, this one may sound a little strange, but the most common kinds of toilets in China is a “squat toilet”. You will have access to some western-style toilets in larger cities, but you’ll find that squat toilets are still extremely common, and a little challenging to use until you get used to them. 

Female urination devices like this one make your job a little easier, especially if you have a hard time squatting for any length of time.


29. Travel Toilet Paper


Speaking of toiletries and squat toilets, you may want to think about bringing along some of your own toilet paper. Chinese toilets, especially in rural areas, are often quite ill equiped (which may include no toilet paper), so it’s better to plan ahead than to be caught in an uncomfortable situation.


30. Packing Cubes


Packing cubes are an overwhelmed traveler’s best friend. They help with outfit organization, folding, and fitting everything in your suitcase. Plus, once at your accommodations, all you have to do is unzip the packing cubes and neatly place their contents in the dresser.

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