Weight and Size

You can take two check-ins and two carry-ons (one personal item + one bag.) Check-ins must weigh 50 lbs or less.

Make sure you leave space for souvenirs. Even if you don't plan on buying souvenirs, leave space for souvenirs. Your students will give you gifts or your school will give you gifts. Or you'll see that one thing your mother must have. Or something tacky and covered in shells will jump into your suitcase. No really.


Because this is international travel, the two check-ins will not require an extra fee on the way to China, but may require an extra fee once or twice on the way home when you switch from international back to domestic. Because of the possibility of a fee on the way home, don't forget to bring a debit card or credit card with enough money to pay the fee.

Luggage Identification

Make sure your luggage has an identification card with your home address. You can get one at the check-in counter if you don't have one.

Everyone in the world has black, blue, or army green luggage. Put something on your luggage to make it unique. Suggestions include brightly colored duck tape, ribbons, or stickers. It does not pay to have clean, elegant black luggage.


You may be delayed in the airport; pack at least one change of clothing (maybe two), some travel-sized toiletries, and a toothbrush in your carry-on.

Packing Lists

For clothing see What to Wear

Things You Don't Need to Pack

  1. Shampoo, conditioner, body wash (buy them here, unless you absolutely must have a particular kind)
  2. Sheets, towels, pillows
  3. Batteries
  4. Razors
  5. Shaving cream
  6. Toilet paper
  7. Detergent
  8. Loufas
  9. Toothpaste/toothbrush (although you might want to pack some for airport delays)

Things You Need to Pack

  1. Gifts for students (20-30 items for "Christmas.")
  2. a. Nothing made in China unless it's definitely patriotic looking

    b. Doesn't have to be expensive

    c. Suggestions

    American pins

    Postcards from your state or vacation place

    Something you've made

    Little American flags

    Something Christmasy

    Sports memorabilia

    Phase 10's or Uno's

  3. At least two card or board games. (You can leave these or take them home. We will use them for a board game night.)
  4. a. Uno

    b. Skip-o

    c. Phase 10 (very popular!)

    d. Life

    e. Spoons

    f. Sequence

  5. Deodorant!!! (Chinese don't use it, you can't buy it here, and you're going to want it.)
  6. A little extra money for:
  7. a. Taxis

    b. Bus rides

    c. Incidentals

    d. Refrigerated beverages (very popular)

    e. Snacks

    f. MacDonalds

    g. Chinese clothing (this is the biggest thing, not required, but traditional. Be prepared to spent 250-350 yuan [that's about $60])

Things You Might Want to Pack

  1. American Candy (For rewards for your students or whatever. They love American candy.)
  2. a. Suggestions

    Willy Wonka candy

    Hard candy

    b. Bring anything meltable at your own risk.

    c. Don't bring milk chocolate or peanut m&ms, skittles, Dove chocolate, or Hersheys. They can buy them here.

  3. Chocolate for Mr. and Mrs. Mills. Mr. Mills loves Butterfingers.
  4. a. Their birthdays are around the time you come over and it never hurts to bribe them.

  5. Small, casual instruments (they can be brought as one of your carry-ons)

    a. Guitar

    b. Ukulele

    c. Penny Whistle

  6. A laptop (for internet, etc.)
  7. A jump drive (for moving pictures about)
  8. A camera (you will want a camera!)
  9. CaT TRAETs
  10. a. ACK! GET OFF, YOU CAT!

    b. Er… no cat treats please… ow…

  11. Hand sanitizer