1.) Take a converter for your electric items and a small extension cord. We bought Simran deluxe step down converter and plugged in the extension cord.
2.) Take gum, smarties, suckers, pez and other small non melting candy for your child
3.) Take DS, Gameboy, Portable DVD player, books-- bus rides are long and guides need your help to not have to talk over your child while giving information to your group.
4.) Take Johnson and Johnson dry bath wipes. They have soap in them and are great for cleaning sippy cups and other small things in the sink.
5.) Take bathing suit and small bath or pool toys. We had a least 3 opportunities to swim.
6.) If your child is too young for the group activity, you will probably have to go because of scheduling, just have the above mentioned distractions.
7.) Tell your child that it will be HOT in China, that helped, we had no trouble with whining about it. Some hotels rooms will be hot by American standards as well, you can survive!
8.) Read Kids like me in China by Ying Ying Fry. It helps with the orphanage visit. Be as honest and open with questions now, before you get to China.
9.) Read books and watch videos about the things that you will see in China such as Great Wall, Terra Cotta Warriors. It will help with the experience.
10.) Get new, clean US money from your bank. We did not have trouble on our adoption trip but we did last summer.
11.) Bring good tips for your guides in each city. They will be your contact at the hotels, on the buses and in the airports. They provide an awesome service to you and your family. I wish that we had more to give them.
12.) Remember that unlike your adoption trip you are going to the tourist places in China at vacation time. It can be crowded. You might be stared at and asked questions about your child. Prepare your child for this. We told Luke that it was because he was special and everybody would want to know about him. We had 2 photo opportunities with interested tourists. Both parties were just friendly and curious. Be prepared and be gracious, you are representing your country!!
13.) Do not put your laundry in any type of sack visible in your room. We did not have our Do not disturb sign out on the door. But the maid took our laundry sitting on our hotel bed in a Wal-mart sack with no laundry paper from the hotel. Then, they tried to charge us for doing our laundry. Be careful, we almost caused an international incident. Do take just the necessary clothes. We had 2 opportunities to have our laundry sent out. It is well worth it for clean clothes and not using your valuable time trying to do it in your bathtub or sink.
14.) Panda phone! We took 2 and it was expensive but we were able to contact our guide over the laundry incident and home. Your current cell phone that they tell will work in China, probably will not!
15.) Make sure that you keep your luggage ticket from your destination to Guangzhou. They check! Both times we have seen people without their luggage ticket have trouble exiting the baggage claim.
16.) Speaking of luggage don’t take more than each person or child can handle. Your carry-ons will be with you pretty much all the time.
Last word: If at all possible have your picture made with the Panda cub, that has been the most commented picture from our trip. People go to China everyday but not everybody has their picture made with a Panda. Parents must also have a ticket to into the place where the pictures are made. We did not. Another lovely person on our tour took Luke into the place. Since he was only 4/12, we were a little nervous but he loved it.