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What to Bring to Shanghai?

Pack light, but don't forget the essentials


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With 23 kilogram baggage limits as the norm on international flights, you’ll want to know what you need to pack.We can’t tell you whether to throw out that old sweater, but we can throw you a few tips on what will be useful when you get here.

Overcharged abroad? 

Bringing your own laptop will mean you can be sure the operating system is in your language of choice. If coming from a country that uses different plug sockets to China, pack an adaptor. You may also want to buy a voltage converter for any electrical appliances you bring. Read this article for a further explanation.

Off on the right foot

If your feet are above US size 11(for men) or US size 8 (for women), you might have trouble finding footwear.  Bring enough shoes with you to avoid trawling the shops like a forlorn relative of Bigfoot.

Prescription for success

Bring deodorants, toiletries and medical supplies. If you wear contact lenses or glasses bring a supply to last you a few months as well as a prescription. Read this article for information on the available eye-care in Shanghai.

If you take any prescription drugs bring a long term supply if possible. China has strict rules on importing foreign drugs, so you may not be able to find your usual brand here.

Your personal guide

Pack a guidebook for China. This will provide ideas on travel around the country, help with basic information, and save you when you need information and can’t get online. If you like to read more than just guidebooks, pack an e-reader to save on luggage weight and reading costs.

A little piece of home

If there’s a product you’reattached to, from Marmite to a particular brand of coffee, bring a jar or three to get you through your first few months. Can you find it in Shanghai? Probably, but perhaps not the brand you’re after. And as a rule, imported foods cost much more in Shanghai than they would back home. 


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