Saturday, October 25, 2008

Packing sucks

I'm headed to China a week from tomorrow and am having the hardest time figuring out what to bring. Beijing is supposed to be in the 50s during the day, which means I can get away w/ t-shirts and a fleece, right? Hong Kong, on the other hand, will be in the 70s. One of these days I'll pick a place that doesn't require 2 different climates.

I'm hoping to get away w/ only 3 pairs of pants and just wash them in the sink. See, the problem is we are limited to one checked bag, weighing no more than 44lbs (w/ a charge of $5/per pound over the limit) when flying domestically in China. That's fine except that roller bags weigh anywhere from 8-12 pounds without anything in them! How frustrating. So, I went out on my birthday and bought myself a duffel bag that is just small enough to qualify as a carry-on if I wanted to. Not bad. Now, it's just a matter of figuring how little I can bring that will fit in it.

Oh, and then there's the whole issue of wanting to buy stuff to bring back w/ me. It doesn't help that Beijing is our first stop. Beijing has the Pearl Market where you can buy freshwater pearls and have them stranded right there in front of you for $15-20 or you can even buy cultured pearls for a couple hundred dollars. I already have friends putting in requests for me to pick up necklaces for them. I have a feeling there's only so many pearl necklaces I can wear through customs before folks get suspicious. ;-) Then there also the Silk Market in Beijing. You can buy tons of clothes and knock-offs there. I'm not a huge fan of silk b/c it it doesn't breathe, but I would like to pick some stuff up as gifts.

And that's just the shopping in Beijing! I still have to fly to Xian, and then to Shanghai, and finally back to Hong Kong. All with a limit of 44lbs in my one checked bag!

Needless to say, I'm at a loss. Plus, I'm never good at packing. I either over pack or forget something important. So, today I am doing a dry-run of what I need and attempting to pack it all up in my duffel.

So, here's what I'm thinking:

  • 3 pairs of pants - 1 somewhat nice, 2 for trekking around or wearing on casual nights
  • 4 t-shirts
  • 1 fleece
  • 1 long-sleeve black shirt
  • 1 black knit swing jacket
  • 2 sleeveless tops/1 nice short sleeve - worn underneath swing jacket or on their own in Hong Kong for nights out
  • Undies - toying w/ bringing enough for every day and just throwing them out or bringing less and washing them in the sink (thoughts?)
  • Bras - these are easy to hand wash
  • Socks - these will be a pain to wash. I'm thinking 4 pairs for my sneakers or hiking shoes and then a few pairs for my merrells.
  • 3-in-1 jacket
  • 1 pair mary-jane merrells
  • 1 pair sneakers or hiking shoes
  • 1-2 wraps/pashminas
  • cotton hoodie?

What am I missing? When I pack it up, it doesn't seem like much. Since I get warm easily, I figure I'll use the t-shirts as base layers and then either just wear the fleece from the 3-in-1 or another fleece. If it's cold, I'll then have the outer part of the 3-in-1 to keep me warm.

Then there's all of the toiletries and other crap I need to pack. Looks like Cathay Pacific has a bunch of movies I can pick from so I think I'll leave my DVD at home. I'm also going to download some books on tape to my iPod. I'm also holding off on listening to some of my podcasts until the trip. The only books I'm bringing are my books on China.

Last thing to figure out is what (and how many) knitting projects to bring w/ me. I'll be at the airport 3 hours early on Sunday. Then, a 15 hour flight (8 hours of which I'll be asleep, I hope, with the help of ambien), followed by a 2-hour layover and another 3+ hour flight. And that's just the first day. Needless to say, I'll have time to knit. I'm thinking of bringing this (ravelry link) which is what I've been planning to make my sister. I might also bring some sock yarn and work on a pair of socks b/c it's so portable.

So much to think about. God do I hate packing.


Lisa said...

I employed the bring and toss method in Guatamala with undies and tshirts...very successful!

Mariss said...

Bring enough undies if you can, you'll probably feel better that day if at least your lady parts are good! Ha ha ha :)

If you bring 1 pashmina, you an bring the knitted thing for your sis.

Do you have any of the quick dry socks? If you wash day 1 socks, you can at least have 1-2 days to dry if needed. But bring what you can with the socks, or do what Lisa suggested, and throw out a couple of old socks if you need to.

They have the pearl neclaces in the Philippines too. Tell your friends to suck it up, they're too heavy! Actually, you can fit a bunch into a small bag/box and they're really small presents.

Can you ship some things back on your last day in Beijing?

Either way, it's going to be fine! I agree, no books besides the travel one. And socks are a good idea, they take awhile.