Packing Antics: My Attempt at Minimalism

上海 Blog #3

Sunday May 24th, 2015

Local Time: 0:22am CDT

Heather’s suggested packing list for Shanghai….

I am making a real effort to be a minimalist here. This is my adaptation of my program’s (CIEE’s) suggested packing list. I added or subtracted where I saw fit and I am planning on departing with nothing further than the following list. Now that I’ve finally finished packing exactly 29 hours and 40 minutes before I’m scheduled to be on the bus to O’Hare, my suitcase is only about 2/3rds full. Perfect. Plenty of room for souvenirs, especially since I packed an extra back pack in my suitcase which can be checked chock-full of souvenirs on the way back (I hope this doesn’t encourage overspending, but better safe than sorry)! In addition to my suitcase and extra backpack which can be checked with the airline, I’m bringing a backpack full of textbooks, a purse and a laptop bag as my carry on-s. So close to leaving… it’s starting to become more real.

Important Documents

  • Airline ticket (to be received at airport)
  • CIEE Student Handbook (Saved to Desktop of PC laptop)
  • Debit Card
  • Print out of Insurance Card and Claim form
  • Paper copy of home Institution Advisor’s address, e-mail and phone number
  • Passport/Photocopy of passport and visa
  • USD Cash (Just in case)
  • Chinese Religion Course Packet (to be received at airport from professor)
  • Pocket New Testament


  • Tops (2)
  • Tank Top (2)
  • Fancy outfit (blouse, dress pants, black dress shoes)
  • Black Yoga Pants (1)
  • Dresses (1)
  • Shorts (4 pairs)
  • T-shirts (4)
  • Underwear (10)
  • Other undergarments (3)
  • Socks (5 pairs)
  • Pajamas
  • Sweatshirt
  • Jacket
  • Walking shoes
  • hiking boots
  • sandals
  • FlipFlops


  • Guidebook
  • Sunglasses
  • Wallet
  • Purse with button and full zipper (minimizes pick-pocket risk)
  • Sun Screen
  • Doterra Oils (Clary Calm, Digestzen, TerraShield, Lavender, TriEase, OnGaurd, Frankincense, Oregano, Peppermint, Melaluca, veggie caps, Deep Blue)
  • Feminine products
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Toiletries: toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss, soap, shampoo, deodorant (antiperspirant is hard to find in China), razors, brush (Note: No towels needed because provided by dorm), retainer

Nonessential but useful

  • Journal
  • Pens and pencils
  • Loose Leaf Paper Notebook
  • Folder for important documents
  • Laptop and charger (highly recommended)
  • Cellphone and charger(mostly going to stay in airplane mode. Used as alarm clock, camera, mp3 player, etc…)
  • Power Strip
  • Supposedly US to China converter for power(?)
  • LED flashlight
  • Backpack for traveling
  • Extra Backpack for souvenirs
  • Camera and charger/USB cable for downloading pictures
  • First Semester Chinese Textbook
  • First Semester Chinese Workbook
  • Second Semester Chinese Textbook
  • Chinese Language Map
  • Small Pocket Notebook for recording Chinese vocab and key phrases
  • Mint gum
  • One Spanish book to read for pleasure (Can’t neglect Spanish while learning Chinese)
  • Small headphones
  • Swim Suit (no idea if we’ll go swimming, but just in case)
  • Couple of US coins (just in case new Chinese friends are curious)
  • Stuff Panda Bear (Ok, so maybe not so minimalist, but come on, perfect photo op!)



1 thought on “Packing Antics: My Attempt at Minimalism”

  1. You sound amazingly detailed and organized Heather! Right down to the mint gum. I am anxiously awaiting reading about your amazing experience.
    love, Cathy

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