Beijing Bound: A Trip for Food and Family & Our Travel Essentials

23 May 2017
Summer Palace | Beijing


We are Beijing Bound for the next week!  As mentioned in our last post, while some of our trip is definitely vacation, the function of the trip is primarily visiting family.  My husband was born in Beijing and much of his family still lives there.  While there, I’ll have the opportunity to learn some family dishes as well as we’ll eat tons of Chinese cuisine from all of the regions of China.  Preparing for any international trip, there are of course some travel essentials we all need.

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Travel Essentials

Here are the items I find to be essential, particularly when traveling internationally.  To look at any of these products, click on the picture to go to Amazon:

 A Dependable Carry-On

I prefer not to use a roller bag and, thus, pack extremely minimalistic for travel.  The North Face backpack pictured above was all I brought to Morocco and I was able to pack TWO whole Moroccan rugs on the flight back plus all my stuff I came to Morocco in.  My husband either travels with a backpack of a similar size or a very small roller, like this one.  Go as small as you can to ensure you won’t need to gate check your bag.  My backpack fits under the seat in front of me.

Packing Roll

With such a small bag, it’s paramount that the space is used as efficiently as possible.  I use a packing roll like the one pictured above.  I can easily fit 7 days worth of clothing in one of these and fit it in my backpack.

Language Phrase Books

I’ve been studying Chinese off and on for over a year but I’m certainly no where near being fluent.  Even though my husband speaks the language, I still packed a phrase book just in case we get separated at any point.

A Good Book

Long flights and long layovers both bring with them the potential for boredom.  I load up my Kindle with both short reads and longer reads just in case.  Don’t forget to vary with genres so you have something no matter your mood. (All books linked in the text are what I’ve loaded my Kindle up for this trip!).

Travel Size Tissues


I know you already know to pack travel sized shampoo, deodorant, etc., but travel size tissues carried in your purse may save you when you’re traveling–especially where they may charge you for toilet paper, such as many public restrooms in Beijing.

Power Adapters


In the case of international travel, you’re going to need these to ensure your appliances will fit into the local outlets.

Dual Voltage Appliances

Before using your hairdryer, straightener, or flat iron overseas, be sure to check that they will work with whatever the local voltage is, usually either 110 or 220.  Plugging a single voltage appliance into the wrong type of power can/will ruin your appliance.  While there are converters out there that claim to convert the power safely, the reviews I read did not convince me.

Until we return with a new set of skills and recipes from our trip, check out our previous Chinese or Chinese-Inspired recipes shared here on Almost Kosher!

Previous Chinese and Chinese-Inspired Recipes on Almost Kosher:

Leftover Chinese Takeout Dumplings
Pressure Cooker Mongolian Beef
Cumin Lamb Burger




  • Reply lostinapot2017 29 May 2017 at 6:20 am

    Hope you’re having a great trip in Beijing. Also, hopefully the winds are blowing in the correct direction and the air is fresh. I used to love to have a meal at JinBao Hui restaurant, their Peking Duck was great. The pickled duck tongue was always good as well. Have fun.

    • Reply Chava 2 June 2017 at 1:25 pm

      Thanks, Ron! It was an amazing time. We had Peking Duck at QuanZuDe with family. It was my first time and I loved it! We did not try duck tongue (it was included however, but Grandma was nearly force feeding us), but their duck heart was incredible.

  • Reply Amber 3 June 2017 at 2:05 pm

    I’ll keep these tips in mind. We do hope to get to Beijing at some point. I always bring a book with me when I travel!

    • Reply Chava 3 June 2017 at 9:27 pm

      A good book is a must! Especially for long flights. I absolutely cannot recommend Beijing enough. The food was amazing, the city worldclass, and the people were very willing to be helpful.

  • Reply interNATionalcaty 3 June 2017 at 2:06 pm

    These are all great things to have during your trip to Beijing. By the way, you are going to love it. I found everyone to be very friendly and inviting.

    • Reply Chava 3 June 2017 at 9:28 pm

      We’ve actually just returned and it was a blast. The people are very friendly, indeed. I’m curious if you spoke Chinese before you went. I just barely do and it was difficult for me to communicate. My husband speaks well enough, however, for the both of us.

  • Reply Heidi 3 June 2017 at 2:37 pm

    I totally love your list and actually didn’t know about the packing roll, I am definitely going to look into it because I travel alot and hate paying for extra luggage

    • Reply Chava 3 June 2017 at 9:29 pm

      I really love the packing roll. It also helps to keep things organized since it has a few different sized compartments.

  • Reply Suze 3 June 2017 at 2:46 pm

    The packing roll sounds really handy – I’ve never tried one! Impressive that you’re learning Mandarin before your trip. I’d love to visit Beijing one day

    • Reply Chava 3 June 2017 at 9:30 pm

      I’m not sure how impressive, however! I mostly learned to point to what I needed in the book and how to count, greet, and thank. But I was able to pick up some new phrases while I was out there!

  • Reply waitingforrain28 4 June 2017 at 6:15 pm

    Seems like a great packing list! I always forget the tiny packages of tissues and end up scrounging around for supplies during my travels. XD I need to work on that.

    • Reply Chava 8 June 2017 at 9:37 am

      The tissues saved me while in Beijing! I will have to remember to him some in my purses at all times 🙂

  • Reply Andrea R Warren (@WaldorfFries) 5 June 2017 at 8:51 am

    I always seem to forget about the dual chargers when I travel. Thanks for the reminder traveling in a few weeks adding them to by bag now:)

    • Reply Chava 8 June 2017 at 9:37 am

      I’m glad I could be helpful! It’s really easy to forget something like that!

  • Reply Sondra Barker 13 June 2017 at 10:00 pm

    Safe Travels in Beijing! This is such a great list! I feel like power adaptors are one of those things that people always forget when they are traveling. Great post!

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