Like last time, I'll try to blog each day while in China. I'll post pictures and stories so you can "arm chair" travel. All the fun without the hassle.
But, if you are considering travel to China or any foreign country you might consider using only one bag. Check out onebag.com. I bought something like this carry on bag.
Shoes are most important for travel in China. Get the most comfortable shoes you can find, usually tennis shoes. I bought a pair of good lightweight hiking boots because I planned to do some hiking in the hills of Pingan. I bought them a month before we left and wore them every day to break them in. I also bought a couple of pairs of perspiration wicking socks. Dry, comfortable feet are key to happiness.
Most rooms have no safes. And you don't want to leave valuable stuff in the room. Whatever valuable things you bring on the trip you'll need to carry with you every day. Eject the unnecessary from your bag. Bring (pack or wear) a very light backpack. I found one at Ross for $10. Last trip I put my camera and notebook in the backpack and carried it with me everywhere.
It's important to test the backpack before you go. Put your stuff in the bag and carry it around with you for a day. (Break in your new shoes at the same time.) It may not feel heavy at first but it "gains" weight as the day wears on.
We always felt safe in China but I didn't flash money around. I left my jewelry at home. I bought a cheap plastic digital watch that doubled as my alarm clock. I wore my money on me in a money belt and put just enough cash in my pocket for the day. That way, I didn't have to dig into my hidden money belt in front of the vendors.
I found lots of travel suggestions at www.travelblog.org. You can also use the site to blog your trips.
Still not sure if you want to go to China? Read about our last China trip here. I highly recommend it. If nothing else, it'll cure your insomnia.
If you look like your passport it's time to return home.