Thursday, May 15, 2008

Advice to Amy

One of my blog friends will be traveling soon to get her new daughter Lexi. I am calling this post advice to Amy. Amy get a panda phone. We had a panda phone when we first got to China. They deliver it to your hotel. You leave it at your hotel when you leave China. For some dumb reason I left my phone in Shanghai and didn't have it in Guangzhou. Juergen went crazy trying to reach me in Guangzhou (he had returned home early). Get a panda phone. It's so worth the small price! If you bring a laptop, get Skype. You can call everyone back home for pennies. My mom came with us, and she could talk to my dad for an hour a day. Bring will eat them! Tea and hot soups, instant oat meal, and peanut butter and crackers are great to have. Sometimes you will need to skip meals because of a child needing a nap or paper work. Small kids love bubbles and play dough. You can buy a plastic place mat to do play dough on. Music calms kids. A small tape player or CD player, or Mp3 player with sweet lullabies can help calm a sad scared child! Take melatonin to help you get over the jet lag. Bring a children's cold medicine because the hotels have air conditioning. It is common for the kids to get a cold. Bring cold medicine for yourself too. I also think Vicks vapor rub is great for a stuffy noise. Sarah had sensitive skin. Try to bring soaps for sensitive skin. Remember to take lots of photos. The number 6 and 9 are lucky in China. Any tips you give should be with a 6 or 9. The number 4 is unlucky. Many hotels don't have a floor 4 or 14. So don't tip someone with a 4. 3% is the normal tip rate. If you like it, buy it. You may not find it again...and you don't have that much time to shop. Think about stuff to give Lexi years from now (perils and even silk for a wedding dress). I had a very stressful trip and did not shop much. If I could do it again, I wish I had bought stuff to give Sarah when she grows up. Never leave your important papers in a bag people can steal. Make a copy of all your important papers (passports and TA's, and visas). Give the copy to a friend who can fax it to you if something gets lost. A women I know of had her back pack stolen. It took days and lots of stress to replace this stuff. It is better safe then sorry! Bank of China is the place to get money. Bring a real credit card and make sure you have a good amount of credit. I brought a debit card, and it didn't work. I had to use my moms credit card. Juergen had one credit card but we maxed out the limit. I never use a credit card at home. I always pay cash, so I did not realize my debit card would not work in China. OK, this is all I can think of now. I am so happy for you! Have a great trip...I will be thinking of you!