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Metro Beijing Subway - This app provides a clear map of the Beijing subway system. Once you know where your destination stop is, reading the subway map on the app and navigating around the city is easy peasy!
Maps.me - Before you depart for China, pin the sites/restaurants/places you want to visit in Beijing on this app just in case of internet trouble. This app is particularly helpful on the Great Wall! It is accessible without internet.
Google Map - If you have US carrier cell phone data plan oversea, Google Map will be your best friend. If not, Baidu Map is helpful in China.
Credit Card (any credit card that does not charge a foreign transaction fee) - Make sure you set your travel notification with the credit card company before you go. VISA is more widely accepted around the world, so keep in mind when you are looking into some credit card options.
Charles Schwab Debit Card - You can use this debit card to withdraw cash without ATM and foreign transaction fees. It provides the most updated currency conversation rate; therefore, you don't ever have to worry about exchanging your dollars to RMB with unnecessary processing fees.
Carry it with you at all times! You never know when your passport will be requested. We had to use it to purchase the Forbidden City admission tickets and while going through security to Tiananmen Square.
Do you take a foreign credit card? 你们收国外信用卡吗？
Several restaurants and stores do not accept foreign credit cards, so before you sit down for a meal, check how much cash you have available and whether or not they take foreign credit cards. There were a couple of times that I had to ask the server to calculate the total cost of the food first before he/she put in the kitchen order.
How much is this? 这多少钱？
This phrase is used for buying food or souvenirs on the street. Bargain!
No, No, thanks. 不用, 不用, 谢谢.
Many hawkers would try to reel you in on buying their products/services, and this is a great phrase to get them to leave you alone.
Toilet Papers - many public restrooms do not provide toilet papers, so make sure you pack them for the day. Take some from the hotel if necessary.
Disposable Female Urination Device - I am not a good squatter, so when it comes to a squat toilet, I found the disposable device to be super helpful.
Good Pair of Walking Shoes - Even if you don't plan on walking a lot, a stroll through Forbidden City can bring you to 20,000 steps easily. Make sure you have a super comfortable pair of shoes.
Lotion - During winter months, Beijing is extremely dry. Make sure to pack additional lotion in your bag.
Hand Warmers - These are particularly good to have around during winter months when you are out and about.
Masks - Even if you are not sensitive to air pollution, still make sure to carry these around. We used them on the bus while sitting in front of someone with bad breath.
Read 9 Helpful Beijing Travel Tips if you have only started getting ready for Beijing.