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Sales of travel kits soar before Lunar New Year

(China Daily)

10:46, January 21, 2013

A netizen takes a picture on Sunday of an advertisement for a sleep stand, a type of sleeping aid, popular on Taobao ahead of the Spring Rush. (Photo/CHINA DAILY)

Chinese innovators have created a slew of "wonder tools" to help railway passengers cope with long, uncomfortable journeys in carriages with no beds or seat cushions during Spring Rush.

The tools include stands that can sustain a passengers' head and chest, and various pillows.

The travel aids to make a long journey a little more comfortable are being sold online for between 100 to 200 yuan. ($16 to $32)

A search for "travel kit" on Taobao, a major online marketplace, results in entries for 42 stores offering more than 300 "sleeping aids".

"The stand helped me get through two nights and days on a train during my May vacation to Tibet," one netizen wrote. "It was much better than sleeping on the table."

As the Spring Festival travel peak approaches, searches for "travel kits" on Taobao have increased 143.6 percent.

Most customers are coming from regions with many migrant workers, such as Shanghai and Guangdong and Zhejiang provinces.

A Taobao storeowner from Pingxiang, Jiangxi province, who declined to give his name, said many customers inquired about sleep stands.

"A customer who has business close to the railway station bought 12 of them on Wednesday (to resell), and she gave the item a good comment," he said, adding that the stand is light and portable.

Chen Chaoyi, a Shanghai resident who works in Beijing, will travel by train during Spring Festival.

"I'm thinking of buying a sleep stand to ease the pain of the journey. Although it takes only five hours, there is no harm in making myself comfortable," said Chen.

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