Packing for your program abroad is likely to be one of two things: terribly exciting or just plain terrible. Often times the process can be a mixture of both, but deciding what to pack, how much to pack, and how to get it all into a couple of bags is sure to bring about some frustration. Luckily, we’re all seasoned travelers here at World Endeavors, and have a few tricks up our sleeves to help with even the most aggravating of packing dilemmas. Below are some of our favorite tried and true tips, tricks, and packing lists.
Tip #1: Sacrifice the non-essentials. Lay out everything you think you could ever possibly want to bring with you – shoes, shirts, books, bags, everything. Then, take some time to think about what you can live without. Think about the occasions you would wear certain items of clothing, when you would read that book, how often you really carry a bag with you, etc. Take out any items you see as non-essential. You’ll likely find yourself wishing you hadn’t brought them anyways.
Tip #2: Leave some space. You’ll want plenty of extra room in your suitcase for any treasures you may find abroad (we’d even recommend checking out what neat souvenirs to keep an eye out for before you go). It’s far better to leave any potentially unwanted items at home if it means that you’ll be able to bring some extra memories back home with you.
Tip #3: Pack another smaller bag or backpack in your suitcase. In the event that you don’t have enough space in your suitcase for the return trip, you’ll thank yourself that you packed an extra.
Tip #4: Go easy on the toiletries. These can sometimes be among the heaviest items in your suitcases. Pack the items you cannot go without, and leave the rest at home. Most items will be available in your host country for a similar price.
Tip #4: Check the voltage. Hairdryers, straighteners, and curling irons are all heavy items, and may not work in your host country. We recommend leaving it at home – doing so may save you some trouble. If you cannot go without, just be sure to check the voltage before you go!
Tip #5: Check the weather. You’re not going to know the weather forecast for your entire program, but you can certainly stay up-to-date on trends and typical forecasts for the season. Check out our packing lists below for some seasonal packing inspiration.