HOW TO PACK FOR A LONG STUDY ABROAD TRIP
Here ye, Here ye from across the pond. I have successfully completed my solo flight from South Florida to Lancaster, England- my was that a long journey… Anyways, packing for this trip was very stressful not only because I had to pack my entire life but also because I had to pack for 2 (technically 3) seasons! By the way, winter does not exist in south Florida. I had to use my imagination when thinking of how to deal with 30 degree (0 degree C) weather.
Even if you know how to handle a variety of seasons, it is still a difficult task to pack a variety of clothes for a long period of time with severely limited space! So here’s how I did it.
What to pack?
You need to pack a variety of clothes (obviously). You also need to pack thematically, meaning all of your clothes should match each other. Be prepared to buy clothes when you are abroad. As prepared as you may think you are, you will always end up needing something.
Here’s what I pack:
Your Suitcase: Make sure you have a sturdy suitcase that can manage the rough transitions between international flights! The worst thing besides losing your luggage is you luggage breaking before it arrives. Remember, you need that luggage to get back!
I bought a 3 piece luggage set by Timberland at TJ Maxx. When I bought it, it seemed very durable while being light weight.
How to pack?
It’s up to you to decide if you want to bring your entire luggage set. My airline incurred a hefty fee for checking in a second luggage. I decided against bringing the second luggage because I was able to fit everything in one. That being said, I think I will have an even harder time packing to go home because I will most likely bring back more than what I initially packed.
The little one: This is the luggage will be trailing behind you throughout the airport!
*** This luggage is not weighed! As long as the measurements meet the size restrictions it is not weighed. (INTERNATIONAL SIZE RESTRICTIONS ARE DIFFERENT THAN DOMESTIC)
I first started out putting all of my valuables and any essential items (a few outfits, medicine, etc.) in this luggage but soon realized how impractical that it is… The whole idea is that you have control over where this luggage goes so there is no chance of it getting lost. However, if you have limited space and a weight restriction then it is not the best system (see personal bag).
I ended up putting the heaviest items in this luggage to keep the weight off of the checked luggage. On one side I packed all of my shoes and put my socks in the ones that could not be squished. On the other side I packed two shirts and all of my jeans! Jeans are not easily rolled and a very heavy. Honestly, you’ve packed to many shoes if you can’t fit them all on one side.
The big one: This was my only checked luggage. (You do have the option of checking in a second bag)
Tip: ROLL YOUR CLOTHES! When your clothes are rolled you can pack twice as much in one suitcase.
All of my clothes for each season fit perfectly on one side of my suitcase! On the other side I packed towel, toiletries, big sweaters, and other miscellaneous items.
***Keep in mind that, depending on your airline, there is a weight limit.
Your Personal Item: I used a backpack. I highly recommend a backpack as it provides a lot of extra space for anything you many need at hand.
I packed this item to the brim. This is where you should put your valuables (jewelry, medications, laptop, camera, etc.). I would also pack any chargers and adapters. You don’t want to be without a form of communication. Also, bring snacks… You will most likely have a long journey ahead of you and you will get hungry.
***It is extremely important to know the countries restrictions and regulations on any type of food and medication. If the country that you are travelling to do not allow your medication, you need to find out what additional paperwork you must complete or bring with you in order for it to be permitted in that specific country. This may mean you need you pack your medication in your checked bag.