HOW TO PACK FOR A SEMESTER ABROAD

HOW TO PACK FOR A SEMESTER ABROAD

If you say packing is your favorite part about traveling, you are a filthy liar. At first, packing seems so exciting, however when It comes down to business, packing is a nightmare. Recently I had to pack up for a 4 month stay in Australia and I kid you not, it took me 2 full days. 24 hours straight just to pack 2 suitcases. If you are rich and don’t care about the extra expenses with overweight/extra luggage, good for you. If you are like me and can’t afford going over the weight limit, I have some general tips and some smart tips.

  • If you have more than one suitcase, divide your clothes between them
    • You never know if your suitcase is going to get lost by the airline, this way you will at least have one of everything until you get that suitcase back.
  • LEAVE ROOM
    • I can’t stress this enough. If you are going to be away for long, I guarantee you will be purchasing clothing, gifts, souvenirs, etc. Leave some space to bring items back, you’ll thank yourself later.
  • Purchase/use a scale
    • Knowing how much your luggage weighs will kill off the stress of finding out when your checking in and paying that extra fee.
  • Pack an extra pair of clothes in your carry on
    • If you’ve flown before, it’s a given. It can be for safety if you lose a suitcase or it can be used as a fresh outfit so you don’t feel so disgusting after the plane ride.
  • Pack your carry on items in clear bags
    • It is so frustrating having to pull out every item shoved in your bag just to grab a pen. If packed in a clear bag it will be much easier to locate.
  • Check the exchange rate/prices for basic needs
    • If a bottle of shampoo is cheaper at home, bring it. Yes it takes up space at first but you won’t be bringing it back with you. Plus, you’ll be saving some money!
  • Pack one of each
    • You don’t need 3 pairs of running shoes or 4 pairs of heels. Bring that one pair of black heels that go with everything
  • Pack more neutrals
    • If you pack specific outfits it’s going to cost you space, pack more neutrals that are easy to mix and match. These will be the only clothes you have for months so you don’t want anything that stands out too much, you can always buy unique pieces that fit the areas style while you are there.
  • Be honest with yourself
    • Are you really going to wear that? You’re instagram outfits aren’t everyday outfits or for when you are bloated and uncomfortable. Know what you’re everyday life is going to be like and pack for that.

The biggest thing about packing is being practical. Packing for Australia was very simple compared to packing for a cooler area. Packing for a cooler area where you will need bulkier clothing is very different than pacing bathing suits and shorts that don’t take up too much space.

This doesn’t mean that it wasn’t a hassle. In my fall semester I was wearing clothes for colder weather and I also knew I gained some pounds since the summer-time. Given this, before I started packing I had to try on all my clothes to see if certain shorts or bathing suits still fit and were comfortable to wear. I also got a heads up from students that studied in Australia that people don’t dress casually to classes. Australians dress nicer (nice sundresses and rompers), which is the complete opposite to the usual wear at my homeschool; oversized t-shirts and running shorts. Being in the know of the activities and adventures I planned to go on and getting advice from previous students really helped me prepare and organize for the next (and best) 4 months in Australia.

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