If you are studying abroad, I AM SO EXCITED FOR YOU!!! I can say after almost 4 months of traveling out of one checked bag and one backpack, this girl knows how to travel L I G H T. I traveled for 6.5 weeks straight, then started my 8 week study abroad program in the UK. I had everything I needed for the traveling and the school part of my summer. During my 8 week school program, I went to smaller cities for weekend trips with my friends, with only a backpack and a small cross body purse! I AM PACK MASTER. Long blog post, but well-worth a read!
pack your stuff
crucial!!! I used my favorite backpack of all time the Kipling Seoul Go Large. First of the all, the brand is so great because their stuff has a lightweight material and the zipper are SMOOTH. I mean buttery smooth. Second, so many pockets! A large water bottle compartments for you to shove in things water, sunblock, umbrella!! I used this to travel on my 2-5 day trips! It fits everything and expands like crazy. Comes in a ton of colors.
I was also envious of my friend’s Away suitcase too! They have a great weekender duffle and a solid large checking bag. It has four wheels (a big must, trust me 50lbs feels a lot lighter on four wheels), built in TSA locks, and it can take a BIG hit and fall. We saw it get tossed around in some rough places during our 6.5 weeks of traveling; it held UP.
- laptop & tablet (if you use it for studying)
- phone chargers (bring multiple wires just in case they get ratchet)
- PORTABLE CHARGERS (BRING 2!!), also don’t be dumb make sure you bring the portable charger, charging wire! lol
- US to UK, EU, AU, US adapter! this is my favorite one, the SAUNORCH Universal International Travel Power. It has multiple USB hubs and it has both UK and EU. PLOT TWIST they have different outlets which I didn’t know lol
- hard drive: you’re going to take a billion photos/videos let’s back it up just in case someone steals your phone or you drop it and it dies or you run out of space!
- multiple pairs of earphones: worst feeling in the world on a train/plane when you have no earphones :((((((((((
- passport duh; also state ID so you can go get drinks lol!
- copies of your program acceptance letter (you’ll need it to get a student visa), bank statements making sure they know you have enough money to sustain yourself in the country, copies of insurance/credit cards etc! depends on how strict your custom officer will be!
- a bit in your home currency in cash (I’ll do another post about budgeting/finances
- you can BUY school supplies once you get to the program so save space in your bag
- brought a pencil case that fit A LOT. my fav: Lihit Lab Pen case
- favorite pen/pencils: G2 Pilot ultra fine, Muji .38 black pens, Kura Toga Mechanical Pencils, Hi-Polymer Eraser
- calculator? if your program needs it
- pro-tip: try not to pack things you know you can buy once you’re abroad (ie: don’t bring your full size shampoo in your checked luggage); save yourself the weight/luggage space on that first flight over
- LUSH’s solid shampoo bars: changed my life; no issues w/ TSA; environmentally friendly, last up to 80 washes, small & light, NO LEAKAGE. yes, girl yes this is it! favorite ones: honey I washed my hair & jason and the argon oil
- free tester perfumes: snag those free samples from sephora; don’t go to crazy on the scents the BUGS will ATTACK 😦 I was bit by at least 15 mosquitos in Italy lol
- speaking of bugs, BUG REPELLENT SPRAY. there’s some all natural essential oils you can use (tea tree, lavender, etc), but I just bought something from the store when I was desperate
- quality clean deodorant: NATURAL ALUMINUM FREE ONES BC ALUMINUM IS LINKED WITH BREAST CANCER! we don’t mess around with that NOPE. I’m obsessed with Schmidt’s charcoal + magnesium
- sunblock: don’t care how tan or pale you are, please protect yourself from skin cancer and wrinkles; my arch nemesis: the sun!!! there’s so many out there that don’t leave that gross white sheen and are NOT oily. my favorites are Supergoop’s Unseen Sunscreen, Missha All Around Safe Block , Coola’s sunscreen. The Supergoop one is SOOO good I cannot stress enough. It really is UNSEEN. You better be swimming in sunblock okay stay safe from the strong SUN
- PLEASE. DO NOT BRING A LOT OF CLOTHES. unless your job is to be a fashion blogger, dont. you can always buy/thrift new stuff on your travels! remember, the less you bring on your trip, the lighter it is and the more room you have to bring back stuff! if you buy new (colored) clothes at home, make sure you wash it beforehand so new colors don’t leak on clothes during a wash during travels!
- outerwear: leather jacket, jean jackets, coats, this helps you change up your outfits while keeping the insides somewhat the same
- 10 tops: things you can layer: thermals, crop tops, button downs
- 7 bottoms: 2 pairs of jeans, 1 pair of shorts, 2 pairs of yoga pants, 2 skirts
- dresses! wow!! I wish I brought more of these! honestly, dresses are the best thing ever because 1. issa a one item outfit 2. you just look pulled together 3. less space BOOM
- I brought 25 days worth of underwear 😀 & socks 😀 let’s minimize laundry time! don’t forget to bring a delicates washing bag a white
- one white leather sneaker (it’s seen hell and back); but people love Doc Martens too! One black leather chelsea flat boot, one shower flipflop. comfort wise, I can vouch for the Nike Air Force 1’s and the Nike Air Max Dia SE, both super super bouncy and great. I had an Adidas shoe similar to the Stan Smith’s and they were not the best not the worst; white or black shoes match everything!
- dryer sheets: stick them in your luggage have your clothes smelling fresh!
- bring cold medicine: enough to get you through one day before you go look for other stuff at the local country
- vitamin C/Zinc/Airborne when you start to feel under, CHUG it
- melatonin/sleep aid: let’s get over jet lag fast!
- bandages/ointment with you; blisters can’t stop you from traveling or if you fall and cut yourself aka me all the time
- make sure you poop: pro-biotics, stool softeners, laxatives, magnesium tablets! when you’re traveling POOPING becomes a struggle 😦 so stay regular my friends! the more you poop the more you can eat 😀 not a doctor so please talk to your doctor if you need to about this! don’t sue me
- cleaning disinfecting wipes: trains/planes wipe ’em down!!
- exercise resistance band: traveling you’ll walk easy 20k steps a day, but if I still wanted to get a workout in, I used my bands in the rooms
- small umbrella: weather can change instantly wow
- microfiber lightweight TOWEL: it’s fast drying, thin (less space is the common theme here) this one is a good one by Active Roots
- earplugs: places can get rowdy; huge fan of Macks earplug since college freshman year (when dorms get loud)
- locks: locked my crossbody purse just to be extra safe with pickpockets (caught one in action in Paris), for hostels/hotel/luggage! bring some locks make sure they’re TSA friendly if you’re using it for your luggage! lock I used for my purse
- tide to-go pen: do I need to expand? I spill a lot
- sleeping bag liner: you never know who/what slept in your bed before you! totally DIY this with a cheap bed sheet too, but this is for hostels/hotels/airbnbs it’s just nice to have your own extra clean lining
- extra clean pillowcase – duh
- glass screen protector for your phone & a good phone case bc you will drop your phone lol
- phone ring/pop socket thing to have a F I R M grip on your phone so no one snatches it out of your hand