Monday, August 14, 2017

Study Abroad Survival Guide: Packing

Hello everyone! As the countdown for my departure to Copenhagen comes to a close (3 more days!!) the process of packing my life into suitcases has officially begun. I will admit to being both a procrastinator and an over packer - pretty much a deadly duo when it comes to travel preparation - but I'm going to try my best to prove myself wrong this time around and actually get all my packing done more than 3 hours before I board the plane. Having gone through this experience once before, I now know what I really need to bring with me and what can be left at home. I hope you find this packing list useful in your abroad preparation, and may the baggage weight requirement be ever in your favor ;) 

  • 1 Large Checked Bag
  • 1 Carry-on 
  • 1 Personal Item - Backpack

I’ll also be packing a large Longchamp tote and a cross-body purse. Bags with zippers are best to avoid pickpocketing.

  • 3-4 long sleeve t-shirts
  • 3-4 short sleeve t-shirts
  • 2 tank tops 
  • 5-7 sweaters (turtlenecks, crewnecks, cardigans)
  • 2 flannels
  • 1 button down 
  • Jeans (1 blue, 3 black)
  • Denim skirt
  • Corduroy skirt
  • Leggings (2 pairs)
  • Sweatpants
  • Denim overall dress
  • Long-sleeve casual dress
  • Short-sleeve casual dress
  • Business casual or other formal dress for special occasions
  • Denim or leather jacket 
  • Parka or other heavy winter coat
  • Raincoat 
  • Blazer
  • Sweatshirt
  • Athletic Sneakers/Tennis Shoes
  • Adidas sneakers 
  • Chelsea boots
  • Bean boots
  • Ballet Flats
  • 2-3 Scarves 
  • Winter hat
  • Tech gloves 
  • Belt
Sleep & Undergarments
  • Underwear (at least 10 pairs)
  • Athletic socks (at least 10 pairs) 
  • Wool socks (3 pairs)
  • Black tights (4 pairs)
  • Pajamas (at least 2 pairs)

I find it helpful to keep a specific color scheme in mind when I'm packing for an extended period of time. This makes it easier to create outfits, as everything tends to go together already. Luckily for me, my existing Fall/Winter wardrobe will fit in nicely with the Danes' affinity for black, grey, and other muted colors. This is what my study abroad wardrobe will look like (give or take a few items): 

Pack travel size versions of everything you need (shampoo, face wash, contact lens solution, etc.) in your carry on. You’ll be able to shower as soon as you get there and figure out where to buy full size bottles later on. Keep the travel size items for weekend trips.    

Must Have
  • Canvas tote bags - Grocery stores abroad will charge you for plastic bags so I would recommend bringing a few of these if you want to avoid the fee. 
  • Outlet converters - A must have for charging your American electronics. I would recommend bringing two or three. 
  • Cold Medicine - Pharmacies abroad won’t have the exact same medicines you use at home. It’s a good idea to toss a box of Dayquil/NyQuil/Tylenol in your suitcase. 
  • Prescription Medication - Have your doctor prescribe enough medication for the time you are abroad.
  • 'Travel Folder' - Bring a double pocket folder with copies of your passport, insurance card, ID, proof of university acceptance etc. every time you travel.
  • Hand Sanitizer and Disinfectant Wipes - Good to have in your purse/carry-on. 
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Portable phone charger
  • Travel-size Umbrella 
  • School ID
  • Small Padlock - Lock the zippers on your backpack or other bags for additional security when staying in hostels or AirBnbs.
  • Pillow case - A small and easily packed reminder of home. 
  • Hair turban towel
  • Bathing Suit
  • Mesh laundry bag
  • Travel luggage scale
  • Journal
  • Photos from home/Small room decor
  • Flip flops
  • US straightener or curling iron - They don’t work - not even with converters! Plan to buy any hair tools upon arrival.
  • Rain Boots - In my opinion, these take up too much space and aren't worth bringing for the amount of use they may or may not get. 
  • Hangers - Your apartment/housing might provide these! If not, save space and buy some when you arrive.
If you have any suggestions for things I missed be sure to let me know in the comments below! If you want to read the first installment in my Study Abroad Survival Guide, click here. Happy packing!

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