How to pack for a month abroad

I have never been a light packer.  I would like to believe that it’s not because I’m a diva but because I like to have options–you never know when you are going to spill (which for me, is often), when the weather may change, or what your mood will be like.

Needless to say, this isn’t a good trait to have when you are studying abroad for a month.

My dad pulled my suitcase down from the attic yesterday, and it is unfortunately much smaller than I remember (but it is big and pink, which were essentials for 8th grade me when I purchased it, and makes it easy to spot on the baggage claim belt).

I leave in 6 days (gulp) and so have begun packing so that I have time to find those missing items and get organized.  Suitcases fill up quickly though, so I may have to condense my clothing.

3/4 of the way full and not even halfway done with the packing list..
3/4 of the way full and not even halfway done with the packing list..

Our professor has given us a list of other must-need items that we may not think of:

  • Airline Tickets/Passport/Wallet/Hidden money pack
  • Picture ID – small photo (about ¾ inch square) for metro pass
  • Cash (in euros)
  • Emergency phone numbers
  • Contact numbers to report credit cards or traveler’s checks lost
  • Towel (not provided in room)
  • Toiletries bag/Prescription and OTC medications
  • Plug adaptor/converter/Travel alarm clock
  • Small portable Umbrella
  • Small first-aid kit
  • Luggage locks/name tags
  • Travel-sized Woolite/clothesline
  • Sunblock/Bathing suit
  • Empty collapsible bag for shopping/souvenirs
  • Camera and backup batteries/film/memory card

Many of which are items that you have bought at some point in time to be prepared, but then forget where you put (is there really a good spot to store your mini first aid kid?  I know I have one, but who knows where it is).  This week will be spent tracking down those items and finishing my pre-work for the courses abroad (but there will be another post on that later)

Some other items that I thought I was clever to think of–laundry detergent, an empty sunglasses case to keep headphones and a phone charger from getting crushed in my carry-on, and a carry-on that doubles as a bag to use when traveling on the weekends.

Other websites that I have consulted to make my packing list:


2 thoughts on “How to pack for a month abroad

  1. You can get a photo made in the metro stations for only 5 Euro. Not that it takes up that much room, but it’s double the price at my local drugstore, and once here, I decided I walk too much for the metro pass to be a bargain. The empty bag is a definite must. 🙂

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