So you’ve made the truly wonderful choice to study abroad in college, a decision that will never stop being rewarding even long after you come home. While this is all well and good, packing for studying abroad can be a nightmare. You’ll be gone for a semester or more, with only one suitcase and an unknown amount of closet space. It can be hard to figure out what exactly to bring and what to leave at home.
Here are the five things that you need to remember to pack before the journey of a lifetime.
Portable Phone Charger
Whether you’ve decided on an international phone plan or not, your phone is going to die much faster abroad. You’ll be posting way more on your social media and taking pictures of everything you see, eat and experience. Not only this, but Google Maps will become your best friend in unknown cities. Save yourself the despair of a dead phone and buy a portable charger. This way, you will always be reachable, and you can continue to Instagram to your heart’s delight.
Space bags, or the vacuum sealed storage bags, are the perfect way for packing bulky items for going abroad. Your heavy winter sweaters that you won’t need for the first few months won’t take up too much space, and you can have more room in your suitcase. Try to pack realistically, and remember to put half of what you initially think you need back in your closet. No one wants to go overseas with an overwhelming amount of stuff!
Refillable Water Bottle
If you’re going to Europe, one of the first things you’ll notice is that water is often more expensive than wine or beer, particularly in countries such as Italy and Germany. Outside of the U.S., you’ll notice that even the tap water on restaurant tables (or worse- the bread baskets!) are added to your bill. Save yourself the extra cash, and buy a water bottle that you can refill with clean drinking water throughout your travels. Buying multiple plastic water bottles every day will get expensive, which is especially frustrating when you can put that money to exploring instead!
Not only do backpacks suffice as a versatile carry-on for the journey overseas, they make great luggage for weekend trips or even week-long excursions. You’ll be surprised how much you can fit into a sturdy backpack. When traveling through bustling cities for only a few days, you’ll be very grateful you didn’t decide to lug along your giant suitcase!
Your Student ID
Your student ID can save you some major cash throughout your trip. Museums, restaurants and popular tourist destinations (even Versailles!) are free for anyone with a student ID. You’ll be surprised with how much you save, and how many places you can go for a huge discount.