Adventures Across the Pond Installment 3: Do's and Don'ts of Packing

Everyone knows the feeling of dread you get when checking your luggage, especially when having to pack four months’ worth of clothes in one suitcase. To avoid this stress and get the weight right the first time, I made some do's and don’ts for when I packed for going to London for the Fall semester.

Do: Bring a Good Power Converter

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Getting one of these before you leave home will make it much easier for you when you get there. At home, you will see more adapters catered to US users, whereas in another country it might not be the same. I bought the one I have from Amazon for about $30 and it has three 3 US pronged outlets and 4 USB ports. It’s amazing and I would really recommend something like it.  

Don’t: Bring Bedding or Towels

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I know it’s so tempting to pack all of your life into a few suitcases when traveling, but sheets and towels are two things you should leave at home. When I landed in London I was worried about getting bedding, but by the end of my first night I had 2 pairs of sheets, 3 pillows, and a comforter. I was able to go to Primark (a clothing/home store, very reminiscent of Forever 21 and Target) and got all of my towels and sheets for less than £60 (like $70). Seriously don’t worry about this; you will easily be able to find what you need. Save that space in your suitcase for another pair of shoes or something.  

Do: Bring a Good Jacket

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With this one, I’ll just say don’t be dumb like me. I have yet to buy a jacket and I didn’t bring one. Unsurprisingly, London gets really cold and, on top of that, it sometimes rains which isn't nice to walk through without a coat. I would advise just bringing one, instead of buying one here because they can really get expensive.

Don’t: Bring Full-Size Toiletries

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Like towels and bedding, most things can be purchased when you get here. Just hit up Boots (like CVS) and they will probably have what you need. In the same breath though, I would recommend buying travel sizes of shampoo, conditioner and body wash just in case something goes wrong with your luggage. You always want to be prepared!

Do: Bring your Face Wash from Home

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This is more for my sensitive skin sisters, but I would advise everyone to bring a full-size bottle of the face wash you use at home. Because they have a lot of different brands here, make it easy on yourself and bring a product you know about from home. There is nothing like having a rash on your face in an unfamiliar country.

Do: Bring about £100 in cash

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This one isn't really necessary, but it will make your first few days easier. I found that having notes is a bit better because I have to sign for every card transaction. Also, the bills are so colorful here, why wouldn’t you want a rainbow in your wallet.

 

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