Your application is done, your paperwork is complete, and your day of departure is coming way faster than you’d expect. Through hard work and preparation, you’ve finally made your dream of studying abroad a reality – so why can’t you seem to conquer your luggage?
Like many college students, you’ve probably been feeling giddy about what’s sure to be one of the most incredible experiences of your life—and steadfastly ignoring the scattered empty suitcases around your room. It’s time to stop putting off packing and make a list of the things you need. Keep this checklist in mind for the most important items (and some that tend to be forgotten).
1. International outlet adapters. These are lifesavers. You’ve got to be sure you can safely charge your laptop and phone (at least!) every night.
2. A small bag. It’s helpful to have a smaller bag for everyday travel. Make sure that you can securely close it and navigate through crowded areas with it. A small backpack or cross-shoulder bag is ideal.
3. A travel water bottle. Whether you’re wandering big cities or hiking somewhere remote, it’s too easy to become dehydrated. Keep the bottle in your handy bag!
4. A light coat. Yes, even if you’re heading to a tropical area in the summer. You’d be surprised how cool it can get at night.
5. A folding umbrella. This is another easy one to forget alongside the light coat, but since you’ll most likely walk or take public transit every day, you will get caught in the rain at some point.
5. Written prescriptions for any medication. If you get questioned in an airport or train station, it’s way better to have all the info on hand instead of trying to explain yourself or asking to call your doctor.
6. Travel-sized bottles of your favorite beauty products. Other countries may not have that one brand you can’t live without.
7. A change of clothes for your carry-on. Travel can be unpredictable. If delays or layovers have made the airport your new home, it’s great to have a change of clothes on you.
8. Travel documents, collected in a small case. Always keep track of your passport, visa, prescriptions, insurance information, and anything else you may need in a small, wallet-like container.
9. Copies of your travel documents. If the worst happens and you somehow lose your original docs, photocopies will give you credibility and keep you from feeling helpless as you sort out the issues.
10. A camera! Even if you have a smartphone, take an actual camera if possible. You’ll want to take as many gorgeous photos as you can!