Home > Preparing to go Abroad/Away >
If you talk to students or anyone else who has traveled abroad about what to pack, you will get some common responses. Understand that while everyone has different needs in terms of clothing and belongings, considering the packing tips provided by travel veterans is worthwhile. The following suggestions and packing list has been developed through conversations with students who have studied abroad. Consider the following:
- Less is more! Don’t pack more luggage than you can carry! You will be walking through airports, perhaps taking a bus or train to your final destination and you need to be mobile! Further, the more you pack, the more you might have to pay in luggage fees. Leaving some room in your luggage is a good idea as well; you will certainly be bringing purchases you made abroad home with you, so you want to save some room for them.
- Check with the airlines for size and weight restrictions for luggage as they can vary.
- Make sure all your luggage is labeled with your address and contact information. Consider putting a piece of paper with the same information inside your suitcase in the event your luggage tag is destroyed or removed so that the airlines have another method of tracking you down to return your luggage.
- Remember that you won’t have lots of storage space where you will be living, so packing less is again an advantage.
- Don’t take valuable items with you. Expensive jewelry and other valuable personal items are best left behind. You don’t want to lose them or have them stolen.
- When you pack your carry-on bag, make sure you pack all important papers, medications (with prescription labels), contacts and solution, toothbrush and a quick change of clothes etc. in the event your luggage is lost or delayed upon arrival at your final destination. Be sure and adhere to the Transportation Security Administrations requirements on transporting liquids: You are allowed to bring a quart-sized bag of liquids, aerosols, gels, creams and pastes in your carry-on bag and through the checkpoint. These are limited to travel-sized containers that are 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or less per item. Placing these items in the small bag and separating from your carry-on baggage facilitates the screening process. Pack items that are in containers larger than 3.4 ounces or 100 milliliters in checked baggage.
- If you are taking a laptop or tablet with you, check to see if your homeowner’s insurance covers loss in the event it is stolen, lost or damaged. If it is not covered, consider purchasing some coverage.
- Note that manners of dress differ around the world and that what you might normally wear at Misericordia or at home is not appropriate where you will be traveling. Dress tends to be more formal in other parts of the world than in the United States. Make sure that you bring appropriate clothes. It is also good to bring something that could be considered “dressier” in the event you want to go somewhere nice or have a special event to attend.
- You will want to purchase an electrical outlet adapter for your electronic devices. If you forget, you may purchase these at most major airports.
- If you are thinking about taking a hair dryer or curling iron, you may want to think twice. You may be better off buying a cheap one at your final destination.
- Pack clothing that can be mixed and matched to increase the number of “outfits” you will have access to while away.
- Think about packing clothing items that can be layered for warmth and comfort. Of course, your destination will dictate how warm the items need to be.
- Remember to take a backpack with you. It will be handy for weekend trips.
- Remember to pack a good pair of walking shoes, a pair of running or gym shoes, and a pair or two of everyday shoes.
- If you wear glasses or contacts you will want to have a prescription with you in the event you lose, break or damage your eye wear. Bring extra glasses and enough contacts and solution to last you for your stay.
The following list details items that you will want/need to have with you. Note that not all the items apply to everyone.
- Visa - if it is needed and not affixed to your passport.
- Additional forms of identification may include a passport card, driver’s license, student ID card.
- Your ATM and credit card with security chip. Make sure you know your pin code as this is the system most often used in Europe.
- All acceptance letters/forms you have for your study abroad/away program.
- A list of your emergency contacts including the instructions you have for the HTH insurance coverage in which you are enrolled.
- Copies of all your important documents including credit card and ATM card numbers and contact information. You want to also include copies of the inside page of your passport that displays your photo and any prescriptions you might be taking with you. You can also store the information in the cloud for additional access and/or leave with your family.
- Take some currency of your final destination. It is nice to have it on hand if you need a bite to eat, something to drink, or cab fare etc. when you arrive at your destination. If you are a member of AAA, you can order currency from them. You can also check with your bank. No problem if you forget! You can change money at the airport or withdraw money from your debit account upon arrival.
- Chargers for your phone, camera, computer or tablet.
- A flash drive or two.
- Extra memory card or two for your camera if you are taking one.
- A guidebook for your destination (you can also purchase these to use on-line).
- A small lock that you can use on a locker when you are traveling.
- A TSA approved lock for your suitcase if not built in.
- A sleeping sack; a sleeping bag that is made from sheet like material. It is great for hostel stays and it is compact and light.
- Flip-flops. These are great for use in hostels.
- A small first aid kit.
- A small sewing kit.
- A travel towel; one that is quick drying.
- A blank journal for chronicling your time away.