We all love international travel, but when you travel abroad for any length of time, knowing what to pack and how much to take can be a daunting task. In most cases, your school or organization you are traveling with should give you some guidance on what you should take and how much – you certainly don’t want to be traveling with 15 suitcases if you are only abroad for a short period of time – and likewise, how do you bring everything if you are going to be abroad for 8 months?
Knowing this information will help guide you, but that list coupled with our top 5 packing tips will put you in good shape, and it will help you avoid over or under packing:
- Ship Your Luggage in Advance
There are some really good services that will allow you to ship your luggage ahead of time via express courier. With airlines now charging exorbitant fees to bring on your luggage – not to mention excess luggage – shipping your items ahead of schedule could save you a lot of time and hassle! It also allows you to have a fully tracked solution, so the chances of your case going missing should be minimized. A few good solutions that you can check out are Luggage Free and Luggage Forward.
- Pack Into Smaller Suitcases
“Don’t keep all your eggs in one basket.” If you are going to take suitcases, try not to pack it all into one large suitcase. Not only could your bag be overweight, but if you have one larger suitcase with all your things and it goes missing – you have lost everything. It is much better to pack your items into 2 smaller cases, or better yet – ship some of your items ahead of schedule.
- Makes Copies of All Your Documents
Of course you need all of your original documents with you, but before you travel make copies with a scanner or just take pictures with your mobile phone. You can upload these scans or images to a service such as Evernote or DropBox so that they can be accessed securely anywhere in the world – just go online and get all the documents you need.
- Electronic Items/ Power Adapters
You should never put your main electronic items, such as a your mobile phone, laptop or anything that is expensive in your checked luggage. These should always be carried with you and you need to make sure you also have the relevant power adapters for the country you are traveling to. There is nothing worse that being delayed and then running out of battery simply because you do not have power adapters.
If you are taking any medications, or if you have a special over-the-counter medication that you take (for example allergy medication or pain killing medication), the brand you like or use may not be available in the country you are traveling to. You also have to be aware that in most cases, your travel insurance plan will not cover these medications if they are for a pre-existing condition. Therefore, taking enough medication to cover you while you are abroad can be very important!
Hopefully with these very simple tips, it should help make your study abroad experience even more memorable! If you have other tips you want to add, we look forward to hearing them in the comments!