With fall semester quickly approaching and my spring study abroad trip still on my mind, I thought I would put together a “revised” packing list for those of you getting ready to head abroad in a few weeks. Previously, I put together a packing and essentials list before I headed across the pond back in January. Now that I’ve returned from the experience, I wanted to make a few adjustments to my packing list and essentials based on what I found was really necessary compared to what I thought I needed before I left.
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A Journal and/or Blog
For me it was super important that I documented my experience. Because I already had a blog, it allowed me a platform for my travel posts. Blogging about my travels was beneficial in a couple of ways: not only was I able to share everything easily with my family and friends, but I also have a collection of entries I can go back to and relive. If you don’t have a blog you can easily set one up at Wordpress or Blogspot for free.Along with the blog I think it’s really important to keep a journal as well. There were a lot of emotions, feelings, and opinions I had about certain things that happened that I didn’t want to share publicly on my blog. In my journal I could write down everything without having to worry about censoring it. The journal then becomes very personal, it recounts your true experience and raw stories.If you don’t want to do both, at least do one or the other. You’re going to want to remember your time abroad and the best way to do that is by writing everything down.
Photos from Home
When I got to my room, it was completely bare. I didn't think to bring anything with me to put up as decorations. Thankfully my family sent me lots of cards so I was able to put those up to create a "homey" feel. When all the other girls brought photos from home and put them on their walls, I really wished I had brought some too! Keep in mind they are easy to travel with. Because a photo is flat, they don't take up much space in your suitcase!
When traveling, it's important to have a separate camera aside from your phone. Since cell service is spotty, there is almost no need to have a cell phone out at all. Depending on what type of camera you bring, it can produce better quality photos with more control over settings. I always had my camera hanging around my neck; it became a part of me. Now I have all these wonderful pictures to remember my travels by.
Clothes for Layering
It can be difficult to know what to pack in terms of clothes. My best advice is to bring options that are good for layering. I found that while traveling you should be prepared for any type of weather. For example, we encountered an unexpected snow storm in Prague when it was mid April! My favorite layering piece during my travels happened to be an oversized denim button up. It was super comfy and still looked cute for photos, so it's a win-win.
Gum and Favorite Snacks from Home
Lastly, it is important to remember they don't sell some of the same products abroad as they do in the States. Take gum for example...it's just not the same over there! I went over with a lot of gum to begin with because I chew at least a piece a day. Eventually, I was starting to run out and I caved. I purchased a pack there and it was the worst decision I made...it was gross, horrible, repulsive! Definitely buy gum to bring with you!Also, if you like ranch dressing or peanut butter, you better bring that too. Commodities like these are hard to come by, and when you do, tend to be much more expensive.
Those are some of the key things that I'd be sure to pack if I was heading back abroad! What will you be packing for your trip? Happy travels!Cheers.