Student Travel: Packing Tips, Flickr: cefeida

Don’t Know What to Pack?


So the great thing is you’re a student traveler.  The bad thing is you’ve got to pack for six months or a year in one shot.  You may be thinking, how will I ever squeeze my entire wardrobe into these suitcases that are never going to be big enough? How will I adequately display my amazing sense of fashion and taste with such limited space? Here are a few tips to quell your fears and make packing for an international adventure a lot easier.

1.)    Layers – Packing with the intention of layering is a great way to bring a larger cross section of clothes that you’ll be able to get more utility out of than items you can only wear in specific weather.  For example, the weather in Ireland changes at least three times every day.  What starts out as a cold sunny day may become a rainy afternoon and a warm evening.  If you’re out sightseeing or studying all day, the best way to be comfortable in new environments is to give yourself the ability to add or remove layers.
2.)    Limit – Of course, while you’re away, you’ll have to pick and choose what to bring.  Though your options will obviously be more limited, simplifying your selection surprisingly makes life a lot easier.  I suggest differentiating as much as possible so all your bases are covered.
3.)    Pack what you wear – I believe there is a rule when it comes to shopping that says if you wouldn’t wear it out of the store, you shouldn’t buy it.  Though, you might think your year abroad will be the perfect time to wear those one-of-a-kind-statement shoes or that hat you’ve been too shy to wear at home, it’s highly unlikely you will actually wear it abroad.  If you haven’t worn it in the last year, you’re not going to wear it abroad.
4.)    Roll your clothes – One way to make more space in your luggage is to role your clothes.  They take up less room and if done correctly, reduce wrinkles.
5.)    Wear your heavier clothes on the plane – These days, bag size and weight make a significant difference in your travel expenses.  If you can bear it, wear your heaviest shoes and coat, (weather permitting) on the plane while traveling.  It will give you more room and you’ll be less likely to incur the overweight luggage charge.

Don’t stress too much! It’s likely you’ll have everything you need and much more. Worse comes to worse, if you’ve forgotten some things, you’ll have more room for shopping!

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photo: cefeida

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