As many of you know I just spent my last semester studying abroad in Europe (and it was the best time of my life) . This can be scary and overwhelming when packing time comes. I remember sitting in my room thinking hmmm? how am I going to fit a wardrobe for 4 months into this tiny suitcase… don’t worry you quickly learn that lots of repetition occurs. Thankfully I had a bunch of my sorority sisters who previously went help me on what I needed to pack, and without some of their suggestions, I would have really been in trouble! So since I have received lots of questions on what to pack/advice, I’m going to give you guys the top 10 essential items you need to pack for your study abroad experience. Some of these things might seem silly, but when your stressfully living out of your suitcase for months on end some of these things really made my day alot easier.
#1 Hair towel
This might seem like the silliest most insignificant thing but it became so important to me and my other girlfriends I was traveling with. Whether your traveling on the weekends, or staying in hostels or sneaking 2 people over the suggested stay in the hotel room to make it cheaper (you will do this) and not able to have an abundant amount of towels, it was so nice to always have a clean towel to wrap my hair in and relax before getting ready for our activities.
#2 European blow-dryer
Since I do travel to Spain every summer, I’ve had my fair share of electrical appliances blow from the different voltage. Recently my mother bought me a blow-dryer that has the European plug so I didn’t have to worry about using an adapter and it made things way easier! Plus I got a tiny fold up one that made it perfect for traveling. You can find these on amazon!
#3 European power strip
My blow dryer was taken care of, but everything that you have to plug in overseas needs an adapter or a converter to be able to use it. Since most of the time we were 4 girls (lots of phones, laptops straighteners the list goes on), having this power strip that allowed us to plug in our stuff at the same time was a real lifesaver. You can also find these on amazon!
#4 Bring your own hair care!
Lots of times people try to downsize and think to leave their hair care in hopes to find it there, don’t. Bring whatever you need for your couple months stay, mine was my Tigi Catwalk Session Series Salt Spray, my Tigi hair spray and my Bastiste dry shampoo. It’s risky to leave these home and try to find them there because chances are they aren’t going to have them or they are going to be way more expensive than here, But definitely leave your shampoo, conditioner and body wash and buy that stuff when you arrive!
#5 Passport carrier
There are all types of these out now, but I liked to travel with the bigger sized one that fits more. It’s always a good idea to have one while traveling so that you know exactly where your passport is, along with your other important documents since your going to be asked to show them about 1000 times everywhere you go. You can find these really anywhere, but Etsy has lots of cute ones!
#6 Reduce your nail kit to only what you ABSOLUTELY need.
Of course, you want to bring your nail bag with you, but these tend to be so heavy and since you normally only have 50 pounds to pack, you definitely don’t want to waste it on silly things like this. So I reduced mine to 1 classic color that I could wear my entire trip, along with a new nail file, cutter, and clear coat.
#7 The Gussy purse Rain cover
I think the Parisians will appreciate this one since there seemed to be a huge black rain cloud that hovered over Paris my entire 5 weeks studying there. The Gussy is a stylish and adorable rain cover for your purse since no one wants to get his or her new expensive handbag destroyed by the rain! I love finding new practical creations, and this is one that I think even NYC would go crazy over! There’s all different styles & colors and they are only 20 bucks! You can check out more on their website http://www.thegussy.com #embracetherain
#8 Big scarf that doubles as a pillow for your travels
Throughout my stay and travels, my blanket scarf was something I never traveled without. I personally don’t like to travel with a head pillow, just because I think they take up too much space. Having this was nice because I did wear it when it was cold in Paris, but also doubled as a soft pillow for our long bus rides or plane rides and it took up no room or weight. Check out Zara & HM they have great ones!
#9 Zip crossbody purse
This is something that is so so so important since you will be labeled a tourist in almost every city you visit. Pickpocketers will immediately flock around you and you won’t even know it, but having a secure zip cross body bag will save your life and your credit card! So definitely invest in one before you embark.
#10 A Journal
The last thing you want is to not be able to remember your favorite restaurant you ate at in Rome or your crazy story from your trip to London. Invest in a good journal and pen and tuck it away in your backpack, because years from now you’re going to read that thing and laugh/smile/cry at your amazing memories that you made with the amazing people that you met.
If your like me, then your mind set would be pack less so you can buy more when you get there! I hope this helps anyone who is studying abroad in the near future, and if you are ever contemplating it.. GOOO! I promise you will never regret it.
Xox Ciao bellas