Hurray! Summer is finally here! As you start to plan those long adventures abroad, it's time to start thinking about what you will be taking with you. No matter how tempting it is, DO NOT fall into the temptation of packing your entire closet!
I have spent extended periods of time abroad quite a bit. I have been in London for three months, in China for six months, and in France for five weeks. So, believe me, I know what I'm talking about. Here is what you need to do:
Step 1: Plan Ahead
Call your airline and find out how many bags you can take with you without getting charged ridiculous fees. Chances are, you will be allowed to check in one bag.
Also, Amazon International is your best friend in this type of situation. If you have a delivery address where you are going, you can get basic items that tend to be larger online. These basics can include towels and linens.
Step 2: Toiletries
When it comes to toiletries, you are only going to take enough for the first few days. This includes a toothbrush, your hair brush, deodorant, and other essentials you can't go a few days without. The rest of the items, including shampoo, conditioner and body lotions, you can get when you're already there.
Step 3: Electrical Appliances
The first thing you need to do is to find out what the electrical current is where you are going. If the current is different than where you are coming from, you will be better off getting new appliances there. Running a hair dryer for long periods of time on a converter -- it is bound to explode.
If you have any doubts regarding electrical appliances abroad, watch my video on electrical conversions.
Step 4: Medications
If you take any prescription medication, make sure to take it with you and to take enough supply to last your entire trip.
Other medications, such as ibuprofen, cold medicine and vitamins, you can find wherever you are going. If there is anything you cannot live without, TAKE IT WITH YOU!
Step 5: Clothes
The first rule when it comes to packing clothes: you need a lot less than you think! Even in our day to day lives, we only use a small percentage of what is actually in our closets. Apply the same concept when packing.
You want to take enough clothes to last you 2-3 weeks total. Remember: you are going to be doing laundry (hopefully)!
For more detailed information on how to pack for long trips, check out my video: http://goo.gl/8LHQSO.
Otherwise, here is a general packing list if you are going to go abroad at a multi-seasonal place.
- T- shirts
- Tank Tops
- Bathing Suit
- Two to three good sweaters (sweaters are bulky! To pack these, use compression bags)
- Long sleeved shirts
- Button ups
- One multi purpose jacket
- Pants (Go lighter or heavier depending on where you are going. Preferably, choose pants that can be used for both day and night)
For Lounging Clothes
This is the clothes you will use when you are watching TV, relaxing or studying. Whatever you usually wear for these activities at home - pack that! Lounging clothes should be comfortable and airy.
Do not over do it! Girls, this goes for you guys.
Keep in mind that you will be walking a lot during your time abroad, so your day to day shoes should be comfy. Booties are always a great choice for walking around and a pair of flats are great for more relaxed occasions.
If you are going to a winter destination, take your heavy boots with you on the plane! This will save you on a ton of space and weight. The same goes for your winter coat.
No matter where you are going, or for how long, the golden rule to packing is: STAY AWAY FROM "WHAT IFs"! Odds are, these "what if" items will come back with you untouched.