Your 7 Step Guide to Packing Your Life in A Suitcase


So your year abroad is approaching fast, if you aren’t worrying about packing now then you definitely will be in the future – and rightly so, the idea of packing your entire life into a suitcase is scary. Whether you’re a notorious over-packer or you’re simply just worried about not packing the right things – have no fear! While I haven’t studied abroad, I have packed up all of my belongings and moved to the other side of the world. So here’s my best tips and tricks to packing your entire life into a suitcase.  

Worry about the essentials first.

Make sure the essentials are in order first. Without things like your passport and any visas you may need, you aren’t going anywhere. Pack any prescription medicine you take and make sure you have enough to last your entire time away. A really great idea is to pack a few spare outfits in your carry-on bag in case your luggage was misdirected and you’re stuck without it for a few days. On that note you should sure any important items are with you, and stay with you, for the duration of your time traveling.

Only pack as much as you can carry.

You’ve probably heard this many times before, but don’t roll your eyes, this is probably the best advice you’ll ever get. Sure, you could bring 3 suitcases with you for your time abroad, but I can guarantee it will be comfortable or even necessary. You must remember that arriving at an airport does not signify the end of your travels. Any sort of public transport, and really even just a walk around the airport, will be a huge hassle if you have multiple suitcases to lug around yourself!

Pack appropriate clothes.

Get familiar with the temperature of your destination and pack accordingly. Most people try to bring their entire wardrobe – but this is not in your best interest! Bring clothes that are easy to layer –  so you’ll be prepared for all sorts of different climates. If you’re trying to decide whether or not to bring a particular item of clothing with you, then keep this in mind – if you haven’t worn it in the last year, it’s likely you won’t wear it during your time abroad either; no matter how much you love it. Save the space.

Don’t pack all of the basics.

You don’t need them. Keeping your luggage weight to a minimum is essential – not just because of the cost of checking luggage, but also because of the convenience. Things like shampoo, toothpaste, and deodorant can easily be purchased once you get to your destination. This will save room for everything else you need to fit in!

Bring a few small reminders of home.

A few picture frames, printed photos, and your favorite room decoration will make wherever you’re staying much more comfortable. Making your new room feel more like home can be really important especially for those times when homesickness might strike! However, “a few” is the key here – don’t fill your suitcase with every sentimental thing you own, be practical.

Don’t pack a full suitcase.

As difficult as that may sound, leaving some extra space in your suitcase will work to your advantage in the long run since coming back home will be much, much easier. If you’re going away to study abroad, no matter how long, you’re bound to do some shopping – whether that’s for yourself, your family, or your friends. Save some space for souvenirs so you can bring a bit of your study abroad experience home with you.

Don’t panic if you forget something.

If you’ve forgotten something – do not panic! You’re likely to be able to buy whatever you need in your host country. And if worst comes to worst, you can always have whatever you need sent via the post from home. Whilst packing may be very important, it really won’t be the end of the world if you forget a thing or two, so don’t stress about it.


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