All study abroad students have many questions regarding one subject- packing! Packing a suitcase can be a roller-coaster ride (or in this case a flight) because once you zip it closed, you know that the next time it will be open will be in your host country. All the clothes you pack as well as the little mementos from home you bring are a hard part about deciding what to bring.
One of the most important tips we can offer to all study abroad students is about the amount of suitcases you should bring. Here’s the breakdown:
- For the flight to your host country, pack your smaller carry-on suitcase INSIDE of your large suitcase. Fill the smaller one, zip it closed, place it in your large suitcase, and pack around it to fill most of the extra space. Just make sure it is not too heavy! Your carry-on will be considered your backpack and a personal item will be considered your purse, shoulder bag, etc. Check with your airline to see how much luggage you will be charged extra for, if any.
- For the flight home, we guarantee that you will bring more back with you than you originally brought. So where will all the extra space come from, you ask? Completely fill your large suitcase AND the carry-on suitcase. The largest suitcase will be considered your check luggage (bag that goes under the plane) and your carry-on will go above your seat. Your personal item will be considered your backpack. Once again, check with your airline to see what you can bring on board.
No semester or summer study abroad student should need more than this amount. Considering going for a full-year? This is the only exception when you would need more than one checked bag to accommodate for the different seasons.
We also suggest to roll up your clothes as well as pack some in space-saving bags in which you could roll out the air. By using these space-saving techniques, you can easily fit in all those souvenirs!
As for what exactly to pack, check out a previous post from our blog regarding packing lists.