Packing Tips To Consider

By The Elm - Feb 25,2016@12:53 pm

By Emma Buchman
Foreign Correspondent
There are a lot of things that you don’t anticipate needing when you travel and for the most part they are actually pretty obvious.
So obvious, in fact, that you want to smack yourself in the head because you just can’t believe that you forgot them.
Well I’m here today to save you a few brain cells and tell you some of the things you may need that you may not initially think about. I know how boring this article already sounds, but this isn’t going to be a “always remember where you towel is” lecture. (Although that it one of the most important things to bring anywhere you go. Do you know how uncomfortable it is to air-dry after a shower?)
This list will vary depending on the accommodations that you will be provided. For example, in London I was provided a room and cooking supplies, so I didn’t need to buy anything like pots, plates, or silverware. When I came to France, however, I was only (I say only, but I could have been forced to find it on my own) provided with a room. Therefore, I had to buy all of my home essentials. These include what I’ve listed above, but this also includes things like hand towels, cleaning supplies, etc.
If you find yourself needing to prepare for life-after-college accommodations, just go through a normal day and think of everything that you used during that day. Then determine what is most important and actually follow through with getting it.
You’ll most likely want to wait to actually get to your host country to buy household items like this, unless you want a 100-pound suitcase.If you travel to a school that offers the same types of housing that WC does, then there are fewer things that you need to worry about. The first thing is always to make sure you have any over-the-counter drugs that you regularly use like Ibuprofen or Advil. I get headaches sometimes and Ibuprofen is one of the top things that I forget about, and I almost always regret it. There are some toiletries that you might easily forget as well, like Band-Aids, nail clippers, tweezers, or lotion.
Some other items you don’t want to forget include chargers, adapters for wall outlets, and USB ports.
For items like these, it can be difficult to come up with a systematic way to remember them, so it might be easier to just make a list in advance. This might sound a little weird, but you may also just want to look at your body or your room and see what items you use to take care of those things. Sometimes just by looking at your nails, you’ll remember that they need to be trimmed every once in a while.
The last set of items to always remember are mementos from home. I don’t just mean photos or a stuffed animal; I mean things that you have in your personal space at home that have meaning to you or just generally give you comfort. They don’t have to be huge or your most valued possessions. Something like a decoration or a book, a throw blanket, or a DVD, anything that is relatively portable and will make your space abroad feel more like home when things become too new and you feel out of place works.
Sometimes, we focus so much on the practical things that we can forget those items that help us with the emotional or mental aspects of our lives. Cleaning supplies and laundry baskets are important, but will they be the things that get you through a rough day? Probably not.
Having all of these items together is not just a matter of necessity, but it is also a matter of comfort. In addition to more sentimental objects, having a space that is your specification of clean and well-stocked is essential to providing an environment that makes it easier for you to focus on what really matters: having fun during your time abroad.
This list is certainly not all-inclusive, since I often tend to forget things.
If you use this list, hopefully it will enable you to be more prepared when you’re abroad and will make your life in your host country run as smoothly and as normally as possible.

Buchman is currently studying abroad in France and reporting to The Elm about her experience.

The Elm

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