So, you’ve decided to travel abroad! Congratulations! That is a huge step for you and I’m sure it’s going to be an amazing time. Now you’re wondering, “What do I bring?” “What’s the weather like and how am I supposed to prepare for that?” “HELP!”
It’s called Google, joking. But not really, you can use Google to find your answers about weather and all the logistics of the place you’ll be headed to. It is best to plan ahead but checking weather or the seasons depending on where you’re going. Remember, winter in the Northern Hemisphere is summer in the Southern Hemisphere. It’s flipped!
I’m here to help you decide, plan and maybe even remind you on what you should and shouldn’t bring with you abroad! Now, before I get started, I just want to point out that I am a man. I don’t know really know logistics to how women pack, so this is very broad overview of travel essentials. Bare with me.
You’re more than welcome to print this to use as you begin to pack!
Things to Bring When Traveling Abroad
I would like to point out that this list is based on either a short (one to four weeks) or long (10+ months) period of time. It just depends on how you travel and the list is based on how I would normally travel. Assuming you will do laundry and potentially purchase clothing/souvies abroad, will explain the limited amount of clothing.
Note: the clothing you bring should NOT be clothing that has a high price tag. Ideally, the clothing you bring can either be disposed of during or after your trip or clothes you don’t care about but don’t really want to toss it. You know the kind of attachment I’m talking about, ”I got that tank top in Thailand! It holds memories but I don’t mind a little wear n tear.”
- Shirts (2-4) – I say you would only need 3 since four is pushing it, but I digress.
- Pants (1-2) – I usually wear a pair on the plane, but these can also be bought abroad. PLEASE NOTE: if you’re an American looking to buy Levi’s or any other American brand abroad, expect to pay a little more!
- Shorts (1-2) – Depending on where you go and the season, this number may change. Check the weather!
- Sports gear (1-2) – I sleep in shorts, so I bring an extra to sleep and workout in.
- Swim gear (1) – Unless you’re planning on going to Bali or Maldives, you will only need pair of swim gear. If not, bring one or buy one.
- Socks (2-4) – Please buy more socks…and/or wash your current ones.
- Underwear (3) – Please bring underwear…
- Undershirt (1-2) – I don’t really wear undershirts, but you will if you’re traveling for work abroad.
- Tank tops (1-2) – It really depends on where you’re traveling to and the season.
- Hoodies (1-2) – I’m a hoodie type of person, so I like to bring two. Cozy.
- Jackets/Windbreakers (1/1) – Depending on the season, you may need more or none!
- Dress/skirt (1-2) – For a night in the town, GNO amirite? Or a sundress if you’re headed to somewhere like Barcelona! “Floral in spring? Groundbreaking.”
- Hat/Bandana (1/1) – I like to bring one of each. Both will come in handy.
- Laptop – Assuming you’re going to travel for an internship, you’ll need this. Also nice to use for blogging or research things to do in a city you’ve never been to.
- Phone – Just don’t lose it…or buy an unlocked one for cheap!
- Chargers for all devices – yes, don’t forget this. Muy importante! But you can also buy it abroad, but you may pay a little more!
- Camera (film, if needed) – GoPro, Fujifilm, Polaroid, Nikon, Canon, etc. It’ll be nice to capture your adventures! Your phone works just as fine! #TeamiPhone
- Earphones – You’d be a fool if you didn’t bring earphones for a flight…
- Adapter/Converter for outlets – Also muy importante! These are cheap on Amazon. Voltage conversions differ from country to country, so don’t be alarmed if your hair dryer is working at half power.
- Tripods/Stands – I’m not talking about your $100 tripod for your $5k camera. I’m talking about a selfie stick or a GoPro stick. These are small and can be tucked away in a checked bag. Just be sure to bring only what you NEED (if you’re not going to use a tripod, then don’t bring one).
- Toothbrush – you can also buy this too but if you have an electric one or a fancy travel one, then by all means.
- Contacts – If you wanna be cool in the day and nerdy at night…? Make sure you have extras!
- Contact solution – To look cool in the day?? Contact solution can be bought abroad as well, unless you’re going somewhere with less medical access, then bring a bottle just in case!
- Hair brush – You don’t reallllly need this but unless you have a specific comb or brush.
- Cologne/Perfume – Not necessary unless you’re going to be fancy pants abroad or you like cologne for work.
- Face cream – If you have a special face cream for your skin? This would also be considered sunscreen and shaving cream!
- Electric shaver/razor – If you want to bring these, you can buy a disposable razor abroad and the other you can bring unless it is an expensive electric shaver, then I advise not to bring it. You’ll survive without it. #FirstWorldProblems
- Feminine Hygiene Products – Ladies… be sure to pack ALL essentials, even necessities like *cough* pads, tampons, etc.
- Health-related items – Medications, epipen, etc. Make sure you have enough if you’re going for a short period of time. Don’t risk it.
- Travel journal – I highly recommend! It’s a great way to relax, take time to for yourself and to really think about your journey thus far.
- Backpack – If this isn’t an obvious item to bring then I don’t know what to say. You can also buy a backpack abroad! A cheap one just to hold your things.
- Reusable water bottle – SAVE THE PLANET. RECYCLE AND REUSE, BUT IN THIS CASE, REUSE.
- Sunglasses/glasses – To look cool in the day and to look nerdy at night. Unless you always need glasses on then…you cool all day, every day. You can always buy some cheap pair of sunglasses abroad.
- Jewelry – But not too much! You may risk losing a precious gift, or worse…be a victim of theft or pickpocketing.
- Copies – Passport, credit card info, health insurance and other important documents you may need to get back into the country or to an embassy. NEVER carry your passport, lock it up and/or leave it at home. You should carry a copy around with you instead. Always have some form of identification on you no matter where you go.
Things NOT to Bring While Traveling Abroad
Sometimes, the things that you love and adore at home might not be the best “travel buddies” for your next trip. For good reason, it can weigh you down or you simply don’t need it. Here is a list of items you should NOT take with you while you travel abroad.
- TOO MUCH CLOTHES – Seriously, if you bring too much you’ll only regret lugging it everywhere and if you run out of room for stuff you buy then you’ll have to purchase more luggage. No bueno.
- Pillows – NO. Just, no. UNLESS it’s a neck pillow then those are a god sent creation for any level of transportation.
- Bed linen – Unless you’ve got an allergy of some sort, then buy one you can dispose of abroad. Just in case you need more room in your luggage for when you come home.
- TOO MANY SHOES – You can buy more shoes. Depending on where you go and the time frame, the type of shoes you bring will vary. Summer in Australia? Sandals and walking shoes. Winter in Amsterdam? Boots n socks and boots n socks.
- Bulky electronics – Face it – even at home, you don’t need 2 smartphones, a tablet, 2 laptops and a desktop. So why would you bring those abroad with you? Not only will this be a hassle while going through checkpoint security at the airport, but it’s also a huge target for theft and pickpocketing. Sometimes, you’re better off keeping your electronics at a minimum and leaving the rest safe at home.
- Bath/Shower necessities – You can buy a lot of bath products wherever you’re going. Don’t waste your luggage space and weight limit on toiletries you can buy abroad.
- Weapons – If I need to tell you this and you double check yourself…don’t be on my flight. SAFE SPACE.
- Expensive items – if your clothing or anything you’re planning on bringing abroad has a price tag of more than $50 (excluding tech gear and shoes), leave that sucker at home. Things you find valuable or if you’re concerned about bringing a certain item, leave it. Not worth it losing something that either cost you a leg or has a special meaning to you.
Now that you’ve seen my list of things to bring abroad with some recommendations, all you have left is to get going! Regardless of what you bring or how you pack, your trip is going to be amazing and take all the opportunities you can get! Don’t be that person who hesitates in doing something and then regrets not doing it. Live your best life! Make your Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Reddit, YouTube and any other social media platforms you use look hot, fresh and aesthetically pleasing. Make your followers jealous of your travels!
Be smart. Be safe. Go explore.
About Our Contributor:
Drew is Adelante HQ’s Social Media & Marketing intern for Fall 2017 and is currently a Public Relations major at Cal State Long Beach. He has participated in a youth exchange program in Dakar, Senegal and an international basketball tournament in Japan. One of his many traveling goals is to step foot on every continent on this big blue planet, and yes, even Antartica.