Are you lucky enough to be taking a semester abroad? Worried about what you'll need to bring along? Let's go through some easy packing tips and advice.
If you are bringing any electrical appliances such as a laptop, cell phone, hair dryer, electric razor, iron, bipod, digital camera, etc., you'll need to check if these are designed for dual voltage (110/220watt). If they are not, you'll need to purchase a converter/adapter set. Remember, that there are different versions of converters. Some are designed only for high voltage appliances, some for low voltage appliances, and some that take both. Check with your cell phone provider that your phone can be used in the country where you'll be staying. Also, remember to purchase a grounded adapter plug for your laptop.
Remember to bring credit cards in your own name. Also, make a duplicate copy of your passport and keep the copy in a separate safe place along with your credit numbers and phone numbers where you can call if there is any problem. Wearing a money belt is a very good idea. They are thin enough not to annoy the wearer, and they are the only item that works against pick- pockets. You can carry extra cash and your passport in the money belt, but keep a wallet for purchases you'll need to make immediately. There are many versions of money belts that can be worn around the waist, neck, shoulder, or leg. American passports are a desirable item, and you don't want to put yourself at risk.
The best way to pack is in rolling duffels that are collapsible. These come in many large sizes and are easier to manage than a large suitcase. Additionally, because the sides fold down it can slide under your bed or in a closet for storage. You'll need the wheels to make it manageable when it's filled. Also, many of them can hook up a second bag where you can pack your books, shoes, and other heavy items. You can also than have that bag available for the many sightseeing trips you'll likely be taking. Another good idea is a foldable tote that can be packed. That way you'll have a bag to bring back your many purchases.
If you do not speak the language of the country you will be at a disadvantage. You will need a book of phrases or one of those hand held electronic translators. You'll be able to pick up bits and pieces of the language, and the phrase book or translator will make your stay more enjoyable. It's extremely important to keep a journal. You'll be seeing so much and learning so much that writing everything down will make it easier to recall all of your wonderful memories.
Maxine Greco has worked in luggage and travel industry for over 35 years. She is now currently atVillage Luggage & Gifts