Congratulations on your admission to the college of your dreams! You’re all set for what is surely going to be among the most exciting and fulfilling experiences for your life. But before you leave, there’s one all important step, which could be stressful unless it is well planned…you must pack whatever you need to take! We’ve put together the ultimate packing checklist to help you with this.
So, here’s what you need to keep in mind.
There is no doubt at all that your documentation is the most important thing to organize before you plan overseas travel. You must keep the original document, as well as one Xerox copy (in a different place so that you don’t lose both together!) It is also a good idea to scan all these important documents and store them in the cloud, so that they are always available wherever you are. During travel, you must keep the originals with you in your carry-on baggage as even the best airlines do have delays with check-in baggage at times.
We suggest that you should keep these with you:
- Tax information
- Financial record
- Offer of admission
- Sponsorship papers if any
- Visa information
- Marriage license
- Birth certificate
- Immunization records
- Medical records including prescriptions if any
- Travel insurance paperwork
- Credit Cards
If you are on any long-term medication, remember to stock up for a couple of months at least and also carry a signed prescription with you, to show on demand. Also carry some standard over-the-counter medicines so that you do not have to find a doctor, or a pharmacy in any emergency. You may get an upset stomach because of the change in diet, or the stress of travel and lack of sleep can give you a headache. It’s always best to be prepared!
We suggest that you carry these medicines, or their equivalent, with you:
- Iodine tablets (for water purification)
- Avomine (motion sickness pills)
- Lomotil (for diarrhoea)
- Gelusil(for acidity)
- Mosquito spray
- Allergy medicine such as Allegra
- Prescription medications that will last for a couple of weeks at least
- Antiseptic ointment such as Neosporin
- Charcoal tablets (for overcoming food poisoning)
In today’s connected world, most of us cannot part with our mobile phones and laptops! Do remember to pack these items as forgetting any of them can cause you hassle that could be easily avoided. Also, make sure that you remember all your online passwords so that you are not troubled when you set up your mail or other accounts overseas.
- Mobile phone (you can purchase a Sim abroad, but do set up WhatsApp and Skype so that you can use them for calling temporarily)
- Portable laptop, adaptor and charger
- External hard drive and other forms of data storage
- Travel adapters
- Camera and storage cards
- Kindle if you use one
- Chargers for each of these items
When you pack your clothes, check the weather and the season and plan accordingly. Also plan your travel clothing sensibly. It may be summer in your native country, but if you wear a tank top for travel to a cold country, you will freeze when you arrive! It makes sense to wear layers of clothes during travel so that if you feel hot you can just remove the outermost layer. Also, remember that you may not be able to do laundry everyday, so plan to have enough clean underclothes for at least a week or ten days.
Don’t forget these items:
- Thermal wear
- T Shirts, shorts, skirts, jeans
- Formal clothes for interviews (these can be expensive to buy abroad)
- Towel (one for immediate use should do as you can buy more later)
- Shoes, sandals and flipflops (take as many as you need as they do not occupy much space but can be expensive to buy abroad)
- Bathing suit
- Sunglasses and prescription glasses
- Socks, handkerchiefs and underclothes
- A hoodie and a light cardigan
Carry only small sizes of toiletries that you will need for immediate use. You can always visit a local department store the first week of your arrival, and stock up as you wish. Remember that any bottles with liquids over a certain volume will not be permitted in carry-on luggage….and definitely you will not be allowed to carry anything sharp on board the aircraft.
Here’s a check list:
- Toothbrush and toothpaste(small tube)
- Soap and shampoo(travel packs)
- Contact lens solution and contacts
- Glasses, in case you lose your contacts
- Any facepacks or cleansers that you are used to
- Shaving cream and razors(sharp items will not be permitted in carry on baggage)
- Dental floss
- Nail clippers(will not be permitted in carry on baggage)
- Sewing kit(will not be permitted in carry on baggage)
- Tweezers(will not be permitted in carry on baggage)
Last but not least, there are always items that you may specifically need which don’t fall into any of these categories! For instance:
- Notebook and pen
- Any items of sentimental value
- A plate and drinking glass for immediate use upon arrival (you can always buy cooking utensils, if required, later…and they will be too heavy to carry as well)
- Duct tape
- Travel backpack
- Water bottle
- Swiss Army Knife
So that’s our list! We hope that it has helped you to make a start! Do remember to start packing early, as you will have to weigh each of your pieces of baggage and repack several times, in order to comply with airline regulations. What we have also found, through experience, is that friends will come in at the last minute with gifts, or request you to carry items for their friends or relatives abroad. Feel free to say no if you do not have space in your luggage…after all, your items should take preference over theirs!
Enjoy yourself, and do not let the stress get to you!