A little bit of research will go a long way.
Students who have studied abroad suggest packing certain items in a carry–on, and putting other items in checked baggage. Below are a few recommendations of what to pack where, what to leave behind, and what to buy when you get there:
1. Carry–on Luggage
A note about carry–on items: Most commercial airlines now have new regulations regarding what you can and cannot pack in your carry–on luggage. Sharp items like razors, knives, and nail files are banned in carry–on luggage on most flights.
In general, there are some very important items you will NOT want to pack in your checked baggage; rather, you will want to have them handy at all times and packed in your carry–on bag. These items are:
- Prescription medicine
- Money (For taxi rides to and from airports, phone calls, emergencies, etc…)
- Other official documentation
You may also want to have a few personal items in your carry–on in order to make your trip more comfortable and enjoyable. Consider including items like a water bottle, a book, a toothbrush/toothpaste and a change of clothes and underwear in case of flight delay/cancellation.
2. Checked Baggage
Less is more. Packing can be especially challenging if you plan to stay abroad for a relatively long time. You want to have as many comforts in Ireland as you have at home, yet you know you can’t bring everything with you. Also, part of the reason you are going abroad is to get out of your comfort zone and away from home; therefore, you will have to prepare to make do with fewer things.
Not only does your airline have a baggage limit, but also you will have a space limit at your residence in Ireland. You are most likely going to acquire things in Ireland, including souvenirs, clothes, gifts, etc… You will need some extra packing space in order to fit in these newly acquired items.
Packing for a semester abroad in Ireland a couple hours before your flight just isn’t a smart idea. Packing takes planning, and you will most likely pack and re–pack a number of times before you’re satisfied.
3. Other Things to Bring
In addition to the regular necessities like underwear, clothes and shoes, you may also need a few other things. The following is a list of items you may not have thought you needed or wanted to take with you. See if you forgot to pack any of the following:
- Proof of Insurance
- Doctor’s Note (proving you’re free from certain diseases; may be required for entry into Ireland)
- Student I.D. Card (good for discounts too)
- Money Belt
- Backpack (for class and for day–trips)
- Prescriptions (translated)
- A Few Family Photos (so you don’t get homesick)
- Dress set of clothes (just in case you go somewhere fancy)
- Gift (it may be appropriate to bring your host family a simple gift from home)
- An inventory list of the items you packed in your checked baggage, in case you need to make an insurance claim on lost luggage
- Identification tags with your contact information on them, attached both outside and inside your checked bags and carry–on bags
4. What to Buy When You Get There
Not having to worry about certain items spilling or breaking, and not packing certain items saves space. You could buy many inexpensive items when you arrive in Ireland rather than pack them. Consider buying items like shampoo, soap and an umbrella in Ireland.
- Have you researched the weather conditions over various seasons in the region of the country of your choice where you will be?
- Did you remember to pack all important travel documents in your carry–on, not your checked bags?
- Have you considered which, and made a list of, items not to take because you can buy them when you get there?
- Have you packed as lightly as possible, remembering to roll instead of fold your clothes?
- Did you make an itemized list of everything you packed in your suitcases in case they are lost or stolen and you need to make an insurance claim?
- Do you know how much luggage your airline allows you to check and to take on board your flight?