Preparing to move abroad can be incredibly stressful. And if you are anything like me, a chronic over-packer you may wonder, how in the world am I going to fit my entire life in one suitcase? But contrary to what you may believe, it is possible! So here are my tips on where to start.
Bags: One large suitcase, one backpack, and a purse/ “personal item”, and I packed all of my clothes in air-tight bags to save space.
Clothes: Remember, you are essentially packing for several seasons, so remember this when choosing clothes! For Tops, I packed a handful of sweaters ( 5), a couple cardigans (2), Several blouses (for layering!), 2 flannels (because I wear these, like a lot). For bottoms, I packed 3 pairs of jeans (2 dark wash, one light), 3 skirts (two shorter, 1 maxi), 3 pairs of leggings, and 1 pair of dress pants, just in case. In addition I am bringing two pairs of pajama bottoms, and a couple tee shirts. I also packed one sweatshirt, and one wool coat for when it gets cold. Also don’t forget the obvious, like, socks, underwear, and bras if you are a girl.
Shoes: I love my boots, so I am bringing one pair of knee high boots, and 1 pair of combat boots. I also have 2 pairs of flats (one tan and one black), my black Keds, a pair of sneakers, a pair of Sperries, and 1 pair of flip flops I can use in hostel showers.
Teaching Materials: To be honest, I am not bringing much other than what i can fit on my USB drive. I have tons of pamphlets from my home city saved on my computer that I found on their Tourism Website. I also have a handful of pictures and a gift for my contact teachers (two coffee table/touristy books I found with lots of pictures and info about Washington D.C.) You may, however, want to ask your schools if there is anything they want you to bring. Chances are, however, you probably won’t end up using much of it if you bring a lot).
Technology: I am actually probably bringing less than most. I am sticking with my laptop, smart phone, and portable battery charger (these come in handy when traveling and using your phone a lot). I am forgoing a camera because the only one I have is about 6 years old, and probably has the same picture quality as my Galaxy S5 anyway.
Linens: Do not bring much on this front. I am only bringing one small towel (travel towel) and a wash cloth. Everything else, just buy in France.
Toiletries: I am bringing one fresh set of toiletries and no more to save space. This goes for makeup as well.
Medicine: If you have any prescriptions, I would recommend trying to get an Insurance Override (at least in the USA), and getting enough to cover your time in France, or at least a substantial amount of it. Especially if there is any medicine you take that is brand-specific, so you don’t have to worry about finding an equivalent that works for you in France.
Food: If there is something you think you need that you absolutely can not get in France, bring it. Otherwise, I wouldn’t bring anything like this.
So there’s the jist of it! Any other advice you’d like to add? Feel free to comment down below!