A bit late of a post this week, because I’ve been too tired and cranky. It happens, OK? I mentioned that I just don’t function with fewer than 8 hours of sleep, right? Well, Sunday night I got 4 hours, and I’ve been miserable up until Thursday evening. Irritable, withdrawn, and overwhelmed. So, today I finally tackled finishing this post… just in time to work on my next one! People talk about having a schedule, and writing posts a month ahead of time? Not how I function. All these thoughts are fresh and relevant and sometimes just a terrible stream of consciousness. :)
When I got to London, I didn’t hate myself because my study abroad packing consisted of two large suitcases and a carry on… but I was tired and all the distances seemed really long and it was definitely difficult to lug them around. So there are two changes I would make to this next time: bring that third large suitcase you thought would be too much and get a taxi from the airport to your check-in location to your new home. (Travel with a friend or two though, so you can split the taxi bill!)
What have I not used, and what have I had to buy, when it comes to my packing list?
What Not to Pack:
- Skirt suit, unless you’re going for a very professional internship (Like Finance!)
- More than one lotion or perfume (I packed like three. Guess what, it was overkill.)
- Sunscreen (Even with my sensitive skin, it’s just not that warm or sunny here, or anywhere I’ve been.)
- Filtered water bottle (It’s not even safe for poor water quality! Just buy a 6 pack at the store and re-fill.)
- Travel toilet paper (Let’s be honest, you’re not going to pack/use it.)
What to Pack:
- Warm, weather proof shoes
- Hats, mittens/gloves
- Purses (2-3) that you will feel safe traveling with: zippered, cross-body, and probably large enough to stuff all your crap inside ;)
- Small, rolling suitcase size-approved for budget airlines
- An unlocked, SIM-removed phone (you’ll want to buy a cheap SIM-based plan overseas)
- American-only food you love, like brownies and animal crackers… just saying!
- Some hobby supplies… knitting, reading, whatever floats your boat when you’re bored.
- More clothes and shoes. They are so expensive here! Lots of sweaters (jumpers)!
- UK > US power strip, so you can plug in lots of stuff with fewer adapters!
What to Buy There:
- Hair dryer, straightener, and/or curler (£18 Argos)
- Towels, bath mat (Sainsbury’s)
- Hangers (£3 Primark)
- Laundry hamper (£1 Poundland)
- Tupperware (£4 Argos)
- Travel size bottles (£1 Primark)
- Hair shampoo/conditioner
Some cheap places to buy these things? Listed above or IKEA.
So, what about a packing list for those weekend travel trips?
Well, I thought about how easy it is to forget items, so I made a printable for you! You’re never going to get all the items on this list to fit… but that’s OK, because hopefully you don’t need all of these items. For instance, I wanted this list to work for multiple types of trips… but if you’re coming to London in the Fall most of your packing won’t need a swimsuit, sunscreen, etc. (But you will need more layers for your outfits, so factor that in.)
If you’re traveling on a budget airline, remember to check their luggage requirements, like size and weight! Luckily, buses and trains don’t have these kinds of restrictions. Enjoy!