Sunday, December 23, 2012

Packing is stressful...

Everybody loves packing right???

OK, so packing for 5 months in one checked bag, a carry-on, and a personal item sounds stressful right? Well it is. Plus going to a country that you've never been to before and have only heard about the crazy weather makes it a little more difficult. I searched high and low for some suggestions about what to bring to Scotland for five months.....and didn't find anything that was very helpful. Most stuff gives you ideas for each season, but how do you cope for several? The only concrete help: layers. 

I was in a special predicament in that I had to pack for two trips at once. Side note: I also had to worry about packing my ENTIRE dorm just a week before packing for the next one. What I mean is that we are leaving Christmas afternoon to head over to my sister's house in St. Louis (from Northern-ish VA) and I get to fly out from there to Glasgow. So the idea of packing for five months in a couple of hours only heightened the anxiety (I had asked for luggage for Christmas). My mom helped with that by letting me open the set early. Thanks Mom!!

Anyway!! So to help those who are planning on going abroad to the UK and Ireland I've decided to include a list of all the things I decided to pack. This list has been cultivated using years of light packing skills along with inherited list making abilities (thanks again mom).

-driver's license
-ISIC (International Student Identification Card) 
-Insurance card
-copies of the paperwork needed for tier-4 visa (if needed)

- at least 2 pairs of jeans
-dress pants
-a crew-neck sweatshirt (easier to layer and I knew I'd buy another one there)
-rain jacket 
-5 t-shirts
-4 long sleeve shirts (plus a 3/4 sleeve)
-3 cardigans
-3 dressier shirts
-1 bathing suit
-leggings/long johns/yoga pants
-at least 7 pairs of socks (plus some fuzzy ones to keep your toes toasty and peds of you use them)
-at least 7 pairs of underwear
-at least 3 bras (preferably nude, black, and white/grey)
-2 pairs of gloves (warmer and lighter)
-2 hats (same with the gloves)
-winter jacket
-2 pairs of running shorts
-2 sports bras
-2 exercise shirts
-2 business casual dresses
-4 pairs of tights
-1 pair of shorts
-2 pairs of pajama pants
-2 sleepy shirts
-running shoes
-flats (a pair that will match anything)
-2 pairs of walking shoes
-waterproof shoes

The clothing that went into my checked bag (only 35 pounds with room to spare!)
-laptop and charger
-camera and charger
-phone and charger
-adapter/converter (we found this really cool one that has a switch between the two so it works as both)
-Ethernet cord
-power strip

-hair ties and clips
-toothbrush and toothpaste
-stuffed animal
-contacts and solution
-glasses and case
-jewelry (I put it all in a nicer wristlet to keep it together and to utilize the wristlet's space)
-cross-body style purse (harder to steal)
-travel size shampoo and conditioner
-hair dryer (only if you have a converter, otherwise buy there)

Sorry that was such a long list but I just want to help all the other student travelers who may find the job daunting. And of course this can be altered to fit personal style (I'm more of a t-shirt and jeans kind of girl). But always remember that Scotland especially is known for its rain and cold, so be prepared. Good Luck!

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