Always pack sensibly and lightly. Choose clothes that you can mix and match in order to utilize a minimum number of items. Also, weather can vary quite a bit throughout the day and from town to town, so take clothes that are good for layering.
When you fly, you will be limited to one or two pieces of checked luggage (depending on your destination) and one carry-on bag. Your carry-on bag should contain all the necessities to live for one or two days in the event that your luggage is delayed or lost.
Packing tips specific to your program will be provided at your orientation; however, here are some more helpful guidelines:
- Consult the website of your airline or the U.S. Department of State for up-to-date information on restrictions of specific items allowed in checked and carry-on luggage.
- Print and pack hard copies of your itinerary, accommodations or meeting points and important phone numbers. This is important so that you can still access information if your phone or laptop is lost or damaged.
- Do not take jewelry or other items of value.
- Take comfortable walking shoes.
- Take an extra pair of eyeglasses and/or contact lenses. Take enough contact lens solution to last for the duration of the program.
- Take enough prescription medication to last the duration of the program plus several days' worth of extra medication in case of travel delays. Keep prescriptions in their original, labeled containers.
- Take your own towel and washcloth. Some programs may require you to bring bed linens as well.
- Take a small, battery-operated alarm clock.
- If you plan to bring any electrical appliances (e.g., hair dryer, electric razor), you will need to take a voltage converter and a set of adapter plugs. Visit World Power Plugs for a worldwide electrical guide.
- Bring small gifts for host families or friends that you meet along the way.
If you are thinking of bringing your laptop, consider the following:
- Your laptop should have its own multi-voltage transformer/converter.
- Have your computer insured, as laptops are at a high-risk for theft.
- Carry your computer with you on the plane as a carry-on.
- Prior to travel, make sure you do not have sensitive research or personal data your electronic devices. You may be using insecure wireless networks while abroad; protect the information you would not want intercepted.
Copies, Copies, Copies
Before you leave the United States, it is vital that you make copies of the following items:
- Your passport information page (the page with your photograph)
- Any special immigration papers
- Credit and/or debit card information
- Your GeoBlue insurance card, any prescriptions for medication and information with any elective appointments prearranged with GeoBlue
- Any other important documents
Carry the copies with you in a separate place from the originals when you travel. Store the copies in a safe place, separate from the originals, in your room or in a hotel safe. Also be sure to leave a set at home with your family.
GeoBlue Assistance Services will help students throughout the duration of their education abroad program who have lost important documents, such as passports, by providing instructions for replacement. Call collect +1-610-254-8771.