The anxiety of packing was keeping me up tonight so I decided I would write. Packing for a year abroad is a monumental task. I laugh when I think about all the stuff I need to bring and all of the stuff I have to leave behind. Nervous laughter? It’s really overwhelming, but I know what I need and don’t need. The problem with packing for a year is that I sit here and I say to myself “What if I forget something?” over and over. I leave in 5 days. I still think it is crazy and I’m not sure if I will believe it until I am on the plane. I’m ready to go, yet I’m not ready at all.
I have compiled list of things to bring if you plan to live in a foreign country for a long period of time. I have read many lists. I find that some of them are lacking in some categories. Here is what I have learned from research. Here is my list and tips.
Packing list for living abroad (My Au Pair Packing List)
I have categorized this for convenience.
- Cell Phone
- (don’t forget chargers)
Converters: There are some converters on Amazon that are 3/7.99. They are specific to country. If you are living permanently in a new place they are perfect.
- Clear bag and containers that will let you pack liquids to last for 1-2 weeks
- Shave cream
- body wash
- face wash
- Razor (I just bought a bag of disposable b/c I think I will have to buy a new one)
- feminine products
- curling iron
- Do not weigh down suitcase with hairdryer (Unfortunately, Hair dryers do not work as well with converters)
If you have favorite bathroom items that you cannot live without get extras.
Medicine: Prescription and those you use regularly.
Clothing Items:(May vary from person to person, but here are basics)
Dresses/skirts: Based on preferences, not a necessity
- leather jacket
- light jacket
- heavy coat
- Black pants
- Tall boots
Presents for host family
Carry on items for international flight
- Prescription Medication
- Essential Medication
- Reading material
- Activities to keep busy
- Notebook or Journal an Pen
- Camera & Charger
- Laptop & Charger
- Tablet & Charger
- Phone & charger
- Plane ticket
- Papers for finishing visa process (if au pair in France OFII form)
- Face wipes
- Baby powder or Dry shampoo
- Hair accessories
- Clear bag with liquids inside
- Ear plugs
- Face mask
- Travel Toothbrush set
- Change of Clothes(In case your bags get lost or delayed)
A lot of the lists I see tell you how many of each thing to take. I plan on taking two suitcases and a carry on. I will be taking as much as I can fit in the suitcases. 🙂
Quick tips: get the Ziploc space bags. Also, there are many rolling and packing tips on Pinterest.