The Most Important Question to Ask Before Going Abroad

Kaitlyn Moran is a student at the University of Denver and an ISA Featured Blogger. She is currently studying abroad with ISA in Prague, Czech Republic.

Here is a glimpse of what I am bringing with me. It may seem like a lot, but all of it fit into my 2 suitcases!
Here is a glimpse of what I am bringing with me. It may seem like a lot, but all of it fit into my 2 suitcases!

As I wait to depart for my 4-month trip to Prague, it seems like there are a million things to get done and a million-and-one questions to be answered. But the most important question I’ve had on my mind is what do I pack?!

After referencing what seems like every online study abroad packing list and travel blog I have decided it is best to pack relatively light WARNING: I am a notorious over-packer so my definition of packing light may be very different from yours. Usually my motto is “always be prepared,” so if packing light is as hard for you as it was for me, here are some tips helpful tips I followed when packing for my own trip:

  • DON’T even think about bringing toiletries. OK, travel sized ones may come in handy to keep in your carry-on but bringing them in your checked luggage is a waste of precious space and weight. Plus even cheapo European products are typically better for your skin and hair.
  • DO plan on buying certain things when you arrive. I know, it may seem silly to buy things you already own while abroad, but trust me you don’t have as much room as you think. Items that can be found in every country for relatively cheap can be purchased upon arrival.
  • That being said DO plan on bringing home more luggage than you came with. I don’t know about you, but I am a major shopper. I definitely plan on bringing home lots of gifts for family and friends, and myself, of course. It’s OK to come home with more than you brought, but plan ahead. Pack a fold-able duffel bag that can be stuffed in an outside luggage pocket so you will be able to bring your new goodies home with you!

Packing for such a long trip can be really frustrating for some, but remember: you are responsible for everything you bring with you. You don’t want to be lugging around 8 suitcases all on your own. Anything you leave behind can always be replaced once you arrive at your destination, so in this situation it seems that “less is more” has become my new motto.

Want to read more from our Prague students? Check out “Glimpse into the Past at Prague Castle”

2 thoughts

  1. Bring less! You’re going to want to buy clothes there. I lived in Austria for four months and half the stuff I brought wasn’t right for the culture or the weather.

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