The Art of Year Abroad Packing

To roll or not to roll.. ? The advice varies on whether to roll clothes or fold… Does rolling reduce creases? Save space…??

The internet offers a variety of tips and tricks and I’m even starting to develop my own. So far, the best advice I can give is to use vacuum bags. I have currently managed to reduce my entire wardrobe to a carry-on hand luggage bag!

I have also managed to find small things to take as sentimental items/decoration. Mine include pictures, coasters and my Newcastle United Football Club scarf. These are all easy to transport, small, light and will hopefully make my room a little more like home.

Packing for a year abroad certainly isn’t easy. Most articles and ‘This Morning’ segments are to do with holidaying and generally tell me to use travel sized bottles and plan my outfits so that they can be worn at the beach and at the buffet all-inclusive dinner. This is less helpful when you’re in a German town heading out to university.

Here are some of my own tips that I’ve stumbled upon:

1) Think about what you need for Uni (if you’re going): canvas bags can be a better and smaller alternative to rucksacks and try putting all your important documents into a folder that can double up as your university folder.

2) Take full bottles of toiletries, rather than half used. There is nothing more demoralising than the realisation you are packing a bottle half full of air. Oh and a pack of tissues or a toilet roll is an essential.

3) If you can, use small sachets of coffee and sugar and individually wrapped tea. For me, home is where I can make a cuppa and put it on a coaster. Small packs of UHT milk can be found really cheaply and will bridge the time between arriving and being able to pop to the local shop for milk.

4) Think about what food products you’d miss. See if there are alternatives in the country you’re going to and if not, you can justify taking them! They are a small home comfort. For me, a bar of Cadburys chocolate or digestive biscuits shall be going in my bag…

5) Plastic mugs/plates/bowls/cutlery are great. Light, cheap and pretty much unbreakable.


On that note, I’m going to end this segment of my blog, having realised that three of my five tips involve tea paraphernalia.. (feeling very British)


6 days to go. Will update from continental Europe!


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