Study Abroad Program:
European Literary Trails
Among the 2002 Maymester "Literary Trailers" was a graduate student, Laura Clark. Below is her great list of what to pack and what to leave behind: I hope you will find it helpful. She'll be happy to elaborate if you contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Laura says: "Things I am Glad I Had"
1- Eye drops - used almost a whole bottle on the trip!
2- Sunglasses - for the nice days
3- Soft shoes - for changing into after a long day of walking
4- Open backed walking shoes - I got blisters from my hiking shoes in the city and I never would have made it!
5- Favorite gum/mints - nice to have something familiar
6- Film - It was SO expensive in most places, I am glad I brought my own!
7- Shorts and T-shirt - nice for lounging with classmates at hotel
8- ISIC calling plan with some $$ on it - worked at pay phones when no one else's calling card did; voicemail account was nice too! Helped avoid the "phone tag" with family.
9- Cash - Some people only brought money orders
10- 5 Plastic Coat hangers and plastic clothes pins (got them at the Dollar store) - GREAT for laundry in the hotel
11- Wheeled suitcase!! (Don't pack too heavy..hauling luggage gets old fast!)
12- Lip Balm with SPF 15
13- Camera bag that doubled as day bag - Great for all day trips.
14- Small towel - For drying laundry
15- Clothes that dry quickly - khakis instead of jeans, lightweight socks, etc.
16- Bar soap - travels better than gels and is good for laundry
17- Two CDs with a mix of my favorite tunes
18- Jacket with a hood
19- Zoom lens for camera
20- Small Binoculars - great for seeing architecture details
21- Small purse for passport and travel tickets that I could always keep with me
22- Coin purse (attached in small purse) - Euros are coins!!!
23- Small book with common French phrases - even though I couldn't speak French, I was able to read menus and point to phrases when I needed assistance (like in the Post Office) I kept this with me in my small purse.
24- Locks for ALL luggage
25 - Extra Space in luggage so that packing and securing in the hotels was easy. (My roommates spent a LOT of time each day trying to fit it all back into an over packed suitcase before we left for the day!)
26- Leisure reading and travel guides
27- Passport cover - makes the US passport less obvious in lines
Things I'm glad I didn't bring:
1- Jewelry - I only had what I wore everyday
2- Travelers Checks - I brought some for a back up, but the cash and ATM card were enough
3- Lots of music and CDs - people who brought them had to haul them around
Things I wish I had brought:
1- WASHCLOTH - none in Europe...not in the hotels or stores to buy!
2- Fab-breeze - freshens clothes that have lived in the suitcase for days
3- Pre-printed Mailing labels with friends and family addresses for post cards - saves time!
4- Gloves - needed them on some cool Irish morning (buy a nice scarf there!)
5- Snacks - not many, but a granola bar would have been great as I was adjusting to the time difference.
6- Pictures of Radford/Virginia/home and small gifts - I met people who were curious about here, and had nothing to share :-(
7- More layering clothes - I mostly had short sleeve sweaters or heavy sweaters with me.
8- A journal with a plain (non-US) front - Mine had "TRAVEL JOURNAL" on the cover and it really stood out. I wish I had a smaller one that was less obvious.
Things I wish I hadn't brought:
1- So many clothes! - Even though I only had one 30 in. suitcase and a small carry-on (both with LOTS of extra space), I still packed too much. I could have made it on 3 pants, 4 tops, a jacket, raincoat, and other very basic necessities. (I am glad I had a couple of choices for shoes though!)
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