European Literary Trails: Study  Abroad  Program
Director: Professor Jolanta W. Wawrzycka


Packing Ideas and Such

By Katie Brado

  •   Journal/small notebook to take with you on your daily outings-try to write as much as you can each day or every other day because otherwise you WILL forget some things you saw or did.  This is vital for the final project so make sure you bring one with enough paper that you can also take with you everywhere that isn’t too bulky. 

  •   Backpack for day trips, carry-on for flights.  You can throw your journal, Discman, camera, water bottle, etc. in here. 

  •   Extra memory cards for digital cameras or have them burned to a CD for you (I did this in Florence-wish I had done it sooner it saved me so much money!)  I ended up buying 2 extra cards and it really was a waste of money.  They are very expensive; especially when you convert US dollars to Euro.  Or if you have a laptop like Kelin did, you can upload your pics…she helped me!

  •   When you are planning your budget, make sure you keep in mind the transfer rate…$100 US dollars converts to about $75 in Euros. 

  •   Converters for hairdryers, battery chargers, etc…I thought I’d be cool and bring only the ones I needed (mine came in a pack of 5 for all different countries) and I ended up bringing the wrong ones-go figure!  So make sure you either bring all of them or make sure they are for the proper countries.  Also, my hairdryer was too powerful for the electric sockets in Galway-Europe is a lot more energy and environment efficient than America so try to bring a lower-wattage hair dryer girls!  We almost shocked poor Justin trying to plug mine in!

  •   Plastic baggies-like Ziploc kind…these were nice to put electronics in when it rained and you were walking i.e. a Discman, camera, etc.  IF you put these inside bags in your backpack that you carry with you, they will keep dry even if you get rained on.

  •   Hat, gloves, scarf, heavy jacket…trust me, you’ll be glad you have these in Ireland!

  •   Hand Sanitizer…it’s very helpful if you have to use nature for a restroom, also bring mini packs of Kleenex.

  •   Washcloth…you won’t find these in Europe

  •   Maybe an extra towel…we seemed to always be short on supply of these!

  •   Locks for your luggage when it is stored in Dublin and for while you are gone during the day…who knows who you’ll be sharing a hostile with

  •   New or good supportive tennis shoes…I bought a new pair before I left and they were pretty much dead after I got home…you’ll be doing a lot of climbing/hiking up mountains and a LOT of walking

  •   Bring lots of batteries—everything is insanely expensive, in Ireland especially

  •   Umbrellas you don’t need…maybe a hat instead…I liked that better.  Much easier to tour with!  Also if you have a raincoat it wouldn’t hurt.

  •   You could bring binoculars if you have a small pair, but you probably won’t need them-did you know that if you turn your camera around and look through the window backwards it works as a magnifier? Try it!

  •   Lots of underwear and socks-really I’m glad I did because they are small and you can fit them anywhere and you never know when you’ll be able to do laundry next.

  •   Shower shoes/flip-flops-wish I had brought these because some of the showers we used in hostels weren’t so clean-remember, LOTS OF PEOPLE are using these.

  •   Please bring mosquito spray for Italy-I wish I did!  Those things are evil over there!

  •   Small or medium sized bottles of shampoo/conditioner are plenty-discuss sharing these with friends you won’t all need this stuff it’s just a pain to lug around everywhere! 

  •   Kelin suggested packing a few dryer sheets in your suitcase and I’m glad I did-kept clothes smelling fresh and wrinkle-free for the most part!

  •   You all are going to laugh at this one but I brought my stuffed dog that I sleep with every night (yea I’m still a kid) and it was really a great comfort from home.  So if you have anything like this bring it you’ll be glad you did!  It also makes for some fun photo ops-Kelin and I had a blast with this! 

  •   It doesn’t get dark until around 11pm in Ireland, so if it’s hard for you to go to bed before 2 am, you’re not alone!

  •   Phone cards-the International ID is a good purchase with the minutes you can put on it.  You can buy international phone cards over there, but the rates are probably better on the card so make sure you put plenty of minutes on it.  You can also pay like you do over here into the phone directly, but you won’t get much time, trust me!

  •   Bring a smaller/medium bag for Italy, since you will only be there for a week and can leave your big bag in Dublin.  It’s no fun lugging that stuff around if you don’t have to! 

  •   Leave enough room for all the things you will buy, and you will buy a lot more than you plan I promise you!  I brought a separate bag, about the size of a carry-on, maybe a little bigger, and it was a big help-I also used it for when we went to Italy.

  •   Bring some cards-fun for when you’re staying in for the evening or when you’re in Sligo-you’ll love the housing there and we had a lot of fun with card games!

  •   Bring money for stamps if you plan on sending letters/postcards home.  I sent a lot and my relatives thought it was the greatest thing ever.

  •   I know this is a long list, but trust me, you’ll be glad you brought these things.  If you have any questions feel free to email me at  Good luck!