Packing for my year abroad was definitely a challenge for me. Sadly, my airline only allowed to me to bring one 30kg suitcase and a carry on so I was forced to figure out how to fit my whole life into one suitcase. Before I started packing, I already knew it was going to be for hard me because I’m an over-packer by nature; I have the compulsive need to pack for any and every possible situation that could occur which sometimes can be a good thing but in this case, it was a very bad thing. My one suitcase limit really forced me to think about what things were really essential to me and out of all my clothes, which of them do I actually wear the most.
At first I did attempt to cheat by buying travel vacuum storage bags to try and minimise the space my clothes occupied in my suitcase but that didn’t work and in the end, I wasted £6. I also tried rolling my clothes which helped but I was still forced to leave behind things I wish I didn’t. Looking at some study abroad packing lists online really helped me to figure out what was really necessary and as a result, I don’t think I ended up packing anything I really didn’t need to bring.
However, like I said, there are some things that I really wish I brought with me, either because they are really hard to find over here or because it’s very expensive to buy it over here. To be honest, I find Sydney expensive in general and so my advice would be to not rely on buying things like clothes (there’s no Primark!), shoes, important medication or very specific hair products over here just because it will be cheaper to buy it in the UK.
So a few of the things I wish I brought with me are:
- A winter jacket
When I arrived here it was so cold. Like some other international students, I really underestimated winter in Australia and because it can get quite cold, windy and rainy over here in the winter months, I would definitely suggest packing a winter coat if you can or at least a rain jacket.
- A holdall or a bigger backpack for travelling
Even though I did bring a backpack with me, I definitely wish I brought a bigger one or a holdall for travelling because it’s more convenient than travelling with a small suitcase and you can fit a lot more into it than a regular backpack.
- More shoes!
Maybe it’s just me being a ‘typical’ girl but I really wish I brought more shoes just so I can have more options and be prepared for every occasion. So, in my opinion, I would suggest bringing a casual shoe, a formal shoe, a shoe for nights out and a boot…if you have space.
- Hair products
This is one is more for people who have hair like me or use very specific hair products that you can’t get from a regular retail shop like Tesco. I have found it very hard to find the right products that I normally use for my hair and when I do find some, they only have a very small range or the product is double the normal price I would pay. I even tried to buy some online but because of international shipping costs, they tried to charge me £80 for 3 products which I thought was crazy! So before you come, stock up!
Things that I packed that I would definitely recommend packing are:
People are always telling me that they wish they had brought photos from home.
- A portable charger
I would say this definitely necessary if you’re going on a (very) long flight as it is good to have when your phone battery dies.
- A 3 pin adaptor
I guess this is specific to Australia and other countries that have similar sockets, but definitely, if you have the choice between the 2 pin plug or the 3 pin, get the 3 pin! I initially bought a two pin adaptor and although it could carry the weight of my phone charger, it always went slack and didn’t connect properly when I tried to use it with my laptop charger so, in the end, I had to buy a 3 pin adaptor anyway.
- Medication for the flight
It’s always awful when you’re stuck on a plane and you have a headache or tummy problems or you’ve had an adverse reaction to the food and you can’t do anything about it because you don’t have anything with you to fix it. So I would recommend, if you’re not against taking medication, bring things like painkillers, Imodium and Wind Setlers because it can make your flight a lot more comfortable.
And finally, I wouldn’t bother bringing a laundry hamper, writing paper, stationery and too many basic toiletries because you can buy those things when you arrive and they tend to be inexpensive. I hope this helps and good luck packing!!