Catherine Crevecoeur is an official CAPA blogger for summer 2016, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. An environmental science major at University of Pittsburgh, she is studying abroad in Sydney this term.
In her first post, Catherine shares her ultimate packing list for studying abroad in Sydney.
I am convinced there are only two types of people in this world: those who pack their suitcase and those who stuff. “Packers” invariably seem to know where everything in their suitcase is and are fully prepared at the airport weighing station. “Stuffers” hold their breath at the weighing station, bargaining that 53 pounds is practically the same as 50 pounds and quickly learn to shove shoes into their carry-on. As a time-seasoned ‘Stuffer’, I intended to pack days in advance to avoid any last minute stuffing. I attempted a mental shopping list and then seriously strayed from it. I packed days ahead of time but still found myself transferring clothes between suitcases when I arrived at the Baltimore Airport. And ironically, I neglected to actually create a packing list. Therefore, I urge you to avoid my own folly and create a packing list ahead of time for several reasons:
1. If your suitcase is ever lost, you will know exactly what your luggage contained.
2. You will be more likely to remember last-minute additions.
3. Packing next time will be a breeze!
And without further ado, below is the "ULTIMATE Packing List for a Study Abroad Trip in Sydney, Australia" (Or, "All the Things I Managed to Stuff into Two 50-Pound Suitcases, a Carry-On, and a Purse").
- 15 dresses (travelled in one)
- 10 basic tops
- 5-10 dressier tops
- 3 linen button-downs (white, pink, and beige)
- 2 maxi skirts
- 5 full skirts
- 3 pairs of printed shorts
- 3 pairs of denim shorts
- 3 pairs of jeans (travelled in one)
- 2 pairs of chinos (in khaki & navy)
- 2 heavy sweaters
- 2 cardigans
- 2 blazers (in white and black)
- 1 rainjacket (travelled in)
- 2 plain t-shirts
- 2 pairs of gym shorts
- 2 sports bras
- 2 swimsuits
- 2 pairs of black leggings
- 3 pairs of pajamas
For those of you who wear dresses, they are a great clothing option to pack. Not only can they stand alone, but it’s easy to layer a dress with a sweater or tuck it into jeans. (Fun Fact: That’s what I travelled in!) Don’t forget to pack undergarments! I packed enough to get me through a month before doing laundry. I split my clothes exactly in half and packed one half into each suitcase. I left one full outfit for my carry-on, just in case.
- Black heeled motorcycle boots
- Brown Sperry topsider boat shoes
- White Sperry topsider Sneakers
- Black Adidas Neo sneakers (travelled in)
- Running sneakers
- Grey Chelsea shoes
- Beige strappy wedges
- Black flat sandals
To save on space, I rolled up all of my socks and stuffed them into each of my shoes. Also, I managed to fit nearly all of my shoes into one suitcase. I put my black sandals into my carry-on just in case the weather was a lot warmer when we landed.
- Body wash
- Satin hair cap (for sleeping)
- Face/body wipes
- 2 toothbrushes
- Retainer -____-
- Mouthwash/breath spray
- Contacts/contact solution
- Hair products
- Feminine items
Currently, my hair is in micro-braids meaning that I will not have to worry that much about hair care. If you are bringing a lot of product with you, be sure to pack it in an area of your luggage clearly separated from your clothes. Opening your luggage to find all of your shoes covered in shampoo is not exactly fun. A friend of mine always wrapped the lips and caps of her lotions, perfume, etc. with saran wrap and tape. If you put any of these in your carry-on, keep it under 3.4 fl oz and place it in a clear, quart-sized bag.
- Laptop & charger
- Power adapter (Staples)
- Phone & charger
- Digital camera and batteries
- How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie & LSAT Test Prep Book
- Granola bars
- Minimal jewelry
- 3 pairs of sunglasses
- Cross-body bag
Most of these items fit well between my carry-on and purse. The blanket was a comforting reminder of home during the 18 hour-long flight. In reality, I don’t see myself touching the LSAT prep book at any point during the flight and I wish I packed it somewhere else. The power adapter is helpful for international travel because Australia uses slightly different outlets than the United States and I fully intend on charging my devices while abroad. I found mine for just over $20 at Staples.
- Passport & 2 copies of passport
- Airplaine ticket confirmation
- 3 copies of visa grant
- Another form of identification
- Some amount of cash
Keep these on you at all times. When going abroad, your papers are super important if anything ever happens to you. Not to mention, you want to keep these documents close while you are going through security and customs.
Last Minute Additions
- Alkaline batteries
- Swimsuit cover-ups
- Home slippers
- Ziploc bags
I just stuffed these items wherever they could fit in my suitcases.
- Water bottle
- Shaving cream
Unfortunately, due to forgetfulness, some items did not make the cut. I really regretted not packing a water bottle because I will have to buy a new one while in Sydney.
100 pounds, a carry-on, and a purse later, we have reached the end of my packing list! This is everything I brought with me to spend half my summer in Australia. (Bonus: I travelled in my baseball cap and glasses for safekeeping.) Good luck on your own trips abroad and hopefully you have a little better luck than me. ‘Till then, I will keep you updated on my adventures in Aussie!
Catherine's journey continues every Thursday so stay tuned.