How to pack for a semester abroad without busting your luggage

Knowing what to pack for any venture is always difficult. You want to be safe rather than sorry, but then you end up having too much stuff, and you’re not sure what to lose. It’s no different when going for a semester abroad, but there’s no need to worry. We’ve thought about all the essentials you need for staying away from home, so you don’t need to stress. Just give this checklist a read through and get to packing.


Vital, yes. While you may want to pick up some local items when you’re abroad, you need to take enough with you, so you don’t run out of clothes.

Jeans are always a definite yes in our eyes, because they’re so diverse. You can pair them with most tops and they’ll work. Plus, you can wear them for all manner of activities. If you want something a little comfier, why not pack in some workout clothes too? You can pull off a lot of great outfits in sweats or leggings, and they’re preferable for the long journey overseas. What’s more, you can use them for their intended purpose too.

When it comes to tops, go for something simple. Rather than bringing loads of different tops, just cut down and accessorize. You should have a couple of nice choices for going out, but make sure they’re versatile so you can pair them with other looks. Consider throwing in a skirt or two for the same reason.

Finish off your clothes packing by throwing in a swimsuit, a raincoat and a comfortable sweater. Also, don’t forget to put in plenty of underwear. They don’t take up much space and might be needed if you’re not someone who does their laundry often.

How to pack for a semester abroad without busting your luggage


Don’t go overboard! Have a nice pair (maybe two if they’ll fit) for a night out or professional event, but otherwise, go for some sneakers. Invest in a set that is comfortable and looks good. If they’re stylish and go with most of your looks, then the higher price will be worth it.

Also be sure to invest in some shower shoes. If you’re staying somewhere where the showers are a shared facility, then you don’t know what you’ll be walking around in.


It depends what tech you own as to what you should bring, but there are some essentials that you should definitely pack in. The most important of these is a portable charger. They’re great for charging your phone on the go, and in a foreign country, you want access to your phone at all times. Just make sure you know what the standard plug sockets are wherever you’re going. You’ll need to purchase the necessary converter so that you can everything charged up.

If you’re someone that likes books, a portable reader is also a good shout. They save a lot of space and tend to come with gaming or movie apps nowadays so you can get a lot out of them. We’d also advise buying a computer case to keep your laptop in, just to avoid causing any unnecessary damage to it.

How to pack for a semester abroad without busting your luggage

Extra essentials

Other essentials that you might want to find space for in your luggage includes:

Sunglasses and an umbrella (for obvious reasons)
A journal (to keep track of what you’ve done)
Foreign currency (because it’s better to have it before you leave)
A combo lock (so that your belongings are safe)
Several forms of ID
A translation book

This probably still sounds like a lot of stuff, because it is. When you’re going abroad, there’s a lot that you need to bring with you, but you can save so much space by cutting down on clothes. You won’t wear as much variety as you might think, and you’ll be glad not to have so much stuff to carry around.