*This is part two of a guest blog. Click here for part one.*
What to Buy Abroad:
– Toiletries: All you need is one shampoo bottle to explode mid-flight and your entire suitcase is ruined. And Face it, you’ll have to buy toiletries eventually during the semester. Ask a member of your host family or a friend for the names of a few quality brands and head to the nearest pharmacy. This will also come in handy should you need to fill a prescription.
– Hair Appliances: Though most electronics work well with electrical converters, U.S. hair appliances do not. To avoid having a hair dryer blow up in your hand (this actually happened to a friend of mine in London), buy a cheap hair appliance abroad. Or, even better, give your hair a break and forgo the hot tool altogether!
– Accessories: One of the easiest ways transform an outfit is to change up accessories. Artisan fairs (usually held in parks and squares) are great to score unique and inexpensive pieces. If you’re buying a more expensive piece, make sure it is authentic and original (i.e. there are not 10 other venders selling the same exact thing). Don’t be afraid to bargain for a better price!
– Books and Journals: They’re heavy and luggage space/weight is precious!
– CELL PHONE: Domestic cellular retailers will promise you the world about international data plans and insist that their phones will work with foreign sim cards: Don’t believe the hype!! Buying a cheap cell phone abroad will save you a lot of time and frustration. It will pale in comparison to a smart phone, but it probably won’t get stolen. Use Skype to talk with friends and family – it’s free and they love to see your smiling face.
From Left: 1. Double Wood Bead Necklace, shoptwigs.com; 2. Via Nativa + Reclaimed Wood Bangle, econsclousmarket.com; 3. Average Cheap Cellphone ; 4. Kate’s Paperie Shop Brushed Suede Journals; 5. Moonstone Ring, Charmandchain.com; 6. Sedu Pink Revolution Styling Iron; 7. Dove Toiletries are easily found abroad; 8. Tourmaline Ionic Hair Dryer (protects your hair from heat damage), bedbathandbeyond.com. IMAGES: Polyvore.com
Checked Bag(s): Weight limits range from 50 to 75 pounds per bag. Depending on what airline you fly, you may be able to check 2 bags.
Carry-on Bag: Size Limit: 45” (Total length, width, and height. I.E. 22” x 14” x 9”).
BE SURE TO CHECK the airline’s webpage! Overage fees are outrageously expensive.
Take your time while packing and make a list as you place things into your suitcase. Buy or borrow a handheld scale.
And remember, forgetting something isn’t the end of the world! Just take a deep breath, and use a little creativity to get by with what you’ve got!