What NOT to pack for your study abroad trip to Europe

What NOT to pack on your study abroad trip to Europe

If you are planning to study abroad soon, you’ve probably already looked into what to pack for your trip! That’s a great way to get started, but what’s even more important in my opinion is learning what NOT to pack. I think almost everyone on my trip had to pay extra for their luggage on our way to Oxford. We would have much rather spent our money on trips and food while abroad, not to bring over half our closet with us! So stay tuned for a list of what not to bring on your trip.

 

T-shirts!

American university fashion and culture is much different from European university fashion and culture. In Europe, students dress up a little bit more for class and most every day activities. It’s nice to be able to fit in and maybe even be mistaken as a local! So save some room in your suitcase by only packing one t-shirt to sleep in, and use the rest of the space to pack the clothes you want to show off!

 

20 Pairs of shoes

Ladies, this one is for you! I know you want to pack a billion pairs of shoes to make sure you are always looking stylish while abroad, but I promise you that you won’t wear all of them. I studied abroad in Oxford, UK where it rains A LOT and didn’t even need to pack rain boots! They take up SO much room in your suitcase, and you still won’t wear them as much as you think! Worst-case scenario, you can find a cheap pair while you’re there. Make sure you do pack a good stylish walking shoe for all of the traveling and walking around cities that you will inevitably do while abroad. I recommend Adidas Superstars or Stan Smith’s because they’re extremely comfortable and go with everything!

 

 

 

Don’t pack the things that you could buy when you get there!

In order to save space, it would be in your best interest to just buy some shampoo, conditioner and laundry detergent when you get there. I even bought a curling iron and another girl on my trip bought a straightener, and another bought a hair dryer, which we were all able to share. That way, we wouldn’t have to worry about our converters causing them to explode and without spending too much money. We also saved space in our suitcases, which was the point!

 

Clothes that you’ll only wear once

Try and strategically pick out clothes that are versatile enough for you to wear with multiple outfits. Stick to more solid colors and things that are simple but can be dressed up with a jacket, scarves, or jewelry. Layering is in right now so keep that in mind while you pack too! Stay away from packing that one patterned shirt that only looks good with one of your 4 pairs of jeans. If you can’t get away with re-wearing it, it’s probably just going to take up more room in your suitcase!

 

Follow these tips and you should save plenty of space for all of the souvenirs you’ll bring back from your exciting travels! Side tips: don’t forget your passport and remember to roll your clothes and not fold them to maximize space. Remember, there is probably nothing that you HAVE to pack that is worth the $100 fee for a “heavy bag” tag on your way to Europe!

Happy travels!!

 

 

 

 

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This is an outfit that I wore in every european city I went to! Fit right in! I am also wearing my Adidas Stan Smith sneakers that I highly recommend!

Puerto Rico – Adventure

Puerto Rico is such a beautiful place that you could just lay on the beach for your entire vacation and be content. However, I do enjoy adventure as well and so do all of the friends I spent my spring break with. Here are some of our adventures 

For starters, we went kayaking in the bioluminescent bay at “Bio Bay” at Las Cabezas de San Juan, Fajardo. This was an unforgettable experience, partly because we were literally kayaking in the dark, but mostly because we were amusing ourselves the entire time. The only light we had came from the boat of Mr. “Peter Plankton” our fearless leader. So we ran into a few things, including random wilderness (probably just tree branches filled with spiders) but mostly just every boat in front of us. Anyway, as we blindly kayaked towards the bay, we eventually made it and held onto strangers kayaks while Peter Plankton explained to us the deep, universal connection between the plankton in the sea and the rest of our galaxy. To be completely honest, most of this just went over my head. I asked Peter Plankton if we could do yoga in our kayaks and his enlightened response was, “you are already doing yoga right now kayaking with the plankton.” Works for me I guess. In the end we were able to see bioluminescence in the water which was by far one of the coolest things I have ever seen in my life. 10/10 would recommend that on your next trip to Puerto Rico, you take a tour of bio bay. Maybe try and request Peter Plankton as your guide too, he promised us piña coladas after the long kayaking tour and to our surprise delivered on that promise. He also offered showing us around San Juan’s nightlife, but luckily we had our own Puerto Rican native for that.

Another adventure of ours was zip-lining at Toro Verde park. I had never been zip-lining before and it was quite an experience for me. I love things like roller-coasters and airplanes, and one day I even want to go sky-diving. Zip-lining on the other hand, was not my forte. We chose the option where you zip-line down 8 different tours, and I held up pretty well on most of them. When we got to the last one, I think the longest one, that’s where I panicked. Some of the tourists in front of me got stuck so I got nervous. Two of the three best friends I was on the trip with went before me and were lucky enough to witness the entirety of my mid-zip-line panic attack. I wish we had caught it on video because I don’t think my narration of the experience is nearly as hilarious. So basically, I was panicking beforehand and as soon as I started going down the zip-line I tried and failed miserably at keeping my knees up and staying straight, I started slowing down, like, way before I was supposed to start slowing down. I ended up getting stuck a little over half-way to the end of the line. When you get stuck, the only option you have is to turn yourself around and use your arms to pull yourself the rest of the way. I was 100 percent not in good enough shape to do that, and during my panic I just kind of gave up. I was so freaked out because the guide at the beginning of the line said if we didn’t pull ourselves up, we risked falling all the way back to the beginning where we would have to experience this all over again. There was absolutely no way I was down for that. I began to cry and called out to the guide for help. The guide proceeded to then tell everyone on the radio that the girl stuck on the zip-line was crying. He then had to come save me, by wrapping his thighs around mine and pulling us both up to the end. Pretty awkward experience and you seriously have to have some muscle for that one. I finally made it teary-eyed and all with my friends watching  who could not control their laughter. Like, they were so amused by my incident they could barely talk. When our other friend (the local) made it back down the line after me, she was laughing and explained how everyone heard about me crying while stuck on the zip-line, and every single tourist who came after her mentioned it to me as well. I don’t remember the last time I’ve been so embarrassed, but this was hilarious and worth it. I got my much-needed corona afterwards and I wouldn’t change this experience for the world.

Puerto Rico – Food

So I thought I might go ahead and start a travel blog to write in my free time, since I normally spend it day-dreaming about travel anyways. So my first trip is my spring break spent in Puerto Rico. It was 6 days spent with my 3 best friends and one of the greatest weeks of my life.

FOOD

Okay, so I don’t know how many of you have actually tried authentic Puerto Rican food, but it’s definitely something you should put on your to-do list. Puerto Rican food is ahh-mazing! We tried tostones (fried plantains) mofongo (mashed plantains) clearly plantains were something we agreed with. We also had rice and beans, chicken and empanadas, and we even at one point got to taste fresh conch fish from the captain of our catamaran, thanks Tyrone! Needless to say, the food was wonderful and we may or may not have gained 8 pounds from it.

In addition to the lovely food we ate all week, we also weren’t left thirsty! I always made sure to have a Corona, margarita, or the local beer Medalla to go with our meals. We even tried a few craft beers in San Juan which were delicious. Some of our best days were spent on the beach with pouches of Sangriiia, which I’m not completely sure what it is, but its great and local and a must-try for your visit to Puerto Rico.

Mofongo

Margarita