How to Pack a Suitcase for a Flight -International Students Guide

by | Mar 27, 2021 | Travel


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How to Pack a Suitcase for a Flight — Well you just got admitted into an international university and you are all set to travel to your said destination. There is one thing that you can not run from is packing your thing. Packing a suitcase may seem like an easy task at first— until you pick out all your travel supplies and then you find that is one the most difficult task in the world!

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You don’t want to do it wrong as an international student as you could end up losing valuables, paying overweight baggage fees. That’s why it’s vital to learn How to Pack a Suitcase the smart and easily way.

The tips outline below offer step by step guidance on how to properly pack a suitcase for international students, from choosing a bag to the debate between rolling and folding your clothes.

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How to Pack a Suitcase – International Student Packing List

Clothing Checklist for Study Abroad:

  • Underwear (two weeks’ worth)
  • Socks (two weeks’ worth plus a pair or two of wool socks)
  • Undershirts
  • Thermal underwear
  • Long sleeve shirts
  • Short sleeve shirts
  • Sweatshirt/ hoodie (2-3)
  • Sweaters
  • Jeans/ Khakis (2-3 pair)
  • Shorts
  • A belt or two
  • Skirts (for the girls)
  • A set or two of workout clothes
  • Pajamas
  • Swimsuit (for those going to warmer climates)
  • Coat/Jacket (I recommend at least 2 – one for cold weather, and one that is water resistant)
  • At least one nice outfit for formal occasions*
  • Flip flops/ sandals of some sort (good if you’re going to a warm climate, but also good for hostel showers)
  • Sneakers/ dress shoes/ boots/ rain boots*
  • Cold weather gear (i.e. gloves/ mittens, hat, scarf)

Toiletries Checklist for Study Abroad:

  • TSA Compliant Toiletry Kit /1-quart zip-top Ziploc bags
  • Shampoo/ conditioner
  • Toothbrush/ toothpaste
  • Soap
  • Deodorant
  • Feminine products (one month’s worth)
  • Brush/ comb
  • Shaving supplies
  • Contact lenses and solution
  • Glasses
  • Nail clippers
  • Makeup
  • Over-the-counter medicines
  • Tissues/ toilet paper (you don’t want to be stuck in a bathroom when its run out)
  • Medications, if any

Checklist for Studying Abroad Extras:

  • $300 in local currency
  • Purse/ wallet
  • Important documents (passport, visa, itinerary, plane tickets, ISIC card, etc.)
  • Outlet adapter
  • Sunglasses/ extra eye glasses/ contacts
  • Cell phone (you probably won’t be able to use it in your host country, but it’s invaluable if you’re stuck in domestic airports and need to contact someone for delayed flights, etc.)
  • Laptop and charger (don’t forget, you’ll need an outlet adapter for the plug on your charger to work)
  • Camera w/cords and charger
  • Sheets/ bed linens*
  • Bath towels*
  • Enough prescription drugs for the length of your stay (You need to make sure you are allowed to bring them into the country and that you have documentation, either the prescription or a doctor’s note)
  • MP3 Player/ iPod (for long plane/train rides)
  • Sleep sack/ sleeping bag (most hostels have sheets, however, some do not, some will charge you for them, and for those people that don’t like sleeping in unfamiliar sheets, I recommend a Cocoon Travel Sheet.)
  • Journal/ diary (you’ll be taking plenty of pictures on your travels, but it’s always nice to have something to write in. Of course I recommend writing a blog, but you may not always have your laptop with you.)
  • Backpack (for daily use and as your carry while traveling)
  • Plastic bottles for toiletries for use in your carry-on or while traveling (the maximum is usually 100ml)
  • Water bottle/ Nalgene bottle (since the Nalgene bottle is plastic, it’s a lot easier to get through airport security)
  • A few hangers

How to Pack a Suitcase?

Now that you have seen the list of things need let us now look at how you an fit them all into your Suitcase.

Once you’ve arrange everything you need, It’s always advisable to start with the heaviest items first. You’ll want distribute heavier items evenly between both sides of the suitcase so it won’t be pulled off-balance when it’s standing.

How to pack shoes?

  1. Make sure the shoes have been cleaned and polished. ( If dirty you can put them in a plastic bag)
  2. Put tiny items like chargers, cords, flash drives, and any other electronic items into your shoes can carry before you pack your shoes.

How to pack Clothing and Toiletries Item?

This is one step that some student turn to have issues with. When packing your clothing item it preferable that you use the method best suit for you. If you are the type of student that prefer rolling clothes do it and if on the other hand you prefer to fold do it. But I would recommend that you apply the two method as you may have the space for either of them. My strategy is to put my shoes and other thin items in the bottom half of my suitcase, fill the top half with rolled clothing, and then fold bulky items like sweatshirts or rain jackets and lay them on top of everything else.

Now that your clothing and toiletries items and are sorted, next is to pack damage-prone jewelry’ in a plastic pillbox and put on whatever expensive one you want to carry enroute. Put the plastic pillboxes in the top layer of your suitcase.

Remember to make use of any extra pockets in your suitcase.

I would advise that you should never over-stuff your suitcase. If the zippers are straining before you even leave home open the bag again and see what you can live without.

If you have any question on How to Pack a Suitcase for a Flight -International Students Guide, kindly use the comment box below.

You may want you check our Study in Aboard: Ultimate Guide for International Students

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