Hi! My name is Caetlind and this is my first blog post ever! I am a junior at the university double majoring in Arabic and Anthropology and have been given the incredible opportunity to study abroad in Amman, Jordan! Let’s jump into it!
I should have probably mentioned before that I will be spending 6 months in Amman, Jordan! You read that correctly! 6 full months! How is it possible to pack half of a years worth of items into 3 bags? Well let me tell you, it definitely was not the easiest having to decide what to bring and what to leave at home. This was made even more difficult knowing that I had to pack for 3 different seasons! In this post I will explain what tips and tricks I used for packing for the adventure of a lifetime!
I don’t know about you, but before making this 6,800 mile jump across the pond, I had never had to pack for such a long period of time! I started to research and watch so many YouTube videos on how other study abroad students handled situations close to mine. With that being said here are the things that were the most helpful for me:
- Packing Cubes- Probably the best investment I’ve ever made. I bought these packing cubes from Amazon and they were truly the deciding factor on how many items I brought. I used each cube for a different category of clothing. By only allowing myself to take what would fit into the cubes, I left myself plenty of room to bring home souvenirs on the way back! This method also helped me decide what was the most important (clothing-wise) to bring. If I didn’t think I could wear the item at least every other week, it was tossed to the side!
- Deciding what to bring vs what to buy- Before packing anything, I sat down to write the most extensive packing list you have ever seen in your life. The list included everything you could possibly think of, clothes, shoes, sunscreen, medications, etc. From this list, I color-coded and highlighted what I would bring and what I would buy once I got there. As a personal choice, I decided to bring my own bedding and all the toiletries I thought I would need. That way, I would at least have some of my comforts for home. Also, by the time my program ends, I will have a good bit of extra space to bring back things!
- Choosing your personal item on the plane wisely- Instead of bringing a purse onto the plane as my personal item, I opted for my backpack instead. This gave me more packing space, served as a pillow on the plane, and was much easier for me to keep up with than a purse would have been. I had a 24 hour travel day, so my backpack was a lifesaver!
- Deciding what goes in each bag- As you would probably expect by now after reading everything before this, I also created a checklist for what would go in each of my bags. I was graciously granted 2 free checked bags from Delta, so I delegated my items accordingly:
- Carry-on bag- shirts, pants, underclothes
- Personal item- passport, wallet, laptop, battery pack, converter, reusable water bottle, phone charger.
- Medium checked bag- blanket, sheets, toiletries, medications, first aid kit.
- Large checked bag- shoes, pajamas, camera, school supplies, jackets.
- Travel journal- Something I am so thankful I bought. I stumbled upon a travel journal while shopping at TJ Maxx and think it is so important for every single student to find one to take with! Not only does it capture feelings and experiences as they are happening, I have found that it is so much easier to sit and recount my day using the directed questions from the journal. I have linked a sample travel journal here.
I hope some of these tips can help when packing for your adventure! Thanks for reading!