I don’t know about you, but sleeping is a lot easier when I have my favorite pillow. Actually, maybe bring your second favorite pillow, just in case it gets lost or damaged. You should probably avoid bringing your favorite anything overseas. There probably will be a pillow wherever you will be living, but it might be a weird pillow. Also, sleeping with only one pillow is usually less than ideal. There will be enough change and culture shock going on around you, you may as well be able to get a good night’s sleep.
Over The Counter Medications
Prescription meds are a no brainer. If you are on any type of medication, make sure you have enough to last your whole trip. Also, keep that in your purse/carry-on, you don’t want to risk losing it in case of a luggage mix-up. In addition to that, I would also suggest bringing your own little pharmacy. In many countries, pharmacies don’t work the same way. You can’t stroll into a CVS and pick up some Ibuprofen, depending on where you are, you might only be able to get it with a prescription. I would suggest bringing the pain killer of your choice, some antacids, Nyquil and Neosporin. Even if you don’t need them, somebody might. I was known among my group as the pharmacist, because I had some sort of pill for everything. You don’t know if you will get sick, so you may as well be prepared, just in case.
Socks and Undies
Laundry can be a hassle in different countries. It can get expensive, and the closest laundromat could be very far away from where you live. Things like jeans and sweaters are flexible, and especially abroad, you can get away with multiple wears (I’ll take this moment to add that you should also bring multiple pairs of leggings, jeans are way less cozy. and more prone to shrinking in the wash). However, this is not the case with socks and underwear. However many pairs of these you have will determine how frequently you will have to do laundry. The more socks you have, the less times you have to go to the laundromat. Bring lots of socks.
Ok, these last two may seem a little unsettling at first, and maybe they’re not something you are comfortable speaking about, but you should really bring plenty. You never know when they might come in really handy…
1. I really can’t think of a heading for this item that isn’t weird or gross, so I won’t include one. When you are travelling abroad, you have to adjust to a new time zone, a new living space, and a new style of cuisine. What you are eating abroad probably won’t be the same as what you were eating at home, and that has the potential to create some issues. Hopefully, you have caught on what I am trying to talk about, because I am doing my best to avoid being too graphic. Chances are at some point, your food will decide it doesn’t want to leave your body, or it will decide it wants to exit immediately. One or both of these issues are almost inevitable, which is why you should bring these, and these.
(To all the male readers: You may want to skip this one. Or, if you want an in with the ladies in your study-abroad program, read on)
2. Tampons. Many lists suggest you bring one month’s worth of “feminine products.” Bring more. Depending on where you are studying, the tampons may be weird. For example, in Prague, it is impossible to find tampons with applicators. If you don’t think you can, or would prefer not to have to adopt to this change, bring plenty. More than you think you will need. You may get suckered in to giving a few to your roommate, your roommate might just steal some, and before you know it, your stash is empty. Better safe than sorry. And dudes, if you are clever enough and not particularly creepy, you could probably successfully run a tampon blackmarket. Just say your sister gave you a box as a prank going-away present, and trade them for beers or something. It might just work.