Thursday, March 19, 2015

Packing: 5 Tips for a Semester Abroad

I'm a little over halfway through my time abroad, and I feel like I've got a good grasp on the most affective and stylish way to pack for a very long stay. So, here are 5 tips that I've put together from my successes and failures in packing for a semester abroad.

Flannels, thermals, denim shirts, and plain tees are all really great layering pieces

1. The one everyone knows: Layers

The minute you mention packing for a trip you will instantly hear someone shouting "pack layers" in the distance. This tip may seem annoying, but it is the best method for packing. Since my trip truly spans from winter into summer, I had narrow down my outfits to those that layered really well, in this case not just two layers but ideally three or four. Going out once or twice with less layers than you should will be fine, but when it's everyday you going to need to keep warm and cool.

2. Choosing the pieces: Simple is best 

When actually choosing which clothing pieces you want to take stick to what you wear all the time. This may be hard because there's a pull to pick your most unusual and unique pieces, but you're only going to end up wearing them a few times because they are so recognizable. Try and think about what the classic pieces that make up your style are. The ones you'd be lost without. Choose those.

 One key item for me were tees. They're easy to wear, comfortable, and are less likely to wrinkle or be impossible to wear wrinkled (another factor to think about). When is comes to tees stick to plainer ones. Like unique pieces, a bold graphic is easy to recognize and when there's a small pool of what you're wearing you're probably going to get sick of it pretty quickly.

This packing folder helps to keep more delicate shirts unwrinkled 

3. Narrowing it down: Colors and Styles 

To really make sure that all of your clothes can be put together in several different combinations consider the color palette of all of the clothes you're bringing. To do this I laid out all of the clothes I was bringing and just looked at them. I stuck to the obvious black, white and gray and then a touch of color came from a few pieces of blue and purple. When you create a general color scheme it 's easier to pack less things because they all match. Also keep in mind how much work goes into styling a piece. If something needs a ton of double sided tape, pasties, safety pins, or any accessories like that it's probably too much of a hassle. Leave those behind.

My rain boots were too weather specific and my flats couldn't handle the amount of walking I did.

4. The true struggle: Shoes  

I think this is where I kinda failed so I want to share so you don't run into this situation. When it comes to shoes you have to suck it up and think practically. Of course this is a bit heartbreaking because in my head I want to bring all of my gorgeous, delicate shoes that'll be awesome for blog photos but DON'T DO THAT. If you are staying abroad for a long time your shoes need to survive daily life and long hours of walking. You can only bring so many shoes so make sure they'll be able to withstand the wear and they can be worn through several different weather conditions.

5. Comfort is key: Pj's and lounge wear  

These items can be forgotten ones, but they can be very important. Having something super comfy to snuggle up in is so nice and a great source of comfort when you're missing home. If you leave them behind then you'll be like me walking around going "why the hell don't I have a sweatshirt." Don't be like me. Pack some comfort items.

Hope these were helpful. Let me know if you have other tips, they'd be much appreciated.

Bon Voyage, 
xx Jasmine 

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