To be honest, it’s always been a bit surprising that my “how to pack for study abroad” posts (parts 1, 2, and 3) continue to get so much traffic, because I definitely question my packing skills for that trip. (Which is, coincidentally, why I ended up writing another post about all the lessons I learned from packing for that trip.)
Packing for only a month-long trip (a Maymester, in my case) is a similar story, but different in a few ways. So let’s talk it through.
How much to bring:
Much like an extended study abroad program, you’ll likely be given access to laundry facilities. So you don’t need a month’s worth of clothes – realistically, you need two weeks of clothing at most. Stick to basics and things that can be layered – leave most of the statement pieces at home. It’s much less obvious that you’re wearing the same outfit you wore a week ago if it’s all solid colors and basic designs. A bit boring, yes, but also practical. (Hold up, I’m preaching practicality? Who am I anymore?)
What to bring:
The timing of a Maymester means that you’re travelling in a seasonal transition. Since I’m south of the equator, we’re heading into winter in South Africa and the weather is entirely unpredictable. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: layers. Cardigans and jackets are your friends, particularly if they’re neutral-colored and can be paired with a variety of things.
Roll your clothes. Pack your sweaters in a vacuum bag (you’ll be amazed how much space you can save with this one). Minimize the number of shoes you bring, because they take up a ton of space. Find efficient ways to pack bulky things – all my books are on my iPad instead of physical copies. You’re only gone for a month, so you probably don’t need as much as you think you need.
And that’s all I’ve got for you today! If you’re heading off on a study abroad trip soon, have fun!!