Life Hacks : Moving Abroad

Packing light is definitely not my forte. Packing for a 2 weeks vacation usually starts with mom yelling at me for bringing too many clothes. So lately, I have always made a list of what I’d wear and when during the trip. And I’d add one more sets of clothes for unexpected delay. It helps me get ready faster in the morning and a lot less messy luggage. It’s a win-win solution for me and my mom. But .. packing for a 2 years “trip” requires a lot more effort in just making a list of what to bring and what not to. Too be honest, most of my clothes fit in 2 big luggages, but with the shoes, bags, and winter coats, they barely fit in 3. For the past two weeks, I have been packing and unpacking so many clothes I forgot which is which. I just hope I won’t be leaving something important, really. And choosing the one bag I can bring is a nightmare on its own. Mom forbids me from bringing too many bags as I won’t be doing a “fashion show,” her words not mine. It seems that I have to be content with one (or maybe three 😁) bag until December (where she promised she’ll bring me more bags or when I buy one myself *oops*). So of course, my first choice is my ever trustworthy Fendi “By The Way” bag. The pros are I can switch the strap with my Karlito StrapYou and it can basically withstand thunderstorm. The cons are  .. well I’m not sure what the cons are right now, but after wearing it for 4 months straight I’m sure I’ll find one (or two).

When a study abroad guide told me to pack half-full, my eyes almost popped out of my head. Does half-full means bringing 4 luggages and fill 2 of them? 😂 Well, anyway, the most important tips for packing is checking your baggage allowance. Most flight to/from United States allows 2 check in luggages per person, so it’s a bonus. But if you’re studying in a small city in which you have to change to domestic flight, keep in mind that most US domestic flight doesn’t give free check in baggage. United Airlines charges $35 and $25 for the first and second check in luggage, respectively. Luggage weighting more than 23 kg need to pay an extra $100. Virgin America allows up to ten 23 kg check in baggage, each costs $25. So even though my luggages is three quarters full, I need to maintain the 23 kg limit.

Second most important is to make sure whether your luggages will fit in your dorm room. As I’ll be staying in a 4-bedrooms-apartment-style housing, it is crucial that I pack light enough that my dorm room won’t be overflowing with useless stuffs. The cons of living in a dorm is that the closet space is so limited it will probably only fit a couple of bulky winter clothes and some shirts that need to be hanged. But the pros are you get to talk some new friends long before you arrive and you don’t have to wake up so damn early for morning class.

Another cons of not living with your parents is doing laundry. If you’re like me, who never wear a shirt more than twice and love to wear lots of outerwears, you’d probably need to do your laundry once a week. Here’s a couple of must read posts, if you’re a first-timer like me : how to wash, laundry do’s & don’ts, stain removal, and dry cleaning.

And last but not least, pack light. I know this is the hardest part and it seems that you’ll need all of your clothes (and you like to have options!), but only pack your favourite shirts, dresses, jeans, and coats. Leave the rest at home, I’m sure that the clothes, that you haven’t been wearing for 6 months, won’t get to see the light, anyway. And hey! You can have an excuse to shop if you “accidentally” left your LBD home 😉 

P.S. But don’t forget to pack a couple of books for those quiet weekend.



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