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Check out a compiled list of some of our MUST HAVES to make your study abroad experience seamless!

Travel Essentials

A Saks Expandable Rolling Bag

For initial pack (buy 2). We suggest the 31" size for the most bang for your buck. The bag is extremely light weight and folds up nicely, which is important because closet space is typically limited abroad.

Mother Lode Jr Travel Backpack

Motherlode Jr - This fits on all the commuter flights you will be taking for weekend flights without an additional baggage fee. This is very popular among abroad kids. The dimensions are 19.5" height and 14" length

Backpack - BANGE bag

Bange Bag - A very popular option and similar to the Motherload Jr. Also fits underneath the seat on commuter planes with no additional fee.

BÉIS WeekendER Duffle Bag

Good for weekend travel. They have other options as well that are worth checking out. We love this bag because it looks good AND you can fit a lot of stuff!

Dagne Dover Carryall

We love the large size for another great weekend travel bag. And it fits on top of your rolling bag if you need to pack extra for a longer trip.

Bago Small Folding Duffle

Also good for travel - think spring break when you need more than just your backpack and folds up so doesn’t take up much room in your closet

Away Carry On

Great for longer trips or train travel. Smart to pack this and bring it as a carry-on when you depart for abroad in case your checked bags get lost!


Anti-Theft Backpack. Will hopefully deter thieves. Pacsafe has other anti-theft items as well as this backpack.

G4Free Daypack

Lightweight pack for travel. This is great for a day trip (you will be taking lots!) and any shorter travel stints.

Money Belt

Waist belt, money belt for travel. A great option to keep your most important items safe. Holds more than you think, including travel documents.

Crossbody Bags | lululemon

Lululemon crossbody. Very popular among the girls. There are lots of options in terms of size, color, etc. Holds up nicely against ware and tear.

Free People Tote

We love the Sid Slouchy Vegan Tote for its size, look and zipper. Very popular among abroad kids.

Longchamp Tote

Very popular for girls due to its light weight, chic look and zipper. We like the Le Pliage Original L Tote Bag. It is the perfect size for school.

Lewis N. Clark Travel Belt Wallet

A modern RFID travel belt wallet. Good option to keep your money and IDs safe. Has a ton of anti-theft qualities that we love.

Luggage Scale

Great for departure and return to avoid extra fees for bags over 50lbs

Compression Packing Cubes

Get the biggest bang for your buck with these amazing packing cubes. A must not just for the initial pack but for weekend travel too! Comes in different colors

Packing Cubes

We love these to keep clothing organized. Great for initial pack but also weekend travel to keep clothing organized and easily packable. An abroad must!

Tube Pillow

A packing cube that you stuff with clothing and then it becomes a neck pillow. Allows you to transport even more stuff and not in your already too full suitcase bc the airlines think it is your neck pillow. You don't even realize how essential this is until you have it!

LED Foldable Travel Mirror

An essential item because it can travel with you every weekend without taking up any much needed space!

Lay-n-GoDrawstring Cosmetic Bag & Organizer

This amazing bags fits everything and hangs easily. You will absolutely love it!

Skyconser 16 Pack Elastic Sleeves

The only thing you need to prevent leaks from shampoo, conditioner, perfume, cologne, face soap. An absolute must!

KUSSHI Signature Bag

The Signature Makeup Bag has roomy compartments and opens on three sides to allow for easy access to see all of your products. No more digging! Add a Snap-in an Organizer for more organization and separation. Fabric bags are fully machine washable. Leather bags have a zip-out interior liner that is machine washable. ($69 for fabric and $124 for leather)

KUSSHI On-the-Go Pouch Set

This quality neoprene Pouch Set keeps your everyday essentials like lipstick, chargers and phones protected and organized. KUSSHI’s bright colors and bold patterns make these easy to spot in your purse, so you can find what you’re looking for right when you need it.

Apple Air Tags

To put in luggage that is checked so it is trackable. Can then move to backpacks, purses, etc. to keep track of their location. An absolute necessity!

Universal Adapters

Super Fast USB Type-C Charger 65W

Super fast charger that comes with built-in EU and UK wall adapter (works everywhere)! Also comes with a regular US wall adapter for when you come back home - great investment!

Vintar Travel Adapter

We love these because it comes with two and you can leave one in your apartment/dorm and one in your travel bag.

TESSAN: Travel Adapter

A very good and reliable brand!

UK Adapter

Keep in mind that these will only work in the UK. If you think you will be traveling to London, Scotland, Ireland, etc, even if you do not live in those cities, it is less expensive to purchase here!

Taegila Portable Charger

The best one we have found because of its small size and long battery life. Buy more than one. Totally worth it!

Forms & Documents


Make sure your passport is valid for 6 months AFTER you return. You need to have extra copies both

with you and at home. Even some tourist sites require you show your passport for entry so check in advance.


Make a copy before departure. See below for VISA questions answered.

Insurance Card

Make a copy to leave at home and travel with the original

Student ID

Some places require it to obtain a discount on tickets.

Drivers License

Always smart to make a copy to leave at home.

Healthcare Proxy & Power of Attorney

Mamabear Legal Forms

Visa Instructions - ETIAS

New Travel Rules for 2025

U.S. Citizens Will Need to Register and Pay a Fee to Travel to Europe in 2025 - Read more at

Travel Advisory Messages

Check this link for current travel advisories throughout Europe.

Credit Cards & Money

Capital One Venture Card

Offers no fees and is taken across all cities. Make sure to order well in advance of travel. This is our favorite option.

American Express

There are no fees for this card but it is not taken everywhere so definitely need a backup.

Visa Sapphire card

Other travel credit cards

It is smart to bring a back-up credit card in case of loss or theft


Some cities cash is needed for transportation

Apple Pay

Many students use apple pay to make purchases while abroad

The Points Mom

Am amazing resource for all things credit cards. Check out her instagram for the best credit cards for abroad, how to use points more efficiently and so much more!

Doctors & Medical

My Abroad MD’s

$59.99 for membership for one semester. Covers 15 countries. This is a fantastic service for students who have a medical condition that may need to be treated abroad.

Pharmacy Section

Often European cities carry different types of medicine that your student may not be
familiar with and in the event of illness would prefer a US brand.

Cold meds
Stomach meds
Allergy meds
Extra contact lenses as needed
Hair products if specific to US brands
Tampons and pads - you can’t ALWAYS find your preferred brand
Tooth paste

Hand sanitizer
Razor and shaving cream
Makeup remover
Nail file
Nail clipper
Travel toiletries

St. Patricks in Dublin

If you plan to go to Dublin for St Patrick’s Day you must book hotel well in advance. They are very strict about room capacity so book a room that fits your entire group. Check out our Dublin guide for suggestions!

Guinness Storehouse Dublin

This can be a difficult ticket to get especially during St Patrick's weekend. Check their social media for availability OR better yet, check our social media to stay updated! Get tickets here

Oktoberfest in Munich

If you know you will be abroad first semester you MUST book your hotel for Oktoberfest in May or June.

Check out our Munich guide for how to navigate it.

Music Festival Amsterdam

There is a music festival in Amsterdam on May 11th and 12th. You would need to buy tickets in advance. Checkout the lineup here

Anne Frank Amsterdam

The minute you book Amsterdam you should check on tickets. Every Tuesday at 10am CEST all tickets become available for a visit six weeks later. Get tickets here

Abroadfest Barcelona

Book hotel or hostel well in advance. Extremely popular among abroad students. You can find information and tickets here

Good To Know

Different airlines allow different size bags without an additional fee (see below).



Ryan Air allows one personal item free of charge (40 x 25 x 20 cm). 'Priority & 2 Cabin Bags' or 'Plus' customers may also bring on board a larger item measuring no more than 55 x 40 x 20 cm and weighing 10 kg or under

Wizz Air

When flying on this airline you get one free carry-on bag (which is placed under the seat. (max. size 40 x 30 x 20 cm, 10 kg)

Easy Jet

This airline allows you to bring one free carry on bag. It can be a maximum size of 45 x 36 x 20 cm and can weight up to 15 kg. This bag must be kept under the seat in front of you.

Reliable Apps

Google Translate

Can translate every language.

Use this app to book an e-ticket or mobile ticket. The app will show you the different options available for your preferred route. You can purchase your train ticket directly through this app!

RA Guide

The best app for finding nightlife abroad. They post club events all over Europe. Don't know what to do if you are in a new city? Use this!


Book trains, flights, buses, and ferry tickets all in one app! More than 1000 travel partners so your journey can be more enjoyable.

It Taxi

This app allows you to request and pay for a taxi all in one platform!

Get Your Guide

Useful to book activities. You can access different sightseeing tours, attractions, excursions, and fun things to do. This app offers you to compare prices and book tickets!


Rates activities and you can book through them too.

App Taxi Apps

Here are the top taxi apps used in Europe for each city!


An app for food delivery! Order your cravings and it will be delivered to your exact location! Allows you to track order as well.


This app allows you to get deliveries from groceries, shops, restaurants, and pharmacies!


Similar to google maps.

Free Now

For taxis. Available in 100+ cities.


Ranks hostels across Europe. You can also book through their website.


Maps out your best routes.

Packing List

Based on 2 - 50 lb bags. Pack in packing cubes.


16 pair underwear

16-20 pair socks

3 bras, 1 strapless

7 sports bras

2 pajamas if student wears

5 sweatpants, perhaps 2 are a little nicer

4 sweatshirts - plus one for plane

5 leggings

4 - 6 exercise tops

3 shorts

2 jeans shorts

8 jeans or pants - most cities kids wear nicer clothing daily

8 sweaters - for different degrees

4 tee shirts

4 long sleeve shirts

6-8 short sleeved shirts or tanks tops

4 skirts - for going out

3 - 5 dresses - for going out

3 bathing suits

1 jean jacket
1 warm jacket
1 waterproof jacket
1 pair gloves
1 winter hat
1 baseball cap
1 nice pair sneakers
1 sports sneaker
1 club sneaker
1 wedge sandal
1 flat sandal
1 pair black boots (ankle)
1 flip flop or slide
1 pair slippers
1 belt
1 scarf
1 crossbody - can use waist belt worn crosswise
1 evening bag - also crossbody
1 empty water bottle


16 pair underwear
16-20 pair socks
2 pajamas if student wears
5 sweatpants, perhaps 2 are a little nicer
4 sweatshirts - plus one for plane
3 exercise shorts
4 sweat shorts
2 khaki style shorts
4 - 6 exercise shirts
15 tee shirts - including some for nicer outings
8 jeans or pants - most cities kids wear nicer clothing daily
6 sweaters - for different degrees
6 long sleeve shirts
5 button downs

6-8 short sleeved shirts
1-2 bathing suits
1 warm jacket
1 packable jacket
1 mid-weight jacket
1 pair gloves
1 winter hat
1 baseball cap
1 nice pair sneakers
1 sports sneaker
1 club sneaker
1 flip flop or slide
1 pair slippers
1 string bag
1 empty water bottle

SIM Cards

Many kids take out their SIM card and replace it with a SIM they purchase in their home city.  To talk you can use Facetime Audio or Video and use What’sApp to text if your regular texts are not working. Keep US SIM in a safe place.  This only works for a regular SIM card not an E-SIM.  Make sure you are using an UNLOCKED phone.

Orangeholiday -

Verizon - best value is $100 per month international plan

AT&T - similar to Verizon at $100 per month 

T-Mobile - Unlimited text and data for $65 per month

Samsung - install an international ESIM

Apple - my phone is locked tips

Extra Phone - if possible pack extra, unlocked phone in the event of a phone theft

Good To Know

Students should pack an overnight bag when they fly from the US to their abroad city in the event of lost luggage. Seems like most students pack a small rolling bag. Also pack snacks in the event of delays.

1. Bag Shipping

If you need to either ship a bag to your abroad home or home after your program has ended, Send My Bag is the most cost effective option we have found.

2. Student Discounts

Always say you are a student and have a photo of your student visa and passport on you.

3. Money Exchange

When in a foreign country best to use your ATM card to take out money vs a kiosk with an exchange rate.

When you pay for something ALWAYS ask to be charged in euros so your bank provides the exchange rate, not the location. Same goes for restaurants.

4. Advanced Prescriptions

Always get enough of your prescription to last for your entire visit. Most insurance companies will have no problem issuing medication if you explain the circumstance. Mailing prescriptions is illegal and you can’t do it.

5. Booking Travel

The cheapest costs does not always make the most sense. For instance, often traveling out of the major cities to a more rural airport will be cheaper in theory but will cost you more in ground travel to get there. Plus you run the risk of missing trains, buses, etc which will just make it more expensive in the end.

Book hotels and travel directly through their website.

Travel within cities.

5. Download Before Departing

It makes sense to download App Taxi and Bolt before you depart. If you don't you will not be able to download once you arrive because you are now international. Trust us on this!