Handy Traveler’s Tips

* Remember when you pack for a study abroad trip that you are going to stand out because you are a foreigner, so don’t make it worse by wearing something offensive. If you have to think about whether or not to pack a particular item, it’s probably best not to pack it.

* In a more conservative culture, you may stand out if you wear small or revealing clothing, so spaghetti straps and two-piece swimsuits are not recommended.

* Bring a pair of flip flops to wear in the showers, bath houses, or your hotel room.

* Everyone should bring some night clothes. Bed bugs are real in other countries.

* Keep the amount of jewelry you bring to a minimum. Don’t bring Grandma’s hundred year old pearl earrings. If you don’t want to lose it, don’t bring it!

* Ladies, leave your purses at home. You don’t need your car keys. You will be carrying a lot of stuff with you, so you will need something a bit larger. Men, a bag of some kind is crucial to making sure you are prepared wherever you are.

* Bring a beach towel. If you go swimming, you will need it. It also comes in handy if you run out of towels back at the hotel/room/dorm.

* A great way to get more into your suitcase is to purchase space bags with which to pack. These bags can be found in the luggage aisle in Wal-Mart. You can pack twice as much by compressing your clothing in these bags.

* Try to bring clothing that travels well and will not wrinkle easily.

* When packing hygiene and toiletry products, remember to be prepared! However, if you forget anything, don’t panic. You can probably find a Wal-Mart or its equivalent in the country to purchase whatever you’ve forgotten.

* Try to buy the travel size of whatever hygiene product you can find. You will not use an entire average bottle of product even on the two week trips. With the strict weight limits on some flights, the less weight you are carrying initially, the more you can bring back as souvenirs.

* Bring quart size and gallon size resealable plastic bags. When you are packing all of your liquid items in your checked luggage, seal everything in gallon size bags. Your baggage will be thrown around and your liquid items may open or burst. If they are contained in the baggies, your clothing will still be ready to wear.

* Remember to pack anything made of a liquid, gel, lotion, or paste in a sealed bag in your checked baggage. You cannot carry these items onto the plane.

* In many countries, washcloths are uncommon. You may want to bring one. Or, you may want to bring liquid bath gel and a shower puff. Bars of soap do not travel well, but shower puffs are light and they dry fast.

* Curling irons work fairly well in other countries, but hair dryers really do not. If you want to bring a hair dryer, try bringing one with very low wattage. If having a hair dryer is important to you, you should ask the trip leader if you will be given a hair dryer to use at the hotel. You will need a converter and adapter to use a curling iron. Another idea is to purchase a curling iron that runs on batteries. If you have to have your hair curled, sleeping in sponge rollers works well.

* It is a good idea to meet with your group and assign medications for each member to bring. With each person packing a small bottle of some type of medication, everyone in the group should be covered.

* If you have prescription medications, make sure to pack the medication in the bottle you received from the pharmacy. Keep these types of medication in your carry-on luggage. Refills on medication are somewhat difficult to get in foreign countries.

* Pack all of your medication in your carry on. In addition, make sure to pack all of your electronic devices such as your camera, cell phone, computer, Ipod, and so on in your carry on luggage.

* Before you leave, check to see if your cell phone will work in the foreign country.

* If you have a medical condition, please tell your instructor. Don’t be embarrassed to let someone know. The better prepared everyone is, the better the trip will be.

* Bring clothespins, so that if you did not wear your clothes for very long or if you did not get really hot, you can pin up your clothes and wear them again the next day. Don’t worry, in other countries it is much more common to wear the same clothes several days in a row.

* Pack at least one change of clothing in your carry on luggage. Checked luggage sometimes does get lost, and when you get off of a twelve hour flight you will want a fresh change of clothing when you finally get settled at the hotel/room/dorm.

* Don’t forget to bring all of the school work that you have been given, including paper and a pen with which to take notes. This is good reading material on the long flight!

* Make a copy of your passport and place one copy in each piece of luggage that you check. If your luggage is lost, it will be easier to claim if the luggage contains the same identification that you are carrying. Also, be sure to clearly mark every piece of your luggage with your name and address, inside and out.

* If you are bringing only one bag, pack an extra bag inside of it. If everything you are bringing fits into a smaller bag, place the smaller bag inside a larger bag just to make sure you have enough room in your luggage for souvenirs on the way back.

* Your passport, identification, and money should stay with you at all times. Sometimes it is difficult to cash traveler’s checks abroad. Your debit card will work as well as credit cards, but you should call your bank before you leave to make sure. It may be easiest to just bring cash.

* Notify your bank and credit card company when and where you will be traveling. If you use your credit card at an airport in a certain country, and your bank does not know you are there, the fraud department will take away your credit card access. This is particularly important to remember for the countries in which you have a layover.

* Purchase a calling card before you leave. AT&T is the most widely accepted calling card. Be sure to look up the country code before you leave. The only code on the back of the card is for domestic use. It might be a good idea to purchase a card with another person in your group, as you may not use all of the minutes provided on the card by yourself.

* If you are bringing any electronics, purchase an adaptor and converter. If you are bringing a computer, read the power cord. Most computers have built in converters.

* Batteries are difficult to find in foreign countries, and they are typically very expensive. If you may need any, it is best to bring them.

* If you pack breakable objects for your trip back home, wrap a shirt around each object and stuff it in a shoe. If you run out of shoes, pack your breakables in between your clothing.

* One of the most popular souvenirs that you can bring back is foreign currency. Save your change!

* Be sure to research the climate of the country you are visiting, as well as the current weather conditions of that country. Sometimes the country might experience unusual weather, so be prepared!

* If you bring a camera, be sure to have plenty of film and, if it is a digital camera, to have plenty of space on your memory card. You might take more pictures than you think!

* Bring a list of emergency phone numbers and important e-mail addresses, just in case you need to get in touch with someone while you are gone.

* Pack as lightly as possible. You might need to haul your luggage around the country quite a bit, depending on your lodging and transportation situation.