3 important questions to ask yourself before packing for a semester abroad!

To pack can actually give you stress and even give you extra unnecessary baggage a long the packing – but it doesn’t need to, if you plan your packing list!

When I had to pack for a study abroad during 6 months, I literally didn’t know what to pack and how much. Then I started to categorize the things that I use on a daily basis. At home you have sooo many things, but let’s be honest to our self, most of them are things we don’t use that often. Those things can be sacrificed!

There are several things you need to ask yourself before starting to pack, and here are the 3 important questions:

  1. How much check-in luggage do the airline offer you on your travel? It is important to know whether you only have carry on, or if you can check in your luggage – if yes, then how much? 20 kg., 23 kg. Or 30 kg.? You do not want to pay for extra kilograms!
  2. What climate are you travelling to? Is it summer, winter, raining-season. What season it is determine what you should pack.
  3. What is your plan after your stay? Are you travelling around or going straight home?


My answers to these questions:

  1. We left Denmark in July and travelled to Indonesia with Garuda Airlines, which offered us 23 kg. check in luggage and 10 kg. carry on. And besides that I brought a shoulder-bag for my laptop and important documents. I wish I thought about our traveling through Indonesia, cause it was annoying to travel with so many bags to different places in Indonesia. But at least I’ve learned that to travel light is the best thing you can do to yourself!
    I stayed in Kuching for 4 months and traveled during that time and 2 months afterwards. So I decided to bring a lot of my clothes and shoe-wear that I could donate or throw out at the end of my stay in Kuching.
  2. I moved from cold and dark Denmark to Malaysian Borneo; the climate is hot but at the same time raining a lot. No matter where you are moving to, always bring something long and comfy. The university’s air condition is always on and cold! So a comfy shirt would be recommendable! A raincoat would help you a lot in Kuching during raining season!
    Long sleeves and pants is a must when visiting religious buildings/areas – no matter the religion 🙂
  3. I recommend you to think about your return, if you’re planning to travel around after the end of your stay, cause I assure you: you won’t travel with all the things you brought with you. So be realistic and ask yourself if you’re really going to use every single thing you are bringing with you?


As mentioned, I brought 1 big suitcase, 1 small suitcase and 1 shoulder-bag. During my stay, I bought a big backpack and a small backpack that I needed for the trips we planned.

When my mom came to visit, I gave her my suitcase, my small backpack and some other things that I knew I didn’t need during my last few weeks in Kuching. So keep that in mind, that if you get visit from home, give them some of your belongings that you wont need.

I even mailed some of the things that I didn’t need during my 2 months travel and things that I can’t leave behind. I donated various clothes and shoes and left my shoulder-back and other stuff I couldn’t fit in my backpack at the apartment we rented.

I travelled around with my big backpack and left a suitcase at a friends house in Kuala Lumpur.

Yeah, so complicated! A big thanks to: my mom, my friend in KL, the mailing system and my back!


Before packing, I decided to categorize all the things that I would need:

  • Top-wear, bottom-wear, underwear: Do not exaggerate!
  • Other: Scarves(my hijabs), 2 socks, and other personal/necessary items.
  • Shoe-wear: 1 converse, 1 ballerina, 1 flip flop, 1 fine/nice pair of footwear
  • Electronic: iPhone, Macbook, Harddisk, Camera + all their chargers.
  • Toiletries: bring your must-have products that you maybe won’t find abroad. Remeber your medication, contact-lenses, maybe your must-have shampoo or toothpaste? or your vitamins, allergy-pills etc.

This is how I made a packing list, with the essential things that every person need. ANd please, I can’t emphasize it enough: Do not over pack!

I hope you can use my advise, do let me know what you think! 🙂

3 girls, 6 suitcases LOL


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