Student Travel Tips: Packing tips before you leave your home

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Serena Tritschler, a senior student at Hamline University, traveled to Shanghai for a two internships and to experience everything the city has to offer. She has written some recommendations to pass along to future student travelers on what to pack. Below are some of Serena’s recommendations or packing tips before leaving home.

Obviously packing varies on where you are actually going. If you start by making a list of what you have to take, it will end up helping you more than you realize.

1.Important Documents: This should be at the top of your list. Things like your identification card, passport, copy of your passport ID page and if applicable your visa page, a print out of where you are staying in your language and if you’re are going to a foreign country a print out in their native language.
2. Clothes: Once you know where you are going, try Google or ask the experts what the average temperature is for your destination? When is the rainy season and when is the dry season? Find out if there is air conditioning/heating. This is important because the weather might be hot outside, but if you are spending most of your day in a super air conditioned building then you might want to pack a light jacket and a pair of pants and vice versa if it is cold outside and hot inside. Once you have all your clothes packed, re-pack. Most of the time, when we travel we take way more than we actually needed and all that extra weight and room could have made the travel easier and the ability to pack more souvenirs and such for the way back.
3. Electronics: Phones, computers, ipods, mp3 players, adapter/converters (very important to get and pack if you are going to a foreign country) etc. Also make sure to pack the cords that go with these electronics, there is nothing worse than going to a foreign country having your computer die and having to find a new one in a completely new place.

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4. Hair/make-up/accessories: Hair – combs/brushes, hair ties and pins, hair straighteners. Make-up – foundation, blush, eye shadow, mascara, eye liner, make-up remover, lipstick/gloss/balm, tweezers. Accessories – watches, bracelets, ear rings, any other body jewelry, necklaces etc.
5. Shampoo/Conditioner/Wash: If you are leaving for a short time, take the recommended travel sized bottles and put them in your carry-on. I say this because if your luggage gets lost, you will still have some of your necessities with you. If you are leaving for an extended trip, a month or longer, don’t think you need to pack a big bottle of shampoo, conditioner and wash unless you are going somewhere that does not have any convenience stores. If you are willing to try different washes you will save a lot of room in your suitcase.
6. Medication A very important thing to pack is medication, if you are on any medication make sure and get enough from your doctor for the duration of the trip. If you are traveling to a foreign country make sure and get a prescription for traveler diarrhea and pick up some allergy medication just in case. Another medication worth taking is a pain medication such as Advil, Tylenol, or aspirin. And make sure all of this is in your carry on!
7. Food: Pack food in your carry on as long as it is not peanut butter or liquid like apple sauce you should be fine taking it on a plane. It is for if you get stuck somewhere, or if you are on an extended flight and the food was less that appetizing or filling you can just take that out.
8. Cards and Money: It is important you take the cards you need like credit cards, debit card, identification cards, etc. Also make sure you have enough money for buying food or souvenirs or a cab from the hotel.

Now that everything is packed, re-pack once more and then you are done!

Henry Miller quoted, “One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.”
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