Travelling abroad is an exciting prospect. However, it also means that you’re going to be in a new country, in unfamiliar surroundings, all alone. Since you’re likely to start alone from the scratch, it involves shouldering a lot of responsibility, as you’re completely responsible for yourself. In such a scenario, it is best that you start planning beforehand. Compiled below is a list of essentials that we suggest you should pack in. Go through the check list before you head abroad:
- Important documents such as passport, visa, plane tickets are the most crucial among your essentials. Ensure that you have multiple copies, scans on your phone, laptop of all of them. In fact, leave copies with your family as well.
- Make sure you have enough cash in the currency of the country you’re travelling to, to last for a few days. Don’t leave it till the end but get your currency converted beforehand.
- There’s a very high chance that you might be homesick. Not many, but carry a few comfort items from home. This could include your favourite cushion, soft toy, books or dvds.
- Apply for a credit card that can be used the world over (such as American Express, Visa, or Mastercard).
- If you’re under specific medication, ensure that you bring enough medicines for the length of your stay. However, if you have to stay for a longer duration, do carry a prescription from your doctor for emergencies.
- Make sure you have everyone’s phone numbers and addresses – email and otherwise. And not only on your phone, but also in a phone diary or something. Leave a copy with your family as well.
- Stock up on contact lenses if needed. It would also be helpful to take along a copy of your eye prescription in case you lose contacts or eye glasses and need to get replacements.
- See to it that all financial-aid documents such as your scholarship applications, loans etc. are up to date. Know your disbursements dates, amounts, etc.
- Purchase travel insurance to cover replacement costs of lost or stolen items. Also check if your programme covers medical insurance. If it doesn’t, get that as well for the duration of your stay.
- Bring a gift for your host family if you are staying with one. Even if you are not, bring along a small token for someone local who may end up helping you out.
- Don’t pack the basics – ditch the shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant, etc and buy those items once you get to your host city. Just buy them in travel sizes which can last you through your journey.
- Get an international cell phone or international phone card.
- Buy at least one power adapter/voltage converter, depending on the country to which you’re heading.
- Never forget to pack in comfortable walking shoes. In a new city, you’re bound to be on your feet and comfortable footwear is a must.
- Apart from your main luggage, carry a duffel bag which has a change of clothes, a small kit of medicines, toiletries, essentials and a bottle of water. Whenever you want to, you can pick this bag and go out exploring.
Happy exploring and studying on your own in a new territory!