Packing for your first international trip

By Aniket Singh (Author of Intern Abroad This Summer)

You have reached the final moments before you embark on the journey of a lifetime. Sounds really exciting, doesn’t it. But, you still have one big, and important, step to complete – that of packing for your trip. While what you take in your suitcase depends on where you are going, and how much you need as a person, here are some packing tips to get you started:

  • Make a checklist: Keep a checklist handy while packing to make sure that that you don’t forget anything. Before you start, write down all the things that you would be needing, remove those which may not be that necessary, and tick off the list as you go. Keep the checklist handy on your return trip too. This will ensure to carry back with you whatever you got.
  • Pack for the weather: Check the season and temperature of the place that you are going to and pack accordingly. There is no point in taking thermals during summer, or shorts during winter. Always get into the airplane with some winter wear clothes in your luggage, just in case you need them when you disembark.
  • Professional and casual wear: Bring a mix of both – you may have to dress professionally at work, but there will be plenty of occasions where you can dress casually. Always carry atleast 2 sets of formal shirts/trousers for men and 2 sets of formal skirts/trousers/blouses for women.
  • For contingencies(if you need to buy clothes internationally):This happened to all of us. We land in a foreign country and suddenly realize that we forgot to pack a Tshirt, jacket or a set of underwear. Make sure you know which are the cheapest fashion outlets in that country. For example Old Navy and H&M are amongh the most reasonable anywhere in the Western World.
  • Invest in a good suitcase: International travel will require long commutes in airports. The last thing you want is a broken suitcase. Invest in a sturdy trolley/bag, which is not too bulky and is easy to carry around. Generally going for a good and trusted brand is a key. A good brand may be slightly expensive but may easily last your lifetime and you will never need to buy a new one.
  • Medication: Make sure that you pack all the medicines you require. Some countries may not have the same medicines that you are used to, or they may be too expensive. Keep a medical kit ready with essentials like advil,ibuprofen,antiseptic etc. One thing that proves handy to tackle jetlag is melatonin. It helps you sleep when you need to sleep.
  • Toiletries: Stock up on small toiletries – soaps, shampoos, deodorants, toothpaste – these may be more expensive in the country you are going to. However, don’t buy huge, bulky toiletries.
  • Food: While some countries are strict about the kind of food you bring, carrying a couple of maggi packets or ready to eat food packets may be a great help when you are not able to cook a proper meal/eat out.
  • Keep your documentation ready: Put your passport, insurance, tickets, and all other important documents in a separate handy bag and keep that on your person always. Once again invest in a branded travel wallet which might just last your lifetime.

About the Author:

 Aniket Singh works for Apple Inc. in California, United States. He is also the author of “Intern Abroad This Summer“.

Aniket holds a BTech degree in Electrical Engineering from the IIT, Madras, Chennai, and a Master’s degree in Wireless Systems from Politecnico Di Torino in Torino, Italy. He has interned at the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom and Ecole Polytechnic Federale de Lausanne in Lausanne, Switzerland during this studies.

Visit him at Aniket Singh .

Check out his book at Intern Abroad This Summer . It teaches you how to find fully paid summer internship and intern abroad.