What TO & NOT TO pack

Jasmine Garcia is a sophomore studying public relations at Ohio University’s E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. She is currently in Spain for winter quarter. Follow her on Twitter: @JasmineRGarcia

Packing for a quarter abroad can seem like an impossible task. A million possible scenarios run through your head and in order to combat them you bring literally  one of everything. Here is some advice on things you really do and don’t need to bring in order to save space for items that are necessary to pack.

Do Bring

Shoes, but in small quantities.

You seriously only need 3 pairs. Coming from a girl who loves shoes, it can be done. Shoes not only add a tremendous amount of weight, but they can be bought in other countries if push comes to shove. The key is to pack a cute boot for everyday wear, a comfortable shoe  for walking and for possible exercising, and another type of shoe that can be dressed up or down. 

Plain Colored Clothing

I love stripes as much as the next girl, but after wearing the same thing a few 100 times, I’m ready to throw my shirts out the window. You are going to get tired of your wardrobe really quick, so make sure you have pieces you can mix match.


Make sure to bring enough toiletries for your entire stay. Not only are certain brands expensive, but the country you are traveling to may not sell particular brands found in the U.S.

Travel Size Products

These will be quite convenient in the event your suitcase happens to get “lost” in translation. Also during weekends, if you plan on flying to different countries, the quart size bag rule for liquids still applies abroad so keep that in mind.

A Water Bottle

Water is not free abroad and there is a unfortunate lack of water fountains. Having a water bottle is not only Eco-friendly but is handy for those moments when thirst is at it’s peak and you can’t find a euro to purchase that chilled overpriced plastic water bottle in the supermarket.


An iPod touch

Although I did not bring one, I have found that an iPod touch is very convenient for travel. Calling the US is not cheap so many of my friends have a texting app and Skype on their iPod touch in order to keep in touch with family and friends. Other apps such a maps and conversion rates come in handy when traveling. Another great thing is it’s ability to connect to wifi. Since it is super lightweight you can have access to the internet anywhere you are able to connect to wifi.

An Attractive Coat

If traveling during the winter or any season for that matter, make sure you have a cute coat since you will be wearing it a lot. So far the majority of my pictures have been me wearing a jacket, scarf and boots. I have yet to be photographed in an outfit.

Don’t Bring

Your straightener, blow dryer, curling iron, etc.

Discover your natural hair. I have a semi fro, yet I’m still rocking it out. The key is air drying and letting it go wild. Styling tools not only add weight, but in the majority of cases the voltage is also different. If you need to tame your mane, you can purchase styling tools for cheap and in some cases you may be able to borrow from your host family.

Obvious Clothing

You will seriously get tired of it. As stated above, I’m ready to burn my striped shirts I absolutely adored at the beginning of my trip. Opt for bold accessories. Accessories weigh less than clothing and you can even throw them in your   carry on if weight become an issue.


The streets of Spain are very similar to Athens. They are composed of bricks and are difficult to maneuver. Save the embarrassment of a possible tumble and opt for flats. Wedges are a great alternative as well.

Happy Traveling!


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