Backpacking Essentials: What To Carry Abroad?

backpacking essentials

Written by Shreya Berry

Her foray into blogging was not planned; it was accidental. Started as a writer at the age of 15, Shreya has expertise in writing engaging content for the readers and has a deep interest in unique applications of technology in various domains. She has worked closely on projects with Neil Patel Digital, Hindustan Times, News 18 and Shiksha.

Last updated Apr 6, 2021

You’ve been enrolled in an outstanding study abroad programme, you’re counting down the days before you graduate, and now it’s time to tackle the most daunting aspect of the process: what do I pack for study abroad? You and almost every other study abroad student who has come before you have all panicked over the same stuff, but you’re in good company! I have covered all the backpacking essentials for the study abroad explorers out there.

What Kind of Area Would You Be Researching in While Abroad?

You can’t bring surfboards to a place like Iceland, so learning about the area where you’ll be studying abroad is important. 

Conservatives Vs Liberals 

The first concern should be deciding how conservative the region is. You don’t want to wear culturally disrespectful clothing, especially if you’re a woman, because in most cases, you won’t be allowed within sacred areas if you’re not covered up. This does not seem like a major deal when you have an art class inside a cathedral and are refused admission because you just brought tank tops. 

What Kind of Weather Would You Be Seeing Whilst Studying Abroad? 

Moving anywhere with four distinct seasons is quite different from studying abroad in a single environment, but the next thing you can remember is the type(s) of weather you’ll encounter. Don’t neglect the importance of your study abroad location’s environment in determining what you can carry. Remember even if you study in a certain hemisphere, the seasons would be reversed. The backpacking essentials can vary differently depending on the temperature.

If you’re just studying overseas for the summer, you definitely don’t have to think about the weather changing much, so if you’ll be there for the whole school year, you’ll need to know what kind of climate(s) you’ll be experiencing. 

Do you know what backpacking essentials to bring for your journey abroad? Spending a few months or even years at a university in another country may be daunting. With the study abroad packing list, you may be assured that you would not miss something. You definitely won’t need anything on the chart, so feel free to change it to meet your needs: 

Backpacking Essentials Checklist of Clothes for Studying Abroad

Essential items for backpacking include:

• Innerwear 

• Socks 

• Medium sleeve tops 

• Short sleeve shirts 

• Undershirts 

• Thermal socks

• Sweatshirts/hoodies 

• Sweaters 

• Jeans/ Khakis 

• A couple of belts

• One or two sets of exercise clothing 

• Pajamas

• Bathing suit (for those going to warmer climates)

• Coat/Jacket (I suggest at least two – one for cold weather and one for wet weather)

• At least one nice formal-occasion outfit

• Flip flops or sandals of any type (ideal for a holiday to a warm environment, but also for hostel showers)

• Sneakers, dress shoes, jeans, and rain boots

• Cold-weather clothing (gloves/mittens, cap, scarf) 

Read: A New Student Hack! The Buddy System For International Students

Backpacking Essentials Electronics to Carry for Study Abroad

The essential backpacking gear in terms of electronics that you will need to carry abroad includes: 

• A mobile with a charger and a notebook/laptop with a charger.

• Power socket adapters in case the power sockets and voltages at your destination vary (ideally 2 or more)

• Camera with carrying case and battery

• Memory cards, flash drives, and USB sticks

• Charger for e-reader

• MP3 player or iPod with a charging cord 

Collection of bamboo toothbrushes and organic natural soaps with wooden body brush arranged with recyclable glass bottle with natural oil and ceramic vase with artificial plant

Health Equipment and Toiletries for Study Abroad

You should bring some medication with you, particularly if you need to take anything that requires a prescription. It might take some time to get into your host country’s healthcare system, so make sure you have enough. Also, verify that you are approved to carry the medication into the country – preferably, notify the embassy of your host nation in your home country. 

When it comes to toiletries, just carry what you need for a few days. Anything other than that is best purchased in your host country. You’ll save space in your luggage this way. 

And, keep the following guidelines in mind while transporting liquids in your cabin luggage: 

•  Liquids must be brought in 100 mL cans, with no more than 10 products packed in a small clear plastic bag. Anything that you can pack in your checked-in bag. If you breach this law, airport security will not argue with you; instead, they will literally throw away your liquids.

• Transparent plastic bag for toiletries in hand luggage

• Toothbrushes, toothpaste, shower gels, soaps, shampoos and conditioners, deodorants, and perfumes

• Shaver, razors, shaving gel

• Contact lenses and contact lenses liquid 

• Nail clippers 

• Comb or hairbrush 

• Makeup 

• Contraceptives 

• Tampons or pads 

• Tissues and toilet paper 

Prescription medication

• Bandages 

• Anti-allergy drug

• Sanitizer 

Other Backpacking Essentials to Remember While Studying Abroad

• Backpack – anything to use as hand luggage even on a regular basis.

• Wallet and/or purse

• Approximately 100-200 EUR in cash for when you arrive (or the equivalent, if euros are not the local currency)

• Sunglasses

• Lenses 

Essential jewels you can’t do without

• Depending on where you may stay or your travel plans, you will need a sleeping pad.

• Padlock, especially if staying in a hostel

• A notebook for taking notes 

• A dictionary for the local language

• If you are living with a host family, carry a one-of-a-kind present from your home country. 

Backpacking Essentials You Can Purchase in Your Host Nation Instead

Black and Brown Brush on Saucer

Bring out what you like! There are a few things that will take up a lot of room in your suitcase but are reasonably affordable to obtain after you arrive in your host nation. If you’ve been through our packing list and still have space, load them; if not, take care of them after you arrive:

• Linens, bed sheets, a blanket, and a cushion

• Face Cloths and towels

• Laundry bag 

• Toiletries you forgot to prepare 

• Essential course textbooks 

• Office supplies (paper, pens, folders)

• Seasonal clothes and accessories that you did not have with you

• Blow-dryer

• Umbrella

Use the hand luggage for necessities only.

It’s unfortunate, but it’s true. Airlines also misplace checked baggage, and even though they are able to locate it, it can take a few days until you get it back. Prepare for the probability by doing the following:

1. Use a colourful luggage harness or something else to help the suitcase stick out visually. This will assist the airline in tracking it down.

2. Pack some of your necessities, as well as your papers and valuables, in your hand luggage, as well as some socks – just in case.

Ten Essentials for Hiking

Selective Focus Photo of Red Hiking Backpack on Green Grass

As a student, you will go out and explore the new host country. If you are a trek lover you may go hiking. Some essentials you need to have by your side include: 

• A map, compass, or a GPS device

• A headlamp

• Sun protection

• Extra clothes

• Water

• Food

• Shelter

• Fire

• Knife

• First aid


If you need any assistance with your student accommodation search, call us on 000 800 040 3523 or simply write to us at contact@uniacco.com, to get in touch with one of our property consultants. Visit UniAcco today! 

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