By now I’m sure you’ve read dozens of packing lists detailing what you should and shouldn’t bring with you for your study abroad journey. Below are a few essential items I wish I had brought with me for my semester abroad in Italy.
Portable chargers are a lifesaver while abroad. You never know what’s going to happen while traveling, and in the event of being lost or stranded in a foreign city, having a portable charger can save the stress of needing to find a place to charge your phone. I strongly recommend picking up either a power bank or portable charger before arriving or at your host country’s airport.
Multi-Country Travel Adapter
If you're visiting multiple countries with different plug types, a universal adapter will save you the hassle of carrying multiple adapters around. For instance, the United Kingdom uses a different power adapter from the rest of Europe. So, theoretically, if you plan on going from Italy to London, you're going to need another adapter. Be proactive about it. Instead of buying two different adapters, purchase a multi-country adapter off of Amazon beforehand. It saves space and works if you plan on traveling to different regions of the world.
Ziploc bags are your best friend while abroad. These little bags are very versatile and can meet a variety of purposes. Ziplocs are useful for organizing small items and keeping liquids from leaking. Especially if you plan on participating in any sort of water activity, Ziploc bags are perfect for waterproofing,
Money belts are essential for securely carrying your passport, cash, and other important documents under your clothes. I can guarantee you that your money belt will become your best friend while abroad. You can find most money belts—or even neck pouches—starting at $20 on Amazon. Additionally, a lot of them have something called RFID protection, which is essentially an extra layer of protection to prevent scammers from skimming your debit card information electronically. Especially in countries with high rates of pickpocketing and theft, a money belt can play a huge role in preventing these crimes from happening to you.
No matter where you're at in the world, you need to have that country's currency on hand. Some places accept strictly cash and you never want to be left in a situation where you don't have anything on hand. I recommend pulling cash out of the country's airport when you land. The rates are high, but it's safe and efficient. Otherwise, you can try your luck and exchange at different financial services institutions or ATMs, depending on where you are in the world. Keep in mind that in case of emergencies or unexpected situations, having cash can be a lifesaver. For example, if your credit card gets blocked or you encounter technical issues with your digital payment app, cash will always be a reliable backup.
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Hello! My name is Leonardo Hall, I'm a senior studying International Business and Economics at the University of Puget Sound. I'm studying abroad in Milan to study business and explore Italian culture. I love running, music, and traveling. This spring, I hope to have tons of new and exciting experiences in Italy, and that sharing them with you helps you get the most out of your time abroad!