Today is the day. The day I have been dreaming about nonstop for the past 5 months, ever since I got my acceptance email on my birthday, and yet it still feels like a dream. In less than 4 hours I will be on my way to Logan Airport to hop my 5:55 PM flight to Milan, Italy where I will spend the next 5 months meeting entirely new faces (and not knowing how to speak to many of them), tasting the
fruit pasta of the land, and dressing in the trendiest of fashions to my heart's content. And as I sit here in my kitchen, eating my favorite oatmeal breakfast for probably the last time in a while (is oatmeal a thing in Italy?), I can't help but pray that my packing job will be enough/not too much.
As a self-proclaimed fashionista (I am pursuing a career in the fashion industry, write a fashion blog, even my lounge clothes are cute, etc), the prospect of packing for this trip in one suitcase has been a monster invading my otherwise pleasant travel dreams. Given my permitted baggage dimensions from British Airways, I searched high and low for the best size and weight suitcase. Ultimately, upon recommendation from a friend of a friend, I went with IT's IT-O-1 29" Suitcase (here), which weighs less than 5 pounds! This is crucial, and for it's size, it is definitely the best deal. However, from its build, I can only assume it will last one trip or two of being tossed about at the airport before busting a seam. But it should work for my purposes. I also had to look in painstaking detail for a good carry-on, considering this would be the bag that I take on weekend trips to other cities. Since traveling by plane on EasyJet or RyanAir is often cheaper and more efficient than by train, I had to be sure my carry-on would fit their regulations, which are much stricter than any other airline. I found just the bag for the job, the Lucas 20" Spinner (here), which is expandable (I can pack it to its full extent when on British Airways) but fits the strict dimensions when kept more compact. It also has 4 spinner wheels for the utmost towing ease.
After weeks of living amongst a mound of clothes on my bedroom floor, I was able to take in all the clothing options that I had and start narrowing down my choices of what to pack. It wasn't easy, but I am proud to say I have been pretty much packed since two days ago. I set out with the knowledge that I should pack practical pieces that are layerable, can transition day to night, and basic enough to wear with multiple outfits, and had to make gut decisions on what I would and would not get a lot of use out of. I ended up with roughly the following:
8-10 tshirts/long-sleeves, 3-4 tanks, 3-4 day-to-night tops, 3-4 button downs/blouses, 3-4 sweaters, 3 pairs of jeans, 3 midi skirts, 2 pairs of shors, 3 pairs of leggins, 2 blazers, 1 jacket, 1 down coat (with a hood so doubles as a raincoat), 1 long wool coat (wearing on the plane), 1 vest, 2 pairs of heels, 2 pairs of loafers/walking shoes, 2 pairs of boots (wearing one pair on the plane), sneakers, a handful of bras and hundies, 5 belts, and 1 beanie. Gotta have the beanie.
In my carry-on, I was sure to pack a change of clothes, my makeup and jewelry, travel size toiletries, my meds, my sneakers, and my 2 crossbody bags (that zip shut. Ain't nobody gonna pickpocket this chick.). I also packed my favorite gummy vitamins. I doubt I will find those over in the land of seemingly non-stop sophistication.
Finally, I have my black leather backpack (all of these bags were found at TJMaxx, btdubs) that contains my computer, ipad, chargers and converters, small first aid kit, melatonin (super helpful when trying to sleep on the plane and adjusting to the time change), a super awesome lunch box that my brother got me for christmas (I usually cook for myself so this was actually an awesome gift), an umbrella, sunglasses, leather gloves, filtered water bottle, headphones, sleepmask, mini Milan guide book and dictionary (thanks, dad!), wallet, passport, and folder of all my necessary travel documents. I will also likely throw in variety of snacks.
Writing all of this out was actually more for me than for you, to help me make sure I am not forgetting anything. I think I am good. If you have noticed that I am leaving anything vital out of this list, then I beg of you to please respond immediately as I will be leaving in now less than 3 hours. Much appreciated.
That said, I do hope that you find this helpful when packing for your own abroad adventures. It will be interesting to see how satisfied I am with this list by the end of the trip (and how much of it I will have had to ditch/ship home after my new purchases...).
(oh and you can check out my main blog, Fifteenth & Fifth, here)
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<p>My name is Meredith, and I am a 3rd year Media Studies major from UVA. I love bananas, yoga, and traveling the world. I am also a fashion blogger and pursuing a career in fashion, so I hope to record how my experiences in Milan, one of the fashion capitals of the world, shapes my future! </p>