My (Probably Incomplete) Black Girl Guide to Packing for Amsterdam

Taara Clarke
August 17, 2018

I’m not packed. I’m sitting in my apartment with clothes I potentially want strewn all over chairs and couches―some are folded, some aren’t. My suitcase is empty; I’m eating a yogurt and typing this blog and pretending I am packed. I’ve been running around picking up odds and ends, coming home, and remembering more odds and ends. It’s like an endless cycle! There are suggested items to pack everywhere, but I’d like to share my list of add-ons, because I know there are certain things I need and want that will seldom be included.

Here is what I have so far:

✿ Sweaters, cardis, and coats oh my!

...and a ton of my favourite shirts to layer. I know it’s going to be cold out there. Anything below 70 degrees Fahrenheit is sweater weather for me, so I’m just going to assume I’ll be bundled up the whole time.

✿ LOTS of headwraps.

You can never have too many headwraps in my opinion. They’re stylish, they solve any bad hair day, and they keep your head warm! That’s a win-win-win in my opinion.

✿ Natural. Hair. Products.

They’re hard enough to find in my neck of the woods, and I honestly don’t want to risk not having the curling gel and foam my hair thrives on―especially in cold windy weather. This section of the list requires a little more expanding. It’s important! More specifically I will be packing:

  • A natural hair shampoo
  • A natural hair conditioner
  • Detangler
  • Castor oil
  • Jojoba oil
  • My Denman brush
  • Edge control + edge brush (toothbrush)
  • Curling custard
  • Holding foam
  • Strong, open bobby pins
  • Lots of barrettes
  • A pick

✿ Makeup!

This one is kind of annoying. I’m not super big on makeup, but occasionally I like to wear some foundation. I’m already difficult to match, and on top of that I have a winter color, and a summer color. I almost always need to mix two colors, and so I’m not stuck with a shade that doesn’t match (i.e. four shades too light), I’ve been on the lookout for a formula for my sensitive skin.

✿ In addition…

  • A shower cap
  • A sleep cap/ satin pillow case
  • Vicks
  • Cocoa butter
  • Extra chapstick / lipscrub

 Knowing me (and I do), I will have packed an outrageous amount of things with little use for most of them. I do this for two-day trips and I have no doubt in my mind I will do it for a semester long one. Better safe than sorry! I’m no packing expert, but I like to think I’m pretty okay at figuring out the things I will immediately need when I land in a new place. This list helped me consolidate some of the things I need to grab and pack and I hope it helps you too, Reader (though you probably already have yourself together at this point).

Until next time,


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