How to Pack Up and Live Abroad in the Summer

Living abroad in the summer is the type of experience that every college student should pursue if they have the opportunity to do so (and it’s safe to travel). College is about learning and experiencing new things, and living overseas will help you in both regards. If you’ve never spent time overseas, then you’re in for a rush of new experiences. You’ll get to see new places, learn about and immerse yourself in new cultures, and try new foods. A trip backpacking overseas of the summer can be a trip where you make memories that will last you for the rest of your life. But, if you’re going to make the most out of your trip, you need to start planning it out in advance.

There’s a lot that you’ll have to do before spending a summer abroad, so make sure that you make a to-do list, and make sure you check off every item on that list before you leave for your trip. Careful planning may not be the most fun thing that you’ll ever do, but it will help you to have a great summer trip overseas.

tips for college students - packing up and moving abroad this summer

The first thing you need to plan for is what to do with all of the stuff in your dorm room. When the school year ends, it would be nice if dorms would let you leave everything there until the next semester starts. But, it doesn’t work that way. You can’t leave your stuff there. So, you can pack it up and ship it home, but that’s going to be expensive. Plus, what are you going to do when the new semester starts? Drive home to pick everything up? Wouldn’t it make more sense to leave everything near your college so next year you won’t have to do deal with the hassle of transporting your things back when you start school?

How can you do this? Simple, by renting a storage unit. A storage unit is inexpensive and you shouldn’t have any trouble finding one near your college. Storage units are also secure, so you won’t have to worry about anything happening to your belongings while you’re on your trip.

Decide Where You’re Going On Your Backpacking Trip

Before you start packing and planning this amazing adventure that you’re about to go on, you need to figure out where you’re going first. There are so many overseas destinations you can pick from, trying to narrow it down is pointless. What you need to do is figure out what you want out of living abroad in the summer. Still uncertain, well here are a few pointers that could help you figure out a way to have a memorable trip.

  • Do you have any close friends or family that will let you crash on their couch… maybe even for the entire summer? If you do, and they live somewhere that interests you, then you’ve got your destination picked out right there. Half the battle os your planning will be finding a great place to stay. Spending a small fortune on hotels and hostels isn’t reasonable. So, if you have someone willing to put you up for free or cheap, take it!
  • Do you have European ancestry and would like a chance to explore your roots? Then why not plan a trip to the country that your ancestors came from? This can be a great way to learn about your culture and maybe even meet some distant cousins.
  • Do you speak a foreign language? Planning your summer vacation in a country where you can already speak with the natives makes sense. r

Planning a trip abroad is a serious undertaking, but taking the planning process seriously will set you up for success! You need to know where you’re going, how long you’re staying, and where you can stay when you’re there. Traveling is expensive. When you’re a college student you probably don’t have a lot of extra cash just laying around. You’ll want to hunt for bargains — we’ve got a few pointers on how you can do just that.

  • Google Flights is a great service that can help you to find bargains on airfare.
  • Hopper is another service that can help you find great airfare prices. On top of that, it can help you to book a hotel and get a good rate there as well.
  • You can read blogs by various people that have successfully completed a trip like the one you’re planning.

What Should You Pack And What Should Go Into Storage?

Before you start packing for living abroad in the summer, there’s something important you need to do. First, go rent a storage unit. You can’t leave everything in your dorm, and shipping your stuff home for the summer is impractical. A storage unit is a perfect solution. It doesn’t cost much, and when your trip is over you can go by and pick up your stuff. When you’re planning a trip abroad, especially a lengthy one, you don’t want to be bogged down by overpacking. The less you can carry the better off you’ll be. What should you put into storage, and what should you pack?

college student traveling at train station with phone

Things That Should Go Into Storage If You Are Living Abroad in the Summer

  • Your laptop. You could bring a laptop with you on your trip, but this trip is about seeing new things! Plus, smartphones can handle just about anything that a laptop can.
  • School supplies, you’re not going to need study aides when you’re on a vacation.
  • Winter clothing. Before you pack up all of your winter clothing, take a look at what the weather’s going to be like. Temperatures in some areas during the summer can be quite chilly, so you may need some winter clothing. HERE are some tips for storing seasonal clothing.

Things That You Should Pack If You Are Living Abroad in the Summer

  • Your passport.
  • Any medications you take regularly.
  • Your smartphone and a charger. If you can get a portable solar power charger, this is a great investment.
  • A few changes of clothing. Make sure that the clothing you are packing is appropriate for the culture of the countries you will be visiting.
  • Comfortable walking shoes or boots, along with a pair of sandals.
  • Toiletries like toothpaste, deodorant, and mouthwash.
  • If you plan to sleep outdoors sometimes, you’ll need a tent and sleeping bag.
  • A lighter, and a book of matches in case your lighter fails.
  • A water bottle, preferably one that has a built-in filter! Make sure that any water you are drinking is safe.
  • A flashlight.

Keeping In Touch With Family and Friends During Your Trip

family and friends keeping in touch with a selfie

When you’re on an overseas trip it can be easy to get caught up in the moment. You may be an adult now, but your parents are going to worry about you forever. That’s just what parents do. Parents will worry when they know that you are in a foreign country that you’ve never been to before. Not only should you check in regularly, but you should also use this as a type of safety net. You’re in a place that completely foreign to you, and there’s always the chance that something bad could happen. That’s why you should try to check in on set intervals. Always let someone know where you are and where you plan to be going next. Then, if something happens and you can’t check-in, they’ll be better informed to help you.

Besides checking in for safety, you should also check in just because you care about the people back home. Try picking up postcards whenever you can and dropping them in the mail. If your parents get a postcard from you from someplace in Europe they’re going to feel special… trust us. Anytime you can make your parents feel special, that’s always a bonus. Your smartphone may or may not work, depending on the carrier you have and where you’re staying. You can always get a new cheap phone, and barring that you can access wifi networks, send emails, texts, and visit social media sites.

If you rented a storage unit, the one thing that you won’t have to do while living abroad in the summer is worry about checking in with a housesitter. Leaving your items in an apartment during your trip isn’t the safest option. Naturally going to worry about what’s going on at home. You’ll need to check in periodically to make sure that everything’s okay. Do you want to spend your time living overseas worrying about checking in with a housesitter? Of course not. Fortunately for you, you have the foresight to rent a storage unit! You have the peace of mind of knowing that your things are perfectly safe.