How Not to Pack for Study Abroad: London Edition

steph and I bball game

Over the last couple of weeks I have been avoiding the giant suitcase in the corner of my room. I dragged the suitcase from the basement, and then drove out to Boston to visit my sister and a friend from college. I saw Faneuil hall and went to a red sox game. Before I knew it, I was back in Syracuse.

Faneuil hall

I made a list of all the things I needed to pack, then went to Ithaca College to visit a friend. I had an amazing time in Ithaca, where we spent quite a bit of time stargazing (the stars are so clear out there, I was memorized).


When I made it back to Syracuse, I managed to check off most of my list of things to buy before I leave. Then I went to Brockport and Fredonia.

Jackie and I Fredonia

I got to see some amazing friends at both locations, but after that trip I was back in Syracuse and back to facing the giant, empty suitcase.

red sox game

I read a lot of travel blogs, and there are a lot of lists about what to pack, what not to pack, and so on. Don’t worry, I absolutely love them. I have read so many as I try and figure out how to fit my entire wardrobe into a suitcase. There is one problem I encounter with each one however. None of them have my exact clothes, and therefore, never really help me. The lists tend to be more general on things you should and shouldn’t bring, rather then telling me “Sarah, as cute as that high low navy blue skirt is, you won’t be wearing it in London.” Now I realize that is a bit of a ridiculous problem. Of course no one is going to have my wardrobe, and if they did I might be a little freaked out.

Lauren and I Brockport

I have no solution for that problem. However, I will give you a list of what I am bringing. Not because it will help you figure out what to bring, because honestly, I haven’t left yet, so I have no clue what I will really need in London. Maybe at the end of the trip I will make a revised version of this list. I will do my best to help you learn the dos and don’ts of travel packing through my mistakes. There will probably be quite a few, so you (and I) will probably learn plenty.

Maddy and I Ithaca

I am really into fashion, because I believe that looking great helps you feel great. I don’t always look great, but I try my best. I read fashion blogs, have a pinterest page dedicated to styles I like and take inspiration from, and probably spend way to much time online shopping for clothes I never actually buy.

hannah and I red sox

Therefore my choices for what I bring abroad might not be the most practical. I own no khakis or toms, and will give you a dirty look if you suggest I wear sneakers to anything other than the gym.   I hate things that have the brand plastered on them, no matter how comfortable they are (I’m looking at you, northface). I will choose fashionable over comfortable any day (although most of what I wear is both). I like to look like I know what I am doing even though most of the time I haven’t got a clue.


Therefore my packing list is not geared toward the practical generalizations of what to bring. Most likely it won’t help you at all. The perfectionist in me spent far to many hours creating this list that will only be useful to me on this one (albeit awesome) trip. Enjoy.



  • What I am wearing on the plane:
    • Loose tank top (Tan)
    • Black jeggings
    • Black and Tan belt
    • Maroon Cardigan
    • Black booties
    • Bangles
    • Thick gold bracelet
  • Personal item: Tan overnight bag
    • Important papers:
      • Passport photocopies
      • Details of where I am staying (and photocopies)
      • Letter from Kings College (and photocopies)
      • Letter from AU (and photocopies)
      • Transcript (and photocopies)
      • Travel/health insurance (and photocopies)
    • Technology:
      • Laptop
      • Laptop charger
      • IPhone
      • IPhone charger
      • Good power adapter
    • Useful Items
      • Photographs to hang up
      • Headphones
      • Suitcase lock
      • Gum
      • Passport case (and passport)
    • Wallet
      • License
      • Credit Cards
      • Flash Drive
      • Cash (pounds)
    • Carry on- back pack
      • Clothes
        • Black Skirt
        • Black spandex
        • Black tights
        • Maroon Scarf
      • Medicine
        • Prescriptions
        • Melatonin pills
      • Empty cross body bags (large and small, black)
      • Useful Items
        • Compact umbrella
        • Sunglasses (2)
        • Deck of Cards
        • Journal
        • Small travel pillow
        • Glasses
        • Retainer
        • Refillable 2 oz bottles
      • Big Suitcase
        • Clothes
          • 2 Jeans (AE jeggings)
          • 2 Leggings
          • 5 Casual Skirts (Black w/flowers, white w/flowers, sweater, black short, Maxi)
          • 4 shorts (black and white, black high waisted, jean good, jean ripped)
          • 2 sun dresses (high low, lace white)
          • 2 nice dresses
          • 1 t-shirt dress
          • 1 Chambray shirt
          • 4 casual shirts (black, white, tan, navy)
          • 2 nice shirts (black button down, loose white)
          • 3 loose tank tops (black, white, green)
          • 2 tight tank tops (green, black)
          • 1 professional outfit (gray blazer, black skirt, high jeweled top)
          • 2 going out outfits (black dress, silver skirt)
          • 2 Cardigans
          • 5 sweaters (black, maroon, black and white, navy and white, gray)
          • 4 Coats (Rain coat, green coat, leather coat, winter coat)
          • 1 sweatshirt
          • 2-3 pairs workout clothes (3 sports bras, 2 running leggings, 1 yoga pants, 4 work out shirts)
          • 2-3 pj’s (3 boxer shorts, 1 big shirt)
          • 2 Swimsuits
          • Socks and underwear for 2 weeks
        • Shoes
          • Nikes (for working out)
          • Combat boots
          • Sandals (tan, gold)
          • Black Flip flops (for hostel showers)
          • 1 Flats
        • Accessories/useful items
          • 5 belts
          • 1 gloves (black texting)
          • 1 scarf (b&w)
          • 5 tights
          • laundry bag
        • Small Makeup bag
          • Powder, bronzer/blush, 2 face brushes, 4 eyeliners, 1 mascara, 4 lipsticks, 1 tweezers, 3 nail polish bottles
        • Small Hair/jewelry bag
          • 3 necklaces
          • 3 pairs of earrings
          • 2 rings
          • Hair ties
          • Bobby pins
        • Big Hair/makeup bag
          • Make up stay spray
          • Hair spray
          • Moisturizer
          • Hair oil spray
          • Beach hair spray
          • Hair Brush
        • Medicine Bag (Small)
          • Ibuprofen
          • Cold Medicine
          • Antibacterial gel
          • Band-Aids
        • Medicine Bag (Big)
          • Vitamins
          • Contact solution
          • Toothbrush/tooth paste
          • Deodorant
          • Nail file and Clipper
          • Razor

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