Packing for a Year – What to Bring on Exchange

I am going to be leaving for Slovakia today! So here is what I will be packing, and here is what YOU will need to bring on exchange!

  • Most Very Very Much Important Items
    • Passport – Not getting far without it
    • Plane Tickets – Again, probably won’t be getting very far
    • Cash – Would recommend bringing cash from your home country and cash from where you are going (in my case Euros and USD).
    • Contact Info – Being able to contact your host family, or your parents in case of an emergency is crucial. Definitely have their phone numbers written down physically or electronically.
  • Electronics
    • Camera – I would recommend extra batteries and SD cards
    • Laptop – Without my laptop I couldn’t let all of you know what I am up to!
    • iPad – I don’t have a real reason to take it, other than I don’t have a reason to leave it…
    • Phone – I won’t have service there, as I won’t be getting a SIM card for Slovakia, but it is nice to take around and take pictures when my camera isn’t easily accessible.
    • Accesories – SD cards, batteries, flashdrives, Gamecube controller, microfiber cleaning cloth etc.
    • Charging Cables – I am a little worries because I don’t have a Slovak wall adapter, but I think that I could buy one there… Right?
    • Headphones – The reason that this is last on this section is that I almost forgot them…
  • School Supplies
    • Notebook – I am only taking a $1 notebook that I got from Walmart, just in case. I am assuming I can probably buy them there… Right?
    • Pens and Pencils – After talking to Linda our Czech student at our house, I am definitly going to bring extra pencils. She tells me a lot of the ones they sell there don’t come with erasers..? Weird.
  • Carry-on
    • Notebook
    • Water bottle
    • Laptop & other electronics
    • Passport, cash and other very very important travel items
    • Slovak to English book
    • Camera Bag/Man Purse – Make fun of me all you want, my camera and passport are safe in my bag.
    • Spare change of clothes – I wouldn’t call my self an avid world traveler, but there has been more than one occasion where I needed clothes to change into when I was traveling.
  • Clothes
    • Sweatshirts – I am taking three, but that is because I have been told it gets cold in the winter. Would recommend looking into the climate of wherever you are going.
    • Socks – How many? All of them .No seriously I am taking all of my socks because they don’t take up much space and more socks is always better than less socks.
    • Underwear – As many as I can fit. Normally what dictates when I do my laundry is when I run out of underwear. But for real whenever I have traveled I have always found that I have never brought enough underwear. Would recommend that you bring waaaaaaay more than enough.
    • Pants – I am bringing I think 4-5 pairs of pants, varying from jeans to other materials. I have been told that it is pretty cold in Slovakia, but I have never lived in a cold climate so I guess I will have to find out when I get there.
    • Shirts – I tried to pick out clothes that I though would look good there, I had our Czech exchange student that is staying with us help me find shirts that would fit the style there. I also made sure to bring plenty of tank tops because you know, suns out guns out.
    • Shoes – I have brought quite a few, and I kind of wish that I could bring more. I am not a crazy shoe guy, but I felt like I would need them. I am bringing a pair of Vans, one pair of Converse in my bag, one on my feet, 2 pairs of boots, and a pair of flip flops.
  • Miscellaneous items
    • Flags – I am bringing two American flags, and I am bringing one smaller Slovak flag. I have been told to not be too patriotic/American but I don’t know if I can control myself
    • Host Gifts – I am bringing a whole bunch of California themed host gifts for my family, and I really hope that they will like them. I would recommend buying host gifts for your family that either suit your lifestyle or your hometown, those always feel the most personal.

I really hope that is everything. I have written down everything that I have packed so if I am missing something then I didn’t pack it… Lets hope that I have everything. I thought that packing would be a huge ordeal, but to be perfectly honest I don’t have much that I want to take with me. I know that this is a fairly big list, but I have everything fit snugly into one suitcase and my backpack. I am going to be leaving the house on August 25 (today) at 1:45PM, and I am estimating that I won’t be home until early morning August 27. This is going to be a lot of traveling.

I hope that what I have written is not only interesting, but also helpful for all of those who might be stressing about what they need to bring. I started to worry a little bit, but I had to just remind myself that it would be alright and everything would fit fine. I hope you guys are well, and I guess the next time you will be hearing from me is when I will be in Slovakia!

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