Packing

What to pack? What size suitcase? How many bags can I bring? 

This is often a stressful part of trip preparations. Keep these things in mind:

  • Students will receive exact luggage restrictions by email in the month prior to departure. Note: Because of changing airline policies, they may have tougher luggage requirements than listed below.
  • Currently students are allowed to take one piece of checked luggage, one carry-on and one personal item. 
    • One checked bag - no more than 25-26 inches (23-24 is better). Students will be given the maximum weight limit prior to departure.
    • One carry-on like a small or medium backpack; less than 45 linear inches and no more than 22 pounds.
    • Small personal item like a purse/small daypack/camera bag. Girls, be careful about carrying purses. You may want to have a sling-type purse. All valuables should be in your travel wallet. 
  • Pack light! Lay out everything you want to take and then pack only HALF of it.
  • Don’t think three months. Remember that you should only be packing for about 7-10 days. You will be able to do laundry wherever you will be staying. Take into account if you like to buy t-shirts.
  • Take only the essentials. Anything else you can buy if you need it. Europe has some of the same products as the U.S. and there’s even Walmart-type stores in China.
  • Clothes are cheap in China and you can find bargains in Europe. Buy only what you need, however, or you will end up with too much clothing.
  • Share things like shampoo or blow dryers. 
  • Remember to pack only OC-appropriate clothes. (See the Student Handbook if you are not sure what constitutes OC-appropriate clothing.) Pack comfortable clothes that you don’t mind wearing ALOT.
  • Jeans and shoes are heavy. However, it is good to take two pairs of shoes. You will need a good pair of walking shoes. Don’t just take flipflops, however; they are not good for walking all day.
  • One light waterproof jacket is good to take for cold/wet days. Think layers! Euro students may need to throw in a couple of sweaters and a coat. Use those plastic packing bags (the kind that sucks out air) to pack these bulkier items.
  • Rolling clothes saves space and helps with wrinkles.
  • Only pack the essentials. Don’t pack things because “you might need them.” If you need something, you can go buy it wherever you are.
  • You must be able to carry all your luggage by yourself. If you can’t manage everything by yourself, it’s too much! Pick up all your luggage and walk around the block a few times. See if you can go up and down stairs. Can you pick up your luggage easily and lift it? You need to be able to get manage your luggage on crowded streets, up and down bus steps, and possibly on public transportation.
  • When you return, you may have two checked bags. (You may have to pay extra for the second bag.) You can pack a collapsible duffle or buy a bag in Australia or Europe.
  • You may want to ship things home instead of trying to carry stuff back home in luggage. Prices are not too bad if you ship by boat. It can take close to two months, but if you ship early enough it will arrive by Christmas.