I thought I’d take a post to talk about the things I’m glad I packed, things I regret packing, and things I wish I had packed/known when deciding how best to spend my 100 pounds. So, here it goes:
Things I’m so glad I brought: these are the things that I never thought I would need, but ended up being glad I did!
- My winter hat. I seriously grabbed this on my way out of the basement the day before I left. I LIVED in this hat for the first month I was here!!
- An extension cord. Again, something I grabbed at the last minute. Makes life sooo much easier! Especially when hotels never seem to put outlets in good places.
- A Loofah! Ya know, the cheap kind you can get for like $0.80 at target the day before you leave because you think, “why not?”. Why is this so great? Because when you use a loofah, you get lots and lots of suds with very little soap. I’ve gone three months on a travel sized container of body soap, and I promise I’m not gross (you can ask my roommate if you want!)
- Beach towels. Fairly self-explanatory, but oh so useful for laying on the roof, the beach, or picnicking in the park!
- Personally I’m glad that I brought my own full bottles of shampoo and conditioner, but that’s only because I have a sulfate allergy and have to buy special stuff. But, for anyone else I would recommend you only bring travel sizes because things like that and toothpaste are super easy to find here. Except sunscreen actually. Sunscreen is expensive here!
Things I wish I hadn’t brought: things I thought I would need and never did.
- Shoes. I have at least 3 pairs of shoes that I have worn once at most the whole time I’ve been here. A lot of this is due to the fact that I walk everywhere, and a lot of shoes aren’t comfortable for walking in! Also, the streets in Seville tend to do a number on the toes of my shoes, so I avoid wearing my nice suede boots around.
- My Spanish dictionary/verb book/books in general. They take up tons of space, and I never touched them because nowadays we have these really cool things called Apps which do everything you could ever ask of those books and more, all on your phone!! Not worth it. I’m actually leaving my dictionary here because I don’t want to take up that weight.
- So many sweatshirts! Seriously. I don’t have any need for FOUR sweatshirts here. Two would have sufficed. Especially because if you wear a hoodie with a big logo or writing on it here you feel like you look really American and somewhat trashy. (oops)
- Any clothes that I rarely wear at home but thought “oh, but I might want that at some point!” LIES. I never wanted them.
- Along with sweatshirts, coats. I somehow ended up with three coats of approximately the same functionality and warmth. These are really bulky, so right now they’re taking up a lot of space and weight in my suitcase that could have been used for other things…not my best choice!
Some helpful tips to know:
- You run out of weight LONG before the space in your suitcase.
- If you put something bright on your suitcase (like pink argyle duct-tape) your luggage is really easy to spot as soon as it comes out. If you put your name on it someone might even see it and call your name out!
- If you ever need to buy a suitcase in Spain, go to a Chino. Actually, if you ever need to buy anything in Spain, go to a Chino. (Chinos are stores run by Chinese immigrants, and they have everything you could ever imagine needing for very cheap!)
- If you want a seat to yourself on the plane, spend a considerable amount of time deciding which row people are least likely to choose to sit in when choosing seats online. For me, this always means towards the back, and a window seat in the middle of a large group of empty seats. I think it’s because people follow patterns, so if there are seats filling in row by row on the plane, they’re more likely to just pick the next row, which might just be yours.
Now get to packin!! You have a full adventure ahead of you 🙂
Written by Rebecca Kappers from Trinity International University, Veritas Christian Study Abroad in Sevilla, Spain, Spring 2014