Packing List for a Semester Abroad
Lauren, Spring 2024, Florence
March 14, 2024

packing can be stressful and overwhelming!

Packing for going abroad is not an easy task at hand. It is something that people do not seem to talk about a lot. So after my experience with packing for a semester in Italy, I wanted to share my tips and packing list!

TIPS For Packing: 

  • Pack early!!! Set aside at least 2 free days before you leave that will give you enough time to pack and rearrange to make everything fit perfectly! I started packing 2 weeks before leaving and had to rearrange and repack several times. 
  • Only bring your essentials! I tried to pack everything I could think of for my semester, however I was not able to make everything fit while keeping my suitcase at 50 pounds.
  • Pack all your full sized toiletries and hair products in your checked bag. (For me, this added A LOT of weight, so pack your lighter things in this bag to help you stay under 50 pounds!)
  • Bring medicine! You will get sick! Medicines might include: NyQuil, DayQuil, ibuprofen, pepto bismol, tums, cough drops, antinausea or motion sickness medicine 
  • Get a passport holder to hold your passport, credit cards, money, student ID, etc. while traveling.
  • Leave extra room in your suitcase or check a second bag on the way home! Leaving extra room in my suitcase was just not possible for me. I packed each suitcase to the brim! Before I came, I bought bags off of amazon that are similar to an IKEA bag and brought one with me to check on the way home. 

What To Pack In:

  • 1 large checked suitcase
  • 1 carry on suitcase 
  • 1 travel backpack 
  • 1 fanny pack 

TIP: wear layers to the airport to save room in your suitcase!

What To Pack:

Travel and Tech

  • 2-3 Phone chargers
  • Apple watch charger 
  • Airpods charger
  • Airpods 
  • laptop
  • laptop charger 
  • 1-2 Portable chargers (and cord to charge it)
  • 2-3 European travel plug adaptors (2 prongs not 3!)
  • Digital or disposable camera (not a necessity, but fun!)
  • Air tags
  • Door lock (for apartment and travel)
  • Passport holder 
  • Neck pillow
  • Travel blanket
  • Eye mask 
  • Books to read
  • Travel journal 
  • Brita water bottle and replacement filters 
  • Printed documents (insurance card, arrival guide, orientation schedule, housing assignment, student ID, copy of passport, flight itinerary, letter from doctor if bringing any medications)
  • Luggage locks
  • Scissors 
  • Speaker (not a necessity, but fun to have) 
  • Lint roller 


  • Makeup 
  • Tampons
  • Prescription medicines 
  • Basic medicine 
  • Tampons
  • Extra deodorant 
  • Hair spray
  • Dry shampoo 
  • Reusable microfiber cleansing towels
  • Microfiber hair turban
  • Big microfiber towel for travel
  • Downy wrinkle releaser 
  • Contacts and contact solution 
  • Face wash 
  • Face cleansing brush
  • Other skincare 
  • Nail clippers and tweezers 
  • Travel toiletry bag (for weekend travel) 
  • Shampoo and conditioner (only if you are picky! If not you can buy there)
  • Tooth brush
  • Toothpaste 
  • Travel size toothpaste 
  • Razor 
  • Retainer 

Accessories and Shoes

  • Jewelry
  • Travel jewelry holder
  • Flat iron or curling iron (that works in EU)
  • Sunglasses 
  • Tote bag for school 
  • 1 going out purse with long strap
  • 1 fanny pack (I love mine off of Amazon! It is called Telena small sling bag for women leather crossbody fanny pack) 
  • Umbrella 
  • 1 pair athletic tennis shoes 
  • 1-2 pairs of comfy/cute sneakers 
  • 1 pair of black boots
  • 1 pair of sandals 
  • 1-2 pairs of shower/house shoes (slippers or I like the pillow slides that work for both!)


  • Rain jacket 
  • 2 pairs of leggings
  • 1-2 pairs of sweatpants/joggers
  • 1 pair of leather pants
  • 1-2 pairs of jeans
  • 1-2 pairs of flowy pants 
  • 1 pair of cargo pants
  • 1-2 skirts 
  • 1-2 pairs of tights (1 thin pair, 1 fleece lined pair) 
  • 2-3 swim suits
  • 2 sweatshirts/crewnecks (neutral color)
  • 1-2 blazers 
  • 1-2 coats (puffer and/or trench coat! Can also buy trench coat there)
  • 3 regular bras, 2-3 sports bras
  • 7-10 pairs of socks
  • 7-10 pairs of underwear 
  • 2-3 long sleeve shirts
  • 2-3 short sleeve shirts 
  • 2-3 tank tops/going out tops 
  • 1-2 neutral color dresses
  • 1-3 fun color dresses 
  • 1-2 collapsible bins (in case your apartment has limited space for clothes) 

A rain jacket and umbrella are a MUST pack!

Written by: Lauren, Spring 2024 Florence student from the University of Arkansas

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