Packing light for a big, long trip can be hard. I recently left for a 5-week (er, I mean 8-week) trip to Winnipeg to study French. My dorm has exactly 0 supplies and I had to pack to ensure that I could not only clothe and bathe myself but that I could keep the place clean enough to pass weekly inspections. Here are some quick tips.
1. Don’t pack more than you can carry
As a minimalist, I thought that I had done a good job of choosing what to bring with me to Winnipeg. A pair of shorts (for gym), some skirts, a bunch of tank tops, jeans and shirt all went into my suitcase along with a liberal helping of books and all of my make-up/hair products.
Unfortunately, my suitcase wouldn’t close and I refused to bring a second one so I began to hang things off of the first à la vagabond. Needless to say, I cannot lift a 40+ pound suitcase + carry-ons and had a miserable time lugging the thing on public transportation to the airport
2. Check the weather of your locale
Honestly, I thought that Winnipeg and Montreal had the same climate (why!? WHY did I think that?!) and packed things that I would wear in Montreal (sweaters, a coat, blazers, JEANS!). I think I’ve worn a tank top and skirt every single day I’ve been here and lamented the disgusting heat every second of the day.
3. Pack only the essentials – seriously
You don’t need 17 books. You don’t need a hair dryer. You don’t need 5 pairs of shoes. You need more clothing, more shampoo and more accessories. I wish I had more accessories than my two pairs of earrings and Dollarama scarf. Bookstores and libraries exist, as do stores where you can pick up basics like nail polish (if need be). It may not be frugal but it’s the best way to pack