I promised to post a packing guide so with about 10 days to go here it goes! I hope someone will find this helpful. 🙂
First and probably the most important thing is DO NOT PROCRASTINATE. Leaving packing for the last day is a very bad idea. Trust me I know, I’ve done it before and it didn’t end up well. I’ll just say that overweight suitcase usually means throwing stuff out quickly and leaving something important behind!
To prevent this from happening you should plan ahead. A lot of websites have a list of items you might need at uni (i.e.. tsr) Look through the list and make a list of your own. I actually made 2 lists, one with list of items to take with me and the other with list of items to buy in Dundee. The second list is not necessary but it will help you later on with budgeting.
Things to keep in mind:
– Everything you need you can buy in Dundee. Fees for excess baggage are costly and often it is cheaper to buy new stuff than to bring your old things. When packing you should always give priority to more expensive/hard to get to items.
– There is no need to look around town for plug adaptors you can buy them in Dundee. I even bought one in a pound shop once, even though initially I was a bit unsure about its quality, 3 years on it still works!
– It is very important to pack all documents you might need. It is also a good idea to keep them in one folder in your hand luggage.
– To start off in a new country you will need a significant amount of money. However it is really a bad idea to bring large amounts of cash with you. This is why you should always draw up a budget to give you an idea of how much money you’ll need.
Every airline has different weight allowances on checked luggage, check your allowances before you start packing. Here are some hints I usually use when packing my bag, I often find them helpful for staying within my weight allowances:
– Use smaller suitcase, larger ones are also heavier. I usually use the 66 cm (medium) one.
– When buying a suitcase weight is more important than size, I wouldn’t buy a medium suitcase weighting more than 3 kg.
– Don’t pack any toiletries. They are heavy and you can buy them for £10-£15 depending on the brand you choose.
– A lot of airlines will allow you to take a winter coat alongside your hand luggage when boarding the plane. This way you don’t have to pack your winter coat as they tend to be large and heavy.
– To get more items into a smaller suitcase first fold your clothes and then roll them. If you’re unsure how to do this check THIS article
– If your bag is still too heavy put some smaller but heavier items in your hand luggage. If your carry-on bag is too heavy you can always put some items in your pockets. We’ve all been there! Traveling with paper weights and phone/iPod chargers in our pockets!
– If you have a lot of electrical items, like myself, always pack them in your carry-on bag to prevent any damage.
Once you’re all packed you will need to consider how much money you’ll need for first couple of weeks (opening a bank account can take up to a few weeks depending on the bank). This is where that second list of items comes into play. Check Argos and Ikea websites to get an idea of how much money you will need to buy items on your list. Keep in mind you will probably spend additional £100 on your first grocery shop and that you will need some money for entertainment too (i.e. freshers pass). A lot of items on your list can be bought with a credit card which is a good alternative to cash. What I usually do is take enough money for first 3 weeks and give my brother power of attorney over my bank accounts so he can transfer my money to me later on.
Last thing (I promise!) if you’re not sure where you’re going it is always smart idea to take a taxi. If you’re trying to save up some money take train or bus into town and then take taxi from bus/train station to your accommodation. It is not worth getting lost over a few pounds! 🙂