In between my dreams of running around Danish castles and discovering everything that can be remotely described as “hyggelig,” I have dreaded the impending and foreboding task of packing. As a result of this somewhat misplaced anxiety, I have spent the past month repeatedly inputting “how to pack for study abroad” into my Google search bar. I do not recommend doing this. I have screwed up most of my social media algorithms (my tik tok for you page now consists solely of “what I packed for study abroad” videos). To save you the trouble of spiraling down the study-abroad YouTube/TikTok/blogger rabbit hole, I have compiled some of the most frequent tips I have read, watched, or learned from my own mistakes:
1. Packing Cubes or Packing Bags aren’t necessary.
I fell into the marketing hole. You don’t really need them. Now that I have them, of course I will be using them, but you can still organize your suitcase without them. They are cute and if you cannot stand messiness, they may help.
2. Portable Chargers are necessary.
My phone dies at the absolute worst times (and I think this is a universal occurrence). A friend once told me about his unfortunate experience in an unknown city where his phone died and he did not know the address of his friend’s house (where he was staying). He went up to multiple strangers nearly begging them to borrow a charger. No one let him borrow their charger. Alas, he wandered around the city for about 2 hours and discovered a path home. Despite the happy ending, I do not ever wish to experience that. Bring a portable charger.
3. You should pack about 3 times. Pack. Unpack. Re-Pack. Repeat.
I have lost count of how many times I have packed my suitcase. In the first round of packing, I had included a pair of heels and a bulky, bright jacket that matched exactly 1 outfit I was bringing. I did not need those things. There is magic behind this method, trust me.
4. Capsule Wardrobes and clothes that match every outfit.
I own a lot of clothes. I am a fan of thrift shopping. I will go online shopping a bit too much when I am upset over minor inconveniences. This was definitely my biggest concern for packing. When doing my research, however, I discovered the “Capsule Wardrobe,” which basically consists of many versatile, purposeful clothing pieces that all (more or less) match each other. Thus, I began a journey to make my Copenhagen suitcase into a “capsule”. My once colorful closet of pastels and neons and rainbows, now consists of mostly nudes, grey, and white. Despite the sadness of leaving many of my favorite pieces behind, I discovered that packing simple staple pieces like jeans, brown pants, layering sweaters, and single-colored tops can make an exciting array of options for an outfit. So, pack to match (think of it like an Instagram feed where every photo has recurring, matching colors). Make a color palette for your abroad trip! It definitely doesn’t hurt that Danish fashion does favor the capsule wardrobe.
5. Leave empty space in your suitcase.
I am definitely going shopping. That is pretty much all there is to this one. I don’t want to pay for the overweight bag fees or cost of shipping.
I’ll give an update on whether my packing methods were successful in the future! As a DIS student, there have been so many resources to help me: former student blogs, the Compass course, and this blog by DIS. Talk later, y’all!!! I’ll be in Copenhagen this Saturday! 🙂