Essentials for Traveling as an Expat

If you’re planning to travel as an expat, you’ll need some essentials to make the trip easier. From toiletries to clothing, check out these must-have travel items that make staying on the go easier. The key to traveling as an expat – especially if you’ll be bouncing from country to country — is to pack light.

You should be able to assemble vital items quickly and succinctly. All that travel via plane, train and automobile will take time – precious time you can’t waste checking lots of heavy bags. You’ll have to make the cut between things you actually need to live and things that are simply things, points out Huff Post. Your travel kit will become your life kit, so trim to the essentials.

Get Organized

First, you’ll have to pack up your existing home, or make arrangements for subletting, sale or rent while you are gone. You’ll need to decide what you’ll leave behind and what you’ll take. Strongly consider only taking those things you can’t live without. The basics you can always buy in your new country once you arrive, such as toiletries. Make a list of what you’ll bring and what will stay, as well as a note about where you’ll be storing those left-behind items. If you plan to be gone for a few years, you may not remember where you stored your jewelry, furniture, etc.

Choose luggage that’s versatile, lightweight and large enough to hold your essentials. Decide what kind of luggage you’ll want to take with you, such as wheeled luggage, duffel bags, backpacks and carry-ons.

The Basics

Here’s a look at the basics you’ll want to consider bringing with you:

  • Lightweight clothing that you can layer
  • Long-sleeved shirts
  • Sweater or fleece jacket
  • T-shirts and tank tops (always be respectful of the cultures in which you’ll be immersed before choosing)
  • Pants and shorts
  • Belt
  • Socks
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Rain jacket or windbreaker
  • Umbrella
  • Pajamas
  • Underwear
  • Sunglasses
  • Dresses and skirts
  • Jewelry
  • Hat or sun visor
  • Swimsuit or trunks
  • Cell phone and charger
  • Travel pillow, eye mask and ear plugs
  • Electric converters and adapters
  • Travel apps that can assist you with language, directions and money conversions

Toiletry Bag

Before packing your toiletry bag, make sure everything you want to include is TSA-compliant. Heed the 3-1-1 rule, with all liquids being 3.4 ounces or less, placed in a small, clear bag. Here are some toiletry bag basics:

  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, mouthwash
  • Hair brush or comb, hair ties
  • Deodorant
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Sunscreen and facial lotion with SPF
  • Makeup remover wipes
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Night time lotion
  • Lip balm
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Contacts, solution, case
  • Glasses and prescription sunglasses
  • Prescription medication (make sure it’s labeled in case questioned by TSA)

You can take these extras if you have the room:

  • Cologne or perfume
  • Mini mirror
  • Hair products
  • Clothesline and detergent
  • Shaving kit
  • Sewing kit
  • Stain remover
  • Facial tissues
  • Travel towel
  • Scissors, nail clippers and tweezers (you must place all of these in checked luggage, not carry-on)

As an expat, you’ll need to get used to living with fewer things, but the experience will make you richer in so many other ways. Learn the language skills you need to know before you go with BRIC Language Systems.