When I decided to impart on my journey to Barcelona, Spain to study abroad in the Spring I started my research on what I should bring. I thought I had everything I needed and if I didn’t then I would just buy things there. However, I started to make a list of essentials while I was abroad that I wish I had brought to Europe, but forgot or did not think about.
- Portable Charger
You might think that portable chargers are easy to get if you forget to bring one, like I did, but they are impossible to find. If your phone is anything like mine, then you know it will die in about three hours if not on a charger. I would be taking a picture of the Colosseum and then the “Low Battery” notification would pop up. Also, it is a safety precaution because you want to make sure to have a charged phone if you are walking around late at night, which is unadvised if you are alone. I would highly suggest buying a portable charger or two before departing on your trip, so that you are able to still take pictures, snapchats or Instagram stories without having a dead phone.
- Neck Pillow
Yes, a neck pillow out of all things. When you get on that plane ride from the states to whatever destination you chose to study abroad, then you are going to thank me later. I did not bring a neck pillow and wish I did because I would have been a lot more comfortable. I had to disappoint my neck and my head by rolling up a sweatshirt and using that as a pillow on trips around Europe, but then came into the dilemma of getting cold. Thus, having to choose between shivering and resting my head on a not-so-comfy “pillow”. Plus it’s small and easy to travel with especially if you have list item three.
- Backpack Pack (Backpackers backpack)
Fortunately, I received a Traveler’s Backpack as a gift, but many of my friends abroad constantly told me how lucky I was that I did not have to roll a bag. These backpacks will be your best friend. You may be weary of the price, but these are worth every penny. My backpack was the same size as a suitcase, but with the convenience of not having to roll it around miles and miles when walking. There were little pockets that could hold a variety of items and all of it was on my back instead of struggling with a suitcase. These will definitely come in handy, especially if you decide to go to Venice, where every 10 steps is another bridge of stairs that you can decide to either lug up a bag or easily walk up them with your bag on your back.
- Umbrella or Rain jacket
I was the most stubborn person when it came to buying an umbrella or rain jacket. It rained pretty much every single place I visited and I would just walk in the rain. Everywhere you go there is going to be some guy pestering you to buy an overpriced umbrella, which may break as soon as you open it up like it did in my case. Therefore, I would highly suggest bringing a rain jacket from home or poncho to avoid getting soaked when traveling.
Last but not least, sunscreen. Over in Europe, they did have some sunscreen, but it was extremely expensive for a little bottle. If you are anything like me and as soon as you step in the sun you burn, then bring your own sunscreen from home. I really wish I had packed sunscreen instead of paying 20 euros for a tiny bottle that lasted me a day.
These items may seem obvious or items that you can seem to live without, but I am telling you that you may be traveling and think back to this blog and say “Yep, that one girl was right. I really do need an umbrella, sunscreen, portable charger, neck pillow or backpack.” For more advice on traveling with long flights read this blog post.