What to Pack
How do you fit a closet in a suitcase?
WHAT TO PACK
"When facing the question, "how do I fit everything!?", keep in mind that Europeans also use hairdryers and tooth brushes. In fact, they have hair dryers with European double prong plugs! You definitely won't need to pack everything you own, and will likely be able to replace lost or forgotten items. Plus, remember that both semesters (Spring and Fall) start during some of Europe's BEST sale sasons (post-Christmas and end-of-summer events). Consider packing half of you think you'll need."
Andy Steves, WSA Chief Backpacker
Click the image above to download your packing list PDF!
Packing for weekend trips
When prepping for a weekend trip, be sure to make your outfit selections before you get on the plane. Remember how long you'll actually be in the city. One pair of almost everything works.
- If you plan on hitting some swanky nightlife, be sure to bring a change of outfits to set you up for success at the door (for guys, that means bring those dress shoes, a button up and a dark pair of jeans!)
- Layering is always a good idea, with a light jacket for rain.
- I sound like my dear mother when I say this, but wool socks in October through March keep those feet dry and warm.
- I can't emphasize this enough, but a good pair of walking shoes are a necessity! Nothing worse than worrying about pain while exploring a new city
Travel Brands We Like
Muji is a great travel accesories store with many locations across Europe, especially in London and NYC. Muji translates directly to "No name" in Japanese. In other words, there will be no brand marking on their products. Instead, it's a nice break from this over-commercialized world. They have everything from coin purses to office supplies to shampoo bottles and funnels.
REI is another one of our favorites- it's the mothership of adventure travel for a reason, and a convenient stop for accessories or backpacking gear.
Birkenstock aka the most comfortable shoe in the universe. I have hiked up a mountain and gone to the beach with them in the same day, they are seriously the most versatile shoe.
When picking out a big bag for your semester abroad, you're probably looking at needing something between 50 liters (for the very spartan) to something closer to 70 or 80 liters (more room for all the necessities and a few extras).
Osprey is a solid brand, and I'm using a 60 liter pack for my travels over in Europe.
Deuter packs are manufactured in Germany and have a reputation for quality and durability.
Gregory is another brand that's well known for its quality and popularity among the backpacking population
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This past weekend, I traveled to Budapest with WSA with a couple of friends from my university abroad, and I couldn't have asked for a better trip! After arriving at the hostel, we met Bogi, our tour guide for the weekend, who was instantly friendly and welcoming. Throughout the weekend, Bogi was an amazing guide! She showed us some great places for shopping and food, as well as the top sights around the city. You could tell she loved her job and never passed up an opportunity to share about her hometown and some of its history. She was so friendly and was sincerely interested in us as individuals and did everything she could do accommodate our priorities for the weekend (whether it was food, shopping, nightlife, sightseeing, etc.) I would highly recommend WSA's guided tours for any student studying abroad who wants to explore more than their university's city!Katrina Alford, Concordia University - Irvine ~ AIFS Richmond, Spring 2015
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Pick a city and go! All new budget guidebook from Andy Steves, Founder and Chief Backpacker of WSA.