A Plea to the Packing Pros

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

My move from Texas to England is right around the corner - it's thrilling and terrifying all mixed into one! But mostly thrilling :)

Getting here has been no easy feat. Months of of paperwork, accepting that I won't get to watch college football, regular nightmares about being refused at customs and being shipped right back home (I can't be the only one, right?), and of course, preparing to say "see ya later" to my friends, family, and dog.

The challenge still looming however, is deciding how much and what to pack.

It's no secret to those who know me that I am a terrible packer. There's always a "what if" scenario playing through my mind when I'm choosing which bits to throw into a suitcase, leaving me with boulder-sized bags. The longest trip I've ever had to pack for was a month-long summer study abroad program across Europe where I managed to squeeze everything into one full-sized suitcase and a backpack thanks to space-saver bags. In my opinion it was pretty impressive considering we explored our way through 7 different cities with varying climates. (Farewell London rain, hello Roman heat wave).

The duration of my program is one-year, and after that I'll be faced with deciding where I'd like to get a job - I know that this next year will bring a lot of changes to my life and really shape the mold for the future so there's no point in worrying about what will happen 13 months from now. I'll be coming home in December for Christmas and a best friend's wedding, so for right now I'm focusing on facing the challenge of packing enough to get me through 3 months. I'll tackle packing for the whole of 2015 when it gets here (and cross my fingers that my family will kindly ship me things). 

I'm sticking firm to not allowing myself to pack any more than I can carry on my own. That means I'm leaning towards ONE big rolling suitcase and ONE carry-on. I've yet to decide if that carry on is simply going to be a backpack or a smaller rolling suitcase. I have an ongoing list of everyday things that are getting left here in Texas, but that I need to purchase after I arrive (electronics or other items with plugs thanks to the voltage difference, basic toiletries, a U.K. cellphone...) to help me decide what gets the boot and what gets a spot during the packing process. 

So, U.K. gals, fellow expats, and pro-packers - this is where you come in.

Any tips or advice you have for me? What I should/should not bring, how to use space efficiently, luggage rules for things like trains? (See the above picture where my friends and I learned to never assume that trains can fit all of your giant luggage).


  1. Did you manage to travel with one carry on and one suitcase only? I had two big suitcases and one carry on which was exhausting to carry on my own, but my mum still has to send me a parcel because I have so much stuff haha! xx

    1. I ended up with one large suitcase (righttttt under the airline weight limit), a backpack, and a handbag that was stuffed to the brim! I managed to carry it all by myself alright, my main concern was hopping off and on the trains I needed to, as back home we don't use trains so it's a very unfamiliar thing. I've definitely had to pick up plenty of things since arriving, but shipping things from the USA to the UK is pricey so in some cases it's just as affordable to go out and buy new items!


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