10 Tips for Packing When Traveling to the U.S. as an International Student

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For an international student preparing to travel to the US, packing may be challenging, especially if it’s your first trip. You could have a lot of questions about what to pack, how much to bring, and what is allowed on the trip. Below are ten packing tips to make your trip as stress-free as possible.

1. Verify Airline Baggage Regulations

Before you pack, make sure to familiarize yourself with your airline’s baggage allowance regulations. Most airlines only allow two checked baggage at a time, however, some may charge extra for large or overweight bags.

2. Put All the Necessities in Your Carry-on

Make sure to include all of your necessary goods in your carry-on bag. This includes valuables like jewelry, prescription drugs, and crucial papers like your passport and visa. You’ll have your necessities with you even if your checked luggage is delayed or lost.

3. Think About the Weather

The weather in the US can vary depending on the location and time of year. Before you pack, do some research on the weather where you’re going, and then make your outfit choices appropriately. Bring layers, and versatile clothing if you’re unsure.

4. Avoid Overpacking

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Despite the temptation to bring everything you own, it’s crucial to pack lightly. Just bring what you need, and keep in mind that you may always buy more things once you get to the US.

5. Include a Power Adapter in Your Luggage

The United States has a unique voltage and plug type for electrical outlets compared to many other countries. Make sure you have a power adaptor that is compatible with American outlets so you can charge your equipment.

6. Put a Label on Your Luggage

Make sure your name, address, and phone number are written on your luggage. In the event that your luggage is misplaced or lost, this will assist in making sure it arrives at the intended location.

7. Make Sure You’re Packing Comfortable Shoes

As an international student, you’ll be doing a lot of walking, so make sure to bring comfortable shoes. The best footwear would be sneakers or walking boots, but make sure to break them in well before your trip.

8. Pack a Reusable Water Bottle to Stay Hydrated While Traveling

Bring a reusable water bottle so you can stay hydrated while traveling as tap water in the United States is safe to drink. In the long run, it can help you save money and is an environmentally beneficial choice.

9. Bring a Small Bag for day trips

A small backpack or tote bag is often helpful for short vacations or other travel. It can be used to carry your essentials, such as a water bottle, sunscreen, and snacks.

10. Make Space in Your Luggage for Souvenirs

You’ll probably want to buy gifts or mementos for your family and friends back home if you’re an international student. So that you can carry these products back without having to buy a second suitcase, leave some extra space in your luggage.

In conclusion, packing for foreign visitors to the United States can be difficult, but with the right guidance and strategies, it can be a stress-free experience. Make a list of everything you think you’ll need, put it in your checked luggage with your books, clothes, and toiletries, and consider bringing a light outfit with you in your carry-on.

Along with the detailed study abroad packing guide, you can also refer to some general packing tips, such as not wasting luggage space on bulky items that can be purchased abroad. Next, choose a travel bag that is light and spacious enough to hold all of your necessities. If you keep these recommendations in mind, you’ll be ready for an engaging study abroad adventure.


ScaleFocus, & Herzstein, N. (2022, November 08). Packing. eduPASS.Retrieved from https://www.edupass.org/immigrating-to-the-usa/traveling-to-the-usa/packing/


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