Packing: 4 months abroad

I have never been on holiday abroad for anything longer than 2 weeks, disregarding the time I lived in Spain when I was younger. It’s a bit scary knowing I’m going to move abroad. It’s not so bad when you’re young! This time, I have to pack my life into a 20kg suitcase and a carry-on. I am at this point in time, facing the question “How do I fit everything?” But you have to remember that other countries do in fact have clothes shops and other essential shops. They aren’t barbarians and you don’t have to pack your whole wardrobe, bathroom, bookshelf etc. Consider packing half the things you think you need, otherwise, you won’t have space to pack the things you buy out there. Like presents. It’s tempting to pack everything you own, but it’s not necessary. Think to yourself “Will I actually wear/use this?” and if you hesitate, it usually means no.


If you’re working as an Au Pair, you will be working with kids. They aren’t going to judge your appearance are they? You aren’t going to want to pack anything glamorous or dressy because chances are the outfit might get ruined. Unless you go out at night with friends in the city.

So, here’s my list:

Carry-on/ Hand/ Cabin Luggage

  • Boarding pass
  • Passport
  • Phone and charger (and a European adapter!)
  • Other ID e.g. driving license/ provisional
  • Debit card – If you live in Europe and are travelling to Europe make sure to NOTIFY THE BANK that you will be living in a different country otherwise the bank may freeze your account as you can take out money using your cashpoint card in European countries.
  • Cash in a purse (200-300 euros, or in the currency of your destination) – enough to get you by before being paid.
  • Emergency contact list
  • EHIC card
  • Book/ Kindle
  • Copy of accommodation plans – physical address of where you are staying
  • Spare outfit (for emergencies i.e. lost luggage)
  • Sunglasses
  • Hairbrush and hairbands/clips
  • Earphones and iPod
  • Lip balm
  • Snacks
  • Tissues (if the airplane doesn’t have toilet paper you’re in trouble)
  • Camera and Laptop, with chargers and batteries – can’t risk them being thrown about/ broken if in the hold.
  • Gifts for host family and kids

Suitcase/ Hold/ Checked Luggage


  • Shampoo, conditioner and body wash
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Acne cream and face wash
  • Moisturiser
  • Makeup
  • Deodorant
  • Sun cream and after-sun
  • Shaving razors
  • Tampons and pads
  • Face wipes

Just remember in EasyJet you are only allowed 10 x 100ml bottles in your carry-on. But take into consideration that baggage restrictions may be different for other flight companies. Normal size liquids are allowed in hold luggage. So you won’t have to leave your favourite shampoo at home, don’t worry! It would be a nuisance to try and find the exact same one in another country.


  • Shorts (x4)
  • Jeans/ jeggings (x4-5)
  • Cardigans (x2-3)
  • Tank/ vest tops (x6)
  • Dresses – casual and dressy (x1-3)
  • Jackets (x1-2)
  • Coats (x1)
  • T-shirts (x5-6)
  • Dressy tops (x4-5)
  • Underwear – bras, pants, socks (2 weeks worth)
  • Pajamas (two sets)
  • Trackie/ Jogging bottoms (x3)
  • Going out outfit (x2-3)
  • Leggings (x1-2)
  • Jumpers/ sweaters (x2)
  • Skirts and tights (x3)
  • Swimsuit/ bikini (one of each)

You have to decide how many of each item to bring yourself depending on how large your suitcase is, and your preferences/ style. I’d suggest that you bring mix and match clothing, it saves space! If you’re going to be living in a hot country, you won’t need to bring loads of jumpers and jeans, but check the weather patterns because you might get caught out.


  • Slippers (x1)
  • Heels for going out (x1)
  • Flip-flops/ sandals (x1)
  • Casual shoes – e.g. vans/ converse (I have about 6 pairs of vans, all different colours) – Pack the ones that you can match with all outfits (x3)
  • Boots (x1)

Shoes are bulky, so try not to pack lots of pairs unless you absolutely need to. There are shoe shops in your new country.

Although baggage is chucked around a lot, so you have to be careful if you want to pack cameras and laptops because it may not be safe. Some people say don’t even pack anything in your checked luggage that you can’t risk losing. I’d pack them in hand luggage instead of hold.

And once you have ticked off everything on the list, you’re good to go! Happy travelling.




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