When packing for a whole year abroad; your natural instinct is to pack EVERYTHING. My suggestion is to not actually do that!
First off; always pack for the season that you are going in. If you are going in Summer; only pack summer clothes. Winter? pack winter clothes. I would also suggest that if you come from a country where you actually have a proper winter, to bring your winter coat as well as snow boots if you are going to be in a colder climate like on the East Coast of America or anywhere else except Cali ha! It gets REALLY cold in most of America and winter coats can be quite pricey if you don’t look properly.
Here are some things that you should consider packing:
- A stuffed animal or something that reminds you of home. I have a blanket my mom made me.
- Pack some snacks from your home country that you love and know that you can’t get in America. It helps with the transition as well as just feel better about being away from home.
- Pack a winter coat
- Only pack for the season you are going in.
Here are some things you should not pack:
- Don’t over pack. Pack enough for 2 weeks or so!
- Don’t pack more than one hoodie and 3 sweaters. You can get everything so much cheaper here in America.
- Don’t pack too many shoes.
- Don’t pack your hairdryer/straightener or curler. The sockets are different and most of the time you can’t use it here.
There are a number of things that you need to remember when you pack your carry on. The agency always tells you to try pack your carry on for the whole week of orientation so you don’t have to open up your suitcase while you are there. If you can do that, I am very happy for you. I couldn’t do that and I was fine.
Some things you NEED to pack:
- A change or 2 of clothes. I am not sure how long your flights are but mine are typically a days worth or more so it’s good to change clothes so you don’t feel so gross.
- Toiletries: Pack basic toothbrush; toothpaste; deodorant and some wet wipes. It will save you and make you feel better.
- All your electronics: cellphone; camera; laptop; iPad etc
- All your cables as well as the converters for America. You need to remember this so you can charge your electronics
- All your Au Pair papers as well as your passport; copies of your passport; drivers license etc.
- Your gifts for your host family. If you choose to get gifts for your host family you can keep them in your carry on or checked luggage.
I hope this helps you and eases your stress when you are packing for this exciting year ahead!