Cultural Experience | Packing Lists

25 Travel Tips For Every College Traveler

If it comes to mind, pack it immediately!

If you’re studying abroad or just heading out of town for a few days, you don’t want to forget the small, yet important things. If you really want to pack something, but aren’t in the right place at the right time, make a note of it so you won’t forget.

Don’t over-pack!

It’s difficult leaving behind some of your favorite things, but trust me when I say that all of your clothes, shoes, and accessories will be waiting for you when you return. Your travels will go much smoother with fewer bags.

Bring a hat
Hats block the sun, keep sweat from dripping into your face, AND protect you from bad hair days.

Leave a little extra room in your suitcase.
Don’t stuff your suitcase to the brim. You won’t want to turn down souvenirs during your travels.

Keep all liquids in a zip-lock bag
Keep your clothing safe from your toothpaste and shampoo! Nobody likes laundry!

Keep important items in your carry-on.
If for some odd reason your luggage doesn’t make your flight, you’ll feel less stressed out knowing you have your laptop, phone charger and camera with you.

Pack earplugs and a sleep mask for your long, overnight flights
Always be prepared to sleep on the plane. You don’t want to be extra-tired when you land at your destination.

When you land, don’t rush through the airport
Flip through a few brochures and grab a cocktail until your luggage is ready!




Don’t eat at chain restaurants
Every now and then a chain restaurant can be comforting; but in order to taste local flavors, you’ll have to try local restaurants.

Pack a snack
If you’re short on time or just don’t want to spend any more money, pack a small snack to keep your stomach at ease until lunchtime.

Don’t go into gift shops
Look for roadside vendors. These men and women are typically true artisans that will you give the best price for the best quality product.

Wake up early
The world is peaceful before the crowds hit. Beat the locals to the best spots and have a little time to yourself in the morning.

Stay out late
Every destination has a different nighttime atmosphere. Don’t miss out on the bars or the stars.

Befriend the locals
Do not be afraid to ask the locals about where to go and what to do! It’s the locals that know the hole-in-the-wall restaurants, the lookouts with the best views and the attractions that are worth your time and money.

Take a lot of photos
The memories from your college travels will last with you forever… and so will the photos. You’ll want to show your family and friends all of the incredible places you visited while abroad.

Put down the camera
You don’t want to have to remember your travels through photographs. So take a couple photos, say cheese and then put down your camera. You’ll be surprised by how much more vivid your memories will be.

Don’t be attached to your phone
Communicating with family and friends from home is great once in awhile, but don’t constantly have your phone in your hands.


Splurge on comfortable shoes
The most reliable mode of transportation is your own two feet, so take care of them! Buy a good pair of hiking shoes, Birkenstocks or even sneakers to guarantee a comfortable, long day.

Always carry a reusable water bottle
If you’re hiking through mountains or walking along the coast, it’s unlikely that you will have constant access to water. By keeping a reusable water bottle with you, you can fill up every time you see a fountain.

Keep your wallet in a safe place
Pickpocketers are everywhere. Never, ever put your wallet in your back pocket!


Image Credit to @emilyfreebery

Go with the flow
Nothing, and I mean nothing every goes as planned when traveling. Even if you’re on a strict schedule, try to stay comfortable with changing the plans last minute. Your travels will definitely be impacted in a positive way.

Take the path less traveled
It’s ok to stray away from the mapped-out routes and the color-coded trails. I’ve learned that it’s these times—the times that you wander—that you find your own works of art and create your own ideas of beauty.

Slow down
If you’re a college student, you’re probably used to the hustle and bustle of class, internships, and extracurricular activities. Just try to remember that being abroad is a once in a lifetime opportunity and slowing down isn’t a bad thing.

Do something you never thought you’d do
Go bungee jumping, cliff jumping, skydiving or scuba diving and love every minute of it.

Let yourself fall in love
When traveling, it’s easy to fall in love with different cultures, with unique people, with new cities, with incredible views, with exploration and with life in general. Leave a piece of your heart in each place you visit and you’ll always have the desire to revisit your favorite places.





Brooke Stafford

Pennsylvania State University | 11 stories

Brooke is currently a senior studying public relations and psychology at Penn State University. She is a curious mind, a social media enthusiast and well-traveled daydreamer. When she isn't fantasizing about her next big adventure, she is drinking chai, napping, or scrolling through

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