Europe

How to Pack

Photo: Personal Property

When preparing for a trip, the first thing I do is lay out all the things that I know that I either want or need to take with me. To take into account: climate, upcoming activities, lodging, and possible national differences from home.

Photo: Personal Property

When I studied abroad in London for six weeks, I was able to fit everything I needed in one medium-sized suitcase, a carry-on bag, and a personal bag. From this experience, I now know it is very unlikely that I will ever need to take that much with me on future travels because I now know what is truly necessary.

Rather than explaining all the things that I packed for a six week long trip, instead I’ll lend suggestions for a trip of a shorter duration. For example, I find it to be considerably easier planning for my trip if I decide on a few basic colors for my clothing. I usually stick to black, navy, and cream, with accents of lighter blue and red. That way, you don’t need to pack full outfits for each day, and can use each item multiple times.

For a two-week-long UK vacation during the early summer, I would suggest taking:
-1 compact umbrella
-Shoes: 1 pair each of flats that can be dressed up, versatile sandals, sneakers, and boots for when it rains (wear bulkiest shoes during flight to save space in suitcase)
-Converter plug-in
-Toiletries: be sure to follow flight regulations before arriving at airport, and pack them in a quart-sized zip-lock bag! Another helpful tip is to invest in bars of soap and shampoo to save space for other items in the baggie
-Pants: 2 pairs of blue jeans, 1 pair of black jeans, 1 skirt, 1 pair of shorts
-Tops: 3 cardigans, 4 undershirts, 5 neutral shirts, 1 button-up
-Dresses: 2 casual, 1 nicer
-Undergarments: research before-hand if there are washing machines available where you are staying, to pack lighter and bring a small amount of detergent with you
-Raincoat/Jacket: the rumors are true! It really does rain frequently in this region, and the summers aren’t as warm as most American areas
-Accessories: bring (inexpensive) fun jewelry with you to brighten otherwise neutral outfits
-Copies of travel documents, all forms of ID, travel insurance, maps, medications
-Travel journal, pens, stamps for postcards to send home
-Laptop
-Something to read on the plane

Photo Courtesy of Kathy Adkisson

Advertisements

Preseli Venture: The Ultimate Experience

Photo: Courtesy of Kailan Harms

Photo: Courtesy of Kailan Harms

When arriving by train at Fishguard, you will be greeted by a friendly face, and a large van in which you will be helped to load your bags into. Once seated and secure, you will be driven along winding roads wide enough only to allow one car at a time. When meeting others traveling in the opposite direction, one of the two cars are forced to drive backwards, until coming to a driveway or other road, in order to get out of the way. The realm of this country area is truly a magical scene: grass as tall as corn stocks hug the sides of the narrow roads, making a solely lush green window-scape.

Photo: Courtesy of Rachel Fink

Photo: Courtesy of Rachel Fink

Preseli Ventures, nestled in Britain’s only national park, Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, is the ultimate travel accommodation. This twenty-five year-old adventure destination is the perfect place for a week, or weekend, spent in Wales.

Photo: Courtesy of Nicole Aeschliman

Photo: Courtesy of Nicole Aeschliman

I participated in a weekend trip at Preseli Ventures aimed at study abroad students. Upon arriving at the five star lodging, we were shown our beds, showers, and common area. The common area included tables for eating, a fully-stocked bar, stereo system, pool table, and television. The common area is the only place in the entire area with wifi or service of any kind, placing you in a world away from distractions.

While there, I went coasteering, cliff jumping, kayaking, and hiking along the coast (shown in last picture) with some great friends that I met while studying abroad at Richmond, the American International University in London, England. I held multiple jellyfish in my hands, swam past a seal lounging on a wooden door, ate incredible homemade food, and felt completely alive and in the moment. If you ever get the chance, go.