By Alia Al-Chalabi


I’m going abroad next semester, so that means I’ve read through every list on what to bring to Paris — so I thought I’d compile the best of the best. My main piece of advice is to overpack, because how are you going to be a minimalist when the seasons will change three times? Here are 10 things you can’t forget:


1. As many jeans as possible: They match everything, and there will be absolutely no way to mess up wearing jeans. Black jeans are dressy, light jeans are cute for your everyday and a pair of green jeans will complete your whole wardrobe.

2. All the makeup you need and backups: I have no idea how much my foundation is going to cost in Paris, and I do not want to pay three times as much for makeup, so I’m ready to stock up here.

3. A smaller than normal carry-on: If you want to travel on the weekend, then the carry-on restrictions are way more strict than in America. Ryanair, or whatever budget airline you choose, may only let you bring something the size of a backpack. Don’t get stuck checking your bag for a million dollars.

4. Your passport: Is this obvious? Not until you’re going from England to Ireland and you forgot your ID, and now you’re in a country with no way to leave and your phone is dying. Carry it with you carefully, and don’t leave it anywhere.

5. Ski boots: This is limited to people in areas with mountains, easily accessible skiing and who like to ski. However, you don’t want to be next to the best skiing in the world and have your feet hurt from rental boots. Make the most of your weekend in the Alps and send it, with your own boots.

6. Camera: Your phone doesn’t have enough storage, and the quality isn’t always amazing. Bring a small camera for all the cheesy pictures you’ll take for your now perfectly curated Instagram.

7. Some currency of the place you’re going: Don’t get stuck unable to get to campus because you never converted any money. Take a small amount before you get there for unexpected cab rides and emergencies.

8. Fanny pack: You don’t want to get robbed, and there isn’t a more stylish way to avoid pickpocketing. Go for the fanny pack.

9. Adapters: Outlets in Europe are different than in the United States, so this is a must have. They’re inexpensive on Amazon and a lifesaver when you need to charge your phone right after you land.

10. An open mind: I’m biased because I’m going to Europe and want to visit new places on the weekend, but no matter where you’re going, just go with the flow. Did you lose your favorite necklace? Get caught in the rain? End up in a new part of the city late to a meeting? Just explore. Go with it, look around and soak it all in. You’re in a new place, make the most of it.


No matter where you’re going, get excited. You’re about to start a new adventure and, after all, this is probably the only time you can pick up and leave for five months to explore a new place.