Looking back on the past 2.5 months living abroad, I can’t tell you what you need to pack but I can tell you what you DON’T need to pack. And that’s about 80% of what you think you will need.
When you’re traveling as much as I was, you tend to live in a t-shirt, travel tights, sneakers, a sweater and Northface jacket (since it’s winter). In the summer, it would probably be everything sans the sweater and jacket. And it’s true, you only need one week’s of clothing since you actually do find time to do laundry.
I did bring my gym clothes, but they doubled as travel clothes. I had to bring 1-2 work outfits for the times I planned on spending in the office abroad. I also brought one cocktail dress and all my other dresses stayed stuffed in my suitcase. I had 1-2 “out on the town” outfits and a bathing suit (which I forgot to bring with me to the thermal baths in Budapest). I also brought a waterproof iPhone case (which I also forgot to bring with me to the thermal baths).
I brought vitamins, toiletries and melatonin (a must have with all the traveling, coffee chugging, late night working, etc. that happened). If I had to do it again, this is what I would pack:
3 cotton t-shirts
10 pairs of underwear (just in case you don’t get to the laundry. I brought 20–way too many)
1 pair of sneakers
1 comfortable pair of heels
2 workout tights (double as travel clothes)
2 work dresses (the type you can wad into a ball and still wear the next day without ironing that might also double as a brunch dress)
1 pair of jeans
1 pair of shorts (I have running shorts but girls can get away with yoga looking street clothes)
1 bathing suit
make up, lotion, allergy medicine, vitamins, melatonin, tooth paste, tooth brush (I also brought all my samples from Sephora since they are easy to pack and are within the liquid allowance)
headphones, power bank, phone, and laptops
1 Northface jacket
That’s pretty much it. I could fit this all into one backpack and one carry on rolly bag. If you aren’t going to be visiting the office like me, then your life will be easier since you can ditch all the work clothes.
(The above was pretty much my travel uniform during the winter)