Hi guys, Wiktoria here!
Today I will talk about one of the most important aspects of each trip: packing.
I, as probably a lot of you, love to travel, but I have a huge problem with packing.
I always leave it for the last minute: even before leaving for my Au Pair experience, I started organizing everything literally the day before my departure. I don't recommend this to anyone, because, as it turned out later, you can forget many things!
That's why today I will focus on common mistakes and tips for packing, in the hope that this article will help you remember to bring everything!
The most important thing - documents!
It seems obvious, but we often forget about them. For instance, I forgot my driving license, which was necessary for my job, as I had to take the kids to and from school and to their activities in other towns every day. When, after two days, I realized I had not taken my driving license with me, I obviously became very nervous, because I knew that my host parents wouldn't have been happy that I couldn't drive. Thus, the first thing you must definitely remember are documents! Not only your passport or identity card, but also your driver's license, credit card or others that may seem useful to you. Before you go to the airport, make sure that you have definitely packed all of them!
Clothes for every season
Regardless of which country you are in, you should be prepared for all circumstances, which is why it is important to organize some space in your suitcase for both a swimsuit and a thick winter jacket. When I came to Spain, which I associated only with sun and high temperature, I didn't have a thick jacket. I didn't even listen to my mother, who assured me that the jacket would be useful. Instead, I packed a lot of summer shirts and shorts, which turned out to be totally useless in October. I had to spend half of my pocket money on winter boots and a jacket. When packing, make sure you are well informed on what the weather in your Host Country will be like and pack suitable clothing.
Phone charger or powerbank
You can't imagine how stressed I was when I arrived in my Host Country, picked up my luggage and saw that my phone was dead. I started frantically looking around the airport for a place to charge it and, when I finally found it, I realised that I had left my charger at home in Poland (I know, you might be thinking that I forgot everything - unfortunately these are the consequences of packing in a hurry). I didn't have a powerbank with me either, so I started looking for somebody who could lend me their charger. It was hard for me to approach people, because I couldn't speak Spanish. But in the end, I managed to find a person who could speak English and he lent me his powerbank. I finally called my host dad, who was just as worried as me, so that we could agree to meet somewhere in that huge airport.
My tip would be to always check that you have your phone charger with you. I also think that a powerbank is a really good option. If you don't have it yet and you travel a lot, I would recommend buying it. I already have my own and it makes travelling so much more worry-free.
It might be a good idea to take a dictionary or a book with useful sentences in the language spoken in the Host Country with you. In my case, I took both a Spanish dictionary and a phrase book with me; but in a situation like the one I described earlier, when I couldn't charge my phone and I didn't know how to ask about this in Spanish, something like a piece of paper with some basic questions and short sentences in Spanish would have been useful to solve the problem as quickly as possible. Therefore, before travelling, just write down sentences and questions that may seem useful to you in situations of crisis or need.
A piece of paper with useful sentences
My last tip would be to bring your favorite products that you use on a daily basis, or products that might be necessary in emergency situations. Before leaving, I thought that in case I was missing something, I could always buy it there. Nothing more wrong. It happens very often that your favorite skincare product, or even medicine, is not available in the Host Country. Usually, these products are bought in local stores in your Home Country and it is difficult to find identical ones in other countries. Sure, you can buy similar products, but if you have been using something for several years continuously, then I'm sure you would prefer to continue using your favourite product rather than changing it. I had a few of these products with me and when I finished them, I started looking for them in the stores in Spain; but unfortunately my search ended in failure. The only way to get them was to call my mum, who bought these products for me in Poland and then sent me a package to Spain. However, if you don't want to bother your family or friends, just stock up on these products! Learn from my mistakes: better to be safe than sorry :)
Your favorite products
If you have any specific questions or want some more tips, get in touch through my Instagram (@wiktoriasitarczyk)!
Thanks for dropping by and reading this post.
Till next time!