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The Ultimate Packing List For The UK

Woo, you’re off to the great old United Kingdom! Packing for a sustained time abroad can be stressful, especially if you’re coming from somewhere completely different in the world. So, to make it easier, we’ve written up a little guide to make it that much easier for you! Now, sit back and focus on bragging about it to your friends, because we’ve got the packing part covered!

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  • A phone. We say that like our phones aren’t semi attached to us nowadays, but before going abroad it may be worth checking to see if you have any upgrades available! Your phone is not only the best way to keep in touch with friends both home and abroad, but with DSLR camera’s not always being convenient to carry around, your phone is probably where most of your fantastic shots abroad will be taken!
  • An adaptor or two. Unfortunately, different countries insist on having different plugs and that can easily derail any time abroad! While the UK uses the three-prong outlet, your best bet is probably to pick up a worldwide adaptor in the store. That way, you’ll be covered no matter where you end up! Some even have USB sockets on the side for convenience.
  • A powerbank. With you probably spending more time exploring than studying, you won’t exactly be near a wall socket too often. Therefore, it may be useful to carry a powerbank with you to keep your electronics all juiced up!
  • From deadlines to directions and day trip ideas to inspirational thoughts, you can never go wrong with a notebook.
  • Postcards, letters or photos. In terms of decorating your room, you can never really go wrong with postcards and photos from home. As any study abroad student would testify, there will be moments where you miss everyone, and having those pictures is a great way to remember to keep in touch with them all! On my year abroad, I ended up hanging them from fairy lights around the room to finish off the decorations.
  • Honestly, when it comes to things like food, makeup and other such things, I would recommend just picking them up in the UK. Unless you use a very specific brand or are addicted to a certain flavour of skittles (for example) then the chances are that you’ll find it there no problem!
  • In terms of clothes, unfortunately while the rain in Spain falls mainly on the plane, in the UK, it tends to fall on us students! While this means that your summer wardrobe won’t get much of a look-in, it does mean that there’s a long autumn and winter. So, you may want to pack a couple of extra cardigans, jumpers and jeans as well, as bringing that extra thick winter coat!
  • And finally… a flag! A couple of years ago I spotted some Canadians at my school getting everyone that had a drink with them into their apartment to sign a Canadian flag and it seemed like a damn good idea – so I stole it for my own year abroad! Now that I’m back home, I have a flag hanging up full of great quotes from my friends abroad. It is a little cheesy but it’s a great way to remember the year!

So, there you go! Tick these off as you’re packing and you’re set! Keep us all updates on your study abroad experience on Instagram and the Rakbo forums!

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Alex Feal

Alex is a student at the University of Edinburgh currently studying abroad at the University of Mississippi. Originally from Spain, Alex found the cold weather of London and Edinburgh too much to handle so escaped to the American South to get back to sunning himself by the pool. A travel aficionado and complete coffee addict, Alex hopes to get into teaching history at international schools when he's older, using their exotic locations and long holidays as bases from which to further explore the world. Often found with a camera in-hand, you can follow him on his travels on instagram as well as on his blog lattewanderer.blogspot.com.


21 comments

    1. The adaptor (and possibly a spare) can be a life saver! I left one of mine at a cafe the day before a paper was due and had to write the rest of my essay on my phone as I agonisingly watched my laptop battery creep towards 0%!

  1. I’ve never traveled internationally, but this list looks pretty spot on from what I’ve heard about the UK. Great list!

  2. I would love to travel to the UK someday. My husband lived in Brazil for two years and has talked about how adapters made life so much easier. I also love portable battery chargers. Always have one with me.

    1. Brazil seems amazing! Definitely, there can be no worse feeling than suddenly finding yourself without any battery when in a foreign place, leaving you without a camera or maps etc!

    1. Urm i have an Anker one that I have been using for the last year or so and it works perfectly! I’d say the more important thing is to look out for the size of it. For example a 22,000amh size one could charge your phone and ipad multiple times without needing to be recharged!

  3. You are so right! Having adapters is so necessary now when people travel. The times that I forget, I am really upset over it. We end up having to try to find a place that sells them and of course, that is not cost efficient.

  4. This is a great list of things to pack when you are going to the UK. I have never been to the United Kingdom but have heard that it is so important to take adapters when visiting there. You can wreck your electronics or you won’t be able to plug them in during your stay. Thanks for sharing the information.

  5. Thanks for this. UK has been on my bucketlist for sooo long. How I wished to find a great deal this year so i could visit the place soon. Will take note of these, so I can have that worry-free, really memorable time in UK.

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