Tactically packing for your new life abroad

Holidays, days out, weekends away, you’ve packed thousands of times, but how do you up and move your whole life abroad? Especially with a 23Kg luggage limit!

The best place to start is probably with the strictest clear out of your life. Everything you own from this point forward will cost you in either hold luggage, storage, shipping or car space. Even if your amazing family are allowing you some free storage space, the more space you take up in their houses, the nicer you will have to be to them.

Next you need to prioritise. What is absolutely essential from day 1? You should think about the things you use every day and cannot live without e.g. chargers for your phone and devices, toiletries, your favourite pyjamas or maybe an umbrella? Most of these things will be obvious.

You should also consider what is not available or affordable abroad. This includes things you will specifically need as a new ‘foreigner’. You will need a lot of good quality travel adaptors. Try to buy these in bulk from a reputable online retailer as buying them for £10 each at the airport is far too pricey. You may even want to invest in a universal travel adaptor for your adventures. It is a good idea to do some research and find out what kind of products are available abroad so you can stock up on your favourites and take them with you.

The most important thing to think about is documentation and not just your passport. It’s a good idea to keep your most important documentation like your birth certificate and proof of qualifications with you at all times so that they do not get lost amidst all the moving around. It is also a good idea to take some print outs of your boarding pass, transfer confirmations and new address or hotel reservation just in case you drop your phone in the loo at the airport etc.

So you’ve got your daily essentials, your new adaptors, stockpiles of your favourite chocolate and your important documents. The good news is, any extra space can now be used for your home comforts, your pictures, those teddy bears or your favourite football, but the bad news is there probably won’t be much space left over.

The main thing to remember – you don’t need to pack everything because they do sell shampoo abroad!


WanderingBrits founder. Several-times Expat. General culture and travel enthusiast. Loves tea and makes the best Welsh cakes.

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Tricia - last year Reply

This is such a useful website, thank you very much.

Reading about power adapters, reminds me how useful it is to get a strip of home power sockets, then put one adapter on that and plug it in. Hurrah, a whole row of sockets. They now come with additional USB ports, everything you need in one go.

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