12 September 2009 @ 11:54 am
I haven't had time to flist much lately, and I'm sorry for that. On the other hand, I have been quite busy getting the new people in the lab up to speed, and worrying about my future in general :P If there's an entry you want me to read, link me, please.

But! I come soliciting advice. I know some of you have studied abroad. I know some of you travel extensively. What packing advice do you have for me?
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[identity profile] animus-mentis.livejournal.com on September 12th, 2009 08:51 pm (UTC)
I haven't had time either, no worries! <3

Packing advice? Hmm...where are you going? When I packed for Paris I made sure I could switch out my tops with bottoms & vice versa. I took one pair of heels (used them once), walking shoes (Sperrys), one pair of flats, and one pair of sandals. Shower flip flops are definitely a good idea; I just threw them away afterward. Also, don't skimp on the towel. I did that and just took a light weight one, which was definitely something I wish I hadn't done because I ended up getting wood stains on it (grr) and had to use it to wipe up shaving cuts. Bathrobe is optional...at the end I usually just took my pjs to the showers and put those on and changed in my room.

Outside of clothes, it's a good idea to pack Tylenol & Pepto Bismol. I packed a mini sewing kit, which actually came in handy for someone in my group. I also went to Target and bought a few of those $1 detergent packets. You also don't want to take gigantic bottles of hair products because that shit is heavy.

Um, any other questions feel free to ask. Idk how long you're staying, but that's ok.
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[identity profile] gemtiger.livejournal.com on September 13th, 2009 04:33 am (UTC)
Thanks for the tips! I'm going to Lyon, and I should be there for 9 months (hopefully). I'll be doing a research project in a chemistry lab there.

Hahaha, shoes. I'm not totally sure what I should bring. I am bringing a pair of black knee-high riding boots for sure, and my runners (I'll look like a tourist no matter what, being Asian and all... meh).
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[identity profile] animus-mentis.livejournal.com on September 13th, 2009 05:09 am (UTC)
Oh, pfft, that's right. I've been so out of touch with LJ lately that I didn't even remember where you were going to disappear off to. My bad. :|

If you're spending 9 months there, though, you'll probably figure out where you can buy common things for cheap. You're going to be there for the winter, obvs...I feel like tights would be a good investment as would a good coat. Band Aids too.
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[identity profile] senshicalico.livejournal.com on September 12th, 2009 08:53 pm (UTC)
OMG GET THE VACUUM SEAL BAGS. They make SO MUCH SPACE in your suitcase for other stuff. Just make sure you stay below the weight limit because it's even harder now. =P

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[identity profile] gemtiger.livejournal.com on September 13th, 2009 04:34 am (UTC)
I figure if I can't lug it, it's above the weight limit. I'm not terribly worried about that going, but coming back might be a different story...
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[personal profile] ex_chronicle720 on September 13th, 2009 02:16 am (UTC)
No worries! Everyone's busy with school and stuff. :3

Packing? Hmm I always have a "bathroom exclusive" bag with toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, hairbrush, contact solution, hairtie/clip, facewash, makeup, etc. I try to pack all-season clothes. Extra t-shirts for sleeping. A couple pairs of shoes--sandals, sneakers, heels, etc. And pain killers. XD That's always handy.
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[identity profile] gemtiger.livejournal.com on September 13th, 2009 04:35 am (UTC)
Thanks! Your bathroom bag seems very reasonable. If only they didn't have these stupid liquid rules :(
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[identity profile] lusimeles.livejournal.com on September 13th, 2009 04:00 am (UTC)
pack as light as possible. that's really the best advice i can offer ;)
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[identity profile] lusimeles.livejournal.com on September 13th, 2009 04:08 am (UTC)
haha, okay, wait, that was probably not very helpful at all. anyways, you'll be in france for quite a long time, and i'm guessing you're checking in a large suitcase instead of taking along a carry-on? anyways, a few more tips:

1) if you're taking a carry-on, remember to limit liquids to under 100 ml (i think this is the allowance) and to put all that stuff in plastic bags. the 'bathroom exclusive' bag is also helpful if you're going to take the carry-on, but probably unnecessary if you're using the larger luggage.
2) make sure your wardrobe is easy to coordinate; for example, don't pack a shirt that only goes with one pair of shorts - pack more basics that you can mix and match
3) if there's anything that you know you won't be able to find in france but use frequently in canada, stock up on it :p
4) seconding the 'towel' suggestion - you're going to want one of those right away. flip-flops, too.
5) i'm not really sure. i always pack less than other people do and just buy the stuff once i'm in the country if i'm staying long enough - even for the first few days you can just go to a pharmacy and pick up the basics! it also helps if you leave room in your suitcase so that when you go back, you can bring back souveniers and whatnot!

i really give the worst advice, lol :(
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[identity profile] gemtiger.livejournal.com on September 13th, 2009 04:37 am (UTC)
No, Chantelle, this is sound advice! I have travelled so little that I'm completely dependent on other people to tell me what to bring XD

I am actually checking two bags: one piece of rolling luggage, and a small to standard size backpacker's bag (I figure that's better for travelling around, if I get the chance.) I know I can always buy stuff, but um... I will be poor once I land in France and don't want to end up broke in another country. XD
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[identity profile] lusimeles.livejournal.com on September 13th, 2009 04:47 am (UTC)
there's really not much to it, don't worry! even if you forget something, it's always fixable, haha.

and ohh, i see :o the 'buying stuff' is generally a last resort, i should mention it - i think it's because i'm used to travelling for less than a month in one place, or travelling to places where i already have something of a 'home' that i tend to pack really, really light.

come to think of it, this link is fairly helpful, or at least it was for me!
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[identity profile] gemtiger.livejournal.com on September 13th, 2009 04:09 pm (UTC)
Thanks for that link! I'd seen it before, but I'd forgotten about it until now.
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[identity profile] dustthouart.livejournal.com on September 13th, 2009 04:41 am (UTC)
Do some serious research into average highs and lows in the area that you're staying in for the entire time you're staying. Don't just assume that you know about how hot or cold it will get. Especially find out what temperatures are like inside apartments/wherever you'll be sleeping--even if there is heat, for example, culturally people may keep it chilly.

I had to buy a lot of pullovers and sweaters in Taiwan because I overestimated how warm it would be inside.

On the other hand I never packed a towel because those things take up so much room. That was always first stop first day: buy toiletries.
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[identity profile] dustthouart.livejournal.com on September 13th, 2009 03:13 pm (UTC)
Oh and packing for an extended trip (you're going for a whole semester?)--basically anything longer than a month--is a totally different animal than packing for a trip. When you're going to live someplace, buying things becomes more economical because you might use up the container of shampoo or whatever while you're there. And, if there's anything that you're planning on getting as a souvenir--for example, if you want very much to get a certain kind of jacket or pants or skirt or whatever--consider that in your plans for how much of each thing to take.

You might also look into expats re: "what can't you get in France"? Certain brands of things or kinds of toiletries etc. In Taiwan I couldn't find anti-perspirant to my liking so I bought some in Hawaii, lol. Creature comforts and little things like that suddenly become EXTREMELY IMPORTANT when you're miles from home. Peanut butter just about saved my bacon in Fuzhou from home sickness.
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[identity profile] gemtiger.livejournal.com on September 13th, 2009 04:02 pm (UTC)
I'm going for 9 months, if things work out, so I'm essentially moving in a suitcase. Or two.

The only things that keep coming up re: stuff to bring are contacts solution, deodorant, and peanut butter. These are either hard to find or super expensive in Europe.

Heh, some residual influence of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy still hangs over me--I almost always pack a towel. For this trip I ended up buying a compact microfibre towel to save space, though.
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