Published 14th December 2015

No matter how many times you’ve been travelling, there’s nothing more exciting than taking your suitcase out the cupboard and deciding what to pack for your trip. Even if you have bought your ticket, got your visa and been offered a job, it never seems more real than when you start folding your clothes. Packing can be quite daunting as well, though, if you have no idea of what awaits you. Should I take a coat or a light jacket? Do I need heels or pumps? Well, we can’t help you decide how many bikinis to take but we can give you a few essentials that you shouldn’t leave home without:


Let’s get the boring stuff out of the way. You obviously won’t forget your passport (otherwise you won’t get anywhere!) but it’s a good idea to make copies of all your important documentation (passport, driving license, teaching certificates) in case anything goes walkabout. These days it’s easier to have digital copies which will always be accessible, but hard copies can be convenient if you don’t have technology at hand.

First Aid Kit

Even if you are going to a developed city, when you’re not feeling great the last thing you want to do is go to the supermarket to find what you need, especially if you don’t speak the language. Pack the essential medication and first aid equipment you think you might need – plasters, headache tablets, mosquito repellent, laxatives, anti-nausea pills – and you’ll be happy to have them when you need them.

Adapters and plugs

Possibly the most frustrating thing about travelling is lugging all your technology halfway across the world only to find that you can’t use it. Buy an international adapter to solve this problem in numerous countries, but find out before you leave what plugs are needed so you can make an appropriate plan.

Phrasebook and guidebook

A phrasebook is essential to help you get by until you have picked up enough of the language to communicate without any help. Learning key phrases will help you communicate with locals, either to be friendly to colleagues or to buy from the local market. In some places it’s especially useful so you can know exactly what you are eating!

Grammar reference book

You never know what resources are going to be available to you at your school and you might not always have access to the World Wide Web, so taking a grammar reference book is a good idea for when you need to brush up on a particular grammar point.

We know you’ll never forget your toothbrush or your favourite teddy, but also don’t forget these essentials before you set off on your adventure.