Published 10th September 2018


At last. You’ve passed your TEFL course with The TEFL Academy and you’ve found a job. Now it’s time to pack. The problem is that packing to work for your TEFL job isn’t the same as packing for a holiday.

What to pack for your first TEFL job?


Before you start your new TEFL job, check if there’s a dress code. It’s no good packing a load of shorts and tops if you’re expected to wear smart trousers or a dress or skirt that covers your knees. Once you know the dress code have a look at the weather. Are you going during the summer or the winter?

Don’t be tempted to pack too much, you won’t need every outfit in your wardrobe. Take clothes that you can layer, so they are inter-changeable in the heat or the cold. If you’re going somewhere warm, don’t forget your swimming stuff. In most places you’ll be able to buy clothes, but there are countries where it might be difficult if you’re very tall or a large size.


There’s no need to fill up your case with soaps and shampoos. Buy small sizes so that you have toiletries for a few days until you know where to go and buy them.


If you wear glasses, dig out an old pair to bring with you for a spare. It would be a disaster on the first day of your TEFL job if you couldn’t see properly.  Photocopy your eye prescription too as it’s handy to have. Bring a packet of headache tablets and some diarrhoea medication with you just in case you need them in the first few days.


Make copies of all your paperwork, including your passport, visa and TEFL certification. Don’t forget your driving licence and insurance documents. Make a note of the phone numbers you’ll need to call if you lose a bank or credit card.


A mobile phone that’s not tied to one supplier. You may need to put in a local sim card when you get to your destination. Remember to pack the charger.

E- Reader

If you enjoy reading, then invest in an e-reader which is better than packing heavy books. Amazon for example have a free trial for Kindle books, so you can register and fill up the device before you leave.

Travel Kettle

Some countries don’t have kettles, so if you’re someone who enjoys a cup of tea, bring your travel kettle so that you can make yourself a soothing drink when you arrive at your accommodation and to celebrate the first day in your TEFL job.


Your laptop might be the most important item you take with you. You’ll be able to use Skype to keep in touch with family and friends and use it to find tips and hints for your TEFL classes.


A universal adapter will be useful when you first arrive and need to charge your phone or fire up your laptop.

So, that’s:

  • Clothes
  • Toiletries
  • Essentials
  • Paperwork
  • Phone
  • E-reader
  • Kettle
  • Laptop
  • Adapter

Travel Bag

Use a backpack or a small bag to put the things you’ll need for travelling to the airport and the flight to your first TEFL job.  Pop in an umbrella or a lightweight fold-up rain jacket if you’re going somewhere where there might be rain.