The Study Abroad Goes to Russia : Packing

Hello friends! Russia is fast approaching and in order to get you there well-prepared, I’ve called in an expert, Caitlin Laudeman. She is a Wheaton student who studied at LCC in the Spring of 2013.

Here is a collection of some of her top tips.

Enjoy, and let’s get packing….russia packing

When going to Russia, packing is essential to your happiness.  Too much weight and you will despise carrying your backpack around, and getting from place to place will be difficult and stressful.  However, if you don’t bring things you need, you’ll have extra expenses on the trip or be frustrated trying to work without them.  This isn’t a comprehensive list of things to pack (honestly, essential packing lists can vary incredibly from person to person) but more of a list of tips to keep in mind when packing.

DO:

-Bring two pairs of gloves, a scarf, and a hat.

Even if you don’t usually wear them, these are pieces that you will most likely need because, well, it’s probably going to be pretty cold.  Also, even if you don’t end up using one of these pieces every day it’s still worth it to have it with you.

-Bring thin inner socks to wear every day, but only two or three pairs of really thick socks.

It’s important to have thick socks to insulate your feet and keep them warm, but by switching the thin inner socks and re-wearing the thick outer socks you’ll have more room in your bag.

-Bring a smaller bag in addition to your big backpack.

Your backpacking backpack will be good for carrying all your clothes and souvenirs around, but it’s too big to carry around the city when sight-seeing.  Having a small backpack, small messenger bag, or a large purse may mean you have to check it at coat checks in buildings, but you’ll be able to comfortably carry your souvenirs, maps, itinerary, and snacks around with you.

-Save room for souvenirs.  

If you pack your bag as tight as you can before you leave, where are you going to put your matryoshka dolls?

-Bring leggings/tights/longjohns.

-Bring a copy of your passport and insurance.

DO NOT:

-Bring a ton of sweaters.

To keep warm, it’s really more about layering than bulk.  Also, bringing 3 long-sleeved shirts will take up a lot less room than 3 sweaters.

-Be concerned about your appearance.

You’re not there to look good; you’re there to have an awesome time going and doing things in Russia.  You will almost always be in your coat anyway, so no, you don’t need to bring that shirt that would make you look great if you went out to get coffee.

-Bring more than one pair of shoes.

-Bring more than two pairs of pants. 

You can seriously go all week with only one pair.  Especially if you alternate two pairs of leggings underneath.

-Bring too much food

Bring snacks so you can keep your energy up and not go hungry, but don’t bring so much it ends up taking up precious room in your backpack.

-Bring stuff to entertain you on the train

Maybe a book… If you really want…  Try and catch up with your friends!  Make plans for the next week!  Catch up on sleep!

-Bring your laptop.

There are computers at the hostels, someone will have a phone you can borrow, and you really won’t need it.  And let’s be real.  Laptops are heavy and bulky.

Enjoy!

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