Get semester abroad packing tips from tried and true expert, Buenos Aires Fall 2022 student Connor Fox-Moore.
***This is an example of a student’s experience from Fall 2022. Specific programming and activities are subject to change by semester.
If any of you are like me and have browsed countless travel blog websites to figure out what to bring to Buenos Aires but can’t seem to find consistent results, you’re in luck! Now being in the final weeks of my fall semester in Buenos Aires, I can give some advice on what to bring, what not to bring, and some tips on what you can buy in the city!
Some Things You Might Be Forgetting
- Slippers or slides for your homestay
- This is something that I am sooooo glad I brought, they will make your homestay feel more like home in the beginning.
- Ibuprofen / OTC pain reliever
- It is always nice to have some in handy and the pharmacies in the city are bit different than in the U.S. so I would just recommend bringing it with you from the states to avoid the confusion.
- Cold medicine
- It is pretty common to get a slight old when traveling internationally, as well the fact that there will be season changes during your semester. Having cold medicine packed was great because if you’re like me and get a cold the first week in the city, it saves you from the stress of having to look for it in the pharmacy.
- A laundry bag
- The laundry service in Buenos Aires is different than the ones in the U.S. You drop your laundry off and pick it up the following day, so having a laundry bag makes it easier to carry your laundry to and from the laundromat (don’t worry it’s super cheap!)
- A rain jacket / windbreaker
- This is something that I did not bring and very much wish that I had. If you are coming to Buenos Aires in the fall, the weather will actually be kind of cold for the first few weeks so a light jacket would be useful. And, for the few times it rains, having a jacket to walk to class is great so you don’t get soaked!
- A simple, discreet wallet
- I would not recommend bringing a large, expensive wallet for multiple reasons. A) pick pocketing can be a problem here and it may put you more at risk and B) you will be carrying so many pesos at once that if you have a large wallet it just won’t be as functional because the money won’t fit. My suggestion: just buy a basic wallet with a flexible billfold section.
- Cross body bag
- This item is probably my most recommended for anyone traveling abroad. These bags are great for going out because they hold all your valuables (phone, keys, money, ID, etc.) in one place close to your body. They’re also really cheap! I got mine for $15 on amazon and it works great.
- Photo copies of your passport and vaccination card
- Having a photocopy of your passport is very important because you don’t want to carry it all the time (that’s risky). If you make the photocopies at home it may be simpler because in order to make them in the city you have to go to a copy store and pay for them to be printed. Just bring a copy with you and you will be all set.
What NOT to Bring
- More than two books
- For all my readers out there, as much as you want to bring all your favorite books, you don’t need them. I brought 6 books and have read maybe 2 of them since being here. I recommend bringing the ones you like rereading, so that you can have something that reminds you of home or just for something to do on a rainy day, but you do not need more than 2.
- Neck pillow
- This might just be my preference, but I found my neck pillow to be super inconvenient when traveling. It kept getting in the way when I was walking around the airport and it was not that useful on the plane anyways. And now, it just takes up space in my bedroom. As comfortable as they look, I recommend leaving this at home.
- Clothes you don’t usually wear
- I know you may think that you’re going to go abroad and suddenly make use of that shirt you bought a year ago but never actually wore, but in reality you most likely won’t. Bring clothes that you know you’ll make use of to save room in your suitcase.
- Lots of pictures from home
- I printed almost 80 pictures before I left thinking I would hang them all up. I ended up not being able to hang them up because of house rules, and although I do have some on my dresser, 80 was an excessive amount. So print the ones that are most important to you to make your room feel like home, but you don’t need your whole camera roll.
Things That Are Easy to Buy in Buenos Aires
- School supplies
- I was unsure if they would have an abundance of school supplies in the city and I can tell you now that yes, they do. Although I am happy I bought a few notebooks and my pens in the states (because I’m a school supplies nerd), there are plenty of stores that sell anything you may need for a good price.
- Personal hygiene items
- If you are not concerned with sticking to any specific brand/ item (totally okay if you are!) don’t be worried about getting things like shampoo, conditioner, body wash, tooth paste, etc. in the city. Many U.S. brands are sold in pharmacies or close substitutes. Of course, if you are someone who likes what they use at home, it is perfectly okay to bring them with you just know they will account for extra weight in your checked bag.