Advice on Packing Luggage for Expats

Tips for packing luggage that will help you feel a little home away from home

packing-luggagePacking suitcases for expatriate living is unlike packing suitcases for travel.
The main difference is – You won’t be travelling with the luggage, as you will be busy organizing your new life overseas. Therefore, there is no need to over pack your suitcases. Whatever is missing can be purchased quite easily at the destination country.
But, in spite of the above, you still have to keep in mind that –
While some expats are lucky to have a furnished house ready for them as soon as they get out of the plane, most expats do not move immediately to their new home.
Some expats might be fortunate enough to find a suitable house before moving and relocating overseas, but still have to wait for the container with their personal belongings to arrive. Others have to start searching for a house to buy, or to rent.
This might take a while.
The waiting period, until you move to your new home can put a lot of stress on your family. Therefore, it is important to include in your airplane luggage items that will help your family to feel a little home away from home during this time.
It is important to find the right balance –

How to pack light but still pack enough luggage that will make you feel comfortable until you settle in the new house.

In addition to finding the right balance, there are a few more things you have to check out before you start packing.

What to Investigate Before Packing Luggage


  • International luggage requirements such as; number of suitcases per person, maximum weight allowed for each suitcase, etc’. The luggage weight limit is a very important issue as some airlines might charge you extra for overweight luggage. In order to avoid packing more than the luggage weight limit, you can use a luggage scale.
  • The airlines carry on luggage regulations – It is important to find out not just the carry on luggage size and weight limit allowed on the plane, but also the carry on permitted and prohibited Items.
  • The condition of your luggage set – Some of you might find out that their suitcases need a little mending. If this is your case, you can look for a luggage repair service. Others might use this as a great opportunity to do some luggage shopping and to refresh their luggage set. You can search for luggage on line, where you can find a huge selection of travel luggage’s and luggage accessories/
  • .

  • The weather in your destination country – Will you need to pack winter or summer clothing?
  • Where will you be staying until you find a house in your destination country – hotel, suites hotel, furnished apartment, etc’.?

    If you stay in a suites hotel or a furnished apartment, you won’t need to worry about packing cutlery and other kitchen items.


Packing Luggage that Will Assist You During the Transition Period

carry-luggage Packing luggage can be an easy task if you prepare a packing list in advance. It helps ensure that nothing important will be forgotten, and it will keep you organized, as long as you stick to one simple role –

If it’s not on your list it shouldn’t be in your suitcase.
It is recommended to divide the list to two main parts:
Essential items – Items that you will be unable to manage without them.
Very useful items – Items that you might find useful depending on your needs.
After your packing list is finished you are ready to start packing luggage.

Packing Luggage – Essential Items

Documents – Airline tickets, passport, visa, driving license and international driving permit, pocket dictionary or a language translator, calling cards, immunizations record, medical history, extra passport photos, credit/check cards, the destination country currency, copies of all documents , health insurance
Clothing – Shoes, underwear/bras/socks, tie/scarf/gloves, pants/skirts, shirts, sweater, jacket/rainwear, gloves (for cold weather), sweatshirts, swimsuit (even if it is winter, as you can always relax in the hotel’s swimming pool), jeans, belts, sleepwear, formal ware.
Toiletries – Toothbrush/paste, hairbrush, shampoo/conditioner, manicure items, razor, shaving cream, feminine hygiene products, blow-dryer, first aid kit, soap, deodorant, mirror, tweezers, scissors, cosmetics, body lotion, shower cap, nail clippers, sewing kit. You can go easy on your toiletries, as you can purchase any extra toilet items at your destination country.
Health and Medical Supplies – Prescription medication, vitamins, eyeglasses/sunglasses, contact lenses/cleaners, pain reliever, thermometer, diarrhea medicine, etc.’
Packing for Babies or Toddlers Formula and bottles, oatmeal and baby food jars, wipes, diapers, pacifiers, stroller/car seat combo, backpack baby carrier, toys and rattles.

Packing Luggage – Very Useful Items

Laptop and Accessories If you are staying at a place where there is an Internet connection, you will find it very useful to bring alone your laptop; You can e-mail your family and friends, arrange for a video meeting with them, or let your kids play with the laptop. This will help to keep them occupied.
Camera and Charges You can take pictures of yourself in the new country and e-mail them to your friends and family.
Converters and Adapters If your destination country has a different voltage than your home country, it is important to pack electricity converters. Otherwise you wont be able to use the electrical items that you brought from home (laptop, blow dryer, etc.’).
I-Pod / MP3 Player Having your favorite music with you will make you fill more comfortable at your new country.
Toys, Crayons and Coloring Books Packing some toys and crayons for your kids will keep them busy. Moreover having a few toys from home will help your kids feel relaxed in the new surrounding.
Food/Snacks When moving overseas it takes some time to adjust to the different taste of food at your new country. Therefore packing a few of your kids favorite snacks will help to cheer them up.
Books If you are a book reader, it is nice to have a couple of books in your own language.

Final Tip on Packing Luggage

Do not forget that whatever you unpack in your hotel will have to be repacked and carried to your new house at the destination country. Thus, go easy when packing luggage and make sure not to over pack.