Packing when you’re travelling for a few days is a world away from packing for a job overseas. When you will be staying abroad long-term, any item that you forget will cost you dearly. At the same time, you cannot take with you all that you hold dear. Staying for a long time away from home will also drive home how an overseas job can get really lonely. Packing for your job abroad is a delicate balancing act between taking with you what you want and leaving behind what you can live without.

Prepare the logistics

packing long term job abroad
A checklist would help with packing.

When you’re staying for a year or two, you don’t pack for the whole time that you will be there. Remember the usual 20 kilogram limit that airlines have for check-in baggages. For more information on what your luggage limit is, check the terms and conditions of your airline ticket. Some do give you up to a 35 kilo limit on checked-in baggages. You can also take with you a 7 kilo hand-carried bag, a shoulder/computer bag, and a coat.

Be practical

Two pairs of mix and match pieces will go farther than two dresses. Scarves and accessories take little space but really widens the depth of your wardrobe. Even if you have a uniform, you never know if you would need to attend a social/business function, and it usually is more affordable to buy at home than abroad. Don’t forget to pack things that you use everyday, as I’ve discussed before, imagine how your day goes and pack what you use everyday.

What is waiting for you?

Will you be living in a cramped bedsit with roommates? Will you need locks for your luggage because you don’t have a closet? Find out as much as you can about the details of where you will be living, and possibly with whom. If you can, get the contact details of your roommate (if you have one) and befriend them. Ask them what the living conditions are and what to expect.

Take a small part of your home with you

packing long term job abroad
Pack your favorite blanket, toy, or picture with you.

Print your loved ones’ picture and take it with you. Another way to fake being home is to take your favorite bed sheet and pillow case and use it for your first few days. It’s not the real thing, but do whatever it takes to help you feel at home in a foreign land.