Pack for success, no stress

By: Amanda Reid, Columnist 

It’s finally here! My entire life has been packed away, I have my student visa, I’ve said most of my goodbyes and I’m as ready as I’ll ever be. It wasn’t all as easy as it sounds however, so here are a few tips for packing I want to share with you to make your life just a little bit less stressful.

Make a list before you pack anything. Be super detailed, down to which type of shoes you need to pack and breaking down the clothes into seasons.

Of course, I packed lots of pictures of my friends and family, two journals to write in, all of my Ravens and Orioles shirts, a Maryland flag and a can of Old Bay (bet you can guess what state I’m from). 

Space Bags are crucial for packing clothes, so much so that I still have room leftover in one of my suitcases. I recommend getting a small passport holder with a strap that goes around your neck so that you can tuck your passport and the majority of your money under your shirt for safekeeping, but also makes the passport available for easy access when walking through customs.

Carry a small amount of cash in a wallet that you keep in your pocket or your purse so you can buy a snack while waiting in the airport. 

Speaking of money, definitely research banks to find the one that is best for you.

I have found that Bank of America has sister banks in multiple countries in Europe, which means that although there is still an exchange fee, you do not have to pay the $5-$10 transaction fee every time you take money out of an ATM.

Just make sure you take money out of the sister bank’s ATM and not any ATM you come across.

Anyway enough of the boring (but important) stuff, let’s talk landing details!

My flight leaves August 27, and then I get to sit through a glorious eight-hour flight and land in Spain at 8:30 a.m. on August 28. Spain is six hours ahead, so technically speaking, it will feel like I arrive at 2:30 a.m., and then my day begins.

The family of the two brothers I had previously hosted are picking me up from the airport.

I have been daydreaming of the slow-motion movie run into the arms of two of my best friends, which will probably end up being        me awkward waddle-running with my four bags while ugly crying with joy at seeing them after all this time apart.

I have no idea what else is going to happen that day, but I am going to try and stay awake all day so that I can adjust to the time difference. Unfortunately, that means that my friends are going to have to deal with the troll that I become after being awake for 30 hours straight because I can’t sleep on airplanes.

My next post will be full of details of my reunion with them as well as details about me meeting the rest of the ISA group and my first week in Spain! Adios America, time for Expedition España to officially begin!

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