If I Had Forgotten to Pack…

{By Bailey, Precariosities’ Director of Content}

Apparently I’m an adult. That means I should be more than capable of preparing myself for three months in another country. But just in case, I had my mom help me pack. Because you never what can happen. Sometimes you overlook something dumb. It always helps to have an extra pair of eyes.

Obviously I remembered all my necessities.

So I’m not saying I forgot to pack the things you’re about to read. But if I did. Theoretically. I would probably be keeping a list of regrets. And I would probably want to let you guys know what exactly you should remember if you ever venture out of your hometown for longer than a week.

You know. Just so you can be informed.

Ahem. However. If I had forgotten to pack some things I really needed, I would say something like this: “Inexplicably, I remembered my hair dryer and a coloring book—neither of which have been used—but I somehow managed to forget ++insert necessity here++”

Whatever. I don’t care anymore. If you’re leaving to study abroad/live abroad/travel at all, these are the things you should definitely not forget, okay? Okay. Let’s go.

White Tank Top

Tu necesitas. On the real. 

I promise this is far more serious than you think. I packed about four tank tops (maybe three idk) to wear under any variety of blouse or what have you. The night before I left, I was going through clothes last minute—just to make sure—and I said to myself, “Why do you need a bland white cami? You have enough. You are just fine.” So I didn’t pack it.

I would like to go back to that night.

I would like to have that white tank top.

There are so many shirts that don’t match the colors of my other tanks. It might be a first world problem. But I’m going to own it. A white tank top is a staple in your wardrobe, kids. Embrace it. And don’t forget to pack it. Ever.


Drawstring Bag


This, boys and girls, is like gold. I don’t even know if I own one, so to be fair, I could argue that I can’t forget something I don’t have. But I wish I owned one. On bad days I have entertained the idea of buying one, but prices are just high enough here that I can’t really justify it.

A drawstring bag is that perfect compromise between a purse and a suitcase. You can take your purse to the mall, but you can’t take a suitcase to the mall. A suitcase will hold your clothes, but a purse is only good for holding your wallet. A drawstring bag? GOOD FOR ALL OCCASIONS, MY FRIENDS. Going to the beach? Drawstring bag. Going to the mall? Drawstring bag (added bonus: people can’t sneak their hands in it to steal things from you without you noticing). Going on a two-day trip? Drawstring bag. Might be a bit cramped in there, but it’s easier to drag around than a suitcase.

Do yourself a favor. Invest in a drawstring bag. You’re welcome.

Bug Repellent Bracelets


Disclaimer: You really only need to remember this if you’re going to be in a danger zone for disease-carrying mosquitos. (ZIKADENGUEMALARIAOHMY)

I did bring bug spray. But I don’t love walking around smelling quite so…potent. The bug repellent bracelets aren’t always as strong as the sprays you can purchase at your local Wal-Mart. So there is that.

I’d still have to say it’s worth it to get bracelets, though. I had to wear bug spray last week and spent hours inhaling my own stench and contemplating whether or not it was socially acceptable to throw up in front of the classmates I’ve only known for three weeks. (I held myself together; no worries). The moral of the story here is that bug repellent bracelets are an incredible innovation of which you should take advantage.

Those Machine-Washable Bag Things That You Can Put Your Undergarments In When You Wash Them So They Don’t Get Lost


Do you think they have a name, those things? They have to. Do you know what I’m talking about? Someone invented little mesh bags for your socks, underwear, etc., and you can just throw the whole thing in the wash. This saves you from the dreaded sock divorce pile that I’m assuming every human has in the corner of his/her closet.

So far I’m doing okay. I’m only short one sock for the whole trip to date. But if I had one of those magic machine-washable bags, I wouldn’t be short any. I think it’s an important (and lightweight) addition to any suitcase before a long trip. One of those game-changers, you know what I mean? Highly advise. 10/10.



*Editor’s note: No picture necessary for underwear. Hopefully you know what that looks like. Kelly is never Google Image searching “underwear” or “funny underwear” again. Someone help.*

Like I said at the beginning, I’m not saying I forgot to pack underwear. But let’s just say I did. And say I had… I don’t know… four pairs total for three months in a country where I don’t even know what the word for underwear is. I probably would have had a pretty awkward/embarrassing convo with my host mom. (Also she probably would have been a legitimate saint and offered to go out and buy me some so I wouldn’t have to do it.)

Obviously that didn’t happen. Of course not.

I’m just saying. If you decide to pack your suitcase over the course of a month or so, maybe make a list of all the things you purposely decided to save until the end. So when you go back to the suitcase right before you leave, you’ll remember what you still need. And you want assume that something as obvious as underwear was the first thing you packed.

Friends, you need underwear if you’re going to be gone for three months. Do not forget, okay?



The list of regrets. We probably all have it when it comes to packing. Wherever you end up, I pray your list is short.





Before you go:

If you haven’t studied abroad, you’ve probably traveled somewhere and realized too late that you forgot to pack something, right? (It can’t only be me)                                 What was it? Did you survive?



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