A Mizzou Study Abroad Adventure | Packing List for Prague

May 23, 2018

Hello World!

My name is Sarah Wolter and this summer I am going to study abroad in the Czech Republic! I just finished my junior year at the University of Missouri – Columbia. At Mizzou, I am working towards my Bachelors and Masters in Accountancy as well as a minor in Information Technology. During my junior year, I was a Residential Assistant in the Dorms, Co-Director of Logistics for our Women’s Leadership Conference, and Senior Director of International Programming for the Department of Student Activities.

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My puppy Rosie and me one year ago

This summer, I am going to be studying abroad at the Czech University of Life Sciences Prague for about a month. I am super excited for this trip because it will be my first time traveling abroad in about five years. During the week, I will be taking classes with both Mizzou students and Czech University Students. One of my classes will be taught by a Mizzou Professor and the other one will be taught by a Czech University professor. During the week, we will also be going on a few cultural trips. These trips will involve Czech businesses and different historical sights. On the weekends, we will be free to travel on short weekend trips. There will be plenty of time for both work and play.

During my trip, I will be making one blog post a week about my trip in Prague and my experiences studying abroad. I will try to make posts about mid-week but it sounds like at times my WiFi access will be limited at the dorms.  Over the course of the month, I think it will be interesting to see how my first thoughts measure up to my experiences after getting to know Prague better. Hopefully by documenting my journey as it happens, anyone hoping to study abroad will know a little better to expect. I find that most travel blogs and vlogs are written by people who have been travelling for years. While their help is useful for figuring out what to bring, I think that it would be nice to see what a complete beginner would recommend.

Today, I am going to go over my packing list and how to choose flights. Again, I have never really packed for a month-long trip or found flights before, so we will see if my advice holds up. Hopefully, if I forget anything, I will be able to buy it at a reasonable price. Also, I have been told that there are laundry mats, so hopefully I will be able to figure that out.

What I’m Bringing to Prague

As you may be able to tell I have a favorite color scheme

Baggage:

  • 28” Hard-shell Roller Suitcase
  • Osprey Fairview 40
    • I like this backpack so far because it should be travel sized for most airlines, it has a clam-shell opening for the main compartment, and the ability to tuck the straps in and make it look more like a duffel bag. I am excited to try it out on my trip!
  • Messenger Bag Style Purse
    • My everyday purse has some important features that will make it good for avoiding pickpockets and purse snatchers. Here are some important features to look for in a purse:
      • Crossbody Capabilities
      • A flap that covers the opening (this makes it hard for someone just to reach in)
      • Zipper to close the main opening
      • Thicker straps that are harder to cut
      • Outside zipped pocket to keep items like your bus pass

Organization

  • Compression Packing Cubes
    • My aunt found me these cubes on Amazon here. For the reviews I have read, they are nice because they have a mesh top so you can see what you’re putting in there and they hold up nice, given that they are cheaper than the popular Eagle Creek cubes.

The blue and white are the compression cubes

Toiletries

  • Shampoo and Conditioner (normal size)
  • Shampoo and Conditioner (travel size) x 2
  • Toothbrush in Travel Container
  • Travel Sized Toothpaste
  • Deodorant
    • We were told this was extremely hard to find abroad so don’t forget it
  • Face Wash
  • Face Wipes
  • Travel Sized Dry Shampoo
  • Lotion
  • Face Lotion
  • Hair Brush

Clothing

  • Dresses x 5
  • Jeans x 2
  • Shirts x 5
  • Sweat pants
  • Shorts
  • Jean Shorts
  • Cardigan
  • Light Jacket
  • Rain Jacket
  • Sherpa Pullover
  • Socks
  • Underwear
  • Swimming Suit

Electronics

  • Phone

    The purple cube is just a cube, not compression

  • Phone Charger
  • Apple Watch
  • Apple Watch Charger
  • Laptop
  • Mouse
  • Laptop Charger
  • Headphones
  • Converter blocks x 2
  • Camera
  • Camera Charger
  • Extra Batteries for Camera

Everything Else:

  • Book for the plane
  • Pillow
  • Blanket
  • Beach Towel
  • Umbrella
  • Laundry Bag
  • Laundry Detergent

Overall, I am worried that I will be missing a few things because this list seems like it might be short. However, I am prone to over-packing so I’m sure it will be fine.

What about my flight?

When it comes to flights, I am a little inexperienced as to how to buy them. I haven’t been on a plane in about five years, so I have never tried to book a flight on my own. I ended up enlisting my dad’s help for my international flight because I wanted to minimize mistakes for that one. But I did book flights for one of my weekend trips and I read plenty of advice on how to book flights so I’ll try to compile some of that information here.

  1. Always use incognito mode

It’s no secret that travel sites pay attention to who visits and up their prices based on that. The differences in prices I would see when I was searching for flights was amazing. Even just refreshing Google would sometimes cause flight prices to increase.

  1. Make sure you know what days cheap airlines fly

Ryanair and Easy Jet seem to be popular for flying cheap around Europe. At least for the weekend trip I was booking flights for, I found Easy Jet typically a better deal but with more inconvenient flight times. Both flight companies have days that they do and don’t fly into different airports. So just because I could fly in on a Thursday night did not mean that my return flight Monday evening was going to be easy. I actually have to fly to a different country in order to find a flight back to Prague.

  1. Double check if you can bring a carry-on

It seems like many of the cheaper airlines are now charging to bring a carryon bag. I do not know for sure if this means that they check bags at the gate and get it back right after the flight or if that means you have to wait a long time to get your bag at the end of the flight. I paid extra so that I could bring my bag. That also meant I got to pick my seat so I guess it’s a win win.

  1. Booking sites have deals

I know this one seems obvious, but I did not think it was true before I started really looking. For the return flight that requires me to fly to another country, I found it cheaper to book through this site called Kiwi.com. It seems as though Kiwi was able to make a deal with Ryanair that will allow me to bring a carry-on without paying for priority seating. We will see how this site holds up in a few weeks.

 

I will make sure to write some updated flight information as soon as I learn more about these smaller European Airlines. Hopefully, I won’t get trapped in the wrong country but if I do it will be a learning experience for all of us.

I am so excited for my trip and I cannot wait to share my experience with all of you.

Needless to say my parents were happy for me to come home just to make a mess

1 comment

  1. Comment by Diane Niebling

    Diane Niebling Reply June 1, 2018 at 9:23 pm

    Hey Sarah! Great info. While I wouldn’t call us the most seasoned travelers, we’re not the least experienced either. There is always something to learn. We just discovered that some of the German states have their own “all inclusive” train passes. We booked one-way tickets within the state of Baden-Württemberg for 32 euros only to find out that the state has an all inclusive daily pass for 15 each that gives you all day access to the trains and busses. Something to keep in mind and to ask at the train stations.

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