1. Do not overpack.

Like any trip you’ll always come home with more than you came with and shipping costs can be expensive. If you forget something you can always go clothes shopping, something you’ll probably want to do anyways.

2. Pack for what the weather will be not for what you want it to be.

I didn’t pack enough warm clothes when I studied abroad in Florence last Spring.  I envisioned a quick month of winter and then warm weather the rest of the time. Avoid this by being as realistic as possible about the weather.

3. Bring plastic bags and Ziploc bags.

Bags come in handy when separating dirty clothes or sneakers from the rest of your stuff. Bring some in your suitcase and I’ll guarantee you’ll use them.

4. Pack mini toiletries and clothes in your carry-on.

If the airline loses your luggage you’ll be okay for a few days.  Those supplies will come in handy later on weekend trips.

5. Bring copies of your passport, IDs, and other documents.

If you lose your passport or are robbed, having backup will save you a lot of time and stress.