The hardest thing about packing up your belongings and moving away is choosing what to bring. You have limited room in your suitcases and can’t afford to bring everything with you. But it’s also so important to bring things that remind you of home when you go to a new, unknown place. Whether it be a photograph or a teddy bear, a familiar item will go a long way in making your temporary, foreign residence feel like home.
We asked some students about what things they brought with them to Paris. Below you’ll see a compiled list of all the must-need items you shouldn’t leave home without.
You can’t be a true Parisien without a go-to novel for those long commutes on the metro. Also perfect for relaxing in one of the many jardins on a sunny day! Cecily D. said she could not have lived without her favorite book, The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker. Check it out here!
Pictures of family and friends
Homesickness can get the best of us sometimes so it’s always nice to have some familiar faces close by. Print out pictures at home to save some money and hang them up in Paris. Trust me it helps brighten up the room and bring a little bit of home to Paris.
Channel your inner artist in the city of art and bring a sketchbook along to Paris for those “en plein air” painting and drawing opportunities. Sasha C. said one of her favorite things to do is go to the Louvre with her sketchbook and fill the pages with drawings.
France gets chilly in the winter and not all accommodations have central heating, so your favorite fuzzy slippers can help you through those long, cold months. Raul R. said he actually had his family mail him his slippers because he forgot them at home. Don’t make the same mistake!
Your time in Paris may not be permanent so it’s important to keep a record of your French adventures so you can look back at what will definitely be the best time of your life. If you forget to bring one, head to Gibert Jeune, a paper product store that can be found anywhere in Paris.
Brands of medicine that you know and use
The worst thing about being sick in a foreign place is not having your favorite, go-to medicine for an easy fix. Stock up and bring your favorite brands for any medical emergency, and save some euros in advance doing it. My personal favorite medicine is only available in certain stores back home, so I made sure I packed a ton because I always get sick in the winter.
Be sure to pack plenty of adapters when you come abroad, and not just European ones. Who knows where your travels might take you! A lot of adapters come in joint sets that include the UK, Europe, Asia, and the Americas. Camille O. said she borrowed her parents’ adapters for her year in Paris and is glad she did because most of her friends had to buy new ones and they can be very expensive.
Ladies, stock up on your favorite beauty products
Not only will this save you money in the long run, bringing your favorite products from home will save you the hassle of having to find a foreign replacement when you inevitably run out of mascara. Unless you’re a Sephora customer, the likelihood of finding your favorite brands like Maybelline and Covergirl are slim. Maria L. said she had packed extra of her favorite brand of concealer on impulse and is glad she did because she hasn’t found it in Paris anywhere.
Your favorite snacks from home
When the homesickness bug bites, sometimes the only cure are your favorite munchies. Bring some from home for emergency situations. Sarah T. said one of the things she misses most about home is the candy brands. When her friends came to visit on break, she had them bring her all her favorites!
Favorite stuffed animal
Just like the photographs and snacks, sometimes a friendly, cuddly face can cure the blues. Robert F. said he’ll never admit it but his stuffed shark that his girlfriend gave him has been comforting when he’s missed home the most.
Decorative art, posters, tapestries
Just because your accommodations might be temporary doesn’t mean they don’t have to feel like a home. Bring your favorite home decor to add some color and pep to your apartment. If you’re still needing some decor inspiration for your room, check out Redbubble for some great products!
Happy packing and good luck with your move to France!