Packing tips when you only have 30kg of luggage
You are going to study and live in New Zealand for the next one month, one year, or more. It’s time for you to pack your luggage for your trip.
You wonder if there are some “must have” things you should bring with you. I’d like to give you some advice from my own experience of living and travelling around New Zealand.
With 30kg of luggage, there are five main categories of items that should go in your suitcase: (1) Documents, Travel Info and Money, (2) Electronics, (3) Toiletries and Personal Items, (4) Clothing, and (5) Optional Bring-Along. I will not give you a full checklist of what to pack, as you can buy almost everything you need in New Zealand at a reasonable price - you just need to ask the locals. However, there are some things you should bring with you that will help make your life easier.
1. Documents, Travel Info and Money
Besides a hard copy, you should bring a USB flash drive with the soft copies of all your documents that you may need. You can also upload them to an online storage site such as Dropbox or OneDrive.
I believe that you don’t want to bring your electronics and leave their chargers at home. In order to use your chargers, you will need to buy two adapters for the type I power sockets used here. It will be more convenient if you bring a multi-socket power strip from your own country so you don't need more than two New Zealand adapters. And don't forget a scientific calculator if you need to do some mathematics. You may also like to bring a recorder for your study if needed.
3. Toiletries and Personal Items
You can easily buy these in New Zealand. I only recommend that you bring your own first-aid kit with any specific medicine and prescription medication that you may need.
Clothing is not difficult to find in New Zealand but it may be not be easy as a newcomer to always find exactly what you’re used to. In my opinion, after you’ve packed all the other gear that you need, the rest of your suitcase will be for your clothes. There are definitely some clothes that you should not forget:
A pair of comfortable walking shoes as you will walk a lot.
A light and water-resistant windbreaker jacket. I wore mine every day for my first three months even though it was summer in New Zealand. Thus I highly recommend you bring at least one lightweight jacket.
A thick, warm jacket, a scarf, hat and a pair of gloves. You will definitely need them in New Zealand winter.
5. Optional Bring-Along
If you’re staying in New Zealand for a long time, I recommend you to bring a traditional dress (or formal dress) as you may well be able to wear it and introduce your culture to people in New Zealand. Some photos of your family and close friends and other things like that can help ease any homesickness and some, but not too much, dry food for your first week may also be good choices.
About the contributors
My Hang (Lucy) Dao is a Vietnamese student who won the New Zealand ASEAN scholar award 2013 to study Master of Commerce with a major in Finance at the University of Canterbury. "As an international student, I found living and studying in New Zealand challenging at first and exciting afterwards. 'Work hard and play harder', travelling around New Zealand and discovering this gorgeous landscape is my favourite reward after 'study hard'."