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Traveling for School - Advice on Packing/Money/Computer!

I am doing a Masters program that involves a lot of travel - a year and a half of it, to be exact. Most is in Europe, but also South American, Japan and China. I have spent the past year living in Europe, and I have the backpacking thing down, but my problem is the situations I'm going to be in: classes, professional meetings, and even black tie events. Ideally I would travel with one carry on suitcase, but I'm not sure this is possible. Several things:

  1. Any general advice would be greatly greatly appreciated.
  2. Are there any women out there who can help me solve the shoe problem? Right now I can't seem to figure out how to get it down to less than five (black flats, brown flats, sneakers, flip flops/shower shoes, black dressy heels).
  3. Has anybody come up with a good solution for carrying jewelry? Not expensive jewelry, of course, but something to dress up an outfit if I need to. This year I ended up with lots of tangled necklaces.
  4. I have a French bank account and an American one, as well as an American Express credit card. I want to get another one, as AE isn't as widely accepted as I'd like... I hear Capital One is the way to go on foreign travel... any thoughts?
  5. Does anybody know of collapsible headphones for a computer? My headphones, that I use for Skype, are huge and I'm looking for the smallest I can find...
  6. Finally, any suggestions on a travel sized computer would help. I have an HP right now and was thinking about going with the same thing, but smaller... what do you think? I can't break the bank here.

okay i think thats it for now!! really, any comments or suggestions on ANY subject, not just the ones I listed, would be appreciated!

Posted by
9363 posts

I'd skip the black dressy heels and take black pumps instead. They could do the job of the black flats or the heels. That would at least cut down one pair. And you'll be wearing a pair of something, so you'd only be packing three.

I'm a big fan of Capital One cards. No additional fees for using it overseas.

As for headphones, look for the "telephone operator" type of one-ear headsets. They are very small and pack flat. Walmart sells several styles of them.

Posted by
658 posts

I asked my wife about this. Sincerely she is an expert. Her advice was this. #1 - invest in one really good 'Little Black Dress'. This one item suits every occasion including black tie events. For everything else buy low cost clothing and dump and replace as you travel. #2 - take one pair of really good black heels, wrap them in tissue paper and guard them with your life. Then buy a pair of cheap, cream flats and a pair of cheap sneakers, that is your minimum requirement, dump and replace as you travel. #3 - to stop neclaces and other jewelery becoming a mass of spaghetti wrap each piece in tissue paper when you take it off and hold the tissue paper in place with a rubber band. To deter theives and burglars keep them with your feminine hygene products - that's the one thing they never steal. Find out where most students buy their clothing from, it will be a source of low cost clothing that you can jetison as you go and will also help you blend in.