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College Student Seeks Advice

I'm attending a college in Copenhagan for the summer. Before going to Denmark, I want to travel Europe for two weeks. I'm flying from Boston. I want to bring enough clothes for the summer, but I dont want to travel with all of the belongings. Do you have any advice concerning how I should get my "non-travel" clothes to my school? (It was quite costly to mail a box of clothes from home to Denmark.) FYI- I will likely fly in to Paris, Berlin, or Vienna. Thanks in advance for your help. I LOVE THIS SITE!

Posted by
2600 posts

Does the school you're attending offer any kind of shipping services? I imagine they run into this issue quite often. Shipping internationally with Fed Ex (for a large box) will be quite expensive. I shipped my daughter's stuff to college from Seattle to DC using www.collegeboxes.com and our total bill for about 10 boxes was $450, but of course we weren't shipping to Europe. You might want to check with them, though, to see if they have anything to offer.

There's a luggage shipping company...www.luggagefree.com... that will ship your stuff for 6.50 per pound, which also adds up quite quickly.

I know you're going to be gone for 10 or 12 weeks, but here's a couple of ideas. Travel super light...just your clothing. I know it's hard to imagine that you could live for the summer on one suitcase, but you could. With all the money you save on shipping, you could travel light, get to Copenhagen, spend a couple of hundred dollars on fun new pieces over the course of the summer and do ok. You could also buy inexpensive bedding, towels etc once you get there - way cheaper than shipping yours.

Or - you could pack a bit more and stop in Denmark on your way to your travels. You could fly Norwegian from Boston to Copenhagen in May for about $345. Your luggage will be extra, but not very much. Then, catch another Norwegian flight to Paris or wherever:)

Posted by
1205 posts

My daughter also did a semester in Copenhagen several years ago and had the same problem. She did not want to buy a new expensive Danish winter wardrobe and wanted to bring her own clothes, so hoped to leave 2 suitcases in London, where she landed, before traveling for 3 weeks and then going on to Copenhagen. She solved the problem by letting everyone she knew (try facebook, your college student listserv, etc) that she needed someplace to leave 2 suitcases, and found a friend of a friend who was willing to keep them for her (someone who had gone to her same summer camp years previously). Daughter had to swing back through London to get her suitcases, but it was easier and far cheaper than shipping 80 lbs of books, computer, boots and clothes to Copenhagen. Good luck!

Posted by
11613 posts

I travel in Europe during the summers (89 days) and do it with a Civita daybag and a 20" rolling carryon. It can be done with clothing, other belongings might be a problem. If you just need clothing, you can do it with a backpack and a personal item, really!

Posted by
8293 posts

Valerie, above, has the best and obvious answer. Fly to Copenhagen, dump your stuff at the college, and then do your two weeks of travel before starting your semester. Yes, you will have to pay the airline to check your baggage but what alternative have you?

Posted by
1194 posts

I would suggest a variation on the suggestion by @jmauldinuu. Pick a city to be your base city. Find a hotel/place that allows you to store your Copenhagen clothes (this is usually for a fee but at high end hotels is free). Dump the clothes there, tour Europe, come back to the hotel, pick up clothes.
Two weeks is not a long time to store the clothes so the fee should be minimal.
Make sure that you lock your storage bag and that the storage area is under lock and key with some sort of receipt system in place for retrieving your bags. There are many reputable hotels that do this if you stay there at the beginning and end of your trip. The hotel may cost more but it's worth it for the safety/convenience. Google luggage storage. Also look at the hotel website and email them.
I've done this lots of times with mountaineering gear and camping gear that I didn't want to haul around when I was in the city portion of my trips.

Posted by
650 posts

I haven't done this or know anyone who has, but I just Googled "self storage berlin germany" and discovered that Shurgard will rent you a meter square locker for 38 euros a month. http://www.shurgard.de/en/SRP-Step1-b?search=Berlin%20germany Other self storage units might be available in Vienna or Paris. Shurgard apparently only has European outlets in Germany. But surely other self storage operate in Paris and Vienna. I suspect the catch is that self storage outfits are not handy to the city center.

Posted by
16893 posts

I'm with Zoe on packing light. My carry-on sized suitcase can easily fit more clothes and shoes than I need or bring for months-long travel (the same as I bring for two weeks). Luckily, summer clothes are lighter, so you can be more generous with yourself. Laundry facilities should not be hard to find near a college.

Posted by
1174 posts

Go light is the best advice any of us can give you. We routinely do such things as an African hunting safari (wore my boots on the plane over), three weeks in France, weeks in Turkey in all kinds of weather in all four season and we only take a carry-on apiece. We are free lance outdoor writer/photographers and just take one camera each, use the guides fishing poles or firearms, and get along famously with a MINIMUM of clothing. You might also go to www.seat61.com to learn everything you'll need to know about train travel across Europe.

Posted by
3923 posts

We went to Europe with 45 students for 4 month stints (August-December). They each had one 24" suitcase and managed really well traveling. If yours is a summer only program I'm with the others in this thread who advocate for 1 bag and clothes you use for traveling and class. Buy larger toiletries and other space taking items once you settle in. Have a great summer!

Posted by
139 posts

Those summer plans sound fun! I agree with the pack light idea. There are wonderful websites that show how to put 12 pieces etc. together many different ways. Even if you buy a few more clothes while in Europe (how fun would that be!) , you're still money ahead over shipping or paying to store things, and you have some fun souvenirs. An inexpensive tote like the "Don't Tell Rick" bag would work well to bring extra things home.