Ultimate Exchange Packing List for the Extremely Kiasu

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What's your mantra for packing, especially for a long trip like a student exchange? A close friend of mine advised me to do it with an onion method - to halve everything that you initially intended to bring. But to do so, you need to begin with a super comprehensive, but definitely not exhaustive, packing list before you can start eliminating the less important ones. This list would be most suitable for: a Singaporean (NTU) Girl Going On Exchange, though I'm pretty sure you can get some ideas out of it. It is meant for the extremely kiasu, so decide for yourself if you really need them! 

No Holds Barred: Ultimate Exchange Packing List for the Extremely Kiasu

Some important things to consider before you start:

Use at least one month to consciously live your life and take into consideration what you can't live without. Certain essentials may just slip your mind.

1. Where are the nearest supermarkets/ furniture stores/ stationery shops which I can buy things?
2. What can I bring into the country I'm going?
3. What's the weather there like when I reach?
4. Will my essentials be readily available there, especially if you're particular or allergic to certain items? (Read: Contact lenses, Medicine, Moisturizers)
5. Will the items I intend to buy there (Possibly: Spectacles, Kitchen Appliances) be very expensive?
6. What is your duration of stay there?
7. What is your luggage limit? Which luggage are you bringing?

Depending on your answers to these questions, you can omit certain things in this list below.

No Holds Barred: Ultimate Exchange Packing List for the Extremely Kiasu

Be organized:

I created an Excel Spreadsheet and colour-coded by highlights what I'm putting into my main luggage, and what goes into my carry-on bag. Then I colour-coded what is already inside, and what I haven't put inside. All the asterisks go for things I need to buy, or settle before I fly. This helps a lot and keep me on track.

No Holds Barred: Ultimate Exchange Packing List for the Extremely Kiasu

The List

I attempt to make this list much more comprehensive than most other lists I found online. Those had been helpful for the initial stages, but they miss out a lot of 'grounded' items that I gradually realized to be important. I did not bring everything as stated here, but they have been in consideration at some point or another.

No Holds Barred: Ultimate Exchange Packing List for the Extremely Kiasu

Vitals
1. Passport
2. Waterbottle
3. Printed Air Tickets, Accommodation Requirements 
4. Spare Spectacles
5. Spare Contact Lenses for appropriate duration
6. Contact Lenses Casing
7. Contact Lenses Solution for appropriate duration, in big & small packaging
8. Travel Journal and/or Calendar
9. iBanking Secure Device(s)
10. Travel Itineraries (if any)
11. Photographs of loved ones
12. Your favourite soft toy
13. Presents for your new friends

No Holds Barred: Ultimate Exchange Packing List for the Extremely Kiasu

Wallet
1. Student Card
2. Identity Card
3. Addresses / Contact Numbers of your destination
4. Credit/debit cards
5. Cash in your destination's currency

No Holds Barred: Ultimate Exchange Packing List for the Extremely Kiasu

Just-In-Case Pack
1. Plasters
2. Rubber bands
3. Safety pins
4. Wet wipes
5. Tissue packets
6. Ziploc bags
7. Spare plastic bags
8. Superglue

No Holds Barred: Ultimate Exchange Packing List for the Extremely Kiasu

Medicine/Drugs
1. Po Chai Pills
2. Panadol
3. Vitamin C
4. Zheng Gu Shui
5. Medicated oil
6. Eyedrops
> Any other medication you may need.

No Holds Barred: Ultimate Exchange Packing List for the Extremely Kiasu

Makeup/Skincare/Haircare
1. BB Cream/ Foundation
2. Black Eyeliner
3. Brushes
4. Mascara
5. Lipstick/ Lip Gloss
6. Sunblock (face)
7. Sunblock (body)
8. Toner
9. Hair serum
10. Lip moisturizer
11. Makeup removal wipes
12. Micellar water
13. Moisturizer (body)
14. Moisturizer (hand)
15. Hand sanitizer

No Holds Barred: Ultimate Exchange Packing List for the Extremely Kiasu

Other vanity items
1. Mirror
2. Sunglasses
3. Perfume
4. Comb
5. Cotton pads
6. Scissors
7. Sanitary pads for appropriate duration
8. Pantyliners for appropriate duration
9. Nail Clipper
10. Nail File
11. Bobby pins
12. Hairbands
13. Facial masks
14. Hair curlers
15. Hairdryer

No Holds Barred: Ultimate Exchange Packing List for the Extremely Kiasu

Accessories
1. Earrings
2. Watch
3. Basic Necklace
4. Statement Necklace
5. Rings
6. Scarves

No Holds Barred: Ultimate Exchange Packing List for the Extremely Kiasu

Travel-Light
1. Sling-bag for traveling light to surrounding areas
2. Your intended school bag
3. Umbrella
4. Small towel
5. One set of light clothes + undergarments (in case of flight delays/ unforeseen circumstances)
6. Black pen x 1

No Holds Barred: Ultimate Exchange Packing List for the Extremely Kiasu


Clothes
1. 1 week worth of outfits: depends on what you have
2. Two cardigans
3. Two FBT shorts
4. One school shirt
5. Belt
6. Two thicker jackets
7. Uniqlo's heat-tech long-sleeved shirt

No Holds Barred: Ultimate Exchange Packing List for the Extremely Kiasu

Innerwear/ Swimwear/ Exercise wear
1. Swimming suit and/or bikini
2. Goggles 
3. Bras
4. Underwear 
5. Socks
6. Bicycle helmet (some countries require compulsory helmetwear)

No Holds Barred: Ultimate Exchange Packing List for the Extremely Kiasu

Shoes
1. Slippers
2. Wedges
4. Canvas shoes
5. Basic flats
6. Sports shoes

No Holds Barred: Ultimate Exchange Packing List for the Extremely Kiasu

School Items
1. Laptop
2. Black pens for appropriate duration
3. Highlighters
4. Liquid corrector (chosen because of its slimness as opposed to correction tape)
5. Mechanical pencil
6. Eraser
7. Ruler
8. Foolscap paper
9. USB drive (for school purposes)
10. Envelopes + Stamps
11. Clear file
12. Flat hole puncher
13. Black marker
14. Tape
15. Double-sided tape
> Highly recommended to buy there if it is readily available.

No Holds Barred: Ultimate Exchange Packing List for the Extremely Kiasu

Administration pack
1. Passport photos
2. Photocopy of Identification Card, Passport
3. Student Visa Confirmation
4. Letter of Offer
> Other administration documents as required by your institution.

No Holds Barred: Ultimate Exchange Packing List for the Extremely Kiasu

Electronics
1. Phone
2. Phone Charger + USB cable (for Android users)
3. Camera
4. Camera Charger
5. Selfie stick
6. Laptop lock
7. Mouse
8. Earphones
9. Travel adaptor


No Holds Barred: Ultimate Exchange Packing List for the Extremely Kiasu

Toiletries
1. Toothbrush
2. Toothpaste
3. Shampoo
4. Conditioner
5. Body Wash
6. Shaver
7. Clothes nettings (to protect your delicate clothes)
8. Deodorant
9. Detergent
10. Toiletries hanging bag

No Holds Barred: Ultimate Exchange Packing List for the Extremely Kiasu

Kitchen
1. Metallic pot
2. Rice cooker
3. Spoon
4. Fork
5. Chopsticks
6. Instant Noodles
7. Milo packs
8. Soup essence
9. Local soup essence packs


Obviously if you bring every single thing, your luggage weight might just exceed your luggage limit immensely. For me, a few rules I follow for packing are:

1. Don't bring what you can buy there easily. Bring items that you need and cannot be replaced there. 
2. Bring slimmer alternatives.
3. Push the air out of your plastic bags/ziplock bags before you lock/tie them to maximize space.
4. Roll your clothes.

Good luck in your packing!

Photo credits: x, x, x, x, x, x, x, x, x, x, x, x, x, x, x, x, x, x


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