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Good things: Suggestions from G/C 2010

When packing for a study abroad field study, it's important to to select carefully and not overpack. The G/C Class of 2010 put together this list to help future G/C trekkers. These are items other than clothing that students found useful. Please stay tuned for an updated packing list based on student suggestions.

Hat -- the sun is strong. Bring a hat that you like and will protect you from the sun.

Outlet adapter -- The plugs are different in Greece & Cyprus, and you will need a different adapter for each country. (see this earlier blog for more information http://blog.lib.umn.edu/ianna006/rachel3/2010/04/electronic-devises-adapter-plugs-converters.html)

I-pod Touch -- Some students really loved being able to stay in touch with friends and family. Almost every hotel has wireless, but not every hotel has computers. On the other hand, some students enjoyed being able to disconnect and really focus their energy on the experience; it is one of the only times that you have a good excuse to disconnect! This is a personal choice.

Clean&Clear Oil Absorbing Sheets -- one student wished she had these along. We prespire a lot and don't have a lot of opportunities to wash up during the day.

Watch with alarm or travel alarm -- you must have a watch and you must have an alarm clock. Combining the two is good! Each year students who rely on their cell phones regret the decision.

Markers, colored pencils, watercolor -- you'll be inspired to use these!

Outlet expander -- many hotel rooms have only one plug, but you and your roommate will want to charge your phone or camera.

Memory cards -- bring more memory for you camera than you think you'll need. Some students used as much as 24 GB of memory. Most average 8 GB.

Dr. Scholl's Moleskin -- This is wonderful for protecting against blisters. http://tinyurl.com/y88gmv5

Hand sanitizer -- this is readily available all over Greece & Cyprus. It's nice to be able to "wash" before eating.

Snacks that you like -- We do a lot of walking and it will be hot. Your metabolism will spike and you will get hungry. Every student should have at least one snack with them at all times. High energy, high protein snacks (like energy bars) are the best. You might consider bringing one granola bar for everyday on the trip. As you eat them, you'll have more room for souvenirs!

Band-aids -- these are a life saver. Of course, you can get bandages in Greece & Cyprus. But, it's better to have them when you need them.

Anti-itch cream -- lots of time outdoors leads to bug bits.

Allergy medication -- if you have any allergies, bring some allergy medication.

Travel money pouch -- many students really like to have a money pouch. You can wear them around your neck or around your waist. This is a very good way to keep track of you passports, student cards, tickets, and money. This year 2 debit cards were lost by students without money pouches...

Day bag -- bring a medium-sized bag to carry your sketchbook, snacks, water, pens/pencils, camera, hand sanitizer, and other necessities. If you bring a bag that is too big, you'll end up carrying everyone else's stuff.

Water bottle -- You will need to drink lots and lots and lots of water. This cannot be emphasized enough. Bring a good, reliable, big water bottle.

Little bottles of laundry detergent.

Microfiber Towel -- These are very light and dry easily. Hotels provide towels for showering, but not for the beach. This is a very important item.

Suitcase locks -- lock your suitcase with the FAA approved locks. They can be opened by baggage inspectors. Otherwise they will have to break your lock. You can use these to lock your belongings in the hotels, too. We have never had a theft from a hotel over the last 3 years, but it doesn't hurt.

Small scissors

Shout wipes or Tide pen

Electrical or masking tape -- surprisingly useful. (fixing broken sandals, repairing broken luggage, packaging breakable souvenirs, taping blister... the list is long).

Headache medicine -- bring the kind you like the best

1 leisure book (preferably related to Greece or Cyprus) -- Books weigh you down and there are English-language bookstores in Athens, Cyprus, and in the airports. Bring a paperback and leave it at the hotel for another guest when you are done.

Photocopies of your research materials -- plan ahead. Make copies of the materials you need for your research presentation. Once you're done, you can throw them away.

Tissues -- Don't get caught in a bathroom without tissue...

Deck of cards -- light and useful. You won't need a lot of time-fillers. Bus rides are often your chance to catch a nap.

Sharpie

Sun-block -- lots of it.

Don't Bother! Things that will weigh you down

These are some things that G/C 2010 Trekkers wished they left at home:

Too much stuff -- bring 1 week of clothing and leave space for souvenirs and gifts; you have to carry your luggage A LOT! The less the better.

Too many bags -- bring 1 piece of luggage and one carry-on that will double as your day bag. For more information, see the entry on luggage.

More than 1 leisure book

Converter -- heavy and useless

More than 2 pairs of shoes

Nice Jewelry -- not a lot of opportunities to wear and one more thing to protect and worry about

Hair product -- if possible, leave this stuff at home. It takes up room and is not critical.

More than one long sleeve shirts -- too hot!

Umbrella -- it won't rain enough to make this useful. It's hot and you'll dry off quickly. And, it will be in the hotel when you need it!

More than 1 pair of long pants

Money pouch -- this is also on the Good Things list (different strokes for different folks)

Hair straightener -- it's too hot and we get up too early to make this worthwhile

Hair drier -- if you can live without it, leave it at home (the hotels will NOT have a hair drier)

Packing List for Men

The G/C 2010 Trekkers have put together a suggested packing list for men.

Note that some items are mandatory. These are marked with asterisks (*).

First tip: pack for one week and bring laundry detergent and some twine with you. Wash things in the sink and dry in your hotel room. Anything more will just weigh down your bag. Try to pack as light as possible. If you won't wear it more than 3 times, don't bring it. You will also have 1 or 2 opportunities to have some laundry done during the trip.

To see how students dress during the trip, check out this flickr collection: http://www.flickr.com/photos/iannacone/sets/72157624296069885/

Clothing
*1-2 polo/golf shirts -- these are dressy enough for a nice dinner or meeting a visiting faculty member

*1-2 short sleeve cotton button down shirts -- it's too hot for long sleeves and ties, but it is important to dress nicely when we meet visiting faculty or guest lectureres

5 t-shirts (no logos, no jokes)

*1 pair of long pants - lightweight cotton -- it gets cool at night, and it's important to have pants to wear to monasteries and on the airplane.

1 bathing suit

3 pairs knee-length shorts -- you will wear these a lot.

1 light weight long sleeve shirt or sweatshirt -- it gets cool at night and its good to be able to layer

1 light weight fleece vest (great as pillow and for layering), jacket or cotton sweater-vest -- you'll need something to keep warm on the airplane and at night in the mountains

1 long-sleeve ex-officio sun-shirt from REI -- these absorb moisture and protect you from the sun. This is a luxury, not a necessity. Look for them on sale and in the outlet.

1 pair of pajamas

*1 pair of walking sandals or shoes (if chosen well they can be used as "nice" shoes and everyday shoes)

7 underwear -- light weight cotton boxers dry faster than briefs

1 hat

1 bandanna

*1 day bag/pack -- pick-pocket-proof (large enough for sketchbook, drawing tools, small sunblock, hand sanitizer, waterbottle, tissues)

Toiletries
1 razor and 1 replacement blade

Travel size shaving cream

*1 large bottle broad-spectrum UVA UVB sunblock -- see this article for information about SPF and sunblock. http://www.dermatology.ucsf.edu/skincancer/General/prevention/Sunscreen.aspx

*1 travel size, refillable bottle for sunblock -- it's important to reapply during the day

Neutrogena Healthy Skin Sunblock Stick -- this is a very useful product that is easy to use and helps encourage reapplication of sunblock

1 travel size shampoo (not all hotels give you shampoo)

1 travel size conditioner

1 body moisturizer

1 travel size face soap

1 nail file

1 brush

30 Q-Tips

Toothbrush

Toothpaste

Floss

Deodorant/antiperspirant

Travel size talcum powder -- this is very nice to have with the hot temperatures in Greece & Cyprus

Health
Medium size bottle hand sanitizer

1 travel size hand sanitizer

Eye glasses

Contact lenses

Travel-size saline

Contact lens case

*Sunglasses -- it's worth investing in good sunglasses!

8 aspirin (or whatever headache medicine you prefer)

8 exedrin (good for migraines & caffeine headaches)

8 acetaminophen (for fever and headache)

8 ibuprofen (good for aches and pains)

*Prescription medication

condoms

Allergy medication & a small tube Anti-itch cream -- many student get bug bites or other allergic reactions

*Band-aids -- for blisters and cuts

*Dr. Scholl's moleskin for blisters -- unfortunately, many students experience blisters from so much walking. Moleskin is an excellent produce to prevent blisters from forming.

Travel size aloe vera -- The sun is stronger in Greece & Cyprus than many students expect. If you get a burn, aloe vera is very soothing.

Cold medicine (tablet form)-- if you get sick, it's nice to have your favorite cold medicine at hand.

*Anti-diarrhea medication

Travel size package of tissues -- don't get caught in a public restroom without tissue. Bring only one package, because you'll be able to get more

Accessories

MP3 player and headphones

Camera

Lots of memory for camera -- students use from 7GB to 24GB!

1 money belt or bag -- this will help keep your money and important documents safe and organized

FAA Luggage locks -- these can be opened by the baggage handlers with a universal key

Small roll of electrical or other tape tape -- this comes in surprisingly useful!

Sewing kit (thread, pins, needle, buttons)

Small bottle laundry detergent

8 feet of twine or cord -- for hanging laundry to dry

1 small scissors

5 shout wipes

10 OFF Deep Woods Towlettes

2 pairs of earplugs -- great for street noise that keeps you awake, a snoring roommate, and airplane pressure

1 travel towel -- dries very fast and is very useful for the beach

*1 large water bottle

22 energy bars

*1 watch

*1 alarm clock

Sleep mask (for airplane and busses)

1 book for leisure reading -- don't bring more than 1 leisure book because books weigh you down. You can get purchase English language books in Athens and all over Cyprus. or, you can trade with your classmates.

1 travel game

*5 quart size resealable plastic bags

*5 gallon size resealable plastic bags

1 dryer sheet (keeps luggage dry and smelling nice)

School Stuff

Photocopies of research materials -- better than bringing books

Watercolor kit

*Colored pencils

*Variety of pens and pencils

*Sketchbook

Paperwork & Documents

*Passport

*International Student ID card

*Photocopy of passport, credit cards, prescriptions, and important addresses and phone numbers

*Bank card (4 digit PIN)

Credit card

Packing List for Women

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The G/C 2010 Trekkers have put together a suggested packing list for women.

Note that some items are mandatory. These are marked with asterisks (*).

First tip: pack for one week and bring laundry detergent and some twine with you. Wash things in the sink and dry in your hotel room. Anything more will just weigh down your bag. Try to pack as light as possible. If you won't wear it more than 3 times, don't bring it. You will also have 1 or 2 opportunities to have some laundry done during the trip.

To see how students dress during the trip, check out this flickr collection: http://www.flickr.com/photos/iannacone/sets/72157624296069885/

Clothing
1 pair of jeans, or 1 pair of capris, or 1 pair of light cotton pants -- it will be hot almost every day. But, at night it gets cool (especially in Cyprus), and the airplane is freezing. You do not need more than 1 pair of pants/capris.

2-3 pairs of shorts (knee length) -- you will wear these a lot. Basic colors are best. Vary your wardrobe with fun colored tops. Try to make sure that all bottoms match all tops for greater versatility.

2-3 skirts, knee length -- most girls on the trip wear their skirts a lot. They look nice for meetings with professors from other schools and visits to churches. They are cool and easy to wash. Choose light cotton instead of jersey.

*1 mid-calf skirt-- this is critical for churches or monasteries. You will not get in if your garment is any shorter than mid-calf.

2 dresses, knee length -- choose light cotton dresses. They look nice and feel comfortable. Some girls used dresses as skirts, getting more "look" out of their wardrobe. If you bring more dresses, limit your skirts and vice versa.

7 tank tops/short sleeve shirts -- bring light colors and make sure they match all of your skirts, pants, shorts. Bring materials that will dry quickly.

1 long-sleeve ex-officio sun-shirt from REI -- these absorb moisture and protect you from the sun. This is a luxury, not a necessity. Look for them on sale and in the outlet.

1 light weight cotton sweater -- It gets cool in the evening, on boats and in the airplane, it's good to have a few layers to keep warm. But, you don't need a lot. Sweatshirts take up a lot of space in your luggage. My favorite travel sweater is dressy, adds variety, and takes up no space in my luggage:
erez.jpg

1 light-weight fleece vest -- great as a pillow and for layering.

1 bathing suit

*1 scarf -- a light-weight pashmina scarf is very useful. It can warm you up, dress you up, and cover your head to visit a mosque.

4 cotton camisoles -- these are good for layering and for wearing under t-shirts.

*1 pair of good shoes -- This one is so important that I devoted an entire blog to it. (http://blog.lib.umn.edu/ianna006/rachel3/2010/07/the-highs-and-lows-of-footwear.html)

1 pair of cute, flat, sandals -- flat sandals (the kind that are made with a leather sole and a few straps) are not good for walking, but it's nice to be able to wear something different once in while. Greek-style sandals take up very little space, but add variety.

3 pairs of cheap earrings

2 cheap necklaces

hair bands

1 pair of light pajamas/lounge attire

1 pair of socks -- if you bring only sandals you won't need socks. But one pair is good for the airplane

7 pairs undies

2 bras

1 hat -- the sun is VERY strong in Greece and Cyprus. It's important to be able to protect your skin from the sun. Every year students get burned. Be safe and prepared!

1 bandanna -- this is helpful to protect from the sun, pull hair back, and has even been used to "magyver" a sandal!

*1 day bag/pack -- pick-pocket-proof (large enough for sketchbook, drawing tools, small sunblock, hand sanitizer, waterbottle, tissues)

Toiletries
1 brush

*1 large bottle broad-spectrum UVA UVB sunblock -- see this article for information about SPF and sunblock. http://www.dermatology.ucsf.edu/skincancer/General/prevention/Sunscreen.aspx

*1 travel size, refillable bottle for sunblock -- it's important to reapply during the day

Neutrogena Healthy Skin Sunblock Stick -- this is a very useful product that is easy to use and helps encourage reapplication of sunblock

1 travel size shampoo (not all hotels give you shampoo)

1 travel size conditioner

Travel-size hair product

1 body moisturizer -- with the sun and salt water, it's important to moisturize.

1 travel size face soap

1 travel-size bottle face lotion

1 razor

Travel-size shaving cream

Makeup

Toothbrush

Toothpaste

Floss

Deodorant/antiperspirant

Travel size talcum powder -- this is very nice to have with the hot temperatures in Greece & Cyprus

1 bottle nail polish

1 cuticle scissors

1 very small bottle nail polish remover

1 nail file

30 Q-Tips

Tampons/Sanitary napkins

Health
Medium size bottle hand sanitizer

1 travel size hand sanitizer

Eye glasses

Contact lenses

Travel-size saline

Contact lens case

*Sunglasses -- it's worth investing in good sunglasses!

8 aspirin (or whatever headache medicine you prefer)

8 exedrin (good for migraines & caffeine headaches)

8 acetaminophen (for fever and headache)

8 ibuprofen (good for aches and pains)

*Prescription medication

condoms

Allergy medication & a small tube Anti-itch cream -- many student get bug bites or other allergic reactions

*Band-aids -- for blisters and cuts

*Dr. Scholl's moleskin for blisters -- unfortunately, many students experience blisters from so much walking. Moleskin is an excellent produce to prevent blisters from forming.

Travel size aloe vera -- The sun is stronger in Greece & Cyprus than many students expect. If you get a burn, aloe vera is very soothing.

Cold medicine (tablet form)-- if you get sick, it's nice to have your favorite cold medicine at hand.

*Anti-diarrhea medication

Travel size package of tissues -- don't get caught in a public restroom without tissue. Bring only one package, because you'll be able to get more

Accessories
MP3 player and headphones

Camera

Lots of memory for camera -- students use from 7GB to 24GB!

1 money belt or bag -- this will help keep your money and important documents safe and organized

FAA Luggage locks -- these can be opened by the baggage handlers with a universal key

Small roll of electrical or other tape tape -- this comes in surprisingly useful!

Sewing kit (thread, pins, needle, buttons)

Small bottle laundry detergent

8 feet of twine or cord -- for hanging laundry to dry

1 small scissors

5 shout wipes

10 OFF Deep Woods Towlettes

2 pairs of earplugs -- great for street noise that keeps you awake, a snoring roommate, and airplane pressure

1 travel towel -- dries very fast and is very useful for the beach

*1 large water bottle

22 energy bars

*1 watch

*1 alarm clock

Sleep mask (for airplane and busses)

1 book for leisure reading -- don't bring more than 1 leisure book because books weigh you down. You can get purchase English language books in Athens and all over Cyprus. or, you can trade with your classmates.

1 travel game

*5 quart size resealable plastic bags

*5 gallon size resealable plastic bags

1 dryer sheet (keeps luggage dry and smelling nice)

School Stuff

Photocopies of research materials -- better than bringing books

Watercolor kit

*Colored pencils

*Variety of pens and pencils

*Sketchbook

Paperwork & Documents

*Passport

*International Student ID card

*Photocopy of passport, credit cards, prescriptions, and important addresses and phone numbers

*Bank card (4 digit PIN)

Credit card

Luggage

The size, type and weight of your luggage is important. Over the years, some students have invested in a new piece of luggage for this trip, and they have found it useful year after year. If you purchase your luggage at REI with a membership, you can return it at anytime (even after 50 years!).

Many students recommend that you bring a backpack style bag rather than a rolling bag. In certain places, like Hydra, it's better to have something you can carry on your back. It's also important that you don't bring too many bags. For this reason, a bag that has a detachable daypack is an excellent choice.

In general, I endorse REI for purchasing your luggage. They have great options, knowledgeable salespeople, and an amazing return policy. If you're thinking about buying new luggage, visit an REI.

Here are some options:

 
0f053c64-1581-4abb-954c-013bd332503a.jpg
The REI Grand Tour Travel pack is an excellent option. It's the right size and comes with a detachable day pack. This way, when you're headed to the airport or walking through Athens, or to the train station, you can have everything on your back with your hands free to buy tickets.

 
bf40397f-b916-4e92-8968-0108b1811935.jpg
The Eagle Creek Thrive Vita Travel Pack is another good option with similar features to the Grand Tour Travel pack. Again, it has a detachable day pack and allows you to carry your stuff on your back.

 
60b8f9cc-ef9a-44d3-8432-7bfe047afa6a.jpg
The REI Stratocruiser Wheeled pack is my choice because it is a backpack and a wheeled bag. So, under most circumstances you can wheel it around, but when in Hydra or walking over cobblestones, you can put it on your back. Like the other bags, it has a detachable day pack. They day pack of this model also acts as a camel pack, meaning that you can use it for biking and other sports.

 
df204967-d13c-41ff-a64c-7e152f4bf05b.jpg
The REI Vagabond Travel Pack is another good option. This one does not have a detachable pack, but it's easy to use when you fly.

 
41HZdswOoxL._AA270_.jpg
A roller bag is a good option, too. The majority of students use these bags with no problems. With these, you have two basic options. Medium size and large. I would suggest that you bring a medium-sized bag (21 inches) and not a large-sized bag (25 inches or larger).

Travel Tip: The Value of a Good Energy Bar

We are going to be doing a lot of walking, looking, talking, and walking! Of course, we will stop for snacks and food, but you might need a little energy boost once in a while. It's a smart idea to bring along some kind of snack or energy bar that you like. Many of your favorites will not be available in Greece or Cyprus; or, they may be expensive. So, pack a few in your luggage before you leave the U.S. My personal favorite are Crunchy Peanut Butter Clif Bars! (http://www.clifbar.com/food/products_clif_bar/1200)

What size luggage?

We are moving around a lot and taking several private bus trips. It is imperative that we do not have too much luggage as the private buses have strict limitations. 

You are allowed one pieced of checked luggage that may not exceed 50 pounds and may not exceed 58 linear inches (roughly 14x32x12).