What to pack

Packing for any trip, whether you are going away for the weekend or a month can be daunting but packing for a trip in a new country is something else entirely! There are lots of things to think about such as weather, cultural differences and availability of your favourite products.

W have put together this handy guide to highlight the different things you should consider when packing for your trip, what things you absolutely must have and what you can leave at home.

Top Tip: be sure to contact your accommodation before travel to make sure you know what will be provided for when you arrive.


 The first thing you need to consider when you begin packing is how many suitcases you can bring and what size they are. Every airline will have its own restrictions but most will allow you one large suitcase up to about 20kg, one piece of carry-on or hand luggage up to about 10kg and one personal item. Some airlines might allow you much more and others may charge you for additional bags so it is important that you do your research.

In your hand luggage, you should have:

  • All of the important documents you have (remember to keep a copy of all your important documents in your main luggage also as a spare)
  • A jumper or coat as it may be cooler in the UK compared to your home country
  • Money
  • Mobile phone and/ or tablet
  • Light change of clothes and some essentials in case of any unexpected luggage issues
  • Any necessary medicines and hygiene products you may need for travel or in the first few days after arrival 
  • Liquids you need for travel or in the first few days after arrival that are under 100ml and which fit in a small, clear plastic bag

Please always make sure you pack your own luggage so that you know what you are carrying, so that if a customs officer asks anything you can answer.

Please also be aware that there are certain restrictions and items that are banned from hand luggage. Please make sure you are aware of this information by reading the official information on the UK government's website.

Important documents and money

Whenever you travel, there are lots of documents to keep track of. Luckily, many of these things are now available on your phone or secured in your passport, but make sure you have accounted for everything on the following list. You do not want to be stuck at the border without!

 Money makes the world go round and it also helps you go around the world! You will not be able to open a bank account until you are fully enrolled so make sure you are prepared for any expenses for your first few days including while you travel.

Make sure you have:


  • Passport
  • Visa
  • Any other required ID
  • Passport sized pictures 

Travel documents

  • Boarding pass (printed or electronic)
  • Travel insurance details
  • Details of accommodation (including address and phone number)
  • Details of your transport to the university/ accommodation

Proof of education documents

  • Offer letter from university
  • Details of funding or sponsor
  • Your educational trascripts and certificates
  • Proof of English qualifications


  • Proof of finances
  • Some cash for travelling (£200-£400). Top Tip: companies like Travelex will let you pre-order money so you can pick it up when you arrive at the airport
  • Bank/ credit cards (make sure your bank knows you are travelling)
  • Coins for machines/ trolleys


  • Other insurance details
  • Contact details for your embassy or consulate (for emergencies only)
  • Main contact at the university
  • Contact details for the Student Support Team
  • Necessary health documents

Health and hygiene

Whenever we travel, it is important to make sure we look after our health. Even if you are generally very healthy, you need to be prepared for common illnesses that can happen when you travel to a new country.

 For example; some people get an upset stomach when they fly or suffer from headaches with the stress of travel. Others might contract a cold from being around so many people in the airport.

 Visitor Visa Holders: If you are only here for a few months you should talk to your doctor about any medication you are on to find out the best way to access this from the UK.

Most over-the-counter medications and toiletries are available in the UK but you should make sure you have enough to get you through your first week or so until you get settled. If you have a particular product you love and isn't available here, you will probably be able to order it online. If you are very particular about certain shampoo, make-up or sanitary product, you should make sure you have enough to last you until you have time to locate  and/ or order. Otherwise, just try a new brand! Just make sure you do not bring any restricted items with you.


  • Prescription medications - enough to last you until you can register with a GP to get a refill
  • Painkillers (paracetamol, ibuprofen, aspirin)
  • Cold/ flu medication
  • Medications for stomach problems
  • Allergy medications if you suffer from allergies


  • Glasses/ contact lenses
  • Toothbrush/ toothpaste
  • Personal toiletries and hygiene products

Clothes and UK Weather

If one thing can be said about the UK weather, it is that it is unreliable! So it's a good idea to bring a selection of selection of clothes including:

Outfits for Spring and Summer (15°C-20°C+)

  • Light jacket
  • Light T-shirts

Outfits for Autumn and Winter (0°-10° C)

  • Sweaters/ jumpers for layering
  • Warm, comfortable socks
  • Winter coat
  • Winter hat (beanie)
  • Gloves or mittens
  • Warm scarf
  • Raincoat

Going out outfits

  • Clothes for going out to a night club
  • Clothes for a semi-formal occasion such as going out for a meal

Active wear

  • Clothes for exercising (we have a sports centre on campus)
  • Clothes for country outings (there are many beautiful walking trails)


  • Wellies (easy and cheap to buy in UK)
  • Sports trainers
  • Walking shoes
  • Sneakers

Traditional dress

If you have it, everyone will love to see it!

Electricals, chargers and adapters

No one wants to be without their electronics! Be sure to remember...

  • Your phone (check to make sure you'll be able to use it while in the UK)
  • There are lots of options for mobile sim cards in the UK which allow international as well as national usage (lycamobile/ lebara)
  • Phone charger
  • Laptop with charger
  • Adaptor for outlet. Top Tip: you can buy a universal adaptor cube that can be used in most countries
  • Razor/ hair dryer/ hair styling equipment (or you can buy these in the UK)

The standard voltage and frequency of the electricity supply in the UK is 230 v 50 Hz. Avoid bringing any items that aren't compliant with the standard voltage, unfortunately they carry a high fire risk and, if used on-campus, will be confiscated for the safety of our students. Don't worry though, the UK is packed with electrical stores, so you'll be able to find everything you need once you're here.

UK appliances are fitted with three-pin plugs that can be connected to the UK mains supply through wall sockets – make sure you've turned it on if you're trying to charge your appliance. To charge devices that are compatible with this voltage, simply buy the appropriate adapter from the airport or from high street shops such as Argos. If your device runs on a lower voltage, however, then you will also need a converter to stop it from overheating.

Bedding and kitchen items

It may be worth contacting your accommodation to find out what is provided and what is not. We don't recommend you bringing large bulky items such as bedding and kitchen appliances from home as this will make your luggage heavy and will affect your weight allowance. It can be bought in the UK should you need it. There are also companies in the UK that allow you to buy "student starter bundles" of bedding and kitchen appliances, that can be delivered to your accommodation.

Personal items

Make your new home your own - bring some personal items such as:

  • Some snacks from home
  • Photos or ornaments
  • Books
  • Items for prayer
  • Music
  • Recipes

If you have any questions regarding paying tax on personal goods being brought into the UK, please visit the UK government's website for more details.

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