If you’re deciding to move abroad, here’s the ultimate packing list you can refer to when you pack your suitcase(s)

You will want to make sure that your moving abroad packing list has all of the necessities.

Being overwhelmed can make it difficult to create your own packing checklist.

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Why You Need a Moving Abroad Packing List

I always forget something, so making a list ahead of time is what I’ve found to help me out the most.

Whether you’re going to move abroad or study abroad, this moving abroad packing list will be useful!

In case you need more of something, there’s always online shopping. iHerb is international and has some great products.

I usually bring a backpack and another type of bag with me on the plane, so I can bring some more things.

Now, let’s dive in and get started on our expat packing list!

Things to Carry While Moving Abroad

Living abroad in a new country means that you will need your important documents. Usually, I like to pack all of the following documents (or copies) in my backpack so they are easily accessible in case I need them.

These items are the most important ones that you will need no matter where you relocate to. You may also want to make a few copies of each.

  • Birth certificate
  • Degree/transcripts
  • Credit card(s)
  • Insurance paper(s)
  • Local currency
  • Passport(s)
  • Plane ticket
  • TEFL certificate – Read How to Get Your TEFL
  • Visa
packing list when moving abroad
Boston, MA


  • AirPods
  • Blanket
  • Chapstick
  • Chargers: lightning, USB-C, USB micro)
  • First aid items: ibuprofen, band-aids
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Headphones- AUX (to watch movies)
  • iPad
  • Laptop
  • Pen/pencil
  • Phone
  • Power bank
  • Reusable mask(s)
  • Reusable utensils/straw
  • Reusable water bottle- you can fill it at the airport after security
  • Sunblock
  • Sunglasses/Glasses
  • Sweatshirt
  • Tissue pack- some countries don’t use toilet paper
  • Travel adapter

Both of these are pretty great. Sometimes the green one is harder to plug into the wall because of the weight.


  • Bathing suit
  • Bras/Sports bras
  • Coat
  • Dress(es)
  • Hat
  • Jeans
  • Leggings
  • Raincoat
  • Shorts
  • Socks
  • Sweater(s)
  • Sweatshirt(s)
  • T-shirts
  • Tank tops
  • Underwear
  • Workout clothes


  • Brooks Addiction Walker 1 & 2– I’ve tried both one and two and liked the first ones better.
  • Sandals
  • Other sneakers


  • Bug spray
  • Deodorant
  • Diva cup
  • Earrings
  • Face wash
  • Floss
  • Hairbrush
  • Makeup bag
  • Nail stuff
  • Shampoo/conditioner- put them in travel-size containers
  • Shaving things
  • Sunblock
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste


Safety Items

  • Addalock
  • Anti-theft backpack
  • Anti-theft purse
  • Vaultz Locking Pouch– I like to put all of my important documents in here (passports, IDs, cash, cards that I don’t use). I hook it up to something that can’t be moved easily. Obviously, it’s not 10000% theft-proof but it still puts me at ease.
  • Wedge door alarm– this is super useful, especially if you are a female solo traveler. Just having this will give you peace of mind.

Travel Tips

You’ll learn some essential packing tips that will help in the years to come.

There have been some times when my bags were overstuffed but the worker let me go- some people are so sweet.
If you are used to traveling, you will come across more and more hacks and you will most definitely get better at figuring out what to pack when moving abroad.

  • Always keep in mind that if your bag is overweight, you will probably get overcharged.
  • You can exchange money before your trip if you are part of AAA. You can also use Bank of America. If you get a Charles Schwab account, you will be able to withdraw money at ATMs worldwide without any transaction fees.
  • If you don’t think you’ll need it, don’t pack it. It is important to note that you will be able to buy basic necessities once you arrive at your destination. If you don’t overpack, you can save space for sentimental items such as photos so you can decorate your new home.
  • Invest in a reliable travel suitcase. You can get a decent suitcase at Marshalls, BJs, Target, and stores like that. It is always a good idea to get a sturdy suitcase that can take a beating. Have you seen the way they are thrown around at the airport??

The best luggage for moving abroad that I can recommend is Travelon.

I have a few of their products- from an anti-theft purse to a carry-on bag and love both of them.

  • If you need to fit more items into your luggage, you can use vacuum bags or packing cubes. I love the packing cubes that I got from Amazon.

As for vacuum bags, I’ve only used them once because I packed too many clothes in them and my bag was super overweight. Woops. Of course, you can always weigh your bag (you definitely should!!!) before you get to the airport so you can avoid the fees.

If you need to bring all of your clothes and such, you should consider looking into a service where you can send your suitcase overseas. This will lower the cost of what you have to spend to get them to your destination. For example, when I went to South Korea, I paid an extra USD 500 for my overweight bag.

  • A travel scale will save your life and your wallet, especially if you are a frequent traveler.
  • Use travel-size packages, especially for shampoo/conditioner.

I always put my shampoo and conditioner in small bottles. That way you can see how much you have and if you need to take out some weight from your suitcase and put it in your carry-on, it is less trouble.

  • If you have large feet, you should research the country you are going to. Many countries in Asia will not have certain shoe sizes. So before you make your own moving abroad packing list, double-check the clothing sizes and shoe sizes in your new country!

Hopefully, this moving abroad packing checklist has helped you out!