Student Life

Studying abroad? Here's how to fit your life in 2 suitcases

Written by Nikolett Nyúl.

Have you been accepted to Hotelschool The Hague? Congratulations! An amazing adventure is awaiting you! Freedom, new challenges, new friends and an enormous learning curve. You must have gone through all the essential preparations of moving to our Skotel for your first year, right? Paperwork, arrangements, goodbyes and now packing. Yes, that is right, as your departure is approaching, it is time to start packing those suitcases! But how can you actually fit your life in two suitcases? Don’t worry, today is not the day to panic. We have put together some tips and tricks for you!

Preparing to move abroad can be overwhelming. If you are not one of the typical planners with well-organised luggage and a calendar, then it’s time to admit defeat. You need help! But that is exactly what we are here for, to help you pack those suitcases.

1. Check airline restrictions

Before you start throwing in whatever you can find in your wardrobe, start with the number one check: airline restrictions. Believe it or not, different airlines have different luggage restrictions. Make sure that not only the weight, but also the measurements of your suitcase fit the restrictions of your airline. Are you e.g. traveling by KLM, the well-known Dutch airline? While some airlines allow your carry on to weigh only 10kg, with KLM your carry-on luggage and a personal item can add up to max. 12 kg. But be careful, this is a total number so don’t make the mistake of packing a 12kg carry on and adding an additional laptop bag weighing an extra 2kg. They might charge you extra at the gate!

2. Don’t over pack

Though you haven’t had those strategy lectures yet, make sure to think strategically! What is the weather like in The Netherlands? Sometimes it can be rainy and windy, especially around Scheveningen. So if your campus is in The Hague, make sure to pack that raincoat or wind-jacket. Probably both will come in handy. Of course, we get plenty of sun as well, so don’t forget your sunglasses.

The Dutchies are a cycling nation and you will probably find it the cheapest transportation option as well. So, before you start folding in all your long dresses, think of practicality. You don’t want your favourite maxi dress to get stuck in those oily gears.

3. Ask yourself: “Do I really need this?”

Have you ever heard the phrase, “The first stage of grief is denial”? Well, this is totally true when you are packing to move abroad. That is why you need to ask yourself “Do I really need this?" We know that packing that popcorn maker seemed like a good idea. But now is the time to reevaluate. Do you really really need it? Probably not. So don’t forget to ask yourself this question with each and every one of the items going in those suitcases. Remember, you will probably need to fit your life in 2 check-in suitcases.

4. Don’t pack food

Yes, you heard it. Today you are preparing for something that might feel like mission impossible, but it is definitely not mission “how to survive the apocalypse”. This step is indeed one of the most important ones in the selection process. The Netherlands has many of supermarkets and a great variety of products. So trust us when we say you don’t need that extra jar of peanut butter, neither that jar of jelly.

5. Allow yourself some sentimental items

Last but not least, the best part of packing: those sentimental items. Now that you have packed all the essentials, it is time to pack a piece of home. No matter if you are a Dutch student, moving from your parents or if you are one of our internationals, you might sometimes miss home. So make sure you bring something that reminds you of your friends, family or your first pet.