Travel Advice: Technology

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Corey Ryan on the El Escorial hike of FIU Espana Study Abroad. (Photo by JW Bailly CC BY 4.0)

LUGGAGE FOR STUDY ABROAD
It is strongly suggested students travel lightly. You can not worry about repeating clothes. Also, all products are available in Europe. You can buy soap, shampoo, extra clothes, cosmetics, a hair dryer and other such items on location.

For France, students have a room in Paris for the duration of the trip. No luggage restriction, although it is still recommended to travel lightly.

The Spain and Italy trips have a strictly enforced policy for luggage of one large bag, one carry-on, and one purse/computer bag. The bus and train transportation between cities have these luggage restrictions/prices. You will not be allowed to put any additional luggage on the busses.

I personally use, and recommend, a hiking backpack for travel through Europe. The reality is that you will be carrying your luggage through European public transportation. Metros often do not have escalators. Trains have limited luggage storage. Busses are cramped. The hiking backpack allows you to have both hands free at all times.

BAILLY RECOMMENDED
“I only travel with a hiking backpack, wherever I’m going for however long. The backpack I use is the Osprey Farpoint 40 Travel Backpack. The shoulder straps have excellent padding, which is crucial for me as I broke my right clavicle three times when I was younger. The fact that the Osprey opens as suitcase does allows me to retrieve something without having to remove everything from the pack. There is room for a laptop. I then have a smaller backpack for day hikes. When traveling I either pack this in the Osprey or wear it across my chest.”

STUDENT PERSPECTIVES
“The last thing you want while exploring a new city is to be bogged down by possessions you don’t need and things you will honestly regret bringing. I have never wished I had brought something that I left back home. On the contrary, I’ve always been relieved to be able to travel efficiently knowing I can get anything I need in the city I am in. A backpack is sufficient to bring everything you would need. If you can afford it, I think an Osprey backpack is the best investment. They have really good quality bags that last. I’ve used mine every year since 2016 for months abroad and it’s practically in the same condition that I bought it in. It’s not the only option though, there are plenty of bags that are more affordable and allow you the same comfort and ease. Definitely opt for a backpack over the other clumsy options, you’ll thank yourself in the end.” – Victoria Atencio

“From personal experience, I advise against rolling suitcases. Backpacking all the way. 🤘” – Patrick Henry

NOTE
This travel advice is primarily directed to students participating in Bailly’s FIU Honors College France, Italy, and Spain study abroad programs. It is intended to help twenty-somethings explore, seek adventure, and truly immerse themselves in a culture. The goals are to travel affordably, travel safely, and to live like a local. Always remember,  however, that what works for some may not necessarily work for you. Ultimately, your decisions are your decisions.

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AUTHOR
Isabella Marie Garcia

AUTHOR(S) AND LAST UPDATE
Stephanie Sepúlveda & John William Bailly  09 February 2019
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