Start Packing for College Tips for When, Cost and More

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Start Early

The best thing you can do to avoid leaving out some important things, or underestimating what you will need to transport to your college, is to start packing for college early. Early in the summer start making your list of everything you think you might need in college. Brainstorm with other people in your family or circle of friends, and more importantly, ask those who have been to college. The advantage of generating this list early in the summer is that you will be able to manage your costs better and prioritize, in case you need to leave some things out. Also if you start early you are less likely to forget important things come fall.

Excess will Cost You

What you take with you really depends on how far you have to travel to get to your new college and how you intend on getting there. If you family is renting a big van and you are traveling in a convoy of two or three cars just to get you to college, even if your school is half way across the country, you might have the luxury of packing as much as you want. However if you have to fly, take the train or bus to get to school, you may want to be judicious as to what you include in packing. Most airlines now charge for checked bags let alone checking in more than one. Southwest Airlines happen to be the only airline that will allow you to carry two bags for free. If you are traveling internationally to get to college, it gets even more expensive. Trains and buses also have weight limits after which you are charged for any excess.

It is therefore important that you consider excess baggage costs when you are packing. Pack your bags and weigh them well ahead of when you plan on traveling, so there are no surprises. Some airlines allow you to purchase excess baggage discount vouchers before you come to the airport. Packing your bags and weighing them long before you need to leave also allows you to decide whether or not you need to leave some things out outrightly or send them by mail.

You may be excited by your fall book list you received from your college, but leave out books and other heavy items or just mail them. Also, if you plan on making several trips home during the academic year, you may leave some things behind. Then you can go home empty handed and bring some things back with you when returning to school.

Definitely Buy these when You Get There

While it may be tempting to want to bring everything you may ever need on campus from home, it is more advisable to buy some things when you get to school. These include books, school supplies and stationery, dorm supplies, toiletries and any kind of food items. While you will probably need your immediate supply of toiletries, you certainly do not need to bring an entire semester’s or year’s supply with you. You may also be able to order many of the things you need such as books, beddings and other supplies online and have then delivered directly to your campus. You most likely will already have your room assignment before you leave for school, so you can buy things and have them sent directly.

In all, packing for college involves a lot of juggling and making choices about what to take and what to drop. There is no substitute for starting to pack for college early and staying organized.