So you’re on your way to Perugia in January – congratulations! You have your passport and visa ready to go, and you know you’ll need some comfortable walking shoes – but what about those “I wish I bought…” items that are almost impossible to predict? The Umbra staff is here to help demystify the packing process with a few suggestions you may not have considered….
- A backpack or small suitcase for your RyanAir/WizzAir/EasyJet flights
One of the countless wonderful things about studying abroad in Europe is the abundance of affordable flights, which allow you to visit places you’ve only seen on Instagram. Surely you’ll want to take advantage of that 60 euro ticket to Barcelona – but be warned: cost-effective airlines are notoriously strict when it comes to luggage allowance policy. Save yourself the hassle of oversized bag charges by checking the dimensions allowed by each airline company on its website, and bring an extra backpack or small suitcase that fits within them. Don’t want to travel to Italy with another piece of luggage to navigate through the airport? Fill the small suitcase, put it into a larger one, and continue to pack around it. We also have a scale at Umbra you can use to weigh luggage prior to departing for those weekend getaways!
- Pantofole and warm clothes for around the house
Although it’s called “spring semester,” you’ll be arriving in January, the coldest time of year in Perugia. Because of the high cost of energy in Europe and partly due to Italian law, apartments are kept cooler than what you’re likely used to in the States. Locals turn their heat on for a limited number of hours per day beginning in early November, as prescribed by the government. Many apartments also feature wood or tile floors rather than carpeting. Come prepared with a pair of pantofole (warm slippers), and some sweatshirts and sweatpants for those cozy nights (and days – no judgment) spent lounging around your apartment.
- A USB flash drive
Spare yourself the task of tracking down a USB in Perugia’s city center by bringing one or two extras from home. They’ll come in handy for class presentations, printing papers at Umbra, and sharing photos of your travels with friends.
- Flip-flops for hostel showers and locks for lockers
If you’re planning on staying in hostels, you’ll likely be sharing a dorm-style bedroom and/or bathroom with other travelers. Play it safe rather than sorry by packing a pair of flip-flops for the shower. Some hostels also offer lockers to keep your passport, extra cash, and other important personal items safe, but most of these require that you bring your own lock.
- External battery pack for your cellphone
You’ll be draining your battery quicker than expected between using the Umbra App, finding directions on Google Maps while traveling, searching TripAdvisor for museums and restaurants, keeping in touch with friends via WhatsApp, and taking tons of photos. Avoid a “my phone just died five minutes into a five-hour flight,” moment by purchasing an external battery pack. If you choose to buy or rent an Italian phone upon your arrival in Italy, you can get a compatible battery pack in Perugia for about 8 euro.
And one final tip: don’t bother bringing heels! Europe is the continent of uneven, centuries-old cobblestone streets. Perugia was built on top of a mountain – it feels uphill coming and going. Leave your stilettos at home and use that room in your suitcase for a pair of Italian leather boots!