Airline luggage restrictions can be a pain sometimes, even when you’re going on a holiday; let alone when you’re moving away for university. Having to fit all your belongings in the limited space of a suitcase and the 23kg restriction is definitely not an easy job. So here I am to give you some tips on what you can and cannot leave behind!
Maximise your space and weight allowance
My first tip would be to add an extra checked suitcase to your booking. It will cost you money but if you compare it to the money you’ll have to spend on essentials you had to leave back, it will probably come out cheaper! However, be sure that you can manage to travel with 2 heavy suitcases: if you’re landing in Heathrow and intend to commute on the tube to get the train to Coventry, it may not be practical and only put more stress on you. But if you think you will be okay, taking an extra suitcase could really help you avoid packing dilemmas and make you stress less, especially if you know you’re not going back home for the holidays.
The second tip is definitely to take advantage of the cabin baggage allowance. All airlines allow you to take a smaller suitcase weighing 8kg or less in the cabin with you without an extra charge. Especially if you’re not taking an extra big suitcase, this could really save you. You can find loads of tricks on how to pack smart online, so don’t underestimate the number of things a seemingly small suitcase can fit.
But of course, knowing how many suitcases you’ll take doesn’t solve the issue of what goes in them. Clothes is definitely the most important answer, and here it is important to be smart around it. Wherever you live, you’ve probably heard that England is a very cold country. Well, let me refute that for a minute. No doubt, the climate is far from being tropical and winters can be pretty cold, especially if you come from a warmer country. However, the temperature rarely falls below 0 and when it does, it’s not below -3. The humidity and the strong winds of the British Midlands make everything a bit worse, but it’s not as bad as you may imagine.
You will need a good winter coat, but don’t make the mistake of only bringing thick clothes, you’ll regret it when you’re in a small, relatively packed, and very hot seminar room. It’s best to be ready for some layering, as the weather can also change very unexpectedly. If you’re going back home for the winter and spring holidays, it may be practical to leave your shorts at home and bring them to the UK when you take back your thick jumpers. Also, if you have any pieces that you like but are quite difficult to combine, you may want to leave them back, as your wardrobe space in halls will also be limited.
In terms of expectations that other students may have of you and your fashion choices, worry not; no one will judge you. Come November, you’ll see half of campus walking around in tracksuits and Warwick jumpers, so if dressing up isn’t your thing, don’t feel pressured; likewise, if it is, don’t feel pressured to dress down. Our mentality at Warwick can be easily summarised “To each, their own”.
Dressing up and down brings me to my next point. You may want to bring some more formal business attire, as you may need it for interviews, conferences, and other events you may end up attending. However, you’re not expected to be dressed in a full suit on an everyday basis!
Going out clothes
Regarding going out clothes, again, there is no need to panic. Coming from a country where preparing for a night out is an evening-long ritual, I was surprised to find that going out in the UK is much more chilled: you’ll find people going to the club in Converse and more casual clothes than you may be used to from your experiences so far. When it comes to Warwick’s signature club night, the infamous Wednesday POP!, you’ll find yourself going out in every ridiculous look you could never imagine, like putting huge signs on your chest or wearing a bin bag. Speaking of POP!, if you have any fancy dress items that won’t take up too much space, bring them along, they can really save you time and money when you’re trying to DIY your next costume.