Since you’ve already quit your job or negotiated a work transfer,
you clearly understand value of balancing life, work, and play—which
in this case means travel! Working abroad is an unforgettable
experience, not only because you’re paid to eat and breathe a new
culture every single day, but oh, those glorious weekends—they’re so
close you can almost smell the travel adventures.
For some travelers, you won’t start your job hunt until you get
there—which means you’ll have to pack for interviews, as well as daily
work and your epic travel plans. Basically, you need to pack exactly
the right gear for all your possible plans. Chances are, your work and
interview attire will vary greatly from the more casual clothing
you’ll wear to travel. And depending on the type of job you’re seeking
(or the one you’re already contracted for), you’ll need to bring
specific tools and any prior certifications.
There’s a lot to think about!
All in all, packing for the experience of working overseas can
certainly be overwhelming not matter the type of work you have
planned—maybe you’re on a long-term business trip, or working an
overseas job (perhaps as an au pair
, via a working holiday visa, or by teaching English).
For each one, you have to plan for both work and play. Here’s the
you should always have in tucked into your
when working overseas to stay organized and stress less.
Include both professional and casual clothing. Odds are, much of
your time will be spent outside work, traveling, or hanging out, so
the majority of the pieces you pack should suit those needs. As for
professional clothing, include a few outfits that will work for job
interviews in your chosen field, and keep it simple. Think: solid
colors and layers that you can mix and match into different looks.
Women should also bring jewelry, scarves, and other accessories that
can dress up a casual look (but remember to leave the priceless
jewelry at home and pack items that won’t take up tons of space in your
Organize your items into
cubes to keep your tops, bottoms, and accessories separated
and easy to locate.
Also consider what type of clothing you’ll actually wear to work
once you land the job. Though some jobs, like those at bars and
restaurants, will assign you uniforms, you likely won’t know if that’s
the case until you get hired. Hospitality jobs typically require
employees to wear solid, black, or white collared shirts and black
pants, so bring a couple of those from home. Pack the items that you
don’t want to get wrinkled in a
folder for best results.
As for shoes, try to bring as few as possible, and make sure that
you have at least one comfortable pair (remember, you’re packing for
travel adventures, not just work!). For women, one pair of nice, black
flats will work, while loafers are best for men. If you’re applying
for an office job, you might need more than one pair, but consider
shoes you can wear both in and out of the office. And bring something
comfortable that you can wear around town, specifically when you’re
dropping off resumes, like a pair of casual sneakers. Toss your
choices in a
sac to ensure the rest of your gear stays clean.
When I moved to Australia on a working holiday to find a job at a
bar, I didn’t pack a number of things that I wished I had—like my
favorite brands of toiletries from home, and makeup, which would have
been handy for my initial interviews. I later bought items to put in my
but it’s nice to have a few comforts from home to start, like your
beloved perfume or favorite lotion. Just remember to stick to ones
or plan to check your bag.
When you’re moving overseas for a long period of time—or
indefinitely—it’s easy to fall into the trap of packing too many
suitcases filled with too much stuff from home. But the truth is: You
don’t need as much as you think you do.
Consider bringing whatever you can fit in an
carry-on to start and buying additional items once you better
know your needs. If you know you need extra gear from the start, a
wheeled duffel is, by far, the best way to transport your
bags provide you with more flexibility to get around and won’t
hurt your back and shoulders.
For getting to and from work, quick weekend trips, and for your
personal items on long flights, bring the
. The bag has a laptop pocket that opens
butterfly-style, separate pockets for your headphones and smaller
items, and optional backpack straps.
To make your job search easier, bring a few printed copies of your
resume or CV, as well as a digital version that's on a USB drive or in
cloud storage. If you have specific certifications that will further
help you get a job in your chosen field, bring copies of those, too.
Most importantly, bring your passport and work visa. Keep them both
safe in a
belt while traveling, and using and
wallet once you’re on the ground.
Your overseas work trip offers an incredible opportunity. Before you
step foot on the plane, make a commitment right now to take advantage
of every weekend and every second of free time to step out of your
comfort zone and
Related Links (from Eagle Creek blog):
Folders: The Secret to Organizing Your Office
to Negotiate More Vacation Time
to Make Travel a Résumé-Booster