What Should I Take Abroad With Me?

What should I leave at home?
Should I mail stuff to myself?

Take only what you really really (really!) must. Humping heavy stuff around the world is no fun at all. Especially, as it seems you will only arrive on very hot and steamy days or in the middle of an ice storm, neither of which is a lot of fun for “humping” stuff around!


Okay, I’m an older guy so I always think about what medicine I need that I can’t find over there. Ask on discussion boards. but don’t always trust the answers (well . . . never 100% trust the answers on ANY forum about anything).

Generally speaking though most medicines are much cheaper overseas, so don’t bother to stockpile. Unless the medicine you need/want is unusual or very new, it will most likely be easy to find where you are going.

Take What is Critical

Anything critical for maintaining your health, bring it with you.

Other Stuff

Bring only the basics in clothing, you’ll find you can get by with far less than you are used to. Bring a few special photos of family and friends.

Teaching Stuff

Bring one or two reference books. Books are heavy and bulky, but they are often quite expensive overseas and sometimes hard to come by.

But. . . with the Internet you don’t need them quite as much. You can look up almost everything online. And, even the most remote villages nowadays have Internet access (okay, an exaggeration!). But the Internet is available almost everywhere now.

To Bring a Computer or Not

Lots of people use moving as an excuse to pick up a nice notebook computer. To me, it just something to worry about having stolen. A cheap desktop where you are moving will cost you (usually) about half what your notebook will cost. But, prices can vary a lot so ask on the discussion boards or ask your new school. And, often, pirated software (I’m NOT advocating this) is loaded onto these desktops for free or a tiny fraction of what you would pay at home for the same stuff.

Get a big portable external hard drive, load all your essential stuff on it, and bring that instead. It’s a whole lot less trouble!

Mailing Stuff

Not recommended. Things get lost, things get stolen, things don’t arrive. If you really need it, put it in your suitcase. If it is critical, carry it onboard with you.

TED’s Tips™ #1: Most of the world gets by with FAR LESS STUFF than Westerners are used to requiring. In the village where I live I often see backpackers carrying more stuff than what some of the local people OWN. The local people look in wonder at all the “stuff” these people have.

Take only a week’s worth of clothing and a minimum of a month’s worth of critical medicines or anything required for maintaining your health. One month should allow you enough time to source what you need.

TED’s Tips™ #2: Cash is your best friend in these situations. Take enough to buy what you need to get yourself started. That will be the topic of another post.

What’s up in China? Learn about a great internship program on offer if would like to Teach English in China

How to Teach English Overseas and Secrets to Success Abroad
TEFL Boot Camp  is offering a free download of their new publication Seven Secrets of Success Abroad – and along with it comes a bi-weekly installment and revision of their eBook called How to Teach English Overseas.

Great reviews for the Secrets of Success eBook – in spite of the hokey name – and the How to Teach English eBook is being updated and rewritten and sent out in installments as it is ready.

Here they are – click on the eBooks to get your FREE copies! Great information and the price is right, from our friends at TEFL Boot Camp – CLICK HERE FOR THE FREE EBOOKS.



Please let me know what you think of the ebooks – use the comments section below.

I confess both eBooks are written by yours truly – hoping to inspire others to head overseas and live life BIG out in the real world. I would value your feedback!

Author: Ted

Semi-retired EFL teacher/teacher-trainer working and living abroad since 1989 in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.