Studying abroad is the opportunity of a lifetime, but I know firsthand how hard it can be to decide what to pack! That's why I want to share 8 things I took abroad that you won't find on other packing lists!

1. A framed photograph

Brianna Elizabeth

Frame a photo of your favorite people and put it in your suitcase. When you arrive in your host country, place the photo somewhere in your room. It will be a sweet but subtle reminder of home and will make your space abroad feel more personalized!

2. Your favorite dressing

Food So Good Mall

If you eat ranch with every meal then you should probably pack a bottle in your checked bag. There's not much chance of finding ranch or Chick-fil-A sauce outside of the U.S. Consider this your warning!

3. A microfiber towel

Walmart

You never know when a hostel is going to charge you extra to rent a towel. Why not take a microfiber towel instead? They're lightweight, fast drying, and compact, making them perfect for weekend trips abroad.

4. Reusable grocery bags

Brianna Elizabeth

Lots of stores overseas don't provide free single-use bags at checkout. You may be able to purchase them for an additional fee, but it's better to be on the safe and environmentally friendly side. Pack a few reusable grocery bags and take them with you when you go shopping!

5. Multiple outlet adapters

Amazon

Sometimes you need to charge your phone and blow dry your hair at the same time, you know? It's just not realistic to take only one world adapter abroad. Buy one and borrow one or two more from friends who have traveled abroad before!

6. Some bottle protectors

Brianna Elizabeth

You're going to want to bring a bottle of wine or an aged vinaigrette back to the States. Take a few bottle protectors to protect your glass bottles from breaking during travel.

7. A travel backpack or purse

Brianna Elizabeth

Travel backpacks and purses are designed to dissuade pickpockets from snatching travelers' personal items. With so many styles and sizes to choose from, you're bound to find at least one travel bag that fits perfectly!

8. An international phone plan with data

Jan Vašek on Pixabay

Save yourself the headache of trying to set up a phone plan overseas by purchasing an international plan from your stateside service provider. Trust me, you will need data to translate menus, book train tickets, and GPS your way back to your apartment.

No matter what ups and downs you face as you embark on this journey, know that studying abroad will be 1000% worth the effort in the end! Happy travels!