With Christmas coming up, every college student out there is starting to think about what to ask their parents for. You know, all that stuff that’s just a little bit too pricey to justify buying with their own money (like socks). If you’re studying abroad in Europe next semester, then you might want to ask for a few things to help you out while you’re there. As basically a professional study abroad student (I’m going to university in Scotland for ~ALL FOUR YEARS~), I’d like to think I have a pretty good idea of the kinds of thing to put on your study abroad Christmas list.
So here’s my ~professional advice~ on the best things to ask for for Christmas if you’re studying abroad in Europe next semester — all conveniently split up into things that are best used for everyday life and things that are for all those weekend trips you’re going to take. I hope you get everything you wish for 😉
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.
Your Study Abroad Christmas List
For Everyday Life
From a camera to capture all of the best — and worst — moments of your time studying abroad in Europe to the good ol’ comforts of home, here are all of the things that you should put on your study abroad Christmas list which you’ll use every day.
Studying abroad in Europe is going to be one of the most exciting times in your life. You’re going to want to remember every minute — and not just from blurry Snapchats on nights out! A good camera is the number one thing that should be on your study abroad Christmas list. Depending on what you’re comfortable with, there are options for every budget and skill level. I use the Sony Alpha a6300 and am really happy with it. The Sony Alpha a6000 is less expensive but still really good quality if you’re looking to spend less.
If you want a novel way to remember your time in Europe, then think about an Instax Mini camera as well. Having the little polaroids will evoke the ULTIMATE nostalgia for your study abroad semester.
You would be surprised what little things you miss while you’re in Europe. There are loads of things — like shampoo and toothpaste — that you’ll be able to buy once you’re there. But I promise that you won’t regret the suitcase space that a jar of proper, good old American peanut butter takes up. You can buy peanut butter in most countries in Europe, but it’s less sweet and — let’s be real — just not the same.
WHAT TO GET: Jif Creamy Peanut Butter Twin Pack
In this day and age, you have a lot of devices to charge. Your laptop, your phone, and that fancy new camera you just got! You’ll definitely want to grab a few universal adaptors for your time in Europe. That way they’ll not only match the plugs in the country you’re studying in, but anywhere you go on a weekend trip to as well! You can get adaptors for pretty cheap. But if you want nicer, more expensive ones, drop a hint to your relatives when they start talking about Christmas.
WHAT TO GET: Unidapt International Travel Power Adapter
An Unlocked Cellphone
While you could pay roaming charges for the entire time that you’re in Europe, the charges are going to rack up real fast. In the end, it’s much cheaper to go the route of buying an unlocked cell phone. That way, you can pick up a SIM card once you’re in Europe for your study abroad semester and pay a lot less for cell service. Most of the time you can just buy out your contract to get your phone unlocked. If that’s not an option then you can also get unlocked phones for decently cheap off of Amazon.
WHAT TO GET: Unlocked Apple iPhone 5s
A Pair of Comfortable Yet Fashionable Boots
Europe is not the place for your lovingly worn, falling apart sneakers. Of course, they would be the most comfortable thing to wear while you’re walking around on cobblestone streets. But that would be too easy. If you want to fit in, you’ll need to invest in a pair of fashionable boots (whether you’re a guy or a girl). Pick out a pair that is made for comfort to keep your feet from complaining – and stick them on your study abroad Christmas list so you don’t have to pay for them!
WHAT TO GET: Teva Women’s Delavina Ankle Boot
For Weekend Trips
Weekend trips are an integral part of studying abroad in Europe. Here are some things to put on your study abroad Christmas list which will make jetting off to a new country every weekend even better than it already is!
A Budget Airline Approved Carry-On
If you’re going on weekend trips while you’re studying abroad (which you totally should), chances are you’ll be taking a flight on a budget airline or two. To avoid all the hefty fees that budget airlines tack on, you’ll want to take a carry on bag. Budget airlines are generally pretty strict about the size of carry on bags. So be sure to get one (or put one on your study abroad Christmas list) that conforms to their standards. Be sure to check before buying, since budget airlines in Europe have requirements that are smaller than most North American airlines’.
Reusable Travel Sized Toiletry Bottles
Another good way to save money on weekend trips is to have a set of reusable toiletry bottles. That way you won’t have to buy a new set of travel sized toiletries every weekend. Instead, you can just fill up the bottles with your normal shampoo, conditioner, and everything else. You can buy some toiletry bottles for pretty cheap, but I suggest asking for slightly more quality ones on your study abroad Christmas list so that they won’t break after one use.
WHAT TO GET: Kitdine Portable Soft Silicone Travel Bottles Set
A Portable Phone Charger
With your newly unlocked cell phone in hand, you’ll be able to use Google Maps to find your way everywhere when you’re traveling (and Snapchat to make all your friends back home jealous). The worst thing that could happen, though, is if your phone ran out of battery. In the middle of a city that you don’t know. And we all know that every time a new model comes out your battery life goes WAY down. Instead of worrying and trying to preserve your battery in any way possible, put a good portable charger on your study abroad Christmas list. Then, you’ll be connected all day, every day!
WHAT TO GET: Anker PowerCore+ Mini
Reusable Water Bottle
Buying plastic water bottles any time you get thirsty while exploring a new city can add up pretty quick. Instead, invest in a good reusable water bottle — and then bring it along with you everywhere (preferably full of water). If you buy a collapsable one, you can roll it up. That way it doesn’t take up as much space while in not use!
WHAT TO GET:ValourGo Collapsible Water Bottle
Ryanair Gift Cards
That’s right, friends. If the prospect of super cheap flights all over Europe wasn’t enough for you, what about flying all over Europe on someone else’s dime? Do you have one of those relatives that always gives you a useless gift card for Christmas? Then it’s time to drop them a hint. Ryanair – aka one of Europe’s top budget airlines — does gift cards. Now THAT’s a gift card that you’ll actually use!
WHAT TO GET: Ryanair Gift Cards