The Ultimate Study Abroad Packing List for Spain

In this blog post, we will provide a comprehensive study abroad packing list in Spain.

If you’re like most students, you’re probably wondering what to pack for your study abroad experience in Spain. It can be tricky to figure out what you need, especially if this is your first time traveling abroad. Don’t worry though, we’ve got you covered! This list includes everything from clothes and important documents to toiletries and electronics. So read on, and start packing!

Study Abroad Packing List for Spain: How to prepare and travel essentials you need to bring

study abroad packing list spain

Pack for your study abroad program so you’re not stressed out, ideally 1-2 weeks in advance. Having extra time gives you a buffer to run errands, such as buying things you didn’t know you needed.

We’ll make sure you don’t forget anything important, and this goes back to starting with the very basic travel essentials so you’re prepared.

These are categories to organize important essential items for your study abroad in Spain.

Health & Safety

Go through your prescription medications, and vitamins/supplements and decide what you will be bringing. Allocate space in your bags for this.

Now’s a good time to check in with your doctor for any applicable important medicines such as travel diarrhea, consistent prescription medications, birth control, allergies, necessary travel vaccines/travel hygiene information you should know, and more. (remember we are doing this with time in advance for this reason!)

You should book an appointment with your doctor about a month before you leave. You should also make sure to have prescription medications for your entire duration of your study abroad program.

Important travel documents

Make sure you have all your important travel documents in order and COPIES in a special compartment – passport, visa, travel insurance, how to get to your school program, school id, driver’s license, etc.

Copies are in case you lose them and you need to prove who you are. Very, very, important in case of an emergency during your study abroad program. God forbid but always best to be prepared vs un!

If you want to rent a car in Europe you will need your driver’s license. Some European travel destinations require international driver’s permit. If you know where you want to go you should definitely get this in your home country.

Cell phone & Data

A cell phone that works in Spain and will have service to navigate you and make phone calls to Spain and to your home country. This should work for the entire semester.


Must have basics – have a good solid reliable suitcase, comfortable shoes, and weather-appropriate clothing for the entire semester abroad.


Don’t forget your toiletries & favorite hygiene products! Sunscreen is an absolute must in Spain. Although you can buy hygiene products in Spain, it is important to note, you might want a specific brand and model. If you know that in advance, bring extra for your trip so you don’t have to worry about finding it in a foreign store when you arrive. (with a possible language barrier on top of that)

Touch of home

Pack items for when you get homesick – your favorite pictures, shirts, souvenirs, etc. This is perfect for when you are feeling disconnected on your study abroad trip and want a quick taste of home.

Social help

Bring items that will help make friends with other international students. Things like a soccer ball, deck of cards, or anything else that can be social! These can be super tiny and convenient to fit into your carry on.

Finally, don’t forget to pack your sense of adventure and enjoy your study abroad trip!

Packing for Spain – what to pack and what to leave behind

study abroad packing list spain

The packing lists below are perfect ideas for students traveling abroad. These are broken down into categories and certain travel themes so you can try to pack light. Factor these things below into your study abroad packing list in Spain for the ultimate packing list catered to YOU!

  1. Where – where in Spain will you be going & what region (look into that, it will help with packing)
  2.  Why – why are you going to Spain – what’s the purpose of the trip, outside of studying abroad what do you want to see and do?
  3.  When – when will you be going and what is the weather like during this time? (not everywhere in Spain is mediterranean climate)
  4.  How – how long will you be there for and how are you going to get around when you arrive (think comfortable walking shoes!)
  5.  Who – who will you be doing these activities with (think age and environment)
  6.  What – what will you be doing outside of studying abroad in your free time? Are you going hiking, traveling, clubbing, or to cooking classes?

Answering these questions will help you learn how to pack items instantly. You should get familiar with Spain’s geography as not every single part of Spain is sunny.

For example, the north of Spain is gloomy and can reach cold temperatures. Wherever you’re studying abroad in Spain, you want to make sure you’ve packed accordingly.

What to leave behind

Don’t bring these things, leave them at home.

Bank accounts or credit cards that aren’t foreign-friendly.

This will charge you an arm and a leg to use or take out cash. I recommend Charles Schwab High yield investors checking account or Capital One venture X as a credit card. They are the best travel account for Americans. I’ve tried a lot and these are #1. Conversion fees and non-ATM fees add up, have this organized before you leave.

Uncomfortable walking shoes

High heels for cobblestone streets and stairs in the metro – unless you want to be uncomfortable walking (which will probably be your biggest form of transportation), consider leaving high heels behind. Shoes also weight alot so this will not help to pack light.

Non-European style

A lot of sweatpants and leggings for going out – Spain is a very particular country, people here get very dressed up when they go out. That means you’ll barely see Spanish people wearing sweatpants, even to run errands. If you’re from a different country that might be a weird thought, but it’s true.

Try to not stick out so much, I would avoid all sweatpants and leggings when going out unless you’re going to work out or to the gym.

Hair appliances from the US or foreign country

Hair appliances from a different country (non European) or America – Buy hair appliances once you’re in Spain and you won’t have to worry about random dangers with voltage. I’ve burnt my hair like this due to incompatible voltages ;D, so definitely a bad idea.

Limited suitcase space

No space in your suitcase- Dont come to Spain with a full suitcase. This means you won’t be able to shop (which is one of the best things you can even do in Spain). Pack light, as light as you can and leave room for memories.

You are going to buy things while you’re here, and your fashion style might even change! Spanish brands are a must-see. And whatever you buy, you’re most likely going to want to take it home. Leave room for those special things.

Too many shoes

Too many shoes – you are only one person and the odds of you using more than 3-4 pairs of shoes are unrealistic. These also might be hard to put in your carry on suitcase or check in bag since it will take up space.

Household items

House maintenance items – the majority of apartments in Spain come furnished and you probably won’t need to buy much. It’s in your best interest to purchase what you need after you arrive to save space and audit what you truly need once you’re physically there.

International packages

Avoid getting anything sent from your home country that can be stuck in customs, for a LONG time! Shop local or wait until someone in the area can bring it to you. If that’s not possible, wait until you’re back. Not to mention, customs tax is pricy.

School Supplies

International students shouldn’t worry about bringing basic school supplies like notebooks and folders. It’s super affordable in Spain, you can buy it once you arrive.

What luggage to bring and how to pack for studying abroad in Spain

Firstly, you’ll need a check-in bag. This is the large suitcase where you pack the majority of your clothes and heavy things, such as shoes and jackets. This does not go with you onto the plane. You drop this off at the airline check-in counter at the airport 3 hours before your flight.

Checked bag

If you have to pay a checked bag fee for your flight, it’s worth paying so you’re comfortable with what you’ve packed when you arrive.

You can bring a majority of the things you need with you in this large suitcase. Don’t forget to weigh your bag so you are within the airport’s guidelines and pay for your one suitcase online (if applicable) vs at the airport. It’ll be cheaper.

Put all the heavy things into your check-in bag and have ways to identify it’s your bag. Some very useful pro tips: Consider packing cubes that help organize your bag by the department. Get apple air tags so you can locate your bag in case it gets lost. This way, you’ll have immediate access to this information and this beats being on phone hold with any airline.

You can purchase these at your home country before you depart.

Carry on suitcase

Carry on is the tinier suitcase that will go with you on the plane. This is what you can use for shorter trips when you’re abroad in Spain. Travel sized toiletries and liquids can not be more than 3.4 fl oz/100 ml so keep that in mind if and when packing liquids.

Anything more than that needs to go into your check-in bag or airport security will throw it out. Pro tip: if you are worried that your large suitcase might get lost, do consider having emergency clothes in your carry-on. Toiletries you can always buy abroad in Spain, so I would make sure you have some clothes worst comes to worst.

Personal bag

This is the backpack or purse/tote travelers use and pack onto the plane for personal items. This is where you’ll keep things like a computer and passport. You can multi-use this as your school bag and travel bag for day trips abroad in Spain. If not, you can use a different one for school and outdoor activities.

Day bag

You will probably want to pack your favorite small purse with you for your day-to-day. If you are a man think of your favorite shoulder bag or backpack. A wallet might be enough but if you need more space consider those for the daily.

Make sure you have a purse or bag that is theft-proof. Pickpocketing in Spain is a real problem, try to have bags that have zippers and always have the zipper in front of you.

Additionally, you can also consider bringing a beach bag or an extra small tote for pool/beach days. If you don’t have space, simply get it once you’re abroad in Spain. A small canvas tote is inexpensive and will cost you around 3-25 euros.

Study Abroad Packing List Spain for the summer experience

  • 3 shorts
  • 3 shirts – 1-2 being dressy
  • 1 lightweight linen pants or maxi skirt
  • 2 camis or A tank for men
  • 2 bathing suits
  • 1 swimsuit coverup
  • 1 pair of comfortable sandals
  • 1 pair of walking shoes
  • 1 set of summer pajamas
  • 10 underwear
  •  7 socks – ankle and light
  • 1 pajama
  • 1 light sweater/light jean jacket for nighttime
  • 1 summer hat
  • 1 water bottle

The ultimate Spanish city experience in spring Spain Study Abroad Packing List

  • 1 pair of quality dress shoes, also comfortable for walking
  •  1 pair of walking shoes
  •  1 pair of sandals
  •  10 underwear
  •  10 socks
  •  2 dresses – 1 for day/1 for night
  •  1 bathing suit and swimsuit cover-up
  •  1 pair of pajamas
  •  3 dressy shirts/tops
  •  2 casual t-shirts
  •  2 light camisoles for women or guinea shirt for men
  •  1 pair of shorts
  •  1 skirt
  •  1 sweater/light jacket
  • 1 jean jacket
  •  1 pair of dressy pants – trousers, khakis
  •  1 pair of dressy jeans – no rips, tears, chains, or slits
  • 1 reusable water bottle

Outdoor activities: Study Abroad Packing List Spain

  • 1 Quality waterproof jacket – appropriate for the weather
  •  1 pair of hiking shoes
  •  1 set of hat, scarf, and gloves if needed for weather
  •  1 pair of comfortable walking shoes or sandals
  •  1 pair of water shoes if swimming (to prevent walking/bruising from rocks in lakes)
  •  1 light sweater
  •  1 long-sleeve shirt
  •  3 t-shirts
  •  2 sets of workout clothes
  •  10 underwear, 7 pairs of socks
  •  1 pair of stretchable jeans/trousers
  •  1 pair of pajamas
  •  1 pair of flip-flops to use in hostels/accommodation
  • 1 reusable water bottle

The winter escape: Study Abroad Packing List Spain

  • 1 very good coat
  •  1 quality coat
  •  1 pair of boots
  •  1 pair of walking shoes
  •  7 thick socks above the ankles
  •  10 underwear
  •  1 hat gloves and scarf set
  •  2 jackets
  •  3 long sleeve shirts
  •  3 sweaters
  •  3 t-shirts (that can easily layer)
  •  2 jeans
  •  2 pants (dressy if possible)
  •  1 pair of pajamas

Electronics: Study abroad packing list Spain

  • A cell phone that works and has data every day (works with GPS, off of Wifi, can call home, can call local)
  •  Phone adapter to use your electronics
  •  Camera & tripod
  •  Chargers & proper wires like HDMI
  •  headphones
  •  Portable charger

Footwear: What shoes to pack to Spain

  • 1 pair of athletic shoes
  •  1 pair of dress shoes
  •  1 pair of boots if studying abroad during fall/winter
  •  1 pair of water shoes if going to beaches, lakes, and rivers (these waters can be rocky)
  •  Can buy 1 pair of flip flops pre-first trip for showers in travel accommodations such as camps and hostels

Clothing: Study abroad packing list Spain

  • 2 sets of workout clothes
  •  7 casual outfits
  •  1 coat
  •  1 jean or leather jacket
  •  1 summer hat
  •  1 set of hat gloves and scarf
  •  1 rain jacket if in gloomy weather
  •  3 going out outfits
  •  Intimates to last you a week – 7+ bras, 7+ underwear, 10 pairs of socks
  •  1-2 bathing suits
  •  7 complete casual day-to-day outfits
  •  1-2 sets of PJs

Hygiene products: Study abroad packing list Spain

You won’t need more than travel size toiletries to help set you up at the beginning of your stay, after that you can go to the supermarket.

  • Travel medicines – travel diarrhea, malaria, etc
  •  Prescription – birth control, contact lenses
  •  Oral hygiene – toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash
  •  Body wash & hand wash
  •  Hair products: brush, shampoo, conditioner, leave-in, styling cream
  •  Deodorant, razors & shaving cream if you shave
  •  Feminine products such as cups, and tampons if like a specific style

Study abroad packing list Spain: Beauty products

  • Cleanser
  •  Toner
  •  Exfoliant
  •  Moisturizer
  •  SPF
  •  Makeup & makeup brushes

If you like a brand try to pack it with you, if not travel size should do the trick and you can buy later.


These are just a few of the many packing tips and tricks that will help make your study abroad experience in Spain everything you’ve ever dreamed of – and more! To study abroad in Spain will be super fun, enjoy!

With a little bit of planning and some savvy packing techniques, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying all that this amazing country has to offer.

Thanks for reading and Hasta pronto!


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