So it’s that time of year again, time for eager students to start their first semester at college or perhaps their last. Either way, it’s time for students to check their giant packing lists up and down and prepare to move into a dorm or otherwise cramped living space with most of their possessions. Being a recent college grad, I think I know a thing or two about packing for college, living in a dorm, and going back and forth to classes and if only I had known about a few simple items that AtlantaLuggage offers, my college life might have been a little easier and a little more organized. Here’s my top ten list (in no particular order) for must-have items that will help you pack, protect your possessions, tote them around and generally survive college.
First things first. You’ve got a wardrobe of clothes, books, and miscellany to transport from home to dorm and we’ve got the luggage to hold it. The question is what kind to bring? Well, that’s really up to personal preference, whether you enjoy stuffing a giant duffel to the max or having a sturdy wheeled upright that comes in handy for navigating airports, bus/train stations, and dorm hallways. You’ll be using luggage for weekend trips, holiday trips, and moving in and out every year at least twice so it’s important to invest in some sturdy and versatile luggage that will last your four years of college.
Another great Crossroads piece: the 30″ Roll-Away, which folds up when not in use.
Check out this lightweight Eagle Creek Crossroads sport duffel or the versatile and sporty Briggs & Riley BRX Exchange duffel that features backpack straps for easy toting
For some affordable upright luggage options look into Ricardo’s Venice Lite collection which is lightweight and expandable or go for the tried and true Walkabout Lite collection from Travelpro which features spinners as well as two-wheel models.
If you like hardsides, look into the Antler Camden Town collection which features a youthful look and spinner wheels.
Maybe you’ve already got your own luggage but a wheel is broken, a strap is missing or the handle gets stuck. Don’t worry, just bring it to our store and we’ll repair it for you.
If your luggage is in good shape but needs some wheels or you’re toting some awkward or heavy items, considering buying a luggage cart.
3. BACKPACKS & MESSENGERS
Try this comfy and ergonomic Thule Crossover 19L Sling Pack with padded 15.4″ laptop section.
As a college student I was always out and about each day going from one class to another, to the student center, to my on-campus job, and to clubs and other intramural activites. The one thing that kept me prepared at all times for any event during my busy days was having a sturdy bookbag with plenty of pockets, a laptop compartment and organizational features to hold anything I needed. At AtlantaLuggage we have plenty of backpacks and messengers to choose from that offer padded laptop compartments and many extra pockets.
Check out High Sierra for their great bookbags with padded laptop compartments, drink holders, and MP3 port openings as well as Thule for their innovative bookbag and messenger bag designs.
Also consider having an extra lightweight fold-up backpack or tote for light workload days (yes, sometimes they exist) when you only have a folder or book to bring to class or for weekend hiking trips or city ventures.
3. PACKING KITS
If only I had known about packing kits when I was in school. Eagle Creek makes a wide selection of packing kits that enable you to easily organize small items and fold your nice clothes. I can’t count how many times I couldn’t find my hair clips, my socks, or my desk knick-knacks because they had been strewn about in my luggage. With a packing kit, you can not only organize your luggage more efficiently, but you can also use them for organizing your dresser, closet, wardobe or desk.
If you plan on hitting the school gym a lot, try this Eagle Creek Pack-It Mobile Locker.
And for extra small items like pills/vitamins, snacks, coins etc. try the GoTubb by Lewis N. Clark.
4. COMPRESSION BAGS
One thing that you’ll be grateful to have besides your packing kits are compression bags, which enable you to fit more clothes, blankets and sheets into your luggage so you don’t have to pack too many bags. And of course, they come in handy after unpacking when you have an extra sheet set or blanket that you need to store in the closet or under the bed. Storage space in a dorm is hard to come by so compression bags certainly help immensely.
5. TOILETRY KITS and JEWELRY ORGANIZERS
Something you’ll be doing a lot is transporting all your toiletries to the bathroom, which in a dorm, is often down the hall or at least shared by several people, so a waterproof toiletry kit will come in handy. Even better are fold out/hanging toiletry kits such as the Eagle Creek Pack-It Wallaby or the Ricardo Essentials Deluxe Travel Organizer both of which enable you to hang the kit on the door and see everything item neatly organized. I used to carry a wire basket back and forth to the bathroom, but the downside of that was having to also bring a toiletry kit for weekend trips, so really you’ll save money by just using a toiletry kit.
If you plan on bringing a lot of jewelry or other small items you need to transport back and forth, consider a jewelry pouch or organizer. Baggallini and Cathayana make some great jewelry holders.
6. LAPTOP/iPAD SLEEVES
The STM Medium Laptop Jacket is a great choice.
One thing a college student uses more than anything these days is their laptop or tablet. Laptops show up in every imaginable spot on campus, including the cafeteria and the quad, so why not protect your laptop with a padded laptop sleeve so it’ll last all four (or five, or six…) years of school?
7. WATER BOTTLES
With a busy schedule it’s not always easy to keep hydrated but with this Talus Smooth Trip Foldable Water Bottle you can stay hydrated all day and save space and weight in your bookbag.
Talus Smooth Trip Foldable Water Bottle
And, if you need a place to set your drink, consider a Cup Pilot from Austin House which attaches to your bag and holds your drink upright. Helpful when you’ve got a giant coffee and your arms are full of books.
8. EYE MASKS and EAR PLUGS
Sleep can be hard to come by in college, especially in a dorm where people are chatting up and down the hallways and your roommate keeps their lamp or radio on for an all-nighter. Wear an eye mask and ear plugs for peaceful, uninterrupted sleep.
Try the Conair Contoured Eye Mask and Ear Plug Set for an all-in-one package.
9. SMALL APPLIANCES
A dorm is a small space, and so it helps when you can minimize bulk wherever possible. Consider getting travel-size hair blow dryers and curling irons that will easily fit in your toiletry bag or dresser. Try a mini iron for keeping your clothes unwrinkled. And if you don’t have time to iron, try our Wrinkle Wiz spray.
10. READING LIGHT
Lastly, one thing you’ll be (or should be doing) in college is reading. Sometimes reading is a little tricky when your roommate goes to bed early and you’re left in the dark so try this awesome Hands Free Flex Light from Passage 2.
Passage2 Hands Free Flex Light
In college, I also found my reading light useful for looking through my dark closet and dresser when I had early mornings and because this particular reading light is flexible and battery powered you can take it anywhere and use it for whatever you need.
So if it isn’t obvious by now, there’s quite a few things a luggage store like AtlantaLuggage can offer to college students. Come on in to our store in Atlanta to see our large selection of luggage and travel accessories in person or browse our website for an even larger selection. And just remember, a few years down the road as a graduate, you can also count on us for a vast selection of briefcases, portfolios, and notebooks for your career.