What to bring


Abroad 101




Packing List


Keep in mind that there are significant restrictions on luggage for international flights. We are using US Airways which has the following rules regarding luggage size and weight for flights:

    • Checked-in Luggage (to be stowed under the plane until arrival):
      • Bags Allowed: this will be determined by the airline that is booked for the program flight
      • Weight Maximum per bag: 50 pounds
      • Bag Size:
      • Cost for Extra Weight & Size (tentative - to be determined after air travel is confirmed):
        • $50 for bags that weigh between 51 and 70 pounds
        • $100 for bags that weigh between 71 and 100 pounds
        • $100 for bags larger than 62 inches. Will not accept bags over 80 inches.

  • Carry-on Luggage (to carry onto the plane with you):
    • Bags Allowed: 1 carry-on bag and one personal item. Personal items include a purse, briefcase, backpack, or laptop bag
    • Bag Size: up to 45 inches (14x9x22 in) and up to 40 pounds
    • Restrictions: liquids, pastes, and gels are restricted to 3 oz containers that are sealed in 1 quart-size Ziploc bag. You may carry 1 quart-size Ziploc bag with as many 3 oz containers as you can stuff inside. You cannot carry 5 oz containers with only 3 oz of liquid. (See the 3-1-1 online at www.tsa.gov/311/index.shtm)


Costa Rica: The average temperature in Costa Rica in July fluctuates between 60 and 80 degrees. Daily light showers are common as well.

Hungary: In July the temperature fluctuates between 60 and 80 degrees in Hungary with little precipitation.


  • Hat, visor, or sunglasses
  • Shorts
  • T-shirts
  • Bathing suit
  • Water/Swim shoes
  • Whitewater Rafting recommendations (Costa Rica):
    • Shoes: Teva’s, Chaco’s or Aqua Socks. Shoes should strap around your ankle. NO FLOPS!
    • Bathing Suit underneath clothes
  • Comfortable shoes: flip flops for beach, but sturdy trail shoes or hiking shoes for rainforest, zip line, city walks, etc.
  • Light raincoat or waterproof windbreaker with hood



  • Waterproof watch
  • Beach Towel
  • Snacks for long tours and free time
  • Washcloths for stay in Murray
After you arrive on campus, we will provide you with the following:
  • battery-operated alarm clock
  • water bottle
  • Journal
  • Sheet set (no blanket) and bath towel for use in Murray



  • Small bag/backpack/beach bag for day trips and beach visits
  • Camera & charger
  • Lightweight luggage that is NOT black or red!
  • Covered luggage tags
  • Cell phone & charger
  • Sunscreen!!!!
  • Bug Repellant!!!
  • 3 oz containers for liquids packed in your carry-on
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Medicine: over the counter meds you know work for you + ample supply of prescription medications.
  • Luggage locks that are TSA-approved
  • Blanket for Murray (we will not have a place to store this while you are in CR)
Do NOT Bring
  • Dressy clothing
  • Clothing that can’t get dirty
  • Currency converters
  • Only tank tops
  • Clothing that is too revealing
  • Only dresses or skirts
  • Clothes that are uncomfortable
  • Expensive Jewelry!!
  • NEW shoes – they will kill your feet

Notes on Packing


Pack Light.

  • Even though you are allowed to have 2 bags at 50 pounds each, it is not recommended to take that much for this program. On a one-week program you should be able to comfortably pack all you need in one checked bag and a carry-on and personal item.
  • YOU have to carry what you pack. Beginning with your arrival at MSU for check-in, it will be your responsibility to get your bags into and out of vehicles, up and down stairs, and through sidewalks and streets. No one else will carry your bags for you.
  • If your baggage goes over the weight limit by the airline, you WILL have to pay extra. Be prepared for this. Do NOT hold up the group arguing with the airline over this or expect anyone else to pay this for you.


Save Space.

  • Roll your clothes when you are packing.
  • To allow space for what you buy while abroad, think of packing an empty duffle bag or smaller piece of luggage inside your checked bag.
  • DO NOT OVERPACK! A good rule of thumb is to put everything you think you will need onto your bed and then put about 1/3 of it away.


Be Safe.

  • Use luggage tags that are covered so you are not unintentionally providing your personal contact information to everyone you walk by.
  • Write your name, address, phone number, and email address on the INSIDE of both your checked luggage and your carry-on bags.
  • Because of security checks, use only TSA Approved locks on your checked luggage. If you do not, your lock may be cut if it is picked for a search.
  • Think of adding ribbon or tape to your checked luggage or buy a crazy color or polka dot luggage to make it stand out as it comes down the airport luggage carousel. This helps with quick identification of your bags.


Be Sensible.

  • Use weatherchannel.com to help you plan for the weather.
  • Make sure you have comfortable shoes and a change of shoes. These should NOT be new shoes, but some that you have worn for some time BEFORE the trip.
  • If your camera uses disposable batteries, take extra with you. You may consider an extra memory card as well. You do not want to be in the middle of an excursion and have your batteries die or run out of space while trying to take a great photo.
  • Pack all valuables in your carry-on luggage only.
  • Carry all electronics and chargers in your carry-on luggage.
  • Pack prescription medications in your carry-on luggage.


Follow Guidelines.

  • Be sure to follow the liquid restrictions for your carry-on luggage. You cannot pack any liquids in containers larger than 3 ounces in your carry-on. See the TSA guidelines for the 3-1-1: www.tsa.gov/311/index.shtm
  • Do not pack sharp items such as razor blades, knives, or scissors in your carry-on. See the TSA site above for restrictions on carry-on items.

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