Paris Packing list: Round 1

So begins the challenging task of packing for a year abroad in Paris. Not only do I have to pack for a whole year but 4 seasons! The first step I took was to go out and purchase two 29 inch suitcases which I thought would be the best option considering they were on sale 25 % off.

After purchasing the suitcases my neighbor gave me her huge backpack that she used while backpacking over Europe. I think that I will return one of the suitcase and then take the backpack and one of the larger cases because after my contract is up I plan to travel to the places in Europe that I don’t get to see during the year.

I had a really hard time deciding what jackets I would need because here in Canada I’m used to the winters being blistering cold where it’s essential to have a puffer down filled coat. I’m someone that is typically always cold even when everyone else isn’t so I figured that I should bring my winter coat just in case the pea coat doesn’t work. A rain jacket is essential so I’m bringing my green north face jacket.




  • 2 pairs of jeans
  • 1 pair dress pants
  • 1 pair black skinny jeans
  • lululemon astro pants
  • lululemon wunder under crops
  • 1 black skirt
  • lululemon run shorts



  • 3 v neck t-shirts
  • Black, white, grey
  • 3 tank tops
  • Black, white, patterned
  • 2 lululemon racer back tanks



  • 1 Black blazer
  • 1 grey sweater
  • 1 black sweater
  • 4 cardigans ( purple, black, brown, ,white)


Various Blouses

They are light and don’t take up a lot of space so I didn’t restrict on what I wanted to take


I only packed 2 dresses and 1 skirt because I will rarely be seen in anything like this. I’m pretty active so I hate being limited to my ability to do things because of wearing a dress, and quite frankly i’m not into dressing up at all.




  • Brown high riding boots
  • black flat booties
  • sneakers
  • Birkenstock
  • sandals
  • black flats
  • toms


I’m only bringing 2 lululemon hoodies which saddens me because I am a lulu addict, so it’s very hard to leave all of my favorites behind! I do realize that lululemon isn’t even sold in France but it’s what I live in here, and I want to be comfortable while I’m there.


Yes, i must admit I’m a HUGE foodie and a questbar addict so I’m bringing along these 12 bars along with my favorite pb2 because i’m unsure if they will be in France or not!





  • 3 Bras
  • 10 underwear
  • 10 socks
  • 1 sports bra
  • 3 lululemon headbands
  • 1 pair wool socks (what can i say, i’m Canadian and yes I wear them with my birkenstocks)

Personal Items


  • Curling wand
  • make-up bag
  • 1 razor
  • travel bag filled with travel sized products (shampoo, conditioner, soap, PONDS CREAM (necessity) …
  • year long worth of birth control (only one shown)
  • hair, nails and skin pills
  • deodorant
  • 1 package of tampons
  • Toothpaste/Toothbrush * missing



  • Umbrella
  • 1 bikini (might add a one piece for swimming with the family)
  • 1 belt
  • 1 hat
  • 1 pair of mittens
  • 2 scarves ( these could increase…. i have a slight addiction)

Some gifts for my host family! Their daughter is 6 and is obsessed with animals so I brought her a stuffed moose! She loves to read and I found some second hand books for cheap! Random assortment of puzzles, stickers, magnets..

MAPLE SYRUP is a necessity and i’m thinking I may bring along a bottle of wine if there’s room because I must say we make some decent wine here in the Annapolis valley.



  • Iphone & chargers – will be unlocked before I leave
  • Laptop and chargers
  • Camera & Chargers
  • SD cards
  • Ipad/Iphone & chargers
  • Ipad case and charger
  • Convertor for wall plug
  • external battery pack
  • headphones
  • Polar watch and heart rate band
  • Flash drive


  • Passport and copy
  • Visa and copy
  • Plane tickets
  • Contract and copy
  • Credit cards/ Debit Cards
  • Wallet
  • Address and phone number of Host family in Paris
  • Extra Passport pictures
  • Copies of Canadian Resume (you never know what opportunities may present themselves)


  • Water Bottle
  • Ziploc Bags
  • utensils
  • portable wine glass?
  • mini locks
  • travel books/dictionary

I plan on using my north face backpack as my carry on which I will fill with my electronics. I’m bringing a large purse as well as my “personal item” because the extra space wont hurt right?

So at the end of this day long ask of packing I was able to fit it all into one of the suitcases but unfortunately it weighs 55 pounds (over my limit) but I do have the extra bag… I’m going to separate the items between the suitcase and the hiking bag even though it will cost 85 dollars more for an extra luggage but I think I will feel better having everything I want.

I have 33 days until I leave on my adventure so this list will probably change (mostly with add-ons unfortunately ). If anyone has any advice or tips on what to bring or not to I would love to hear it!

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The Mindful Maritimer

I'm a 23 year old travel addict, health coach and thriving foodie! Follow my journey of overcoming my eating disorder while traveling the world!

11 thoughts on “Paris Packing list: Round 1”

  1. The gifts you are bringing look so cute! Also, peanut butter does not exist here (I know right…) so stock up if you are addicted like me! I’m sure your host family will love trying it as well.

  2. I spent a semester abroad last fall in England so I can totally understand the frustrations of trying to decide what to bring and what to leave behind! One thing I regretted bringing too much of was shoes, as I brought a bunch of pairs that I hardly ever wore (I know you are spending an entire year though, so this might be different for you). I would also suggest leaving a modest amount of room to account for things you’ll buy when you’re there, because no matter how much you say you won’t buy you probably will, especially if the weather ends up being different than you expected. Also be prepared to get really sick of wearing the same clothes to work out in day in and day out – that was probably what bothered me the most. I hope you have a great time, what an amazing experience!

    1. Wow! Thanks so much for the tips! What shoes did you not end up wearing? I honestly am hesitant on bringing my black flats because they aren’t very comfy and I never wear them here. I live in my birks, but I feel they don’t really fit with the whole “Paris” fashion. What did you bring for outerwear? ❤

  3. Well since I was arriving in the late summer I actually didn’t bring a coat and opted to use the room for my rain boots instead (which I thought I would get more use out of in freaking ENGLAND but only wore once). Once it started to get cold I bought a cheap light jacket and a pea coat both from H&M that I then brought back with me (though I think I had to wear the pea coat on the way home because I didn’t have any room in my luggage!). I did bring a fair amount of sweaters but then I also bought more cheap ones (and a lot of scarves, just like you!). Layering is really helpful when it’s really cold or if your coat is less than an ideal thickness. Hope that helps!

  4. I just got back from spending 6 months studying in Belgium and I took 2 29inch suitcases and a school backpack. I ended up brining back both of those packed full, a 32 litre backpack and used about half of my Dad’s suitcase (he had come for a visit). So like other commenters said – leave room if possible!! I also agree with the shoe comment, I wasted far too much room by packing so many pairs. I really only ended up wearing my combat boots and uggs in the winter, then flip flops and moccasins for summer/spring. I also found that I overpacked on sweaters (although I was not there for the whole winter and this past winter was very mild in Europe). I tended to always wear a black cardigan or the same hoodie. Also, winter in Europe seems to be different than winter here (at least in Toronto – may be more similar for you) but it was more mild but very damp instead of just harsh cold air so I had no idea how to dress for it! One packing tip I have for you is to roll your clothes tightly – I discovered this when I started using my backpack for weekend trips and it helped a lot when I was coming home! Like Jackie said, be prepared to get tired of your clothes, I felt like I had absolutely nothing there and always stared at my closet for far too long. Although, now that I am home, I feel overwhelmed by my clothing and tend to gravitate towards what I wore while away. Hopefully that helps and have a great time in Paris – it’s a breathtaking city!

    1. Oh wow! that is so helpful! I am going to go with one 29 inch suitcase and I fairly large hiking bag because I plan to backpack after my contract is up next fall! I’m paying the extra to take those both as checked bags so I can still have my north face daypack to take in and out of the city.
      Did you not wear black flats? I tend to wear my birks here all summer and then in winter my riding boots, but sometimes toms..
      You took uggs? I was thinking of leaving them here because I figured they wouldn’t be popular in Europe but they are literally my favorite comfy boot!

      1. Your hiking backpack will be a lifesaver once you start to travel! Especially with those cheap Ryanair flights where you have to pay for luggage.

        I took black flats and never wore them but then again, I’m not really a flats girl – I go for moccasins whenever I can! I also took 2 pairs of heels and only wore them once although where I was living, bars were much more casual than home – I’m sure Paris will be different. I had the same thought regarding uggs so I didn’t take mine and I ended up finally coming across a cheap fake pair that I bought there. To be honest, they aren’t overly popular. Definitely got some weird looks wearing my yoga pants and uggs which is a go to outfit for me at home but I was missing home and having a warm, furry, familiar pair of boots on my feet made me feel better 🙂

        Another thing I found was that it was impossible to have too much underwear and socks. I had to pay for laundry and boy it was not cheap!! So being able to go as long as possible without doing laundry was great. Although those are things you could easily buy there!

  5. Yeah that’s what I was thinking! I plan on backpacking as much as I can.
    I never wear flats here either, I think I will just bring them for when I need to dress up because I don’t do heels. I think it would be wasted space for me to even consider taking them with me.
    I think I will just take my riding boots and then buy comfy boots when I’m there if I need them.
    I literally wear yoga pants 24/7 here so I will probably live in them there as well. I love my lululemon leggings haha!

    I plan on bringing all of my underwear and socks because they don’t take up too much space 🙂 thanks!

    SO you were only abroad for 6 months? Will you be going back?

  6. If the weight doesn’t end up being too much, I recommend getting some of the bags you can vacuum the air out of to save massively on space! Thats what Ill be doing! 🙂 Ill be arriving the 25th of August, perhaps Ill see you around!

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