How to Pack When Moving Abroad

how to pack when moving abroad

You finally did it- you quit your job and you are going to move to a different country! We recently did the same thing. Well, kind of! We ditched Dallas in August of 2016, moved to Puerto Vallarta, and then moved back to Central Texas in December. After living at mom and dad’s for a few months, we are back in Puerto Vallarta and we could not be happier.

People always ask us what the hardest part of living abroad is.

It sounds silly, but for us, one of the most difficult things was packing! How do you decide what to bring with you on a 3-12 month trip!? It is like choosing which child you love more!

Let’s assume you are going to be gone for 3 months or more. How the heck are you supposed to back for a trip like that? Below, we have compiled our best tips, hints, and tricks for packing appropriately.

⇒Know the climate

What is the weather like now? What is it going to be like as  whole when you are there? In the case of Puerto Vallarta, it was almost always hot.

That winter poncho we brought…terrible idea!

Our suggestion is this: even if it is going to be warm, it is usually a good idea to bring one light running pullover and one sweatshirt. One of the two usually comes in handy at the airport!

If it gets too cold in your final destination, you can always go to the mall or elsewhere and buy what you need.

⇒Pack less

Whenever we moved to Puerto Vallarta the first time, we packed way too much stuff! We could barely buy any souvenirs and our apartment was really cluttered with random stuff we never used! 

Here is our much lighter and improved packing list for the move {back} to Mexico we just made! Adapt it and make it your own! We will comment below with any updates as to things we forget, stuff we are using, etc.  

⇒Puerto Vallarta Packing 2.0


7 Workout shirts

12 tank tops

13 nice shirts

2 long sleeve shirts

1 running pullover

1 sweatshirt

1 pair of jeans

2-3 pair of shorts

5 workout shorts

4 pair of shoes (running shoes, workout shoes, vans, olympic weightlifting shoes)

4 pair of swim trunks

2-3 books



Cameras and gear

2 hats


Advocare Spark

1 backpack



14 nice shirts

10 pair of shoes (she likes shoes…)

13 t-shirts (mainly to sleep in)

13 tank tops

4 camisoles

8 pair of workout leggings

7 pair of workout shorts

1 backpack

1 blanket

All of this took up 2.5 carry on suitcases and 1 checked bag. Why 2.5? We traveled with Hillary’s desktop computers so we had the other half of that checked bag brimming with computer equipment (phone, calculator, keyboard, etc.). We feel pretty happy with how much we were able to travel with. When we were traveling, it felt like we had way too much stuff, but that is only because we also had to carry our makeshift bags for Hillary’s computer gear.

Our instinct is to pack everything that we can fit (and then some) whenever we travel. You will want to avoid following your instincts this once. Resist the urge you can do it! There is a good chance that you can buy whatever you need in your destination if you do not bring something along with you. The alternative is having too much clutter in your new home, suitcases that are too heavy and cumbersome and overall just more junk to deal with.

Abide by our first rule in life: Have less!

Keep it Kinetic,

Hillary and Greg

How to Pack When Moving Abroad How to Pack When Moving Abroad How to Pack When Moving Abroad 

how to pack when moving abroad how to pack when moving to Mexico

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