10 Must-Know Tips When Packing For College When Flying
Need to figure out how to get your entire dorm room from your home town to your college campus when it’s a flight away?! I’ve got the best tips and tricks when packing for college when flying that will simplify the entire process!
As I am starting to plan and shop for my own dorm room, I am coming across the same problem over and over again: how am I possibly supposed to get everything I need to my college when I have to fly there.
For me personally, the college I’ll be attending is a 15 hour drive from my town, so it’s safe to say I will be taking a plane instead. While it definitely cuts down on travel time, it makes it a million times harder to deal with the logistics of getting clothes, decorations, toiletries, and more from point A to point B.
Because of this, I am writing this article for you as much as for me. I think we could all use some help and tips about packing for college when flying!
This post is all about packing for college when flying!
Just as an FYI, this article is a little different from my usual. There are very few links and photos, mostly just straight information! I know it’s a lot of words and may seem overwhelming, but it’ll all make sense if you read through it!
Your methods to transport
In general, packing for college when flying is going to come down to three different options to transport your stuff: flying with it, mailing it, or picking it up there.
Fly with it on the plane
The simplest of all of the options is to just fly with your items. Obviously, this doesn’t make sense for everything you are bringing, but a lot is best to be taken on the plane with you.
Consider what you want to bring on the plane with you when you are buying plane tickets for move in day. For example, if you are planning on flying with a lot, it may be cheaper to buy the more expensive ticket that comes with a free checked bag compared to one that you have to pay to check a bag.
Mail it to your school
Option #2 to transport your items from your home to your school is to mail them directly there. With this, you are going to have to check with your school because every college has a different policy.
Depending on the college, you might be able to ship a certain amount of boxes straight to the school a certain amount of time before move in day. Then, when the big day comes, the boxes will be waiting for you in your room or outside of it.
Other schools provide this service, but with an additional charge. If you have the ability to pay, this service is extremely helpful for some of the bigger items that are too bulky to take on the plane.
Pick it up in your school’s town
Your last option to get all of your stuff to your dorm room is to pick it up from stores in your school’s town. However, plan ahead when doing this.
I would not suggest going to stores around town and shopping the day of move in or the day before. Not only does this take up valuable time, but so many essentials are going to be sold out and you will end up missing super important items.
Instead, take advantage of some college programs from larger stores such as Bed Bath. Bed Bath has a program called Pack & Hold where you can pre-order everything you need for your room and then pick it up at a location near your school. To learn more, click here!
Doing this, you are able to make sure the store will have everything you need because it will all be on hold for you. It also makes shopping so fast: all you have to do is go in, pay, and grab all of your stuff.
In addition to Bed Bath, Target also has a similar program.
Once you decide how you want to get all of your stuff to school, here are some general tips to help make the process easier and more organized!
Use a combination of methods to transport
Above I listed three different methods to get your items from one place to the other. I would highly suggest using all THREE methods, not just one or two. Depending on the item, some things are better to fly with while others need to be mailed. Combining all three methods will allow you to get everything to school as easily as possible.
Here’s a guide of what items you should use what method for:
- important documents
Obviously, this is not a complete list of everything you will need and how you will get it to school. I just included some of the most important items for each section.
Color code your packing list
Ok, so now that you are using multiple methods to get everything to school, you want to make sure to keep it all organized!
Although it may seem annoying, it is so important to keep track of how everything is getting to school. If you don’t, you may end up with multiple of the same item or not have the item at all.
The easiest way to keep track is by color coding your packing list with highlighters. If you have, use three different color highlighters, each corresponding with a different method: flying, mailing, or pick up.
Then, once you print out your packing list, go through every item on the list and highlight it depending on how you are planning on transporting it. That way, you will be able to easily tell what should be where.
Obviously, to color code a packing list, you are going to need a packing list! Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered!
Keep things separated
To continue to keep things even more organized, make sure to separate things as you buy them for anything being flown on the plane with you or shipped.
If you have the space, try designating two different sections for these two different methods. That way, when it comes time to pack up boxes to ship and suitcases to fly, nothing gets confused.
Keep “open first” items together
If you’ve read some of my past articles on move in day tips, I’ve mentioned before that there are a few “open first” essentials that you are going to need on move in day.
In short, these items include a tool kit, sharpie, tape, scissors, and more. If you want more information on this and other move in day tips, check out this article: 20 College Move In Day Tips That Will Save Your Life!
Even if you are flying to college, these items should still be easily accessible on move in day! Whether you are flying with them or shipping them to school, make sure you know exactly where they are to grab them easily.
Plan your flight earlier than your move in
Especially if you plan to utilize option 3 and pick up items at stores in your college’s town, try to plan your flight earlier than your specified move in day.
That way, you can go to stores and pick up everything you need before the actual day and don’t have to worry about that on move in day.
Trust me when I say move in day is going to be busy and hectic enough, you don’t want to have to deal with running to stores as well.
Use collapsable luggage
If you are flying on the plane with a lot of your stuff, consider using collapsable luggage to make it easier to get home. That way, if you have one hard suitcase and the rest folds up, your parents don’t have to carry a hundred empty bags on the plane ride home.
Compare prices to figure out what method to travel with things
One of the hardest parts of the whole process can be figuring out what method to use for each item. Unfortunately, there is no hard rule for what you should do, it is ultimately up to you.
However, if you want to keep things as affordable as possible, remember to compare prices of different options.
For example, compare how much it costs for an extra suitcase on your plane versus mailing a box to your school. Figuring out what’s cheapest makes the decision making on how to bring things a lot easier.
Overall, just remember that although this may all seem extremely overwhelming, you will get through it. Thousands of students fly to their schools and figure out a system for packing for college when flying every year, so you can too!
This post was all about packing for college when flying!