The big trip is just around the corner. You have the flights booked, accommodation and job kind of sorted. If this is your first time in the States and you're panicking about what to bring then don't fret! We have gathered the things you'll need to survive over the course of your summer in America. We know the struggle is real. Here is your J1 checklist:
The first thing you'll need is a folder. Keep the original visa documents and copies of everything in your folder. Have all of the forms you'll need to go through customs at the ready. Don't forget your passport and cash.
The last thing you want is to be stranded in another country with an illness or lose all your possessions. Both USIT and SayITT offer insurance cover. It's the most important thing CT could recommend. Keep a copy in your documents folder.
Read a Map
Read the map of your local area to understand where you'll be living. Keep a copy of the directions to your hotel or accommodation on hand and now the train/subway routes in case you get lost. Most places will have free wifi but you never know when you'll need to go back to basics.
Plan For Expenses
A month's rent, bed clothes, towels or even a food budget will all need to be taken into account. If you're in a warm part of the States you won't need a heavy duvet, a light sheet will do the job. Bring basic work clothes like a white shirt if you're going to be interviewing or know what the dress requirements are for the job.
The Carry On
- Document folder
When you arrive in some US airports you will be approached by people asking you if you need a taxi/cab when you leave your gate. Your best bet is to find a taxi rank and use the service provided at the airport.
The Ideal Bag
The last thing you want to be carrying around New York, Chicago or San Fran is a giant suitcase with a month's supply of food. If you plan on travelling to other states choose a haversack - you'll appreciate the lightness.
Your adaptor is an essential part of any trip. Don't forget it!
The Right Kind of Toiletries
- Tangle tamer brush
- Shampoo/ Conditioner
If you're going with friends split the cash and buy a cheap hairdryer in Target or Best Buy instead of bringing your own. Lads, bring that hair gel you like. If you want to bring toiletries invest in solid products from cosmetics companies like Lush. The have a range of solid reusable shampoo bars and bars of conditioner that'll work for up to 90 washes and you won't have to worry about them being liquids.
The Lightest Clothes Possible
- Work shoes
- Casual shoes
- Vests/ T- Shirts
- Light Dresses
The humidity in America means you're going to be sweating buckets. You should know what to wear depending on the State you're travelling to. If you're staying in New York pack light shorts, vests, and t-shirts or light dresses. If you're planning to live on the East Coast, especially San Fran, bring a light denim jacket or jumper. Bring a pair of walking shoes and work shoes.
Tea bags are an essential for any Irish person travelling abroad. Dump the cardboard box and pop as many teabags as you can into a plastic bag.
A Box For Your Dignity
You're more than likely going to have the time of your life on your J1. The one thing you'll need to remember is to leave out a box for your dignity when you come home. Pat yourself on the back and move on.
Are you excited for your J1? Tell us where you're going in the comments below!