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Coming Home for College Break--What to Pack?

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Break From College

How to Pack for Break From College

Returning home from college for a holiday break can be a relief from the stress of classes and studying--until you realize you have to pack. While we all dread the chore of packing, planning ahead and making a list of the essential items to bring can make the task much easier. Read on for tips on what to bring home for your break so you can avoid forgetting any necessary belongings.

Seasonal clothing

When you move into your dorm at the start of the semester, you probably only brought the bare minimum wardrobe--college living quarters aren't known for their spacious closets. If you're headed home for Thanksgiving break, it's time to pack up the late summer/early fall attire and put it into storage in your old room. Now when you head back to college, you can lug all of your heavy winter sweaters, scarves, and coats back with you--unless you're lucky enough to attend a university in a beautiful tropical climate.

Books and other homework essentials

If your professors were cruel enough to assign a 15-page term paper to work on over break, you will need to remember all of your pertinent schoolwork materials for your trip home. Be sure to pack all necessary books, notes, syllabuses, and outlines for your assigned papers, projects or exams. Don't forget your calculator if you have algebra or calc homework, or any jump drives with important files you need. There's nothing worse than arriving home and realizing that rough draft of the lit paper you were supposed to finish over break is sitting uselessly on your dorm desk.

Laptop and charger

You will need to have your personal laptop home with you not only for homework, but recreational use. Even if you have a family desktop computer at home, it will be much more convenient to have your own. Plus, leaving something as valuable as a laptop behind at your dorm may not be a good idea. Don't forget to pack the power cord--your laptop won't be much use to you with a dead battery.

Phone and chargers

Cell phones have become like an extra limb--leaving it behind during break is an unfathomable thought. You may think it would be impossible to forget this integral piece of technology, but it's often the simplest things we forget. Before you leave, double-check that you have your cell phone and your charger packed away safely, but still easily accessible during travel.


If you are headed home to your parents place, they probably have bath products that you could use. However, you surely have personal favorites or staple items that you have to have with you--perhaps a special deep conditioning shampoo or brightly colored nail polish. Personal care items such as your toothbrush and deodorant also are necessities to remember.

Interview outfits

If you have any interviews for work or internships while you are home, you will need business -appropriate attire. If you don't have these items back home, remember to pack a professional outfit suitable for interviews, or just dropping off applications.

Jewelry or any valuable items

Fine jewelry or any other items that are irreplaceable or of extreme value should be safely stowed away in your luggage during break to eliminate the chance of theft. While your dorm will be locked up and empty (unless your roommate stays behind) it will help you maintain your peace of mind if these important possessions are kept with you.

Other Things to Remember:

  • Don't forget to turn off and unplug any and all appliances before leaving: air conditioner, lights, microwave, toaster, etc. Make sure any heat-styling tools such as blow dryers or curling irons are unplugged as well.


  • If you have a car at school and won't be driving it home, make sure it is parked somewhere legally and safely--ideally a covered area for its protection.


  • Be sure to lock up! Don't misplace the keys to your dorm--they can be costly to replace

Nicole La Capria  Posted by Nicole La Capria on August 22, 2013

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