Leave it at Home: The Complete Guide to Packing for a Semester in Málaga

Lindsey Wineholt is an ISA Site Specialist for Spain. Lindsey works with students studying abroad in Málaga, Salamanca, Bilbao and San Sebastián.

Packing for a semester abroad can be daunting, and I’m often asked by our Málaga students for advice. I’ve found that less is almost always more when it comes to packing. One medium-sized suitcase is all anyone really needs. Don’t believe me? Here are 5 reasons why you should:

1. The Shopping – Anytime I go to Spain, I know I am going to want to shop, and Málaga is no exception. Clothes, shoes, bathing suits, you name it, you (and I) will want it. Take a stroll down Málaga’s famous Calle Larios, and I’m sure you’ll find something you can’t live without. Not only is the fashion fresh, but dressing like the locals is key if you want to blend in.

2. Closet Space – While in Málaga, you will be living with a host family in a Spanish apartment, and while these pisos are comfy and cozy, a European apartment comes with a European-sized closet. Even if you bring two suitcases filled to the brim, I’m not so sure there’d be enough room in your homestay.

3. Laundry Service – In your homestay in Málaga, you will get your laundry done for you at least once a week. Let’s be honest, that’s a pretty good deal. Your homestay will make sure that you have fresh clothes each week, so there is no need to bring 20 different outfit options. Just bring a few mix and match pieces.

4. Dress Like a Spaniard and Re-wear – In Málaga and the rest of Europe, it is very common for people to have fewer pieces of clothing, but wear them more often. You might as well completely jump into Malagueño culture and do the same.

5. Late Nights on Cobblestone Streets – If you were planning on bringing your cute spunky new pair of pumps to Spain for those nights out on the town in Málaga, think again. The late night culture and cobblestone streets in the historic city of Málaga make it almost impossible to wear high heels. Do yourself a favor and leave your highest heels at home and stick with a cute, comfy pair of flats instead.