A “Must Have” Packing List (while living in Sweden)

I have simply moved this post over from my old blog Southerngypsylife…(Not a new post)


Sweden is amazing and has some similarities to the states but I am from California and there are just some things that I can’t live without.  There are many women, wives, and families that live the exact same life as myself and I think we can all agree – moving away, whether it be to a different state or country, is not an easy task.  There are just some things that you can’t take with you everywhere you go, like your family!  Thank the Lord for Skype and FaceTime because many of us would be lost without you.

After living abroad for quite some time, I began creating a list of things I need to purchase before leaving the states and moving across the world.  If you plan to do the same thing for whatever reason, I hope this list comes in handy for you!

The “Must Have List” for myself and possibly others (please don’t judge):

  • PASSPORT! As well as another form of ID just in case you lose one.
  • Family Photos: it is always nice to have a few to frame around your extended home.  You won’t be disappointed to have them.
  • Two of your Fiance or Husbands Hockey Bags: One for his shit and the other for yours.  This doesn’t always have to be the case but every season I manage to stuff my shoes and jackets into his bag in order to prevent myself from having to bring extra luggage (apparently two large bags, a carry on, and a purse is enough according to my man – he is clearly not a woman)
  • Makeup – As you know, I am a makeup junkie.  I love to try out the new brands and products that hit the market as well as film videos and tutorials of my favorite items.  In Sweden, there are two MAC Makeup stores (if you are from or ever lived in the states then you are familiar with this brand).  Both of the stores are located in Stockholm, one in Taby Centrum and the other downtown.  I highly suggest you bring your products from home (in the states) because they are extremely cheaper in the states as opposed to Sweden.  I believe there are only two Sephoras as well and both of them are located in Stockholm as well.  I don’t know where I would be without Ahlens (don’t quote me on the spelling of that store name but when I do run out of some high-end brand name products and need to bite the bullet on the price I come to this store in Stockholm) (located next to the underground train).  There is also another store called Kicks that is similar to Sephora but do not carry all the same makeup brands.  Ladies, buy your go to makeup at home and bring it with you.  I learned it is better to have what you are used to just in case they do not carry it or in case it is pricier.  Don’t be afraid to try some of the Swedish makeup brands as well as The Makeup Store – I have found some GREAT products from here!  If you wear Benefit makeup or Bare Minerals then bring it from home because it is highly priced due to the national taxes in Sweden.  Thanks goodness some of the ladies there gave me the heads up!
  • Just an FYI – The National Tax in Sweden creates higher prices then you may or may not be used to.
  • I am not the biggest fan of H&M Clothing therefore I always bring extra baggie plain everyday TShirts from home or even Target.  I do not like to wear the same clothes or similar styles to everyone else so I try to do my shopping at boutiques back home (Los Angeles) and bring along some favorite pieces.
  • Slippers – Swedes have some great options on slippers and they are common to wear in homes but I always bring a pair from home with me.
  • Bras/Panties:  There is NO Victoria Secrets in Sweden therefore if you love the Brand buy it and bring it with you!
  • Tampons!! If you love your pearl applicators then bring numerous amounts of tampons.  In Sweden, I find tampons do not come with applicators.  (This year I did stumble across one box with cardboard applicators and hell yes I still bought that shit).
  • Hair Color: Because I have a hard time trusting people with my hair and I have an amazing hair stylist in orange county (Kat Park – check her out!) I have a hard time going to a different hairstylist in different countries – I dont know if it is because of the language barrier (which isn’t too bad in Sweden because many Swedes can speak English) or if it is because of the horror stories.  My godmother is a hairstylist for Clairol and has taught me how to color and bleach my own hair therefore I do it myself BUT I always bring my colors, bleach, and developers/toners from home because I can never find the exact same products that I am comfortable with using.  I will try to stuff these in the hockey bag as well ha!
  • Purses / Wallets: I love to change my purses / wallets and have a slight obsession with my collection back home so it is hard for me to narrow it down and bring only a few favorites but I make it happen.
  • Shoes:  I have an obsession with shoes too! I have two of the exact same pairs of every shoe I own – just incase one pair gets jacked up then I have a backup.  I will let you in on what appears to be a family hehehaha – when we lived in Italy I managed to bring and buy a total of 26 pairs of shoes and stuff them into the hockey bags in order to bring every pair back home with us.  My fiance will never let me live that one down and I learned my lesson – you do not need that many pairs of shoes when the floor is cobblestone.  I do bring a couple pairs of boots (flat and wedge; Ankle and over the Knee), a pair of runners to work out and travel in, UGGS (which are not waterproof but keep my feet warm), one pair of sandals for vacation, and a pair of Vans and Chucks.
  • Bathing Suits: Because you never know when you are going to need a couple pairs.  We always find a pool wherever we are living.
  • Perfume: this may not be a must but for me it is because I have way too many perfumes at home and I need to use what I have before I purchase anymore.
  • Jeans:  If you are like me, you have a few pairs of jeans that fit you just right and they are your favorite – BRING THEM! Skinny Jeans, Leggings, Flairs… whatever.  I like a certain style and tend to have a hard time finding a similar pair.
  • Camera:  When living abroad, it is a MUST to have a good camera with a charger – we just bought the new Canon and I am obsessed!
  • Travel ADAPTERS: The more the merrier.  I buy them on Amazon and always bring them with us.  We did go to Apple (In Taby Centrum, Stockholm to purchase phone chargers)
  • Dual Voltage Hair Appliances:  The only thing I am afraid of bringing from home and using an adapter with is my blow dryer – I do not want to have a Snookie in Italy moment (fried hair is not cute).  I did buy a blow dryer in Sweden but other than that my curling iron and straighteners are both dual voltage.
  • Computers, IPads, Iphones, Ipod, Kindles… do I need to explain why
  • Jackets: if you are living in Sweden in the winter time, big jackets and water proof jackets are a MUST. Fleece!
  • Gloves: You can get these here or there but whatever you do, bring them!
  • Spray Tanner:  I have my favorites and some they do not carry in Sweden so I always bring two with me! Im a Tan-A-Holic!
  • Baseball Caps / Toques / Beanies: I bring a couple
  • EarMuffs:  I always bring two – I like to run outside and my ears are very sensitive
  • Drugs:  We always bring our drugs from home.  Whether these are Benadryl (because I tend to have allergic reactions on some meds), Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Sleeping pills (Ambien is my drug of choice – I have a hard time adjusting to the time change)…. Birth Control – I bring my own because it is just easier.
  • Spices: We bring our own.  Just some of our favorites such as chili bean, meat spices… you can find almost everything in Sweden but not in Italy.  We do like SPICY food so we bring our own Chili and Sirachi.
  • Velveeta Cheese: I know it sounds gross but we are addicted so I bring a brick of it and freeze it as soon as we arrive
  • Peanut Butter: We always bring two Large Tubs of Skippy – its our favorite.
  • Comfortable Pajamas:  I bring what I am most comfortable in and I bring lots of skinnies to throw underneath my regular clothes in case it is really cold out – You can tell I am a Cali kid when I want to wear a tank top and leather jacket in below zero weather.  I have a hard time breaking that habit!
  • I would say face creams but I found that Sweden has all the same face creams.
  • Scarves
  • Tequila: I LOVE Tequila but they do not carry Patron so make sure you stock up at Duty Free! (Drinks are extremely over priced in Sweden so the smart thing to do is shop at Duty Free and bring a couple of your favorite bottles tax free – trust me do not pass up on this offer I made that mistake last year and had to be Patron free for 9 months) :((((
  • Think ahead if you are one to follow style trends and make your purchases in the states because it will save you a lot of money.
  • Yelp! This is the best app when traveling we use it all the time to find some major hot spots in different countries.  We are major foodies!
  • Hand Sanitizers: I love to have the purse sized ones thrown in every bag
  • Sunglasses: you may not need them year round but you will want them when you don’t have them or forget to bring them
  • Nail Polish:  You do NOT need to bring this as Swedes have OPI and Essie but I have a few favorites that I always throw in my bag so I am not rushing to find some as soon as I land.
  • Wedding Ring / Jewelry: Obviously you do not want to forget these items but it is best to make sure they are insured before traveling. FYI if you are Michael Kors obsessed like me – buy or bring everything from home because it is about three times the price.
  • Be sure to roll your clothes when packing and stuff things in your shoes – trust this will create more space.  I think I am becoming a pro traveler haha
  • Don’t let the airlines tell you your hockey bag is overweight (first be sure to check the airline policy AS WELL as the Airport Policy – the Airport Policy prevails in Sweden but if you talk to the right people you may get upgraded for the inconveniences)
  • Hard Drive: To download and add movies and shows from back home onto!! (MUST)
  • Apple TV / Netflix:  Buy both because in the end it will be worth it!
  • If you are debating on bringing it, Just bring it!  Most the time you will regret not bringing it later.
  • SideNote – I always bring my most valuables in my carry on – You do not want to have prized possessions in lost luggage

I will continue to add to this list as I am sure many more items will come to mind.  However, if you have any questions, please feel free to ask!  We have traveled to 10 different countries in the past two years.  Hope this helps!


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Vent freely. Live fully. Laugh always. Love hopelessly. Choose adventure. Make memories.... and here I am to share mine with you! For more information - check the "About Me" Section

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