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What Should I Bring to Germany?

Updated: Dec 7, 2023


Germany

Do you have a trip to Germany coming up, but are unsure what to pack?


Let me help you prepare by sharing some packing tips with you!


 

Bring a Re-useable Bag Everywhere You Go


Bring a re-useable bag with you everywhere you go in Germany.


daad reuseable bag

Germany is very eco-friendly country, so there are definitely no plastic shopping bags, and I can't remember ever seeing paper bags either.


While studying abroad, there were many times when I went grocery shopping only to realize I didn't have any re-useable bags with me. So, I had to do the awkward thing of cradling all my groceries in my arms, searching for a place to put them down, to then play tetrus with all the textbooks and notebooks in my backpack.


If you forget like me, most grocery stores have some bags you can buy, but if you always forget you'll end up with way more bags than you need. If you're not shopping at a grocery store, you might not have this option.


Bring an Adapter & Extender

Adapter and Extender

I'm sure it's no surprise that you'll need an adapter when traveling to Germany as the outlets are not the same as Canadian or American outlets. However, along with this adapter, you should bring an extender.


During the first week of my immersion program, I stayed in a hostel where I shared a room with 4 other girls. In our room we only had 1 outlet with 2 spots. Even with 2 adapters, that's not nearly enough to charge all our phones, let alone any other electronics.


Thanks to my extender though, we were able to expanded that to 10! I recommend getting the same extender I got since it not only has Canadian/American outlets, but also USB ports, as well as an adjustable plug for changing the direction of your extender if needed.



Bring Your Own Pillow!


Frau hannah and Winston

German pillows are quite unique. They are huge, square, and flat. Not matter how many times you fold the pillow, it never gets any better. As Ryan Murdock hilariously described it, "German pillows are a crime against sleep".


If you enjoy sleeping, then you should definitely pack your own pillow. When I went on the CSSG program last summer, I didn't do that.


Instead, I ended up sleeping on my travel pillow, a whale who we've affectionately named Winston, for 6 and half weeks.


Luck for me, Winston is super comfy and versatile since he is reversible! By day, he's an absolutely adorable whale, and by night he is an airplane neck pillow!


Bring Cash!


euros

Bring cash with you! Unlike Canada or the US, paying by card is not the most common method. Germany takes data privacy very seriously, so most places in Germany prefer or only take cash rather than electronic payment methods.


On the CSSG program, I cannot tell you how many times we would stop during a road trip only for me to discover I didn't have change for the restroom. That's right, to use a public restroom in Germany you often have to pay between 50 cents to a 1 euro.


It is definitely a culture shock when compared to Canada or the US, but this money often goes towards to bathroom attendants that take care of the facility. It's a similar practice to the restaurant tipping culture in Canada or the US.


Liam Carp actually has a hilarious video on this tip, check it out!



Bring Gifts For Your Host Family


Frau Hannah and her host family

If you'll be staying with a host family like I did, than I recommend bringing a gift to thank them for opening up their home to you.


What gift you bring is entirely up to you. Since I'm Canadian, I brought my host family some Canadian treats and trinkets like maple syrup, maple cookies, Canadian chocolate, and a moose antler beer bottle opener.


What would you bring as a gift?



 

For more tips and to hear about some of my favourite memories from studying abroad, check out my reel on the DAAD instagram page!


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