Packing For University: The Essential Guide

Getting ready to go to university can be quite stressful, especially when it comes to packing your stuff. So here's a helpful list of what to bring with you!

So you’ve received your A-level results and a confirmation that you will be coming to Royal Holloway in September – exciting times! However, as well as being super thrilling, getting ready to go to university can also be quite stressful, particularly when it comes to packing your stuff.

It can be incredibly tempting to dump all your stuff into suitcases but taking everything with you isn’t realistic. Here’s a quick checklist of things that are essential to bring before you come here to Royal Holloway:

Important Documents

  • Passport/Driving Licence or some other form of official ID
  • University admissions letter
  • Accommodation documents
  • All your student finance documents
  • Course acceptance letter
  • Passport photos
  • Bank details and card

Useful, but not crucial: NHS Medical Number, Exam certificates, National Insurance Number


You probably already know which items of clothing you want to take, but here are some extra pointers which may come in handy:

  • Suit or formal wear
  • Bag or rucksack
  • Fancy dress (definitely needed for Freshers’ Ball)
  • Slippers
  • Lots of loungewear 
  • Swimwear
  • Flip flops (especially if you use communal bathrooms)
  • Dressing gown or fleece

Electrical items

  • Laptop and charger
  • Adaptor (if you’re coming from outside the UK)
  • Headphones
  • Phone and charger
  • Extension leads
  • Hairdryer and hair styling/grooming tools
  • USB stick/external hard-drive

Useful, but not crucial: Printer, games console, small TV, speakers, camera, an iron, alarm

Kitchen items

Our halls have a fully-stocked kitchen, so you won’t need to bring a kettle, toaster, microwave etc.

  • Several bowls and plates
  • Mugs and glasses
  • Cutlery
  • Saucepan
  • A wok
  • A sharp knife
  • Tupperware
  • A tin and bottle opener with corkscrew
  • Baking trays
  • Tea towels
  • Cheese grater
  • Vegetable peeler

Useful, but not crucial: A toastie maker, coffee maker, herbs and spices, casserole dish

Bedroom items

  • Bedsheets, pillowcases and duvet cover
  • Coat hangers
  • Mattress protector
  • Laundry bag or basket (best if lightweight for dragging to and from the laundry room)
  • Door stop

Useful, but not crucial: Your own pillow – the ones you’re provided in halls might not be your ideal type.

Bathroom items

  • Toothbrush
  • Towels
  • Paracetamol and cold and flu medicine (needed for Freshers' Flu and the hangovers)
  • Washbag
  • Any personal medication
  • Nail scissors
  • Razors
  • Tampons/pads - a little tip: our Advice Centre provides these for free, as well as other freebies like condoms and STI self-testing kits, so make sure you pay them a visit if you’re ever in need of any of these items
  • Plasters

Academic items

Books and notepads will take up a lot of luggage space, so it’s best if you buy stationary once you are at university. The Union Shop will offer all the essential items you need (e.g. pens, pencils). Here are a few extra bits you may need throughout the academic year:

  • Sellotape
  • Highlighters
  • Scissors
  • Calculator
  • Post-it notes
  • Diary/planner

Miscellaneous items

  • Playing cards
  • Condoms
  • Blu tac/pins
  • Torch