Sustainable Living

How to Pack a College To-Go Bag

What is a To-Go Bag

To-Go bags in college are essential to any time and money saving lifestyle. Today, I’ll talk a little about what a to-go bag is and why it’s important. Obviously, some of the things I present are extreme, but I’m an extreme person. Don’t feel the need to do all these things, every day, but do consider some small changes to help reduce the wasted opportunities of every day life.

To-Go bags in college are essential to any time and money saving lifestyle. Today, I'll talk a little about what a to-go bag is and why it's important.

To me, college kids are just funny. Although, I don’t go to school anymore, I still have many interactions with them, as I live right across from the campus. They have one of the most wasteful mindsets of any group in America, but most of this is a reflection on the parents, who enable this behavior.

Having a proper college to-go bag is essential to saving gas and reducing redundant trips back home. I’m not sure about other college towns, but during peak times such as the morning, lunch, 3 pm when other schools get out then again at 5, traffic is just a nightmare. No good comes from a kajillion people flocking from one place at the same time.

Don’t be those people. Be the smart one, the one that plans ahead and uses that time others are spending waiting for their time to go, to instead work on your homework or fulfilling your dream.

My first semester at school, I lived about 3 miles from the college. Most days, I rode my bike and I definitely didn’t have time to go all that way and then make it time for class. Having a properly packed to-go back was crucial to my success.

The last couple of semesters I lived about 12 miles from the school. Again, there was no time for poor planning. These are the essentials I made sure I had.

Water Bottle

A reusable water bottle is my number one thing that I always made sure I had with me. In my 4 years of going to college, I never bought one bottle of water. Unless I got a smoothie from a shop, I very rarely ever bought a drink. Not only did I save waste, but I saved a ton of money.

Even on the light days, when I was going to be on campus for just a couple of hours, that water bottle was my best friend.

I also had some snacks like peanuts and raisins to help hold me over until I could get a chance to eat. I hated spending money on junk food that just made me tired.

Laptop/Thumb Drive

My computer and the charger is another thing I had in my To-Go Bag at all times. Even on the lighter days when I thought I’d only be on campus for a class or two, I always had with me in case I got held up and had to meet with someone else later, I could work on homework until our meeting. If I didn’t want to mess with the computer, I would bring my thumb drive with all the things I was working on to make sure I could get to it easily. Nowadays, things like Google Drive and Dropbox are popular. It’s even easier to just keep that updated and rarely worry about it ever, unless you don’t have access to the wi-fi.

Other Essentials

Then the other necessities such as keys, wallet and phone every night I would put them in my bag to make sure I had them for the next morning.


To make my load lighter, I had two notebooks. One notebook I took for the Monday, Wednesday, Friday classes and the other for the Tuesday, Thursday classes.

Then I had my books, which were by far the most burdensome things I had to carry. Later on in my college experience when I drove, I could leave some in the car and come back and get them, but on my bike riding years, it was a bit more difficult. Instead of bringing all my books for that day, I would just bring one or two books to study from that day.


If you drive, it’s always easy to have a change of clothes, just in case you have a spur of the moment meeting with an important someone or a job interview.

Again, this might seem crazy to have a To-Go Bag with all this stuff, but really it wasn’t nearly as crazy to drive all the way across town just chill out for a few minutes before coming back and spending an hour trying to find parking. It’s not about doing all of it, but being more aware of what you might need that day and limiting the time and money wasted driving back and forth.

So tell me, what are you going to put in your To-Go Bag?

To-Go bags in college are essential to any time and money saving lifestyle. Today, I'll talk a little about what a to-go bag is and why it's important.

4 thoughts on “How to Pack a College To-Go Bag

  1. I’m trying to remember if I had a go bag in college or not. I feel like I would have at least carried a water bottle and notebooks for class. Your ideas are great! Thanks for posting on the #WasteLessWednesday blog hop! Can’t wait to see what you post next week!

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