Packing for your gap year can be really difficult, especially when you’ve no idea what to expect. Here are some simple gap year packing tips to help you.
The time has finally come, you have finished the endless years of school, worked hard for all those exams and can finally spread your wings and see the world – yay! When you’re approaching your leaving date it’s easy to get carried away with leaving parties, excited thoughts about what’s to come and to pack enough items to fill a house.
Trust us when we say – you do not need the following:
- Shoes and a bag to match every outfit
- Endless hair products
- High heels
- That gorgeous kimono you’ve never worn but you know you will
Of course you will be able to fit about a million things into your backpack if you really want to, but you will find several problems if you do. The first will be when you put it on your back, feel your legs buckle a little and realise you’ve got to carry this thing round. The second will be when you have to ditch half the items when your bag turns out to be too heavy at the airport. And the third will be when various makeup/ hair products melt or go off in the heat, or certain clothes get wrecked in the bag and you have to throw them away. So it’s much better to be logical, take your time and pack your bag properly. Of course you’re bored with being practical but the better you plan now, the more fun you can have when you start your trip.
Tip 1 – Wants And Needs
Separate your wants from needs and be honest with yourself. Make two piles on the bed, one for wants, one for needs. Then get someone else to come and look at the pile and help you think really logically about what you’re taking – you’ll find your wants pile grows even more at this point.
Tip 2 – Get A Good Bag!
There are a few different types of bag for you to choose from, and it’s important you pick the right one as it’s going to carry all your belongings around in it for a long time. Don’t be tempted to get the biggest bag available because you will only fill it, which means more weight. If possible, get a lined and waterproof backpack and opt for the strongest material. The one you like might look gorgeous but if it’s rubbish quality – it’s going to tear or fall apart very quickly and you won’t enjoy picking your stuff off the floor in the middle of a busy foreign city – trust us. You should also make sure you have a smaller bag in your rucksack for when you’ve booked into accommodation and want to explore without taking everything with you.
Tip 3 – Take Medical Supplies
This is a very sensible option, but you will thank yourself for being so practical when you don’t know the local area and have a mini medical emergency. Make yourself up a mini first aid kit containing –
- Prescription drugs
- Anti inflammatories (like ibuprofen)
- Diarrhoea tablets
- Constipation tablets
- Water purification sachets or tablets
- Insect repellent
- Antiseptic cream
- Plenty of Plasters
- 1 standard bandage
Tip 4 – Take Basic Toiletries
Toiletries are heavy so don’t go crazy with what you take. Take small amounts of everything because you will be able to buy extra wherever you are going. The only thing you should take plenty of yourself is suncream.
Remember, the only items you need to make sure you have are your documents and money. The very basic things you need to get you where you need to go, everything else can be bought when you are on your travels.
And for parents waving goodbye to their grown up children for a while, why not consider renting a self storage unit for everything your offspring has left behind? Think of it – you could gain a guest room or a study for a year, they won’t mind, they’re going to be Skyping you with the biggest smile and lack of awareness of anything other than the amazing time they are having!