Packing for a holiday can be difficult. Packing for a gap year can be near impossible. You’re constantly packing, unpacking, packing again, checking that you’ve got everything, then you realise you’ve forgotten your toothbrush. Get used to it. It will happen more than once.

Pack duct tape – it can be used to fix anything, such as split rucksacks.

Carry anti-bacterial hand wash with you to help protect against germs.

Insert batteries the wrong way then if a product is accidentally turned on in your bag the batteries won’t be drained.

Choose complimentary breakfast at hostels, it will save you money and time.

Tell your credit card company that you’re going away otherwise your card could be declined when you try to use it.

Remember earplugs these are essential if you don’t want to be woken up at 5am by the last of the partiers!

Always try local food before anything else, it will be much cheaper than western food.

Research local etiquette you don’t want to be refused entry because you’re wearing the wrong clothing.

Always take your student card even if you’ve graduated. You may still receive a discount.

Tourist in Spain

Pack in well in advance

One of the best gap year packing tips is to never leave it to the last minute. Unfortunately most people do, because they’re used to doing that when they go to France for a week, but a gap year, is for a year. Last minute packing is a sure fire way to forget something and leave you frantically trying to cram everything in.

Plan your wardrobe around your trip

More than likely you will be travelling to an organised itinerary. This is perfect for saving space in your backpack, as you already know where you’re going. Researching the climate etc, will guarantee you only take the clothing you need.

Reduce the clothes Take one item of each clothing – apart from underwear – and do a dummy pack. If you have space, add to it, but if you don’t, make another cut.

Utilise space

Utilising space when packing is key. Pack small items into shoes and the corners of your backpack. Roll all clothes – everything from T-shirts to jeans, shorts, shirts and underwear – rather than fold them, which will save room and also stop creases – if done properly.

Leave space

Many travellers just take the bare essentials, buying everything they need once they’re on the road. You need to work out a happy balance for you.

Remember you want to leave space in your backpack. If it’s full, you’ll only regret not having room to collect bits of memorabilia on your travels.

Pack the back area well

You will be carrying this around with you for the duration of your trip, so the last thing you want is to be uncomfortable because your camera is digging into your back. Pack the area directly in contact with your back as smoothly as possible, to ensure you’re not wincing every time you leave the hostel.

These best gap year packing tips will help you before and during your journey of a lifetime.


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