Guest Article | THE GAP YEAR TRAVELLER’S GUIDE TO EFFICIENT PACKING. Spending your gap year travelling is becoming an increasingly popular choice for many young people across the world. And it’s no wonder – what more could you want than free reign to explore Earth’s offerings for twelve months? With that being said, you’re going to want to be careful with your packing. Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind when choosing what to bring with you across the globe.
Don’t bring a huge suitcase
One mistake you really don’t want to make when travelling is bringing a suitcase or a bag that’s too big to be practical. You’ll likely never see an experienced gap year traveller rolling around with a case on wheels. Instead, they’ll be brandishing a backpack that makes for easy transport wherever they go.
Find yourself one of your own – it’ll need to be reasonably big in order to fit in all the necessities, but don’t try and travel with a bag that’s too uncomfortable. You’re going to be moving around a lot, including a lot of walking, and so you’ll need to ensure it’s suitable for carrying on your back all day.
You won’t need many clothes
It may be difficult to part with some of your favourite outfits, but when it comes to travelling you’ll want quality over quantity. Opt for comfortable clothing that is both light and resistant to any possible conditions. You won’t want to bring many items of clothing, either – it’ll take up too much room.
One thing you won’t want to skimp on, however, is underwear. The Secret Traveller highlights the point that, although tops and trousers can be reworn frequently, underwear isn’t the same and you’ll want to be changing them every day. Bring enough to last you until you can wash them.
Pack some basic medical supplies
Depending on where you’re heading, it’s likely that won’t be in close proximity to any health supplies. With that being said, you’re going to want to bring your own. Pack a little kit that fits in your backpack, full of essentials such as paracetamol and antihistamines, through to plasters and antiseptic wipes or cream.
Travelling, although usually safe and fun, can pose a threat to your health in many different ways. Whether it be treacherous terrain you’re tackling or the mosquitoes that potentially carry malaria amongst other nasty diseases depending on where you’re travelling, you’re going to want to prepare yourself for any eventuality.
Leave room for things you’ll bring back
It goes without saying you’ll probably be returning with more than you flew out with. Souvenirs, keepsakes and clothes you pick up along the way will take up room in your bag, so you’re going to want to ensure you’ve got enough room left for the inevitable things you can’t let go of.
If you find that you have no room left before you’re about to fly back home, see if you can sacrifice anything you’ll no longer need. Any extra clothes that have seen better days after your trip can be thrown away for some more space – be strategic with your packing.
Be strategic when packing your bag
And speaking of being strategic, you’re going to want to have a method to your packing so that everything fits in nicely. Gap Year suggests packing the bigger items at the very bottom of your bag to act as a sort of base and padding to build upon – start off with your sleeping bag.
You’re going to want to make the bag both comfortable and convenient. By padding out the bottom of the backpack with your sleeping bag as well as things you’ll likely not use as much – jumpers and thicker clothes – your small items won’t lose themselves right at the very bottom when you need them the most.