Backpacker and Gap Year Essentials

Gap year travel should be an exciting experience. Below is a list of items that we believe should make your travels a little less likely to be spoilt by annoying incidents. Having to carry everything does limit your luggage weight. Everything can be scaled down and most can replenished whilst you are on your travels.

We have also produced a short guide on how to avoid some of the hazards whist you are away. For example there are customs in other countries that you should be aware of and make sure that your own personal safety is protected at all times. So don't go into areas that your instincts tell you not to venture into and do your homework as to where it is safe to stay and travel. For more information check out our Handy Safety Tips While Abroad.

There are some items that you just can't go without especially if traveling abroad and these are:-


  • Visas
  • Passport
  • Travel Insurance Policy
  • Travellers Cheques
  • Driving Licence


Essential equipment to take

  • If you are planning to take a rucksack the size will differ from guys to girls. The girls back pack should be no more than a 60 litre model and the guys should go for no more than 75 litres.
  • A lightweight sleeping bag with maximum heat efficency - you might like to invest in a mat in order to keep your bag dry and for added comfort.
  • A sheet liner will be most welcome not only if you are using your sleeping bag bit also for those suspect hotel beds!
  • However big your ruck sack is, it will never be big enough for all the clothes you would like to take. Layers are a good idea for both hot and cold climates as you can reduce or increase as you like. Heavy clothes such as jeans or bulky sweaters should be kept to a minimum. Fleeces are cheap, warm and lightweight. Footware is important and should be packed for comfort. You will need sturdy shoes or boots and they should be worn in before you go. Thick socks will keep your feet warm during cold nights!
  • See through plastic toiletry bags are a good idea. You can see at a glance what you have without unpacking everything. Loo roll is a good idea as are tissues, condoms and tampons.
  • Take a medical bag with you and include such items as thread worm tablets, indegestion tabs, headache pills, muscle rubs, anitseptic cream, insect repellant, and plasters.
  • Rehydration kit, malaria tablets.
  • A refillable water bottle.
  • Sunglasses and high sun factor cream.
  • Swiss army knife.
  • Alarm clock.
  • Personal alarm.
  • Torch and batteries.
  • List of telephone numbers.
  • Body wipes.