You’re about to embark on the trip of a lifetime and these best gap year packing tips will ensure you won’t be ready to throw your backpack out of the window after just four days.
Don’t leave packing to the last minute
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 Spain for a week, but a gap year, well, is for a year. Last minute packing is a sure fire way to forget something and leave you frantically trying to cram everything in.
Organisation is key; sort your items into groups and use clear packing cubes to organise them – underwear in one, T-shirts in another. Not only are packing cubes ideal when you need to find something quickly, but they are waterproof, meaning you won’t need to use waterproof liners - which can take up valuable space.
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.
Cut the clothes (and again)
Do you really need four T-shirts, two pairs of jeans and five swimming shorts? You will quickly find that you’re going to run out of space. 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.
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.
When travelling on your gap year you’re unlikely to be in the same place for too long. Remember when repacking your clothes, to pack in reverse order, making sure the last thing in your backpack is the first thing you’ll need the next day.
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, but it’s up to you to make them unforgettable memories.