So you’re getting ready to go on the adventure of a lifetime: your gap year. Whenever you’ve decided to go – before, during or after university – you might be worrying about the mammoth task of packing. Look no further; we’re about to answer all of your packing questions.

What Should I Pack for my Gap Year?

Most packing lists only feature the obvious essentials. This includes things like your passport, electronics and currency. Here are some helpful additions you might not have considered:

  • Microfibre travel towel: they are much smaller than regular towels. They are also extremely lightweight, absorbent and quick-drying.
  • Sleeping bag liner: whether you have a sleeping bag or not, this will protect you from dodgy hostel bedding, bugs, bacteria and the cold. They come in a range of materials including cotton and silk, which will take up very little room.
  • Waterproofs: to protect you and your belongings in unpredictable weather.
  • Versatile clothing: if you’re travelling between different climates, make sure you’re well equipped. A mix of thermals, shorts and t-shirts could be lifesavers.
  • Appropriate footwear: think about what activities you want to do before you only pack flip-flops. Comfortable, sturdy shoes might not look fashionable, but walking boots will get you through hikes and mountain climbing better than sandals.
  • Culturally-appropriate clothing: be prepared and do your research. For example, take a head covering if you’re visiting the Middle East. Also, pack items to cover your shoulders and legs if you’ll be venturing into religious buildings.

How Can I Maximise Space?

If you’re travelling for a few months, it can be difficult to pack everything you need. You should keep this in mind when buying a rucksack – consider a 40-60 litre capacity for a shorter trip and up to 80 litres if you’re away all year.

Decide what you need to take from home and what you could buy once you’re there. Toiletries are easy to get hold of, but medication and electronics can be tough to replace.

If you’re struggling with overflowing luggage, here are some ideas to help you pack in those extra items:

  • Try packing cubes or vacuum compression bags to organise your belongings.
  • Roll your clothes rather than fold them, and save space while reducing creasing.
  • Pack items inside your shoes to maintain their shape.
  • Fill up extra space with underwear to prevent any unnecessary gaps.
  • Take less clothing. Wash it as much as possible while you’re away, so you don’t need to take as much with you.

How Can I Get my Belongings There and Back?

If you’ve got bulky or heavy items you can’t carry with you, consider shipping them to your destination before you leave. If you can’t fit all your trip souvenirs in your rucksack, ship them home and save yourself the worry.

Andrews Shipping’s professional student shipping service can safely ship your belongings to your gap year destination and home again. From valuable to heavy items, we can take the stress out of your packing.

Get in touch today for all of your gap year shipping needs.