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Discovering Adventure: Top 20 Gap Year Essentials

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Discovering Adventure: Top 20 Gap Year Essentials

Backpacking is exhilarating, rewarding, eye-opening stuff. Packing for your first time living out of the shell on your back is a fun process. But living out of the bag on your back can be tough, too. Here at Lifeventure we’ve amassed years of budget travel experience, so we collated our top 20 extra essentials to make your trip easy, safe and comfortable.

Of course you need tickets, money, visas, jabs, passport, phone, first aid kit, insurance, meds, international driving licence, student card, emergency phone numbers, spare copies of documents and passport photos! Here’s our list of extra things we wouldn’t leave home without.

1. Sink plug

Hostels are notorious for removing plugs to save on hot water and sometimes using a plastic bag filled with sand just won’t cut it.

2. Solar charger and travel adaptors

Don’t let your batteries go flat, wherever you are.

3. Door lock and bag locks

Sleep soundly with the door secured. If you’re in a bunk room, hide your valuables in your pillow case or sleeping bag overnight.

4. Playing cards

Break down barriers with strangers on long journeys and pass the time in transit.

5. Head torch

Excellent for late night arrivals and checking under your bed before you move on. Lifesystems do a very lightweight one.

6. Sleeping bag liner for grotty beds

Look out for small brown or dark red dots on bed sheets – they’re a dead giveaway for bed bugs.

7. Personal Safety alarm

Please don’t pack this at the bottom of your bag. Unless you can grab it in an emergency, it’s not going to work.

8. Mossie net and super strength insect repellent

Essential for peace of mind. Check the latest Zika news before you go.

9. Duct tape and a needle and thread

Living on a budget means making do and mending!

10. Travel towel

Our very lightweight, absorbent towels are perfect. Choose microfibre over softfibre if you prefer a more cuddly feel.

11. Loo roll

Don’t get caught short. Nuff said.

12. Wet wipes

Freshen up with a speedy flannel wash in a train station or public toilet.

13. Syringes

This is an essential extra in your first aid kit. Don’t take a risk with needles in third world countries. These could save your life.

14. RFiD body wallet

Keep your valuables and your electronic ID safe with this waist wallet which is made from material that blocks RFiD signals to reduce the risk of electronic ID theft on your travels.

15. Spare flip flops

If your only pair of shoes breaks you’re in for an uncomfortable hobble to the nearest shops! We love Gandys for their ethical promise.

16. Small dry bags

Packing your gear into ‘categories’ inside your backpack makes regular repacking much quicker and easier.

17. Tiger balm

This catch-all magic potion is great for insect bites, headaches, stuffy noses and sore muscles.

18. Pegless washing line

Keep your clothes clean and aired while they dry.

19. Water purification tablets, antihistamines, contraception, anti-diarrhoea meds and rehydration sachets

All essentials for your first aid kit which can be hard to find on the road.

20. International calling card

Because if you’re going off the beaten track sometimes you just need to hear a friendly voice from home.

Happy Travels! We love to see our products on their journeys around the world – send us a photo!

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