A travel and lifestyle blog

Thursday, 6 September 2018

What to buy the traveller: Gap-Year edition


It's difficult to know what to buy a traveller. You're stuck between not wanting to give them something they wont use or something that will take up too much room in their bag. Since I'm just about to head off on a 3 month gap-year-type break I thought I would go through the essentials so you can get either yourself, or the person you know something that will be really useful for them.

B A G

The bag. This is the absolute essential and I swear by this one. They have a zip all the way round so you can get to everything, a roller so you don't have to carry it everywhere and backpack straps for when you need them. It's well made with a high quality sturdy zip.

If they really want a hard case then just get the cheapest thing you can from TK Maxx. They have some super light options and bold print is definitely best so they wont just be waiting for the hundredth black suitcase to appear on the conveyor.

S E C U R I T Y

Combination locks and get 2 of these. They will want one with the flex lock for the backpack (trust me it's so much easier) and one with a hard set lock (for a day bag or suitcase). It can just be reassuring if you know they will be taking their laptop and valuables.

D A Y

A small backpack/day bag for them to take out with them. It would be good to get them one with zips that are hidden or clasps - anything that's a bit harder for someone to pickpocket. I don't personally use the bumbags because they don't suit me but I think they are a great idea. I love these bags by Zatchel because they last such a long time and leather wears so well that it just looks better the more battered it is.

Water bottle. If they're hiking up Mahhu Picchu then what about a camelbak? Otherwise these are the best to the filter out the nasties; I got my friend one of these when she went away because she always gets ill off the water and it helped her.

Travel sickness tablets if they suffer from it. I actually usually take a mini pharmacy with me haha so maybe get them a compact first aid kit if you want a bit of peace of mind when you send someone off.

K E E P I N G    C O N T A C T

To make sure they have a phone charged and can call get them an adaptor and an extension cord. The day I thought of taking an extension cord with me I actually felt like a proper genius...it is the best travel hack ever! It makes it so easy when you're away because you only ever need one adaptor. I like this one because it has USB ports in too.

A multi port USB charger. These would be useful if they have lots of connections so they can charge in the airport.

A skype giftcard. I've used various multi-country/international sim cards before and to be honest, the only ones that are ever any good are the ones bought in the country you land in. A skype voucher would be a nice way to make sure they can afford to phone home.

F A N C Y   A F

If you want to get them something really nice then what about a lounge pass? To give a backpacker a lounge pass would be actual luxury. Lounges usually have free food, drinks, hot showers and wifi. After months of a communal bathroom covered in other people's hair *shudder* how nice to have a reminder of normality haha. Since backpackers usually are the ones sat in airports for hours on end this would be a really nice thing to give. I actually get my lounge passes through my American Express, but otherwise I'd be on it and coming out of the lounges with bread rolls stuffed in every pocket haha.

M E M O R I E S

A travel book for them to log their adventures in would be a cheap but lovely gift. I love writing these when I'm away just to keep a record of what I did.

Anyone heading on a gap-year would love any of those so I hope you find it helpful.

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