When it comes to packing your bags for your gap year, you’ll need to make sure you’ve got all your clothes, medication, tickets and other backpacking essentials to keep you going during your trip. Once you’ve got all the essentials checked off your list, you may want to consider investing in a couple of handy travel gadgets, so we’ve put together a list of our top 10 gap year gadgets to give you some inspiration!
Water purification is extremely important when travelling, as the water can often cause illnesses such as Dysentery and Giardia if it’s contaminated. Bottled water is often available, but if you’re buying several bottles a day for the many months you are travelling for, the cost will soon mount up…not to mention all that plastic’s affect on the environment!
Water treatment tablets are another option, but many travellers find this to be time consuming and not always particularly convenient. Our favourite method of water purification comes in the form of the Water-to-Go Bottle, which you fill with water from pretty much any source and it filters it with it’s in-built filter, making it safe to drink. The filter supplied with the bottle filters up to 200 litres of water and replacement filters can be bought separately.
save on buying disposable water bottles as you travel around
combat the risk of getting illnesses whilst away
no need to wait to purify water unlike tablet purification methods
Also doubles as a travel water bottle
Can only be used with water not cordials or soft drinks
Takes up space in your bag during flights etc
Too big to take into hand luggage
Additional cost of buying new filters when the included one runs out
This one may seem fairly pointless, but you’d be surprised at just how useful it can be! Travel washing lines come in a variety of styles, but the most common style features twisted elastic, enabling you to tuck your clothes in between. They also come with rubber suction cups and/or hooks, which allow you to hang them up in a range of different places. You will definitely need to wash your clothes and hang your towel out to dry during your trip on numerous occasions, so you’ll be glad you packed this handy gadget.
A festival favourite, which can also come in extremely useful for travelling. Travelling to far-flung shores can be a bit of a culture shock…especially when it comes to paying a visit to the toilet, and in many countries you’ll be provided with nothing more than a hole in the ground. For guys, this isn’t quite as much of a problem as it is for the ladies, but portable urinals such as the Whiz Freedom can be used to make the ordeal that little bit less traumatic!
If you want to avoid a shampoo explosion in your backpack, soap leaves are the way to go. These little beauties look like tiny sheets of paper, which fit in the palm of your hand. All you need to do is add water and they’ll lather up into a handy soap. There are plenty of different soap leaves available, including shampoo, body wash, laundry and shaving leaves, so you can ditch the liquid toiletries, save space and avoid leakages in your bag.
When you’re staying in budget accommodation it can be easy to feel as though you’re not entirely safe, especially when you can’t lock your door. That’s why we love the travel door lock! This clever little device can be slotted into the catch on the door frame to stop people barging in, even if you’re using it for a little bit of privacy rather than security, it’s a useful gadget to have.
This one is a must have for any traveller, and can be used in over 150 countries around the world. Buying a worldwide plug adapter for your gap year is an easier alternative to buying separate adapters for all of the countries on your itinerary, and you’ll find that it will cover Australia, New Zealand and the Americas, as well as South East Asia and parts of Europe. Of course there are countries like South Africa, which have their own unique plug, but at least by investing in a universal adapter, you will have most of your destinations covered.
Money belts feature on many packing lists, and are particularly useful in places like South East Asia and South America. One problem people will often neglect to tell you about is the possibility of a sweat soaked money belt or one that gets wet when you’re by the ocean or taking part in more extreme activities. Many gap year travellers are often heading for tropical climates, so as you can imagine, sweat can soak through those lightweight fabrics and get on your stuff…and that’s where a water-resistant money belt comes into it’s own. Many water resistant money belts come with their own water-resistant pocket to keep your cash, passport and other items dry.
If you don’t want to pack a tonne of lotions, sprays and creams, this little bite relief gadget is right up your street! Just click the device a 5-10 times around the bite and it will prevent the release of histamines, which cause itching and discomfort. It will also help to reduce swelling and inflammation. Each clicker will last for up to 10,000 clicks, which will treat roughly 1,000 bites
Getting all the clothes you want to pack inside your backpack can be a challenge, of course you can try rolling them, but there is an accessory that can save you even more space. Vacuum compression bags can shrink your clothes by more than 50% and save you lots of packing space inside your backpack! All you have to do is pop your clothes inside, roll out excess air and then seal them to make your clothes more compact.
Last, but certainly not least, is the cable lock. This is a versatile accessory for travelling, and can be used to lock luggage zips and lockers. It can also be used to secure your backpack and other bits of equipment to fixed or hard to move objects such as railings and bed frames. Cable locks feature a retractable steel coated shackle and often come with a digit combination.
Rachel has worked for the company for 9 years and as one of our buying team, has a wide knowledge of travel gear. She has travelled in Europe and Southeast Asia, but her dream destination would be South America to experience Carnival in Rio, unleash her inner Attenborough in the Galapagos and sip on Colombian coffee in colonial Cartagena.