TSR Wiki > Life > Gap Years and Travel > What to Pack

Before I left for my trip I must have looked at about 20 websites that listed hundreds of things that you could take on holiday. Here is my recommendation for what to take - with nice pictures to look at!


  • A specially designed-for-travel towel (available at hiking shops - my personal favourite is Countryside) is a real space saver and not too awkward to use.
  • Clothes packing system by Eagle Creek. This is intended only for keeping a few dress shirts flat, but it works just as well for keeping everything in. I carried my entire wardrobe in this little pack which made choosing clothes and rooting around in my backpack much easier.
  • One hoodie. For cool evenings, going up mountains, use in conjunction with an umbrella in the rain etc.

Summery/Daytime Things

Summery/Daytime Things
  • A bag for daytime use
  • A foldable hat
  • A pair of sunglasses in a nice hard case
  • Pair of flipflops or other shoes for when it's too hot for your trainers
  • A little battery-operated fan

Toiletries - Ones you only need at a hostel

  • Razor
  • Make-up
  • Little Compact Mirror
  • Dental Floss
  • Tweezers (good for splinters too)
  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrush (with case is a good idea)
  • Shampoo
  • Shower Gel
  • Moisturiser
  • Hairbrush (you can get small foldaway ones)

Toiletries - Ones you may need during the day

Day Toiletries
  • Face/hand wipes
  • Trainer freshener
  • After sun
  • Sun cream
  • Deodorant
  • Body spray
  • Foot spray
  • Shower cap (didn't fit in my other bag :o))
  • Period stuff
  • Hand hygiene gel/alcohol hand rub - essential, especially in not-so-hygienic public toilets and/or lack of time between meals.


  • Travel washing line (intertwined elastic with bungee hooks)
  • Travel washing detergent (decanted, here)
  • Travel basin plug (youth hostels don't have plugs in sinks to prevent flooding - you must take your own if you want to hand wash clothes)
  • Small sewing kit: white cotton, black cotton, needles, safety pins. If you don't want to take a sewing kit, take the safety pins at least.


  • Document folder to keep souvenirs pristine
  • Plastic plate (makes a sandwich feel like a proper meal)
  • Child-sized cutlery
  • Plastic container
  • Water "bladder" (collapses when emptied)
  • Umbrella (instead of coat)

Travel First Aid Kit

Travel First Aid Kit
  • Scissors
  • Surgical tape
  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Plaster strip
  • Wound dressing
  • Antiseptic cream
  • Blister plasters (I recommend Compeed)
  • Calamine and Glycerine cream (for stings, rashes etc.)
  • Travel tablets
  • Allergy tablets
  • Menthol crystals
  • Decongestant tablets
  • Nasal inhaler
  • Sore throat sweeties
  • Ear plugs (very important!)
  • Paracetamol
  • Ibuprofen
  • Sleeping tablets
  • Caffeine tablets
  • Anti-Diarrhoea tablets
  • Re-hydration treatment
  • Any prescription medicine (take a photocopy of your prescription as a precaution)
  • Any things that might make you feel more comfortable: eyewash, eardrops, laxatives (funny travel diets...)

Combination Padlock

Combination Padlock

Most youth hostels have lockers but not all. This came in handy many times; both for using on a cupboard and for locking the rucksack to the bed (just in case..) where lockers weren't provided.

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