You've probably heard lots of different advice from various different people about what to do, what to pack and where to go on your gap year, longstay or backpacking trip. Our advice is to just keep it simple. Keeping your trip simple not only allows you to travel easier, lighter and cheaper, but allows you to really embrace and soak up your destination's atmosphere and culture. Here's how:
Use a rucksack
This is probably the most important thing you could do. Packing lightly and using just a small rucksack in favour of large bags and suitcases has many advantages including; being easier to carry, no waiting at the airport carousel, easier to keep track of. If you choose your bag wisely, you could transport it as hand luggage on planes - think of the saving you can make there alone! Paying an average £20 charge for your cabin baggage on a round the world trip with plenty of flights can quickly add up to hundreds of pounds.
Practice savvy packing
Chances are when it comes to packing you won't need or use all of the things you intend to bring. Lay out everything on the floor or your bed so that you can clearly see what you have, and then be ruthless - eliminate a third of it. Items of clothing such as sarongs can also be used as a scarf or towel, and maxi dresses can be used as daywear but also glammed up for the evening. Consider the multi-uses for every item that you pack. Unessential items like makeup can be left at home, whereas toiletries such as shampoos can be purchased at your destination.
Avoid purchasing souvenirs
Remember that these will add unnecessary weight and you will have to carry them around, especially if you do this in every country that you visit! If you must have something as a reminder of your trip, set yourself a challenge of only one item per country. The item must be lightweight, small and able to fit in to your backpack. If you can choose an item from each country that won't affect your luggage weight, the better! Travellers bracelets, anklets and necklaces can be found in pretty much every country and serves not only as a nice little reminder of your trip, but also a great talking point!
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