What to Keep in Your Day Bag on Your Gap Year

Written by: Lucy Jane Ayad

A day bag is an essential piece of equipment for any backpacker. You’ll end up using it as your personal safe with most of your valuables inside so keep it close at all times. Within the day bag you will have your passport, identification, traveller’s cheques, credit cards and all the other bits and pieces that are important to you.

Try not to keep all your valuables in your day bag in case it is ever lost or stolen. It is always worth getting in the habit of splitting your valuables between your backpack and your day bag. The day bag is easier to nick as it is smaller and lighter. Your backpack on the other hand, weighing in at a little over six and a half tonnes, is a bit of a bugger to whip and do a runner with so it’s essential that you keep a credit card, some ID and a bit of money hidden in your backpack. You’re more likely to leave your main backpack unattended while on transport and in hotels or guest houses so this is why it’s so important to split you valuables.

What sort of bag should I take?

A number of backpacks now have a little ‘day sack’ attached. They are all roughly the same – a small backpack that you can sling over your shoulders and wear on your back which are ideal. Small bags that can be folded away are also pretty useful.

Can it be secured?

Make sure you can attach a mini padlock to your day pack. Grab a chunky padlock so it’s visible to potential thieves and one with a combination lock is best in case you ever lose the key.

What should I have in my day bag?

It’s a good idea to have a small money belt or a bum bag with all your important documents. Even if you don’t actually wear it as intended, it keeps everything together so nothing gets lost. In this you should keep your:

  • Credit cards
  • Passport
  • Driver’s license
  • Tickets
  • Insurance
  • ID
  • Any other important documents

Packing a day pack

Toiletries

A small washbag with miniature toiletries can mean the difference between a clean and chilled out journey and a hot, sweaty bus ride. Being able to brush your teeth and freshen up with a wet wipe will make you feel so much better and you never know who you’re going to bump into on the bus.

Emergency clothes

If you’re flying, it’s worth packing an extra outfit in case your luggage is lost. It’s also a good idea to pack a chunky jumper and a sarong which can be used to keep you warm, as a pillow or hung up in a window to keep the sun off you.

Entertainment

If you’re going on a long journey, you’ll have to stow your main backpack away so make sure you have as many entertainment options in your daypack as possible.

Our favourite options are:

  • Mp3 player
  • Book/Kindle
  • Notepad and pen
  • Playing cards

Food and drink

If you are delayed, at the beach, on a bus or just out and about in town, you’ll need plenty of snacks and drinks.

Take a refillable water bottle with you to save on plastic bottles and you’ll also get a nice discount when you’re buying water.


Further Information

Check out our ultimate packing list to make sure you pack everything you need during your gap year. Don’t foget to take a look at all the essential extras you should take on your gap year too.

If you’d like some tips and advice on the type of travel kit you’ll need while you’re travelling, take a look at our travel kit section.

Do you have any other tips for packing a day bag? Let us know in the comments below.

Check out these top travel experiences

Search

New Zealand’s Hop-On Hop-Off Adventure Bus

from £105.00

3 - 365 days

Want to go backpacking around New Zealand? This bus pass is all you need! Our hop-on, hop-off adventure travel buses...

Mamma Mia

from £1,300.00

13 days

Visit Florence, Venice, Rome, Cinque Terre, Naples, Sorrento, Amalfi coast and lots more with this 13 day tour for the...

Backpacking Tour of Thailand and Laos

from £576.00

12 days

Maximize your time in South East Asia on our 12-day tour of Thailand and Laos. The local and western guides...

Amplified New Zealand Tour

from £1,490.00

16 days

Jam-packed experience across New Zealand's top destinations in just over two weeks. Golden beaches, Māori culture, surreal landscapes and a...

Ultimate Explorer

from £2,150.00

28 days

Top rated by National Geographic this is the best way to explore the outdoor beauty and excitement of New Zealand....

Far East Explorer

from £1,325.00

32 days

Uncover the mysteries of the Far East! A group adventure tour through China, Laos and Vietnam, including some of the...

Felucca Explorer to Luxor

from £245.00

8 days

Gaze in awe at the legendary Pyramids of Giza, explore elaborate royal tombs in the Valley of the Kings, sail...

A Tuk Tuk Adventure in Thailand

from £1,295.00

11 days

Join us on the Ultimate Tuk Tuk Adventure in Thailand - mountains, trekking, hill tribes and much much more!

Essentially Egypt

from £365.00

9 days

Discover the Great Pyramid of Giza, Luxor and the Valley of the Kings, and Aswan's Philae Temple on this value-packed...

7 Day Northern Voyager New Zealand

from £639.00

7 days

Our AWESOME GUIDES have hunted out all the very best spots on the North Island to give you the most...

Check out these awesome tours!

Search

Oktoberfest Prostmeister

from £395.00

With over 4,500,000 square feet of food stalls, attractions and Bierzelt (beer tents), Oktoberfest in Munich is like Disneyland for...

Perth to Darwin Overland

from £1,627.00

Australia

Journey through the jaw-dropping landscape of North and Western Australia into the heart of the Outback, on this incredible Darwin...

Southern Africa Safari Experience

from £5,399.00

Botswana, South Africa, Zimbabwe

Witness nature's greatest spectacles on a 18-day safari to some of Africa’s celebrated national parks, including Kruger and Chobe. Enjoy...

Rome to Lisbon on a Shoestring

from £1,439.20

France, Italy, Monaco, Portugal, Spain

Thought Mediterranean Europe was out of your reach? Think again. Take two weeks to voyage through France, Italy, Monaco, Spain,...

A Taste of Mexico & Cuba

from £1,364.00

Mexico

Mexico is everything you dreamed of and more. Smash some delicious treats in Mexico City, see some of the bazillion...

Kenya to Vic Falls

from £2,380.00

Kenya

Take in the very best of the African wilds on this action-packed journey from Kenya to Zambia. Starting in Nairobi,...

Spirit of Shackleton

from £8,999.00

Argentina, United Kingdom

Experience vast penguin rookeries and seal colonies on this awe-inspiring voyage to Antarctica, South Georgia, and the Falkland Islands. This...

China Adventure

from £2,329.00

11 - 11 days

China

Modern cities and ancient history collide in the exotic lands of China. 12-days are yours to feast on peking duck,...

Trail to the Balkan Slopes

from £699.00

Travel to the Balkan slopes for some shredding action on this adventure from Budapest to Sofia. Check off Timisoara and...

Vietnam Explorer

from £1,815.00

From hidden highland villages to intricate underground tunnels, there’s more to Vietnam than meets the eye. Join us on an...

Find more travel kit advice

Search
[contact-form-7 id="4" title="Contact form 1"]