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

Ultimate Thailand

from £560

11 days

Explore Bangkok’s temples and night life, wake up in the jungle on our floating raft houses, see baby monkeys in...

Summer Blast – South Island

from £1687

16 - 19 days

Experience the best of the South Island on this all points covered tour with stunning accommodation, amazing hikes, awesome bike...

Spring Break Ibiza

from £105

3 days

Stay at our beach-side hotel on the world’s best party island, Ibiza for your Spring Break! We come here not...

Southern Light – South Island

from £1188

9 - 10 days

If your visiting the South islands and want a shorter trip that ensures you will enjoy New Zealand’s finest natural...

Sydney to Blue Mountains Day Trip

from £99

1 - 30 days

From the three sisters to beautiful waterfalls, explore the best of the Blue Mountains with Loka.

Backpacking Tour of China

from £1015

16 - 25 days

Backpack to the most populated and vibrant cities in the world and explore untouched countryside. Travel with a group and...

Kenya to Cape Town Grand Adventurer

from £2175

75 days

An awesome trip for those who want a hands-on adventure with like-minded travellers and who have plenty of time to...

Far East Explorer

from £1325

32 days

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

7 Day Southern Loop

from £589

7 days

Join our Southern Loop as we hit all the key spots in the upper South Island. We will wind our...

Canada Road Trip – Central to Maritimes

from £600

26 - 26 days

Get a taste of the Maritimes in the Bay of Fundy & Halifax. Get to know these huge and beautiful...

Search

Inca Quarry Trail Extension

from £825

Peru

Retrace the steps of the ancient Inca civilisation on the Inca Quarry Trail hike. Explore Cusco's maze of ruins and...

Treasures of Italy

Italy

Artists have always travelled to Italy to lift their spirits, and this 2-week adventure offers you the same opportunity. Connect...

Photography Series: Antarctic Explorer

from £6305

Crossing the Drake Passage and sailing out to the Antarctic Peninsula, this expedition puts you right amongst the wildlife of...

Essential Cambodia

from £573

Cambodia

You’ll start in Ho Chi Minh then hightail it to Phnom Penh, then there's beach time in Sihanoukville, island visits...

Cycle Peru (Machu Picchu & the Sacred Valley)

from £1270

Peru

Travel to Peru and embark on a cycling adventure from the coast to the magical Sacred Valley. Kick things off...

Finnish Lapland in Winter

from £1945

Finland

Lapland, home of the indigenous Sami people, is a magical place of pristine peaks and snow-dusted woodlands. In this Arctic...

Europe Inspired

from £1664

Introducing the Europe all-rounder – a comprehensive exploration of some of Europe’s most popular and sought-after destinations. Casually picnic by...

Classic Europe

from £1259

The well-known highlights of Europe are popular for a very good reason. Join us on a Europe tour that unashamedly...

Classic Nepal

from £1338

Nepal

Journey into the heart of Nepal and experience the colourful sights and culture of this enchanting region. Mingle with local...

Epic Nepal to India

from £1200

India

Fill your face with momos in Kathmandu and get ready for a HUGE trip. Rafting, beach camps, Pokhara lake chill...

Find more travel kit advice

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