20 Travel Essentials for Christmas

Christmas is just around the corner and it’s time to start thinking about what to get. If you’re going on a gap year in 2012 then you’ll want to think about some of the travel items below. Christmas is a great time to ask for those much needed travel essentials so ho ho hope Father Christmas comes to visit you on Christmas Day.

Wherever you’re going on your gap year, it always pays to be prepared, so here are our 20 travel essentials for Xmas.

Cushtie pillow1. Cushtie Pillow

We think the Cushtie Pillow is one of the best around. Travel pillows are great for buses, planes and trains and they strap nicely to the side of any backpack. Come into their own when you need to kip at an airport or train station.

Check out cushtie pillows here.

Travel ear plugs2. Travel Ear Plugs

When someone’s snoring in a dorm room at 4am you’ll be thankful you’ve got a set of travel ear plugs. Always carrying a spare set just in case you lose a pair. Also, lending them out is a great way to make friends.

Check out travel ear plugs here.

Water bottle3. Water Bottle

If you’re going trekking then you’ll want your own water bottle, ideally one that can strap to your bag. The Camelbak Better Bottle comes with a carabiner, an assortment of colours and is a good size. It’s also a good idea to take iodine or water purifying tablets.

Check out water bottles here.

Head torch4. Head Torch

Perfect for reading late at night in a dorm room or on bus / train. A head torch is also great for rummaging around your bag late at night. They don’t need to be too expensive either. After all, you're not using it to go caving!

Check out head torches here.

Travel diary5. Travel Diary

One of your most important items while travelling will be your travel diary so it’s worth getting a good one. You can use it as a basic scrap book or as a daily diary - whatever you do, it’s a good idea to take one.

Check out travel diaries here.

Travel watch6. Travel Watch

A travel watch will make sure you don’t miss those planes or trains but there’s no need to take your Rolex. A simple travel watch is all you need. The more colourful, the better, and this Breo watch even glows in the dark.

Check out travel watches here.

Travel sink plug7. Travel Sink Plug

You’ll be surprised at how hard it can be to find a plug while travelling so take one with you, especially if you’re looking to wet shave your legs or face every other day. Some sink plus will fit any sink (like this one) and we think they're worth that extra investment.

Check out travel sink plugs here.

Travel towel8. Travel Towel

A travel towel is another travel essential. In this case, bigger’s better, so make sure you get the extra-large towel. Also, if you don’t have a sarong or blanket then you can use your travel towel to cover you up at night.

Check out travel towels here.

Travel wash bag9. Travel Wash Bag

These wash bags come in a compact square shape making them perfect for packing in your backpack.  You’ll be surprised by how much travel wash bags can store and you can even separate the compartments.

Check out travel wash bags here.

Buff10. Buff

A buff is a fantastic travelling item. You can use it as a sweat band, as a hard band, as a bracelet, as a neckwarmer, as an eye mask and to carry stuff in. They also look pretty funky too and you can get them in an assortment of colours. All-in-all, well worth the money.

Check out buffs here.

Travel clothes line11. Travel Clothes Line

If you’re thinking of doing your own washing while travelling on your gap year then you’re going to want a travel clothes line. It'll save you a lot of money in the long run. Also, don't forget to take concentrated washing soap!

Check out travel clothes lines here.

Duct tape12. Duct Tape

For all your repair needs. You’ll be surprised at how often you’ll use duct tape on your gap year. Excellent for repairing rips in your bag to waterproofing your travel wallet. We like this one because it’s got a picture of a gorilla.

Check out duct tape here.

Silk liner13. Silk Liner

Silk liners come into their own when you’re staying in a hostel without any sheets. The silk liner is slightly more durable than the cotton liner and it’ll give you that piece of mind that you’re not lying in someone else’s sweat.

Check out silk liners here.

First aid kit14. First Aid Kit

It really is worth taking a first aid kit for certain situations and it will make your Mum happy too. It's always a good idea taking a first aid kit with you that has a sterile needle - in some countries it's better to have your own as opposed to rely on the local treatment.

Check out first aid kits here.

Alarm clock15. Alarm Clock

Waking up to catch a flight at 6am can be a nightmare. Make sure you don’t miss your plane or train with a travel alarm clock. It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant or expensive, just something that’s reliable and that wakes you up.

Check out alarm clocks here.

External hard drive16. External Hard Drive

More and more travellers are taking netbooks and laptops travelling these days and a good way to back up all those photos and videos is on an external hard drive. They’re light, small and if you shop around a little bit you can find some really cheap ones. We think this is one of the best around for value for money.

Check out external hard drives here.

Document wallet17. Document Wallet

A document wallet may not seem like the coolest travel item but it is essential. You can keep all your documents in one place - passport, passport photos photocopies, vaccination certificates, etc. You're not a backpacker without one.

Check out document wallets here.

Power monkey18. Power Monkey

A power monkey is a light-weight emergency charger that is 10-times more powerful than batteries. It's great when you need that extra juice for your ipod or camera and you'll be the don of the dorm with one of these.

Check out the power monkey here.

Thermos cup19. Thermos Cup

A thermos cup may seem like a strange travelling essential but it’s a life saver when you’re gasping for a cuppa. They're especially good for travelling in China as everyone drinks green tea. Just make sure you take those tea bags too!

Check out thermos cups here.

Memory card20. Memory Card

Taking a spare memory card is a good idea as backup for photos. It doesn’t even have to be as big as 8gb, but as we said before, sometimes, just sometimes, bigger's better...

Check out memory cards here.