Gap Year Christmas Wish List
Fill your Christmas stocking and save some money for your gap year
The Coca-Cola Christmas advert is out which can only mean one thing - it's now that time of year when you can start thinking about Christmas gifts.
If you're taking a gap year in 2013, now's the perfect time to ask for some travel kit from your loved ones.
We thought we'd help you out by showing you what's good to get for Christmas. Who knows, you might even make one or two savings!
Getting your backpack is the first thing you need to think about; you're a backpacker after all! A gapyear.com top tip is to try a number of backpacks on in the shop, find the one you like the most and buy it online for cheaper. This may seem a little cheeky but if the difference is £50 then that's a day or two travelling - what would you rather do?
At the top end a Lowe Alpine is always a good choice as they'll last you a lifetime. The Lowe Alpine TFX Cerro Torre 65:85 is one of the best backpacks in terms of quality and it's so comfy you won't even notice it's there. The cheapest we found it was at £163, saving £27 off the RRP.
The Berghaus Jalan II 60+10 Rucksack is still one of the most popular rucksacks around. It opens out like suitcase making it super easy to get to everything you need. Retailing at £120, if you buy it online you can get it as cheap as £88, saving you £32. And for those flashpackers you can even get a wheeled version.
Another excellent option is the Vango Sherpa 65 Litre Rucksack Black 2012. It's a nice little toploader with lots of side pouches for all those extras you'll pick up on the road. Retailing at £80, if you buy it online you can get it as cheap as £65, saving you £15.
Travel wash bag - a nice travel wash bag is the one by Trekmates. It's cheap and cheerful at £7 but it does what it needs to do.
Another is the Berghaus Thunder that's been one of the most popular among backpackers for years now. It has four compartments for all your toiletries and will set you back £23.
Travel towel - usually a travel towel is going to set you back approximately £25. However, if you shop around you can get one like the Trekmates Extra Large Soft Feel Travel Towel; it'll only cost you £14. That's a nice little £11 saved, which is a night out on the beers in Thailand.
First aid kit - it's always essential to travel with a first aid kit, you know, just in case. The one we recommend is the simple Gelert First Aid Kit that costs £12. It has all the basics you need. Anything that it doesn't cover then get yourself to the hospital.
Document wallet - a document wallet is another must for a gap year. Just make sure you don't lose it! We think the Lifeventure is a good one and it costs £18.
A buff - strange name but extremely handy. I never leave the UK without one. A buff can be used as a head band, an eye mask, a nose mask, as a wristband, a neckerchief. In fact, there are a number of things you can do with it! A buff is going to set you back about £10-15 and there are loads of cool colours to choose from.
A cushtie pillow - the cushtie pillow is a lovely little extra for a gap year. It really comes into its own on overnight journeys on planes and trains. And if you're staying in a hostel without pillows what are you going to sleep on? Your cushtie pillow! Tesco do their own branded cushtie pillow for £5 or you can buy on online for £5.41, which is more than half price in comparison to a number of other websites.
A travel journal - you're going to want to document your gap year, trust me when I say that. A travel journal is perfect to note down your thoughts and feelings while backpacking and travelling and it's also great for storing ticket stubs and postcards. Shop around a little bit but one I love is by Travel Notes. With 192 pages its got more than enough pages and it's got lots of useful pages of information inside like route, itinerary and contact information. It's a bargain at £7.75 too.
So there we have it, some gifts to ask for in your Christmas stocking.
However, if you want to be really clever you'll wait until the January sales and snap it all up then. By buying some of the above kit you'll save yourself at least £50, but once it hits the January sales you'll start saving triple figures. The most important thing though is to make sure you're prepared for your gap year.
If you're looking for a few more gift ideas then read our feature on 20 Travel Essentials for Xmas.
Save money this Christmas and enter our 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway over on Facebook.
Still looking for some travel kit? Jump on the message boards and chat to your fellow gappers about what's the best travel kit to get.
Planning a gap year for 2013? Then make sure you head over to our planning section for more advice and information.
About the Author: Macca Sherifi
Macca is gapyear.com's travel editor and writes on a myriad of topics, giving the best travel advice in an easy-to-read style that he would describe as 'cutesy'. His two passions are travelling and writing, which is lucky, because he's a travel writer. Macca travelled for 20 months non-stop, never settling in one place for more than a week or two, living to travel and travelling to live. In his spare time, he reads about travelling, thinks about travelling, and then travels. If that fails he still harbours hopes of being a professional rugby player...