If you’re planning on going backpacking during your gap year then you’ve probably already researched everything there is to know about your destinations of choice, but have you stopped to think about what clothes to take on your travels? You may be trekking through extreme landscapes with only your backpack as a suitcase, but it doesn’t mean that you have to dress only in the obligatory hiking boots and baggy trousers combo. Here are some useful tips about what to pack in order to save space, and still look good, whilst backpacking.
At least one bikini is a must-have, especially if you’re travelling to hot countries and plan on soaking up the sun on a tropical beach. They take up so little space in your backpack and can be hand-washed easily in a sink or even a stream, so make the most of the sunshine and pack a selection! Bikini tops are also great to be worn instead of a bra, as they’re often more comfortable and it means you can just take off your top and head straight to the sea. Style in View have a nice range here and you don’t need to buy them as part of a 2 piece bikini set. When choosing swimwear don’t just think about the colour and fabric, make sure that they’re comfortable and supportive and you’ll have swimwear and underwear in one.
Another multi-functional item that’s an essential for female backpackers is a sarong. As well as being worn as a skirt, dress or cover-up at the beach, it has countless other fantastic uses. If you’re travelling in a country that requires visitors to cover certain parts of their bodies up, for example at a temple, a sarong is ideal. They can be used tied around your head on bad hair days, as a towel in communal hostel bathrooms, as a shawl on cooler evenings, or even rolled up to be used as a pillow whenever, wherever.
Choosing footwear to take with you can be a difficult decision for backpackers, especially female backpackers! If you’re planning on some serious trekking then heavy-duty hiking boots will be necessary, but bear in mind that they’ll be very heavy to carry if you’re not planning to wear them all the time. Plus the heavier the boot, the hotter your feet will get in them.
If you won’t be doing too many long treks then you can probably get away with lighter shoes, but do make sure that they’re comfortable as there will still be a lot of walking involved during your travels. Hiking sandals are a great choice in hotter climates, as they’re very lightweight and let your feet breathe; however there is more chance of getting stones and rubble in them as they leave the foot fairly open.
A great fashion choice for travelling is a pair of sandals that can take you straight from the beach to the nightclub, look for a pair that have embellishments, pretty jewels or brightly coloured leather. Just right for a day of sightseeing, but also perfect for a night out. Just because you have limited space in your backpack, it doesn’t mean that you can’t look and feel stylish!