Packing for A Big Trip | Real Gap Blog

Packing for A Big Trip

I'm visiting a load of Real Gap's South Africa trips next week, so I'm just organising some last bits before my adventure starts. Want some good tips? Carry on reading!

I’ve done all my laundry, and I've finally started to organise my packing. With packing it generally all depends on the individual, but hopefully the list below will be helpful to those of you who are about to embark on your own adventure!

A question we get asked a lot on the sales team is 'backpack, or suitcase?'. I’m a backpack kind of guy, its easier to move around with and easy to live out of. I think nearly all of our trips are better suited to backpacks! Taking a suitcase is not going to be a disaster or ruin your trip by any means, but for me a backpack works better. I bought mine 10 years ago, it's 65 litres with good straps and it always brings back some great memories!

I started by laying all of my clothes across my bed. I always think it’s a good idea to lay it all out, then you can start to assess the quantity of what you're taking...


I’ve got a pair of trousers that zip off as shorts. I love them so they are my first big recommendation.

List: Shorts x 3, T-Shirts x 5, Jeans, Shirt, Jumper, Underwear, Cap, Rain Jacket, Trainers, Flip Flops, Speedos (only joking, boardies for me!), Sunglasses

Admin Stuff:

Arrival Information Printout (this includes addresses, telephone numbers, and names so useful to have), Insurance Policy Printout, Flight tickets, Passport. I’m leaving a copy of documents with my parents and also as attachments on my e-mail so I can access them if I lose the print out. Its also nice for your parents to have your arrival information just incase, and if your mum is anything like mine she has already been through these details once or twice with you! Next onto the wallet, it’s good to have a Caxton FX card and credit card, but also your driving license. I’m taking a bit of local currency and about $10 US Dollars.

Electrical Equipment

Video Camera (or Camera) Kindle Phone (not my iPhone) Plug Converter All my chargers


Bug Spray, savlon, sun cream, towel, and head torch which is my other big recommendation. Its very handy to keep with you, especially if you're arriving late to a dorm room, or needing the bathroom in the dark. This usually ensures you don’t need to turn the light on and annoy everyone!

I’m also taking a few treats for the kids I’ll be volunteering with, some Real Gap T-Shirts, Sweets, Pencils and some Tennis Balls. A random selection, but think I can bring a smile to everyone with that lot!

If you’re looking at your bed and think you’ve packed way too much then you have. Despite me taking the list of clothes above, I’m pretty sure I will wear the same 2 T-Shirts and 2 pairs of shorts for 80% of my time! The rest of it is a bit of a backup and incase I go out to dinner, or it gets cold in the evening.

Good luck with your packing, for me it’s the train to London, followed by the Jubilee line (Underground) to Heathrow. The adventure is about to begin! Wahoooo!

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