Five months after moving to London, I’m packing up my room and dusting off my backpack, ready for fresh adventures (did I mention I have trouble staying put?!) So it seemed like good timing when The Gap Year Travel Store sent me two products to review, created especially for female backpackers.
I’m heading to Portugal next, and though I considered taking a suitcase (more grown-up and suited to a mid-twenties career woman, you see), I’ve decided upon my beloved, battered backpack as my luggage option. We could argue the toss all day about which is really more practical, but my backpack just makes me feel more like an adventurer, and as I’m returning to the world of solo travel, I feel like I need plenty of gumption and adventurous spirit on my side.
The first item going into my backpack, then, is this pretty Lifeventure Pink Travel Towel, which fits into a tiny pouch, yet folds out into a good-sized towel. Despite its thinness, it’s very absorbent and doesn’t leave you shivering. Plus it has an antibacterial coating, so you don’t have to worry about it smelling funny after a couple of days on the road. I used to have a blue one like this, but it was a bit bulkier, and not as big when folded out. When I’m backpacking, I still like to feel girly, so the colour of this one is perfect too!
Lifeventure Pink Travel Towel – £16.99
The second item is a Nilaqua Travel Wash Kit – especially suitable for multi-day treks, because you don’t need water. There’s a shampoo, body wash and expanding wash cloths, all contained in a tiny bag. I would have killed for these on the Inca Trail – they do a much better job than baby wipes. Both the shampoo and body wash come out like water, and fast, so be prepared! But there’s no residue, and they leave a fresh, feminine scent.
It took almost the entire 65ml bottle of shampoo to clean my hair, but then, I do have an awful lot of it. You just rub it in until your hair is wet, rub it dry with a towel and hey presto! Clean hair, with a much nicer look and feel than you get from dry shampoo. The body wash goes a lot further, and you can use it straight on your skin or pour it onto one of the wash cloths, which opens up with the liquid. Definitely something to pack if you’re out in the wilds, though consider getting an extra shampoo if you have hair as long and as thick as mine.
Nilaqua Travel Wash Kit – £5.99
It’s nice to think that even if I am still hefting a worn, kahki backpack around, pretending to be a gap year-er, I can also be clean, freshly-scented and shiny-haired. That’s definitely my style of backpacking. It’s going to be hard to give up my urban, and relatively stable, London life, but Portugal is calling and I need to gallivant a little bit.
If you have any tips for what to do and see in Portugal, please do share them with me – as always, I’m leaving travel planning to the very last minute!