When you’re planning your gap year, it’s important to keep a few things in mind. Gap years can be an amazing experience, but they can also be challenging. By keeping the following tips in mind, you can make sure that your gap year is a success. Read on to learn more!
Get travel insurance
Before jetting off anywhere, you need to get travel insurance. This will help to protect you in case of any unforeseen circumstances, such as medical emergencies or lost luggage. Whether you’re going away for a whole year or just a few weeks, it’s almost inevitable that something will go wrong along the way, so you need to make sure you’re fully covered. There are a variety of different policies available from onesure insurance and other insurance companies that are similar, so do your research and find one that’s right for you.
Choosing where to go
One of the most exciting parts of planning a gap year is choosing where to go. There are so many amazing places to see and experiences to be had, but thorough research is needed to find a suitable place to go. Many countries, for example, have horrific attitudes towards women, whilst some countries are also actively discriminatory toward gay men and black people, so you should avoid these places. On a lighter note, however, most countries are very accepting, so consider the history and culture you want to learn about and experience too.
Managing your finances
Obviously, money will play a big part in where you choose to go. You’ll need to make sure that you have enough money to support yourself during your travels, along with contingency money for emergencies. There are a few ways to do this, such as working whilst you travel, budgeting carefully, and securing a bursary to study whilst abroad.
When you’re travelling for a gap year, one of the things you’ll need to sort out is accommodation. The last thing you want to do is arrive at your destination with nowhere to stay. Luckily, there are a variety of different options available, such as hostels, camping, and Airbnb. It’s important to do your research and find an option that’s right for you. If you’re on a study trip, for example, you may even be able to stay with a local family.
Dealing with culture shock
One of the challenges of travelling for a gap year is dealing with culture shock. This can be a difficult experience, but there are ways to make it easier. One of the best things you can do is to research the culture of your destination before you go and learn a few key phrases in the main language. This will help you to understand the customs and traditions, instead of feeling overwhelmed. It’s also important to be open-minded and flexible when you’re travelling. Things might not always go according to plan, but that’s all part of the adventure.
As mentioned earlier, some places are openly hostile to certain groups of people, whilst other places are simply dangerous due to conflict, unrest, climate, wildlife or lax regulations. There are a few things you can do to reduce the risks, however, such as being aware of your surroundings, keeping a copy of your passport in a safe place, and being cautious about accepting rides from strangers. There are also a few safety apps that you can download, such as Find My Friends and What3Words. Keep in touch with family and friends as often as you can, and don’t do, eat, drink or touch anything that may be unsafe.
Making the most of your gap year
Once you’ve arrived at your destination, it’s time to think about how you’re going to make the most of your time. This is an amazing opportunity to learn new things, meet new people, and challenge yourself, so set yourself some goals and work towards them each day.
A gap year is perfect for those who have a particular verve for life, but it’s important to do your research and plan carefully before you go. You might discover wonderful things, but there are also risks involved. However, with common sense and due diligence, it’s easy to have fun and enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime experience!