Many students will feel that strong temptation to take a gap year. After all, taking a sustained break from studying to explore what the world has to offer is incredibly appealing.
Yet, going on a gap year is not something that can be done spontaneously; it takes an extensive level of planning to plot out a memorable journey that makes the most of this year-long expedition.
If you are currently in the process of sorting out your very own gap year, you might be struggling to think of everything that needs to be covered. To help with filling out that checklist, consider the points below and make sure it’s checked off.
Store your belongings
If you’re currently living in student accommodation, it is important that you find a place to keep your belongings safe while travelling.
If your family or friends houses are off limits, you can always enlist the help of a self storage company. For a minimal fee, you have the ability to store all your possessions in a safe and secure location – meaning that you don’t have to worry about anything becoming lost, stolen or damaged during your trip.
Another thing to do in preparation for your journey is to try and budget everything with as much accuracy as possible. The last thing you want is for your money to run dry within a couple of months. So, check all the places you want to visit and draw up realistic figures for flights, hotels, food, recreational activities, etc. for each destination.
Speaking of money, also look into the best way to avoid foreign withdrawal fees and being ripped off with exchange rates. Acquiring a prepaid currency card would be recommended in that regard, while searching around for the credit card with the best international rates can be another useful travelling tool.
Be prudent with travel/accommodation
When it comes to budgeting, selecting travel and accommodation options will play a large part regarding expenditure. As a result, it is necessary that you are prudent and choose inexpensive options whenever possible.
As far as travelling goes, searching for cheap flights is easy via travel fare comparison websites like Skyscanner. Also, don’t ignore the possibility of using trains and buses for traversing the globe – they may generally take more time to get to places than planes, but they are often a cheaper alternative.
For accommodation, hostels are a popular choice for gap year travellers. Not only do they typically supply a low-cost bed for the night, but they are also an ideal place to meet and interact with other like-minded travellers. However, this isn’t the cheapest option available – how about staying somewhere for free? Via Couchsurfing, which gives travellers the chance to stay with locals, you don’t have to pay a penny for accommodation. You can also WWOOF, where you work for your board.
Insurance is a necessity
Lastly, insurance is essential for your travel repertoire. For example, the last thing you want to do is become ill (or injured), spend an extended period of time in a foreign hospital, and having to pay extortionate medical bills as a result. With insurance, you are protected against this – assuming you have a plan that covers whatever problem you encounter.