Gap Year Travel Planning
Planning your gap year can take months to accomplish with so many things to consider such as financing the year, flights, accommodation, visas, deciding what to purchase and the list goes on. Not planning for a gap year is a bad idea as you may run out of money, pay thousands if no insurance has been taken out or simply get bored.
Some of the benefits of planning effectively for your gap year include being able to set a more realistic budget and also making the most of
your time, money and opportunities while travelling.
Some of the areas to cover when planning your gap year travel include:
Decide on which countries you would like to visit but keep the route flexible in terms of the cities or areas to visit. This will allow you to change route at short notice if you meet new people or find information on more interesting ..more on travel route >>
If your route takes in two or more continents, consider a round the world ticket as these can be be quite economical compared to individual flights. There are many companies offering round the world tickets. Some tickets offer additional benefits such as being able to change flight dates at no cost or very little cost. Many ..more on flights >>
Check that your passport is valid and covers the dates of your trip for the countries you will be going to. Many countries will give a 30 day or longer visa at ..more on visas >>
It is advisable to pre-book the first night or two of your trip in a hostel or hotel. Most travel sites such as Hostelworld or Ebookers offer the facility to book online. They also allow you to check ratings for each hostel / hotel posted by previous travellers & they cover a wide range of locations around the world.
Pre-booking a hostel can save an enormous amount of time and energy - especially after a long journey or when arriving at a popular resort where hostel places may be in short supply.
If you are traveling with a group, be sure to also consider timeshare rentals which can give you more space and privacy. As with hostels, however, it's always a good idea to book these in advance.
Taking out good quality travel insurance is essential before going on a world trip or to a few countries. Shop around as the cheapest insurance is not necessarily the best option. Ensure that the policy covers all your requirements especially if adventure travel or certain types of sports are part of your travel plans. Some of the more reputable insurance companies include Essential Travel and Columbus Direct. Travel insurance will cover ..more on travel insurance >>
Check with your local doctor about which immunisations you will need for the countries that you will be going to. Some immunisations may be free under the NHS but there will be charges for some others. In addition, you will have to take precautions when travelling to countries with malaria, rabies, hepatitis and other diseases including HIV / Aids and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). See the travel health section for more information.
Decide on how you will finance day to day expenses when travelling. There are many options available today including debit and credit cards, travellers cheques, local currency and money transfers. There is also the big issue of finding the money to finance the trip before you go. Finding a well paid job is the best solution but it may take many sacrifices to save the money required including reducing nights out & purchases. See the finance section for further information.
Make scans and photocopies of all important documents such as passports, visas, insurance policies, immunisations, accommodation bookings, travellers cheques, contact numbers etc. and email these to yourself as well as keeping copies in your rucksack.