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7 Things Every Gap Year Student Needs to do Before Travelling

There’s nothing more exciting in most young people’s lives than taking a year out to an exotic destination as part of a learning experience in life. But what do you need to do in preparation for such an event?

Today we’re going to look at seven things every gap year student should do before travelling:

1. Set your budget

Holiday prices rack up quickly – with the cost of travel alone sure to set you back a fair amount before secondary costs are even taken into account.

There’s lots of helpful tools out there to help you budget the money you already have and formulate a plan which’ll see you theoretically have enough at all times.

While there’s the potential to earn more when you’re away, keeping a solid grasp over your finances pre-travel is also a wise move.


2. Find a job or volunteer

Clinching some sort of job in the nation you’re travelling to prior to actually heading out there will go a long way to making your life considerably easier.

If you’re planning to spend the next 12 months in Thailand, but have no idea where a regular source of income is coming from, you may be in a spot of bother.

It might even be prudent to plan your holiday around a job or a volunteering program– so you know you can spend a year somewhere with financial security.


3. Get your jabs

As advanced as we are as a global community, there’s still a whole host of deadly diseases out there which are lurking and ready to strike at any moment.

To ensure you avoid contracting a horrendous condition, make sure you follow this guide to pre-prick planning:

  • Get the jab six to eight weeks before your planned trip

  • Bring details of where you’re going to so the doctors know exactly what jabs you need

  • Consult your GP for further medical advice

  • Shop around and compare the price of vaccines

Even after you’ve had your jabs, it’s still important to stay aware of other medical risks – which is why taking a medical kit with you at all times is always a good idea.

pictures from the photo-shoot / campaign shoot Kjerag, Norway 2013. Valid to 2015.

4. Settle things at home

Before you leave, make sure you’ve gotten all your affairs in order at home – both with those closest to you and organisations you regularly deal with.

You’ll want to inform your bank you’ve moved overseas, for example, or you may find your credit or debit card suddenly being blocked.

Mail services will also have to be informed, while casual social media acquaintances can be kept up to date with the posting of a simple status.

5. Plan your year

Planning your year out will give you a more focused itinerary of things to do – which should theoretically result in a far more efficient use of your time.

If you know where you’re going and when, you can make the most of all the moments of downtime you get, rather than being forced to stress and plan during them.


6. Get documentation in order

There’s plenty of legal hoops you’ll need to jump through when travelling abroad for an extended period of time, so make sure you get everything sorted well before you head out.

Passports are, unsurprisingly, particularly important – you’ll need an up-to-date document that won’t expire while you’re abroad.

If you need a new one, it’s a relatively simple application process. This is perhaps more important than anything else when going away.


7. Brush up on some basic language skills

It stands to reason if you’re heading out to a foreign country which speaks a language different to your own you might want to learn some key words.

The basics will see you through most social situations – like ordering in a restaurant, asking for directions and shopping – and serve as a solid base for potentially gaining a better overall understanding as you move forward.

There you have it – seven tips for anyone planning to head out on a gap year. If you tick off all of these steps prior to your year out, you should be very well prepared for your year of fun, adventure and learning.