Contributed by Grace Lewis
Graduated? Tired? Thinking about taking a year out before you head off into the ‘real world’? Gap year guru Grace Lewis shares her top travelling tips for making the most out of your final moments before ‘adult-ing’ begins.
Thinking about taking a year out in the coming months? These types of adventures are a great way to get out and see the world, as well as develop a better understanding of yourself. Let’s run through five things every gap year student should know before they head off on their time away.
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- Souvenirs are a waste of time
In fairness, this is true of any holiday – whether it’s a gap year or a family vacation. While souvenirs might seem like a cracking idea at the time of purchase, they’ll serve very little purpose when you arrive home.
Maybe they’ll look quirky on your mantelpiece for a few months, but in time they’ll just stand out as another space-filler cluttering up your home. More to the point, if you get one for every area you’re in, you’ll soon find yourself weighed down by knick-knacks as you travel about.
- You need to get vaccinated
If you’re headed to far flung reaches (especially to a continent you’ve never been to before) you’re going to need to get vaccinated. As the WHO (World Health Organisation) point out, there are a number of deadly diseases which can still play havoc on your immune system.
It’s imperative you avoid this by researching and booking up your jabs prior to travel. Don’t let yourself run the risk of being caught out by a potential deadly condition just because you didn’t bother to look into it.
- Planning is useful
While you won’t have to live your life by a set agenda, it’s good to have a rough idea of what you want to do during your year out. It’s pretty hard to think of an entire year-long plan, but not impossible.
The Bemused Backpacker provides a guide on how to plan for a year gap year, with some of his key points including:
- Thinking about what you want to get out of the year
- Taking inspiration from others
- Working out what you actually want to do during your days
- A budget will be a lifesaver
If you can build yourself a pre-trip budget, you’ll find things will be a lot easier when you do head out on your adventures. Having some extra cash in your pocket is pretty much an essential for a successful year out.
1cover provide a series of budgeting tips for any traveller looking to go out and see the world, with some of their best snippets of advice including:
- Getting a second job before you travel
- Saving up months ahead of time
- Being strict with yourself in the period leading up to your year out
- You may pile on the pounds
Contrary to popular belief, a gap year doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be surviving on minimal calories, and come back looking trimmer than ever. It’s likely you’ll eat less, but the food you intake will probably overcompensate in all nutritional departments as a result. Chances are you’ll come back the same size, if not a bit flabbier.
Are you heading off on a gap year in the near future? Make sure to bear these factors in mind if so. They could make a world of difference in the long run.
Have you done the whole ‘gap yah’ thing already? Let us know your top tips in the comments below or via social media.