It’s that time of year when thoughts are turning to travel plans for next year… What are you going to plan for when those exams are over, or for occupying your summer months between terms? Thinking of a full Gap Year or just trekking the Himalayas for a couple of months?
Well, whatever you’re thinking – don’t go any further before reading ABTA’s Top Tips for a safe and rewarding Gap Year.
Go with an expert
Choose a reputable gap year provider with a good track record.
Know your destination
Speak to your travel agent or tour operator and check the Foreign Office travel advice for dos and don’ts and no go areas. It will also tell you about visa requirements and how to get one, especially relevant if you’re going to be working.
Pick the right activity
Think carefully about the kind of activity you’ll be doing; working, volunteering or learning a skill can be a real boost to your CV.
Look after your money
Load your money onto a pre-paid currency card, such as Post Office Travel Money Card Plus. It’s more secure than using a bank card and could save you money in fees.
Keep electronic copies of all your important travel documents and leave a photocopy at home.
Keep in touch
It’s never been easier to keep in touch wherever in the world you are, so sign up to Skype, download Whatsapp and phone your mum once in a while. It’s also worth getting a cheap mobile phone if you’re going to be in a destination for a long time.
Get a good quality travel insurance policy, the cheapest policies will not provide you with the level of cover necessary for a lengthy stay overseas. Post Office Money® offer a great Back Packer cover.
Learn the language
If you’re travelling to a non-English speaking country take some language lessons before you go; you’ll find it much easier to fit in when you first arrive. When you’re speaking to locals, have a go, don’t rely on people to speak English; you’ll pick up the language much more quickly that way.
Top gap year destinations
4. New Zealand
9. South Africa