With increased university fees, a struggling economy and few to no jobs on the market, gap years are likely to be more popular than ever in 2012. There are hundreds of gap year opportunities out there to choose from so why not let the adventurer in you take over in 2012 and go and explore the world. If you do, the 5 key considerations below shouldn’t be overlooked:
Because there are so many opportunities out there, it’s important you do your research before leaving to ensure you find exactly the right place and project for you. If you want to relax on a beach for 6 months then find the best place to do that. If you’re looking for a more constructive project in the conservation world then narrow it down to exactly the right project for you. That way you’re less likely to struggle when you arrive when you find yourself doing something you’re not vary enthusiastic about. There are so many great resources and blogs out there which will help you with even the smallest detail.
Gap year travel insurance is crucial for anyone going away so that any medical needs are covered and any other events which may not be planned for. If you are involved in an accident or have your bags stolen you need to have an insurance policy in place which covers you sufficiently.
Before going on any extended trip you should have a full medical check and be sure that you are in a good state of health. You may find yourself some distance away from medical assistance on a gap year so it’s important to take as much precaution as possible prior to leaving.
Passports and Visa should be sorted long before leaving on a gap year. Check you passport is up to date and still will be by the end of your trip. Likewise you should put in place any visas for places you know you will be visiting. This can be more difficult for some countries than others, so it’s important to leave plenty of time for the processes to be completed.
Plan your budget in detail before leaving. It’s fairly straightforward to come up with a basic budget plan if you do sufficient research into the places you are visiting. As you move through your gap year whilst you are away then this can be refined as you monitor how accurate your original projections were. However, if you don’t do it in the first place then you may well find yourself early in your trip with no money left in the bank.