The time has finally come, after years of hard work to get through school; you now have a year off before it all starts again at University!
Of course, like many who take a gap year, you plan to travel and see the world before you head back to education and you’re probably dreaming of skydiving, elephant treks and exotic beaches. But before you start counting down the days there are a few things you need to ensure you have organised.
You don’t want to get half way round the world, and within the first week of a seven month trip realise you have forgotten something vital! So, here is a checklist, to make sure you don’t forget anything ahead of your dream trip:
Make sure your have the right documents
You won’t get very far without these! First, check your passport is in date, and that it will be for your entire journey. If you are visiting America, as part of your trip for example, you will need 6 months (at least) left on your passport when you are there.
As well as ensuring you have all your tickets, flight and hotel documents and travel insurance, make sure you have checked whether the countries you are visiting require a visa and that you have applied for these in plenty of time. File all your documents in the order you will need them, to keep everything safe (make copies just to be sure) and organised.
Plan your finances
First of all work out how much money you have for your trip and then budget it. There would be nothing worse than having to come home before the end because you have no money left!
Likewise you need to keep it safe, because you could end up in the same situation if it gets stolen. A prepaid card can be loaded up with sterling before you leave and then used wherever your travels take you. This way you avoid expensive foreign transaction charges and won’t need to carry around loads of cash.
Get your jabs
Make sure you have all the required medical jabs and tablets before you embark on your trip. This may involve vaccination injections or malaria tablets, which you need to get well before you start your trip.
If you check with your practice nurse they will let you know what you need and when you need it. But there are certain timescales to adhere to, so find out early!
Store your personal items
You may be heading to University soon after you return and you don’t want to have packing up and transporting your belongings on your mind. That’s why it’s a good idea to pack them up in advance and then use a service such as Kelly’s Student Storage that will collect, store and redeliver your items when you need them!
Pack your rucksack!
Get yourself a decent travel rucksack (no suitcases) then make a list of the essential things you will need. Travelling for a long period of time can be difficult to pack for. But don’t forget you can pick bits up along the way, probably much cheaper, so don’t over pack!
Remember this bag will be on your back, and you don’t really need six pairs of shoes that will only make it heavier! Some of the key things you may want to pack include: a basic first aid kit, sun tan lotion, mosquito repellent, a sleeping bag liner, plug adapter, camera, flip flops, swimwear, cheap clothes and locks – just to name a few!
Book your first nights accommodation
You may plan to book accommodation as you go, but make sure you have at least booked the first night! The last thing you want to do in a strange place, after a long plane ride, is walk the streets trying to find a cheap bed!
And now you know what you should be planning for your gap year, you can start counting down the days till you jet off!