Preparing A Proper Gap Year (In Mind And Money)

Pexels - CC0 Licence Taking a trip abroad to broaden the sensors is one thing but when you are preparing a gap year it's not ...

Taking a trip abroad to broaden the sensors is one thing but when you are preparing a gap year it's not just about finding a couple of places to go it's about making sure that you are prepared in a personal and financial sense. Gap years can be one of the most exhilarating experiences of your entire life just as long as you prepare adequately. With this in mind, how can you prepare a proper gap year so that you are able to get the most out of it?

The financial hurdles
Most importantly you need a decent amount of money. They say that roughly for a year-long trip around the world you'll need approximately £10,000. This can seem like a huge amount but if you separate your savings and start to accumulate a little bit of money every month and make a handful of sacrifices you will see the money build up quickly. Conversely, if you are looking for a quick hit of money, there are organisations like Buddy loans, direct guarantor loan lender companies can, at the very least, top your finances off if you are struggling to hit the golden number. But you must remember that you will have to make a handful of sacrifices. Many people look at saving money as more than a full-time job. When you start to think about the sacrifices you are making, it can wear you down but it's all for a good reason!

Preparing your health
This is one of the most important things to get right. If you are travelling to countries like Asia or Africa you may need to get yourself vaccinated against certain diseases. If your jabs are up to date you will still need to consult a doctor to make sure that you have everything you need. Consult your local travel clinic or check with your doctor to see if you need items like anti-malaria tablets. As well as this, make sure that you are physically fit. This is something that we can greatly underestimate, especially when we think we will be getting plenty of outdoor exercise traversing mountains. But you don't want to be missing out on great experiences because you are a bit tired and need a lie-down. Use the 12 months prior to going as an opportunity to slowly build up your fitness levels.

Getting your documentation in order
Remember to make sure that your passport and visas are all up to date. It's a good idea to apply for them at least 3 months before travelling. This will make things easier if there are any issues with postage. A lot of people leave their passport applications until the last minute, and this can be incredibly stressful. As well as this, think about your travel insurance. As boring as it sounds you need to make sure that you are travelling with an adequate amount. Because there could be unexpected medical expenses wherever you go. There's plenty of policies out there to cover you but just make sure that you declare any pre-existing medical conditions first.

Preparing yourself mentally
When you have decided where you want to go, you've got to make sure that you are ready. The best thing you can do to prepare yourself is to get a good understanding of where you want to go before heading off. There are plenty of Lonely Planet guides out there that can give you a decent picture of your destination. It's important to remember that you will only get so much of an impression of the place from a book. Ultimately, going to another country is going to be a shock to the system if you've never undergone a major travel expedition before. Think about what you can do to prepare yourself, as well as your loved ones. It's incredibly exciting but in many ways, you are operating without a safety net. But there are things that you can do to give your family some peace of mind. You could use the Foreign Office website to check their travel recommendations so at the very least your family won't panic so much because they heard bad stories about a certain place. But you have to make sure that you get everything you can emotionally out of the experience. 

Preparing yourself is about asking yourself what you would like to learn from the experience but also going in with an open mind will help you to learn. A proper gap isn't just about an extended holiday it's about learning about the world so you can discover lovely corners of the planet while also making sure that you learn about yourself.


I really appreciate the comments I get. Please leave your blog url so I can check out your blog :-)

Items marked with a * have been gifted, this does not affect my personal opinion.