It is finally the perfect time for you to fly the nest and explore the world. There is no better feeling than booking your trip to an exotic location and knowing you have a whole year of traveling ahead of you. Plus, you get a year to get your life in order. I know that’s where I found my inspiration! But, before you can enjoy a year in paradise, there are a couple of issues you need to address. I promise it will make for the perfect experience.
Remember your health
Before you go away to a foreign country, you need to visit your local doctor or medical practitioner. Just because you are travelling doesn’t mean you should neglect your health. If anything, you should be more aware when you visit exotic countries because of the range of diseases. Being more aware is one of the main reasons why you need travel vaccinations as it ensures you don’t put your health at risk. Yes, there are risks, but that shouldn’t be enough to stop you from travelling in the first place.
Always be alert
To ensure your safety on another level, you always need to be alert. There is a tendency to let your standards slip because you are away. I should know better than most because I have done it myself. But, this can be dangerous in itself. Always try something new and exciting, but make sure it is in the parameters of what makes you comfortable. Otherwise, you can get in trouble.
Insurance is there for a reason, and that reason is to make sure you come home if anything goes wrong. Yes, it is an added expense that you might think is not significant, but don’t think of it like that. Think of insurance as a safety net that always has your back should any trouble pop up out of nowhere.
Save up as much as possible
The experience of traveling in your gap year is one that you will cherish forever. You meet new people and have experiences that you never forget which is why you should make the most of it. Money is a big factor in having a good time whether you have it or not. On one hand, you need enough to do all the activities you want and to live. But, on the other hand, some of the best times are when you are dead broke. Try and estimate beforehand how much money you will need on a general basis and hit that figure. Once you get there, carry on and save as much as you can. You never know when it will come in handy.
Brush up on your geography
A bit of local knowledge goes a long way. You are going to be in a foreign climate without any help, so a travel guide will show you everything you need to know. Topics such as how to get there, what hostel to stay in and good places to eat are standard information for any decent travel book. Trust me, there are times when you will thank God you bought that book.
Don’t be afraid to try something new
You are on vacation after all. Plus, how often are you going to get to crawl through the Cu Chi tunnels in Ho Chi Minh, or see how the other half lives in the slums of Mumbai? The whole reason you are travelling on your gap year is to broaden your horizons, so you have to try anything and everything. That includes food, drink and any experiences that you can afford or that sound like something you will never get to do again.
Keep in touch
You are bound to meet new people. It is an occupational hazard! But, you are also going to lose contact with some people because you all have different aims and goals. Try as hard as you can not to let that happen. Take down phone numbers; take down email addresses; add them on Facebook: do whatever you can to stay in touch. Just because you are in different parts of the country doesn’t mean you can’t meet up further down the road.
Sort out passports and visas
Your passport is your life while you are away. It is the one thing that will get you home. Trust me; you don’t want to be stuck somewhere without one. Make sure there are enough pages and that it doesn’t run out while you are away. Plus, check visas and entry specifications for the countries you are visiting. Some will be free, and others will charge you, which will add to your expenses and your budget.
Who knows? Maybe you’ll end up living the life of a travel blogger, too!