A gap year should be a trip of a lifetime. However, without the right planning your year away can easily turn into a nightmare. You can ensure your gap year goes as smoothly as possible by taking the right things. Here are a few useful tips on packing and general preparation.
Packing and Storage
When you’re away on a gap year, you can’t take all of your belongings with you, so some things need to be left behind. To ensure that you’re not continually worrying about the welfare of your belongings back home it’s a good idea to find a suitable place in which to store them.
Finding storage for small items is easy enough: they can be left with friends and family. Larger items however, may require a little more thought. One great idea is a purpose built storage facility. These self-storage sites are designed to have large objects kept in them for long periods of time. Over at www.readysteadystore.com there are plenty of storage options available.
A gap year may mean upwards of 12 months away from home, but it is not necessary to pack a year’s worth of luggage. In fact, it is a good idea to try to pack as lightly as possible, which will make it easier for you when travelling from place to place. Essential items include your passport and a credit or debit card. Conversely, it’s a good idea to leave your best clothes at home as it can be hard to keep clothes in good condition while you’re living out of a backpack.
One of the main motivations of a gap year may be to learn about new ways of life and to experience new cultures. However, a year away from home can be expensive, so in the run up to the trip you’ll have to embrace the work culture of the UK and try to make as much money as possible.
As well as earning money, it’s also important to save as much as possible. This doesn’t mean living in abject poverty, but it might be a good idea to reduce your spending on luxury items. Another way to save money is to book your flights as early as possible as tickets tend to be less expensive closer to the release date. You can buy flights up to nine months in advance of your date of departure. It might be a bit difficult at first, but living on a budget will soon get easier and it’ll allow you to enjoy your gap year a lot more if you’re not worrying about your financial situation. More money saving tips can be seen in this article by the Telegraph.
It’s very important to plan certain details of a gap year. For instance, it’s a good idea to know which areas you want to visit before you leave. This way you can check what the places have to offer and ascertain the currency and safety precautions you may need to take. There is comprehensive travel advice for visiting 225 different countries or territories on the www.gov.uk website.
This said, it is important not to over plan the precise details of a trip, such as where you are going to eat every day or what time you are going to get up. It will be very difficult to keep to such plans, which can be frustrating, so it’s best to let some aspects of the trip unfold naturally and just go with the flow.