Taking a gap year has never been so popular – and for good reason. With the competitive job market and all the pressures being a young adult involves these days, taking a few months or a year out to escape from the daily grind, discover new corners of the planet and do a bit of soul-searching is a hugely attractive option. Roughly 230,000 young people in the UK alone choose to start their gap adventure each year, many of them having never travelled alone before. Gap years can give you many skills and experiences – from working abroad, finding new international friends, making irreplaceable memories – or even coming back with a new tattoo or looking up belly bar sizes – the freedom and self-expression are once in a lifetime. To ensure you get the most out of the experience, you must be prepared.
Many young people want to get involved in volunteering overseas as a route to personal development, but make sure before you leave home that you are fully informed. Take the time to check out the organisation – its website and social media pages -and reach out to people who have volunteered for them before if you need to. Make sure that you know all the arrangements, the reputation of the organisation and what training and on the job support you’re likely to receive.
Get The Right Cover
Insurance might seem like a very boring and prosaic thing when you’re preparing for an adventure in Indonesia, but its simply a must for a successful trip. You need to make sure that in event of an accident or illness, you have the right cover in place to be able to access local medical care or even to be transferred home if necessary. Comprehensive travel and medical insurance is something you cannot cut corners on – but do shop around using comparison sites to get the best deal. Plan ahead for any activities you may be likely to do, such as watersports or skydiving, and make sure that your policy covers you.
Take Half the Baggage…And Double The Money
Once you have a rough itinerary and duration for your trip, you’ll be able to plan in advance what to take with you. Seek out a guide to packing as a traveller and try to follow the mantra of less is more. Look for versatile basics in light, non-crease fabrics that can be worn a variety of ways and easily given a hand wash in a sink. You can always buy items locally if you really need them, and come back with some new things to remind you of your trip. Find clever solutions, such as an infinity scarf that can be worn as a top, a skirt or many different styles of dress to get the most mileage from what you pack. And in terms of the budget, save as much as you can, even if it means working double shifts in the run-up to departure. You’ll always be glad of a little extra, and money gives you the cushion and flexibility to change your plans a little more, leaving you free to create the memories you’ve always dreamed of.