It”s that time of year again when school and university leavers are preparing their next steps. Some are heading for the big world of work, while others are planning a year of adventure and discovery before they tie themselves down to a stable job and a steady salary.

If you are looking into the possibility of a a gap year, here are a few important things you”ll want to decide before stepping foot on that plane away from blighty.


The type of experience you want from your gap year

There are an increasing number of travel companies offering gap year packages and travelling opportunities to suit a variety of interests. First, you need to decide what you want to get out of the experience.

Would you prefer to follow in the footsteps of mainstream tourists and see the world’s landmarks, local attractions and monuments in some of the most popular cities on the planet? Or is nature your thing, and you feel the urge to go on safari or go trekking to see the wilder side of life? Perhaps you want to make a real difference and do charity or voluntary work, helping with building projects or teaching abroad?

Maybe you want to do all three. Get researching and think about the types of experiences you want to have and kinds of places you want online casino to visit.


Financing your gap year

Gap years do not come cheap, so look around and see what deals you can get.

Planning is important to prevent your funds from running low too soon. Before you go, create a budget of how much you think you’ll spend on travel, accommodation, food and activities, and always make sure you have extra for emergencies.

It may even be worth finding work for three to six months prior to travelling to save up the money you will need once abroad. This will give you more time to plan your trip and research where you want to visit.

Alternatively, you may want to consider working whilst travelling and experience the local culture from an employee”s perspective.


Who to travel with

You might prefer to travel with friends for support, particularly if your gap year is your first experience of travelling. However, if your friends are not as excited about the prospect of taking a year out to travel the world, you may need to consider travelling alone.

If the idea of setting out solo fills you with trepidation, there are also travel companies that can cater for individuals wanting to travel within a group.


Making your gap year count

Even if your plan is to let down your hair and have fun, don”t forget about making your year away count towards your future.

Taking a year out of education or work increases your cultural awareness and is great experience for your CV or university application. Learning a language or volunteering can help develop your skills including organisation, independence, and budgeting, making you more attractive to future employers.


Look after your health

Depending on where your travel destinations then you will need to consider travel vaccinations and travel medicines such as antimalarial tablets. Do your research to see if you will be visiting areas at risk of diseases.

If you are unsure of the health risks of your gap year, then always consult your GP, pharmacy or travel clinician. Disease risks can change over time and there is always a danger that you are not up-to-date with the latest guidelines, so seeking the help of a health professional is advisable.

Travel insurance is essential whenever you’re travelling abroad in case you fall ill or have an accident. Check to see the insurance you get is comprehensive and covering any risks you may face whilst travelling. And if you are moving around in the EU, make sure you are carrying a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).

Drop into one of our Express Travel walk-in clinics for expert health advice. You can also purchase your vaccinations and medicines from us with no appointment needed.