You’re eighteen, fresh out of college but not quite ready for University yet. You dream of round the world travel but your parents don’t think that’s such a wise move for a young girl. After all, the world is a bad and scary place, or so they think. We know, from our own experience that there is absolutely no reason a woman can’t travel alone at any age. This post details some of the things to consider before planning your gap year. You may want to print it out and leave out strategically for your parents to read!
Get your finances in order
First things first, you won’t be going anywhere without the money to fund a round the world trip. You might need to save first and that means getting a part-time job. That alone won’t fund your entire trip so have a think about selling some of your belongings on Gumtree or Ebay. You can sell everything from clothes you never where to CDs you no longer listen to. With savings and sales you still might need to rely on your parents, that’s okay many people do. However, it’s not just financing your trip you need to prepare for. When on the road you’ll need cards that you can use abroad and you may need to make sure that your parents are set up for sending money abroad.
Know your plan
By plan, I mean route and itinerary. One of the best ways to travel around the world is with a RTW ticket, which will usually save you money. But before you buy you need to think about what you want to do in each destination because often you will be bound by pre-booked flights. These are usually changeable but costs may be involved so better to be prepared and think ahead to how you want your trip to go. You can search online for tried and tested backpacker routes or consult a travel guidebook for other ideas.
Packing for a round the world trip isn’t the same as packing for your average holiday. You will need to consider vaccinations, adapters and currencies for different countries, mosquito repellent if you are in a malaria zone and other travel essentials. Don’t leave packing for a round the world trip until the last minute. Do your research online but better still visit a travel shop and spend the afternoon speaking with someone in the know.
Don’t forget to think about your return
It’s just as important to plan for your return as it is for your departure. If you are heading off to University when you get back, make sure you factor in both time and money to prepare for the next chapter of your life. When you get home you may have post-travel blues and/or need to spend lots of time catching up with people. Make sure you prepare for what needs to be done on your return before you leave as much as you can. For example, if you need books for University, buy them before you leave rather than when you get back.
It might seem like a lot to consider but just remember that people go on gap years all the time. There is an abundance of information out there from both travel experts and other young people who have done what you are about to do. Don’t get bogged down by the preparation, enjoy it!
If you or your parents need more advice on managing money abroad check out LloydsTSB International