Monday, 17 August 2009

Gap Year Guides are now out

As the exam results are due any day now (or could have just come out), many people are thinking about going off to university or college.

Students often decide to have a gap year before moving onto future education and maybe this year because of the recession will put off their studies and head off to Asia, Africa or South America (like in the photo on the left).

Others have already graduated and never took a gap year and are thinking about this as they hope the job market will improve in the next twelve months.

Wherever you are thinking of going make sure you are properly equipped for the journey.

Many people take their mobile phones with them. but buy sim cards locally and let their family know by email their contact number. Phone cards are another option and so are service like Sykpe via an internet cafe. It is good to touch base with your family at least once a week by phone or email.
A great way of storing your travel photos is to load them onto Facebook. This way you can share them with your friends and family and fellow travellers. The photos will be stored on the Facebook server and it is also a good idea to either post home a cd back up or cheap memory stick every so often as the size of the photos stored on Facebook are not too large.

Before you set off scan or photo copy your passport, credit cards etc and leave these details with your family and also all your insurance details. You never know when you might be unlucky and have your possesions stolen and if this does has happen your family can often help with sorting out the problem.

Don't take too much cash with you, but rely on ATM cash machines, however in some countries the machines can run out of cash quickly. Make sure you keep some of your money hidden as you could be vulnerable in public places.

Plan ahead using the Internet for youth hostel information and with many of these you can book in advance. Always try and keep well within the budget you have set.

One small useful tip is buy a "wind up torch". You don't need to rely on having to buy new batteries, just a little winding exercise from time to time.

Don't take too much reading material, naturally you will need your guide books, but when it comes to books to read, the gap year travelling community just keeps on swopping books. The book you left Southhampton with could easily tour Africa faster than you would.

The most important expenditure will be your Travel Insurance, jml acts as introducer agents to several providers of "backpacker insurance" products for direct travel, essential travel and Endsleigh.
Enjoy your travels

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