If you're preparing for a gap year, it’s best that you're aware of the things that you could get wrong. Don’t worry, many people before you have made mistakes when going on their gap year.
Ignoring health advice
Plenty of people when they go on holiday, react in the same way that they do when they see car safety adverts; “It could never happen to me”. How wrong they are. Many people, when they take their gap year, are warned that if they’re going to countries with high rates of disease or infection to get vaccinations against them, and unfortunately very few go ahead with it.
Nothing in this world could be more important than your health; you have to be so careful when heading to places like Zambia or Peru or travelling to Vietnam, that you are vaccinated for various diseases.
When you’re going abroad anywhere, always check with your doctor that you don’t need any special vaccinations, it's better to be safe, than sorry! If you're travelling within Europe, you need to make sure that you have European health insurance sorted before you travel.
The same can be said for all kinds of paperwork, especially if you're studying in Europe, you'll need to have everything in order, and you need to know all about European student paperwork.
One of the lesser remembered facts of travelling abroad is that you must have travel insurance. There are tons of gap year agencies that will help you in this area, and it's so important, especially if you’re going to a country with a high crime rate.
Ensure everything that you have, keep a note at home of everything that you took with you on holiday, so if the worst does happen, you’re able to give a comprehensive list to your insurer when you’re back.
Be careful and be sensible. Don’t pour all of your money into it, this would be a very silly thing to do, especially since you start university in a year and you don’t want to suddenly riddell yourself with debt.
When you’re on holiday, remember that you only need to buy the essentials, so maybe going out and buying the samurai sword that caught your eye and acting out the best scenes from Seven Samurai isn’t a good idea! You'll need to keep an eye on the funds that you have available, and you need to know how to save money as a student.
The magic numbers
No, not the popular English pop-rock band, we mean numbers on your phone, like telephone numbers. The best thing to do is to have the numbers of the British Embassy and the numbers of the British Consulate on your phone and written down, at all times when you’re abroad.
If you run into any trouble, they are there to help you and are very well versed in getting you out of a tight spot if need be. They are worth keeping in mind!
Packing too much
Pretty self-explanatory, if you’re packing too much, you’re doing it wrong. The more you pack and take with you, the more stuff you will have to carry around and look after! Packing too much can influence how easy it is to travel.
Pack light, with only the essentials and carry on from there. The best thing to do is to look at some essentials lists online, look for things like a university essentials list and see if anything there can help you. So, there you have it! Five widespread gap year mistakes that are avoidable and easy to overcome, always plan and prepare and you should be fine! Just remember that these are mistakes that greater people have made and they paid dearly for them.
It would be worth checking out the pros and cons of a gap year, it will provide you with a balanced argument and will help with answering whether you should go on a gap year.