If you’re preparing for a gap year, it’s best you’re aware if the things that you can get wrong. Don’t worry, many people before you have made mistakes when going on their gap years, but here are five very common gap year mistakes that are incredibly avoidable:
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 if they’re going to countries with high rates of disease or infection to get vaccinations against them, 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 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, better 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 European student paperwork.
It’s 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. Insure everything that you have, keep a note of everything that you took with you on holiday at home 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 this, this would be a very silly thing to do, especially since you start university in a year and you don’t want to suddenly riddle 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.
No, we’re not referring to 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 at all times for when you’re abroad. If you run into trouble, this is what they are there for and they are worth keeping in mind, because if you ever did run into this issues, you’d much prefer to deal with this with members of your own nationality and those who are well versed in getting you out of a tight spot if need be.
Pretty self-explanatory, if you’re packing too much, you’re doing it wrong. You don’t need to pack a lot because otherwise, you’ll have way too much stuff to look after and way too much stuff to be keeping together. If you pack too much, it will greatly affect your ability to travel too as you’ll now have too much stuff to carry around with you. Pack light, with only the essentials and carry on from there. Everything else should be absolutely fine. 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, too.
So there you have it! Five very common gap year mistakes that are totally 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, remember these five, and you should be absolutely fine! 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.
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