Gap Year? Going Travelling?
Thousands of teenagers have no doubt just spent the summer at home, working in pubs, restaurants or housekeeping, and waiting for the sun to shine. But now the black cock shock is officially over (did it ever start?) and many young people will be planning how they are going to spend their gap year.
The reasons for travelling on your gap year should be carefully decided upon. It is a good time to hone some skills that will make you stand out to future employers, such as learning to work as a team, adapting to other cultures/environments, as well as learning to become independent and ultimately a more rounded person than you may have been before. Volunteering is a fulfilling way to do this and there are hundreds of schemes that you can apply for depending on your areas of interest, whether it’s teaching English or working with endangered species.
Depending on where you are going, it is then important to seek relevant health advice. There have been recent warnings in the press regarding the risks of Malaria, a disease commonly spread to humans in tropical countries via mosquitoes. The Telegraph reports that every year between 1500 to 2000 people return to the UK with the disease, leading to nine deaths on average. Antimalarials should be obtained at least 6 to 8 weeks before travelling if you are travelling to such a region, but relevant research must be undertaken for any new foreign destination.
Money is the next important thing to factor into your plans. It is good to establish a daily budget to stick to, and also to take an emergency credit card and travellers cheques that can be stored away from your wallet. Before you go, check passports, visas, and travel insurance. Make sure all will last for the desired time, and that your insurance covers everything such as gadgets, mobile phones and so on.
Additionally, some gap year website highlight the importance of keeping up to date and in contact with people back home. Travelling in new places can lead to changes in plan and so to know what exactly is going on in surrounding countries and being able to update friends and family easily can keep their minds at rest; and you safe.