Heading travelling or on your gap year this summer? It can be a really big decision and it's a huge leap into the unknown so you need to make sure you're as prepped as you possibly can be. Here we've compiled a list of things to make sure you're prepared for. We can't offer you guys all the tips and advice because we're definitely not qualified for that but we've included links to some great sites where you can get loads of awesome information. Stay safe, guys!
1. Flights, boarding passes and VisasThis might seem like a really simple one but for some countries, you can't get in without a Visa and if you forget to sort it out you could be spending a couple of uncomfortable weeks whilst it gets sorted out. Check out VisaHQ for the full list of the current countries that you need a Visa for!
2. InsuranceYou'll need to make sure you have the maximum insurance for your time away and remember to check whether it protects your with activities like water sports or even working abroad.
3. Carrying moneyMake sure that you're splitting up your money and storing it in more than one place. Load some onto a travel money card, perhaps consider travellers cheques too and keep cash in different places whilst travelling around so if you are compromised or if you do lose your bag then it won't all be gone!
4. Security of possessionsYour passports and other documents can be worth a hell of a lot of money to criminals and other dodgy people that you might meet abroad so keep them out of sight at all times unless you're going through security at the airport. You don't know who could be looking out for a quick win!
5. MedicalMake sure you've got all the correct jabs and treatments before you head away and then ensure that you're up to scratch on your first aid and have important things with you like water purifying tablets and rehydration treatments.
6. Local knowledge - culture, religion and lawsThis is a really important one. You don't want to get in trouble for something that you didn't even realise you were doing wrong so brush up on culture, local traditions, religious practices and laws before you head to any country.
7. Survival navigationObviously you're not planning to get lost but it could happen. You'll need maps and you'll need to know how to read the maps and it's also a good idea to learn how to use a compass.
8. Extreme weatherUnfortunately extreme weather can happen and you'll need to know how to react to hurricanes, tsunamis and earthquakes to name a few natural disasters that can happen. Read up!
9. Muggings and attacksAs scary as it can be, these things can happen so it's a good idea to get yourself onto a Gap Year Safety Course, these come in at around £160 but they'll teach you how to react in difficult situations to avoid getting hurt. The courses are delivered with interactive scenarios, lectures and some hands-on learning. The course is on par with the same level of training given to journalists and professionals who work in war zones so it can be really beneficial to get yourself on one of these. They go over everything in this post in a lot more detail and have some great tips on dealing with authority, emergency first aid and more.
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