Hints and tips from our experts!
Taking a gap year can be a life-changing experience! Nothing that big comes without its hitches and hassles but our job at GapGuru is to make sure it goes as smoothly as possible and you remember it for all the right reasons! Travelling, working or volunteering abroad can seem daunting so look through the tips below for a few pointers on how to make the most of your experience!
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Before you go..
While you’re there..
Be careful what you eat and drink. Make sure all food is freshly prepared and thoroughly cooked and drink bottled or purified water where necessary. There’s nothing worse than being ill during your gap travel!
Travelling, working and volunteering abroad can be draining activities in a hot country, so it’s important to keep hydrated at all times. Dehydration can make you irritable, tired and even ill so keep drinking water throughout the day, (but bear in mind that the more you drink, the more you will need to use the toilet, which can be very inconvenient on long journeys!)
Your gap year can give you some amazing experiences and memories so it’s a good idea to keep a travel diary and a camera is absolutely essential! Just make sure you look after it and back up your photos where possible.
Buying a good quality backpack and packing light can really take the hassle out of gap year travel. You’ll be living out of your backpack for most of your trip so make sure it’s comfortable to wear, lightweight and easy to find things in. It’s also a good idea to leave a little room at the top of your bag to make repacking easier and to give you space for souvenirs you pick up on the way!
Perhaps most importantly, be flexible and be patient! Things won’t always go to plan and stressing out will get you nowhere. Remember that gap travel is all about adventure, and for better or worse, unpredictability is a part of this!
Special considerations for female travellers
While it isn’t necessarily more dangerous for women to take a gap year abroad, female travellers do need to be aware that many developing countries have different customs and culture that may affect how they’re treated. A few things to keep in mind...
Attitudes towards women can be very different in other cultures. To cause yourself the least hassle it’s wise to read up on local customs and conventions before you arrive.
Women considering a gap year abroad in countries such as India should be prepared to dress conservatively. It is considered respectable to cover your arms, legs and midriff at all times. You should also consider dyeing your hair a darker colour, as blonde and red hair is something of a novelty in other cultures and may attract unwanted attention.
You may find it easier to travel with a friend, who can provide moral support if you get into any confusing situations. It’s also a good idea to walk in groups late at night as a safety precaution.
While women should be vigilant, bear in mind that not all attention is threatening! Most men who approach foreign women are simply curious or trying to be helpful.