Contrary to popular belief, gap years are not just for students and graduates looking to travel before making their way into the world of study or work.
Although around 230,000 people between the ages of 18-25 opt for a gap year before university, anyone can take a gap year at any time in their lives, and they should!
Whether you’re heading out with the whole family, a partner or close friend, or even flying solo, these three tips should help you plan the perfect gap year.
1 Decide where you’re going
This is the first and most important step. Will you take the opportunity to cross a dream destination off the bucket list, return to a much-loved holiday-hotspot to settle, or even take a gamble on an unknown zone?
You don’t even necessarily have to stay in one place – travelling should give you the ultimate freedom to go wherever you want.
But wherever you’re going, consider where you want to stay – do you have a friend or family member who can put you up, or will you need to rent a place for a while? If so, will you be on your own or sharing with roommates? Again this decision may be influenced by whether or not you’re travelling alone.
2 Learn the local language
So you know where you’re going, and you know where you’ll be staying. Now you need to work out how to get around.
Learning the local language is a huge part of this – it’s something that many travellers shy away from as much as possibly, but a second language is a valuable skill that will help you find new friends and settle in.
A second language is a valuable skill for the long-term too – whether you’re working abroad or at home, multilingual workers tend to make more money on average and have more career prospects.
But getting started can be a daunting task, and mountains of Italian phrasebooks and Spanish dictionaries can often make things all the more confusing. Consider investing in a tutoring service such as Teachers To Your Home. They provide support for all ages, have tutors who are proficient in a number of languages, and offer flexible sessions including online one-to-one classes no matter what fluency level you’re at.
3 Get saving!
Once you’ve made the decision to take your gap year, you’re probably raring to book your flights and run off as soon as possible.
But it’s a good idea to leave yourself time to save before heading off on your global adventure. Whilst scrimping and saving is difficult at the best of times, there are a few things you can do to cut back on unnecessary expenditures.
But for a little extra income, try your hand at online selling to clear out some clutter and create some funds. Bear in mind that you’ll want to travel light anyway on your worldwide adventure, so why not transform some of that empty baggage into profit?
We hope these three tips help you in planning you perfect gap year!