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Planning for a Great Gap Year

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An element of planning is required for any holiday so a gap year away from home needs a little time dedicated to making sure you have taken care of all the essentials.

Taking a gap year to travel to different countries is an exciting time and can be all the easier if you have taken care of everything before you depart.

One of the most important things to take care of before you set off is comprehensive travel insurance. Have a look online to find the best prices and remember to think about what you might be doing whilst away.

Activities like white water rafting and bungee jumping are usually considered an “extreme” sport so make sure you are fully covered by your travel insurance policy. If you aren’t covered you will have to meet the costs of any emergency yourself, including potentially expensive medical bills.

To keep yourself safe when it comes to medical issues, make sure you check what inoculations are required for any countries you are travelling to.

Make sure you visit your local doctor or nurse a few months before you travel as some vaccinations are required several weeks in advance. You might need to take certain medicines, such as anti-malaria tablets, so ensure you have plenty of these as well as any medications you regularly take.

Have a look at your passport and check it is up-to-date. Certain countries require you to have a minimum period of validity on your passport when you arrive so it makes sense to check this out in plenty of time.

Depending on what countries you plan to visit, you might need to obtain a visa before arrival. Check with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) to enquire about the requirements for your chosen destination(s) and give yourself enough time to get all your visas in place before jetting off.

When it comes to packing, think about where you‘re going, when you’re going and what you are likely to be doing there. This will help you to plan what sorts of clothes and other bits and bobs to take with you.

An essential item you should pack into your luggage is photocopies of all your important documents, such as passport, visas and any cash, debit, credit and currency cards.

Leave another set of these photocopies with a trusted person at home and if anything does go wrong, this makes it much easier to deal with. You could additionally scan these documents and email them to yourself. This way, all your important paperwork is available online and you can access it from anywhere in the world.

In terms of finances, it is safest to take a mixture of cash, debit, credit and currency cards. Splitting your finances over various sources minimises the impact if anything were to go missing.

Janine Barclay writes for a digital marketing agency. This article has been commissioned by a client of said agency. This article is not designed to promote, but should be considered professional content.

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