Planning a gap year can be a pretty daunting prospect – there’s so much to organise, plan and think about that it can all be pretty overwhelming!
Luckily for you though our team have been on the road for years and have the whole planning thing down to a pretty smooth process – so here’s 5 of our favourite planning tips to help you gap year get off to the best possible start…
Budget & Saving Breakdown
One of the biggest things to get nailed with your gap year is money. As much as we all hate it money is pretty central to your plans so it’s time to make nice with your bank balance!
When you’re in saving mode a simple spreadsheet will help you plan out how much you can save and keep track of everything.
Keep track of your incomings, outgoings and any extras that add into the pot. Figuring out how much money you can realistically save each month will help you figure out when you can leave and what you’re final travel budget will be!
And once you’re on the road it’s even more important to keep track of your dollar.
Spots like Thailand and The Philippines will cost less than areas like Australia or New Zealand so adjust your monthly spend accordingly, just don’t fall into the trap of overspending since you’re somewhere cheap, you’ll be glad of the extra cash for spontaneous spends and in more expensive destinations!
Lists….Lots Of Lists!
Lists are your new best friend!
Yup they’re the easiest way to keep track of things you need to do but also what you want to do once you’re on the road too.
Packing lists, bucket lists, list of countries you want to visit – start putting pen to paper and you’ll soon see a plan organically come together!
Packing lists will be written, re written, scrapped and then written again so don’t be afraid to adjust everything!
Pack your bucket list with you and things to do list too – the amount of times we’ve got so caught up in the moment on the road and forgotten that epic little day trip we found when planning is ridiculous…so you’re lists will help you make the most of your experience!
And along with lists comes research!
Luckily we live in a digital age so there are heaps of epic planning tools you can use…not just guide books!
Check out heaps of travel blogs (our blog ambassadors are the perfect start!), Google destinations and even things like Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook are amazing for getting your wanderlust going so go nuts!
Again write all your inspiration down on your lists and you’ll be able to keep track of all the travel chaos going on!
Buy A Map…Or Two…Or Three!
One of our favourite travel planning tools are maps – they make everything so much more visual and easier to piece together.
Not only should you get a big world map for your wall but some more detailed ones too – specific destinations or just areas you’re travelling around.
Being able to see all the places you want to go and how they fit together will quickly allow you to plan your route and where the best spots to fly in and out of are!
Figure Out Why You’re Going!
Although one of the most important things about planning your gap year though is figuring out what to do the most important question you need to ask yourself is WHY you’re going!
There’s nothing worse than going in blindly and wasting all your hard earned cash partying and coming back wishing you’d made the most of the experience!
Start with your hobbies and what you love to do…
Simply want to top up your tan?
Fancy volunteering in a local community?
Or what about learning to scuba dive?
Maybe you’re into nature and want to photograph some wildlife?
Or want to be a bit colder and go enjoy some snow?
Writing everything you love to do will give you a great starting point for a well rounded gap year experience and whether it simply entails seeing some new places or goes deeper and helps boost your CV for your chosen career you cant know where to go until you know why you’re going!
So ask yourself why you’re going on a gap year…you’ll be surprised at what it leads!
The bottom line though is that your gap year is YOUR gap year – take on everyones advice but don’t do things simply because other people do them too.
It’s your money, your time and your adventure.
So live it on your terms!