Make Your Gap Year Affordable
Every year we get more proof of the academic, professional and emotional benefits of taking a gap year. With this information, more and more students are choosing to defer. Millions of people are planning their gap year trip right now! With our discounted student flights, we hope that every single one of them gets to live their dream. Here are some tips on getting what you want out of your year abroad, and how to save a few quid in the process:
Affordable Gap Year Advice
A lot of the time, pre-booking your tours and activities will cost less than simply turning up on the day of. Tour companies need to register a minimum number of people for a tour before it can run. That’s what pre-booking allows them to do and why they nearly always offer cheap tour pre-booking deals.
Volunteering is one of the most rewarding and affordable things to do on your gap year. Imagine a free opportunity to engage with your host community in a meaningful way. If there is a small fee, it typically covers accommodation, food and material costs associated with the project. This experience can lead to new skills for your CV, life-long friendships and a deeper understanding of life across the globe.
Once you pick your destination(s) and activities, work out how much you’ll need to spend to make those plans a reality. If this number is over your budget, or more than you can save by the time you leave, admit it. Don’t try to do more than you can afford, simply rework your priorities or (how we hate to say it) go another time.
The more people in a group, the cheaper it’ll be for you. This holds true on just about everything you’d want to do on your gap year trip. You can negotiate cheaper deals on tours and activities, get cheap rail tickets with group discounts, share larger rooms in your hostels and prepare food in bulk.
Booking a gap year package with a major agent will cost you more than organizing things independently. There are plenty of cheap flight deals and budget hotels that reward you for travelling at off-peak times, and having control over those kinds of details can mean the difference between promptly heading home, and spending an extra couple of weeks island hopping in Indonesia.
You’re already highly skilled at English, right? Reserve a three month block in the middle of your trip to teach it as a second language and get paid anything from £600 to £2,200 per month. This will help you refresh your bank account and experience the culture from a really unique perspective. With countries like Saudi Arabia, Dubai and Costa Rica crying out for English Teachers, it’s a perfect fit for gap year travel.
Gap Year Packing Tips
Even if you plan on bringing more than one bag, pack as light as you can. Specific packing lists will vary person to person, but you definitely want to plan ahead and go through rounds of “editing,” where you reconsider and cut away excess items.
Make sure you’ve got all the essentials: passport, phone and charger, travel itinerary, tickets, money, travel insurance and medication. Those are important. Everything else is…. flexible. Or at least for sale. You probably need a few versatile (and sturdy) outfits, but you can also find cheap and decent clothing in any country, so don’t worry about professional or formal wear. Think most about the region’s climate and your regular excursions. Keep in mind that in many climates a pair of shorts, pants, a few different shirts and a rain jacket can go a long way. One tip: Bring a sarong (or buy one when you land). They weigh nothing and are perfect for covering up when visiting temples, getting cozy on an overnight bus and lying on the beach.
Tucking a couple ziplock bags and a bin liner into the corner of your backpack isn’t a waste of space, either. They can serve as waterproof phone covers or shield your entire bag from the rain. Other things to bring include a small journal, sunglasses, baby wipes and headphones. If you’re camping, invest in a good, lightweight sleeping bag. If not, stick to a simple sleep sack (two sheets sewn together) for hostels and guesthouses. Use packing cubes to keep everything organized and travel on!