Travel Safety Pre-Departure Advice


Pre-departure Planning

Planning your Gap Year or Year Out Travels?

So often we find that young travellers and students do not make the most of their travels simply because they haven't planned ahead. They find they can't visit a country as they haven't got a visa or with a week to go or find out it's the rainy season.

Here are a few pointers:

One year to six months before Travel

Decide what you want to achieve; work in the local community or do an environmental project, just travel, climb mountains?  Are you going to organise it yourself or through a gap year or travel company/provider. For Gap Year providers take look at

Check out the Weather

Is it monsoon or hurricane season? Every year we have travellers on the course in December or January, about to go to Peru and Bolivia, not realising that December to February is the rainy season in the highlands.Check out:

How much will my trip cost? Decide who you might travel with, do they have same ideas, will they be compatible and on the same sort of budget?

Six to three months before Travel

Check your passport is valid for 6 months after you get back, do I need a visa? FCDO Travel Aware

For India, China, Russia, Burma to name a few, you will need a visa before arrival. What inoculations do I need? Will I be going to a Malaria area? We suggest you look at or for advice. Some inoculations such as Hepatitis B require course of three injections over a number of months to get full protection. Yellow Fever is a mandatory inoculation for some parts of Central and West Africa and some in South American countries too.Those going to remote areas in develpoing countries need to check whether a Rabies inoculation is advised. 

Start booking flights. 'Warm up' any contacts and recheck the weather on your planned route. When booking flights, we would recommend an open return, it will be more expensive, but gives much more flexibility.

If you have a medical condition, good advice can be found at

Three months to Departure

Finalise your travel and placement arrangements, complete inoculations and get necessary visas. Sort out budgets and how to carry money (pre-loaded money cards, debit/credit cards, traveller cheques), Insurance, purchase or borrow kit, get a guide book and country/continent map. Book the first night's accommodation. Start reading up and researching your destination.

Book Objective's Gap Year Travel Safety Course

It is really good to attend the course a few months before departure if possible as we give lots of advice on destinations as well as all the practical safety stuff. Coming early allows time to reorganise routes, purchase travel kit, book inoculations etc.

Before you go, it's worth getting some good apps for your phone; hostelworld, hostelZ, travelhealth, tripsplitter (if going in a group).

Also consider getting e-version of guide books, The Lonely Planet books are excellent on ibooks.

Before setting off, it's essential that you make a checklist of the things you may need for your travels:

Travel Documents:

Travel tickets, vaccination card, contact addresses visa(s), passport, good apps for phone.


Travel insurance, public liability, health and kit.


Cash, credit/debit cards, travel money cards (Revolut, Caxton, Monzo, STA, Post Office etc).


Friends, friends of friends, Consulates etc.


Rucksack, money belt, head-torch, mosquito net, sleeping bag liner - See our range of essential kit


Injections, inoculations, anti-Malaria, medicines & medical pack


View our Essential Items & Packing List

Visit our sister site

We use cookies to provide you with a better website experience. Close this popup to carry on browsing, or click here to find out more about cookies