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, find out it's the rainy season.
Here are a few pointers:
With travel restrictions constantly changing due to Covid-19, it is essential to know the entry requirements for each country and to keep up to date with the information. We recommend you register for travel alerts from the FCDO below:
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. For Gap Year providers perhaps look at www.yearoutgroup.org
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: www.weather-and-climate.com.
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 www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk. or www.travelhealthpro.org.uk 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. On flights we would recommend an open return, it will be more expensive, but gives flexibility.
If you have a medical condition, good advice can be found at http://www.insurancewith.com/travelling-with-a-medical-condition/
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 Travel Safety Course!
It's 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 on your travels:
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.
Injections, anti-Malaria, medicines & medical pack
View our Essential Items & Packing List
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09 Aug, 2022
Covid -19 over 4m deaths & 187m cases globally
New Zealand: Open to vaccinated tourists from April 22
Argentina: Opening to travellers
Thailand: Open from 1 November
08 Aug, 2022
Do check with the Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office as the picture changes the whole time. Entry requirement...
19 Jan, 2022
There is no doubt about it, travelling abroad takes a bit more time and effort at the moment but with a bit of research and some simple planning it's not too difficult.