Journey With a Purpose
Phone +44 (0)1635 285666

GapGuru Home Gap Year Destinations Gap Year Teaching Gap Year Volunteer Gap Year Internships Gap Year Travel My Gap Year
Skip Navigation LinksHome > Gap Year Advice > Travel Tips
Gap Travel Tips

Hints and tips from our experts!

Taking a gap year can be a life-changing experience! Nothing that big comes without its hitches and hassles but our job at GapGuru is to make sure it goes as smoothly as possible and you remember it for all the right reasons! Travelling, working or volunteering abroad can seem daunting so look through the tips below for a few pointers on how to make the most of your experience!

If you can’t find what you need here then just give us a ring!

Before you go..

Carefully chosen project Think carefully about the options available before you book anything for your gap year. While backpacking is a fascinating experience, often the best way to get to know a country is through living and working with its people, so it’s worth considering volunteering abroad or doing other structured gap travel programmes.

Carefully chosen project If you plan to travel with a friend, make sure you pick someone who you can put up with! You’ll spend long periods of time with your travel partner so you need to be compatible. It’s good to share the experience with someone you know, but remember that one of the best parts of a gap year is meeting new people and making friends!

Carefully chosen project Visit your GP and make sure you have all the vaccinations and medicines you need well in advance of your departure. This is particularly important if you’re travelling to tropical countries or remote locations.

Carefully chosen project Check which visas you’ll need and time your applications well. Be aware that in countries such as India visas are valid from date of issue and not from date of arrival.

Carefully chosen project Good gap travel insurance is a must! Theft is always a possibility so make sure any valuables you take are insured and carry traveller’s cheques and bankcards, as well as cash, so you don’t lose all your money in one go. Make sure that your passport is kept safe too and carry photocopies of any important documents.

Carefully chosen project A little background knowledge can go a long way! Buy a good guide book and read up on local traditions and customs to make sure that you don’t offend anyone by doing something disrespectful on your gap year. This is particularly important when volunteering abroad as you could be working alongside local people every day.

While you’re there..

Carefully chosen project Be careful what you eat and drink. Make sure all food is freshly prepared and thoroughly cooked and drink bottled or purified water where necessary. There’s nothing worse than being ill during your gap travel!

Carefully chosen project Travelling, working and volunteering abroad can be draining activities in a hot country, so it’s important to keep hydrated at all times. Dehydration can make you irritable, tired and even ill so keep drinking water throughout the day, (but bear in mind that the more you drink, the more you will need to use the toilet, which can be very inconvenient on long journeys!)

Carefully chosen project Your gap year can give you some amazing experiences and memories so it’s a good idea to keep a travel diary and a camera is absolutely essential! Just make sure you look after it and back up your photos where possible.

Carefully chosen project Buying a good quality backpack and packing light can really take the hassle out of gap year travel. You’ll be living out of your backpack for most of your trip so make sure it’s comfortable to wear, lightweight and easy to find things in. It’s also a good idea to leave a little room at the top of your bag to make repacking easier and to give you space for souvenirs you pick up on the way!

Carefully chosen project Perhaps most importantly, be flexible and be patient! Things won’t always go to plan and stressing out will get you nowhere. Remember that gap travel is all about adventure, and for better or worse, unpredictability is a part of this!

Special considerations for female travellers

Carefully chosen project While it isn’t necessarily more dangerous for women to take a gap year abroad, female travellers do need to be aware that many developing countries have different customs and culture that may affect how they’re treated. A few things to keep in mind...

Attitudes towards women can be very different in other cultures. To cause yourself the least hassle it’s wise to read up on local customs and conventions before you arrive.

Women considering a gap year abroad in countries such as India should be prepared to dress conservatively. It is considered respectable to cover your arms, legs and midriff at all times. You should also consider dyeing your hair a darker colour, as blonde and red hair is something of a novelty in other cultures and may attract unwanted attention.

You may find it easier to travel with a friend, who can provide moral support if you get into any confusing situations. It’s also a good idea to walk in groups late at night as a safety precaution.

While women should be vigilant, bear in mind that not all attention is threatening! Most men who approach foreign women are simply curious or trying to be helpful.

Want to talk options?
We can call you:

Start Date:

We're normally able to call the same day.

Recent Blogs

Get To Know Sarah: Cambodia In-Country Manager

Meet our in-country leader for Cambodia, Sarah Morgan!Do you have any nicknames? Sarah: Ameah- Kinda means golden (in reference to my hair)....Read More
View All
Get our Gap Year Newsletter
GapGuru has been featured in...      The Independent Daily Express Telegraph Daily Mail