10 Tips for Taking a Sabbatical
Are you thinking about taking or already planning some time out? Need some help getting started? View our top tips which will help you prepare..
1. Decide Where to Go
There are hundreds of countries worldwide and when looking at a map it can be difficult to decide where to spend a gap year. You will need to think about which places interest you the most, what you would like to do, what type of experience you are looking for and also what budget you have available. Check out our related destinations:
- Gap Year in Africa
- Gap Year in Asia
- Gap Year in Europe
- Gap Year in South America
- Gap Year in Central America
- Gap Year in North America
- Gap Year in Australasia
2. What Would You Like to Do?
Make an appointment with the travel nurse at your local GP (as soon as you know you are going away - as some of the vaccines you need more than one dose for to be fully protected). This is the most important things you can do before going away. Your nurse will ask for a list of places you are visiting and advise you accordingly.
4. Get Travel Insurance
Being overseas can sometimes be a bit daunting and it is highly recommended you are covered in case of any accidents or emergencies. Sometimes travelers think travel insurance is too expensive and do not purchase any before departing - but don't be one of these people. It only takes the slightest thing to happen and you could run up a medical bill of thousands of pounds - or not be able to claim back for any broken or stolen items.
5. Pack Sensibly
What destinations are you visiting? Do you really need to take those hair straighteners, MacBook or expensive tablet? Remember, what you take you will also need to carry and when on the road things can get broken, damaged, lost or stolen.
6. First Aid Kit, Medication & Bug Spray
Travelling long distances, having late nights or feeling a bit unwell overseas is not good. Be prepared and pack a first aid kit and tablets. Antihistamines are great for itchy bites, Imodium and other remedies will be your saviour when the local food doesn't go down well and there are several other tablets you might want to consider taking. In the developing world always try to drink bottled water. and avoid dehydration. The chances are if you are traveling to Asia or South America you will get bud bites. If there are mosquito nets where you stay, use them. At dawn and dusk in malaria zones try and keep as covered as you can. Bug spray comes in a range of different DEET percentages and the higher the better. You can purchase this before departing.
7. Plan Your Itinerary
Having a good well thought out itinerary will really enhance your gap year. Sometimes you can get lost or even bored without structure and so it is important to plan ahead or at least have a basic idea of the route and time you are planning to spend in certain destinations. Of course it is always good to be a little flexible
8. Worried about Going it Alone?
Want to go traveling but your friends are not interested? Worried about going solo? Why not book a structured experience, this will provide you with a safe and enjoyable journey where you will get to meet and travel with likeminded people. There are also lots of work abroad and activity packages also available.
9. Stay Connected
It is amazing to go backpacking and escape your world. But it is also important to let family and friends back home know you are safe and well - stay in touch via the internet which is available in most worldwide destinations.
10. Enjoy Yourself
There are so many people, cultures and experience to embrace, try to make the most of everyday and come back with no regrets.