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Top Tips for Gappers

21st August 2013

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Travel experts ABTA have been in the market for over 60 years, and they know what they’re talking about. If you’re about to head off on a gap year adventure make sure you follow the company’s top tips for a stress-free experience...

  • Choose a reputable gap year travel company with a good track record that is a member of a trade association, such as ABTA, so you have a point of contact and support should anything go wrong.
  • Check with your travel agent and with the Foreign Office for dos and don’ts and “no go” areas for the country you’re visiting. They will also tell you about visa requirements and how to get one, especially relevant if you’re going to be working.
  • Research local customs and culture before you go to understand more about the host destination and avoid unwittingly causing offence.
  • Make sure you’ve had all the necessary jabs and inoculations; do this at least eight weeks before you travel.
  • If you’re going to a country where malaria is prevalent always take anti-malarials and always finish the course.
  • Get a good quality travel insurance policy, make sure it covers the activities you want to take part in, the cheapest policies will not provide you with the level of cover necessary for a lengthy stay overseas.
  • Think carefully about the kind of activity you’ll be doing; working, volunteering or learning a skill will be good for your CV.
  • If you’re travelling to a non-English speaking country take some language lessons before you go, you’ll find it much easier to fit in when you first arrive.
  • Tell your bank where and when you’ll be travelling to reduce the risk of them stopping your card.
  • Take a couple of hundred pounds in travellers’ cheques as a safety net - they’ll be replaced straight away if stolen or lost.
  • Keep electronic copies of all your important travel documents.
  • Keep a list of emergency contact numbers in a safe and accessible place.
Building an effective CV rather than just having an extended holiday

With increased pressure on student finances, rising numbers of gappers are approaching tour operators for work experience placements overseas; with one major ABTA member seeing sales almost double in the last twelve months for Teaching English as a Foreign Language option. With a tough economic environment, it appears many gappers are looking to boost their CVs and their employment prospects by choosing working holidays and volunteering options rather than the extended holiday of years gone by.

For more information visit ABTA here.

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