Everything you need to know about planning a gap year

Whether you’re finishing school, in your last year of university, or just fancy a career break, a gap year is a great way to take time out and see some of the world. Not only will you probably return with unforgettable memories, you’ll also gain life experience and could learn valuable skills.

But before you jet off into the sunset, there are a number of practicalities to consider. Doing your research now and getting clued up about what to expect will ensure your trip really is a fantastic, once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Here we cover planning, organising your money, all important travel insurance, documents and health matters.

First things first – planning

Planning your gap year should be fun. As well as researching potential adventures on your trip – elephant trekking, anyone? – there are some practical things to consider:

Money matters

Managing your money will be one of the most important aspects of your trip. Here are some basic tips:

Protect yourself with travel insurance

Most trips go without a hitch, but it’s still important to have travel insurance in place to protect against the unforeseen. Medical care while abroad can run into hundreds of thousands of pounds, so you need a comprehensive policy. Here are some things to consider before you buy:

Vital documents

Not only should you carry certain documents with you on your gap year trip but, if possible, back them up in an email and on your mobile phone. These crucial pieces of paper include:

Staying healthy

Health problems are the last thing anyone wants to deal with while travelling so, again, it’s vital to be prepared:

Some common medications in the UK, such as certain pain killers, are actually banned in other countries. So check with the embassy of the country before you travel.


Have a comment or question about this article? You can contact us on Twitter or Facebook.

Latest travel tips and advice

Read more from the blog

Sign up. Be inspired. Travel.

Subscribe now for hand-picked holiday deals, inspiration and the latest travel tips, straight to your inbox.

Sign up to newsletter

We won't pass your details on to anyone else. By clicking the sign up button you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.