Between A-Levels and University, lots of students take the chance to spend a year travelling – getting to know the world and themselves a little better before committing to an extended course of studying that will see, hopefully see them into a lifelong career.
It’s a popular choice, and helps new students bond when they begin studying, as they have stories of their travels to share, but it can be very difficult to fund an extended period of travel, especially as an unqualified teenager. Here are some tips to help aspiring gap year travellers fund their adventures.
Work As You Go
Working your gap year can be the best way to have some extraordinary experiences for a lower cost. Look at the charities that are active in the areas you want to travel to, and email them: they will often operate programmes that allow people board and lodging in exchange for some work: you could end up digging wells in distant countries, helping run animal sanctuaries, or teaching your unique skills to disadvantaged children. This not only lets you reduce your travel bill, it’s also something you can put on your CV so your between-studies break will be doing double duty.
As a less socially active alternative, many hostels will let you stay for free if you do a certain amount of labour: cleaning, admin and DIY. Make sure you contact them in advance. If you rely on this without knowing the offer is definite could end up with an extra bill you’re not expecting or budgeting for.
Staying in Touch
Keeping in touch with home is a big issue while you are on a gap year: parents and loved ones will likely want to hear from you more often than you’ll want to be calling home (until homesickness strikes), but you will definitely be using your phone to coordinate social events and successive legs of your journey.
If you’ve got parents or loved ones at home, they can send top up to your travel phone with safe, cheap transfer sites like Senditoo: this allows them to contribute to your travels and allays their worry that you could be stuck somewhere without even the means to call home, so you should both be happy.
Using a cheap, pay as you go travel phone is also safer than taking an expensive smart phone with you!
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