10 ways to make the most of your gap year

10 ways to make the most of your gap year

If you chose to take a gap year to go travelling, it is so important to make the most of it. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity, and the opportunity to be able to do this at another point in your life will be less likely as you will probably be working. Therefore, it is important that you really make the most of it, and appreciate your once in a lifetime opportunity that you have been given. You do not want to look back with any regrets…here are just ten ways in which to make the most out of your gap year abroad. 


1)  Embrace local life

Local life

If you are staying somewhere for any length of time, you will benefit from embracing the local life. Get to know people, visit local shops, and generally make the most of it. Try the local delicacy and really get involved with local life. After all, this is what travelling is all about and you will regret it if you don’t get yourself involved.

2)  Document your travel

Travel Journal

If you are going to be away for a long period of time, it will be impossible to remember every minute of you trip. Keep a travel diary, and ensure that you write in it every night, describing your day, and anything that happened. This way, you can look back at your trip in the future. 

3)  Try local food

local delicacy

This is very similar to the first point. Embracing the local life means eating the local food. You will most definitely regret it if you were the one who visited a country, and stuck only to food they knew. If you know something is a delicacy, why not try it? It is all part of the travelling gap year experience. 

4) Take pictures


Be sure to not just document your trip with a journal, but with photographs as well. There is nothing like looking back through old photo’s to remember good times, and with social media being as popular as it, it is an excellent way to let people know how your trip is going, as well as building memories to look back on. 

5)  Make friends

Group of friends

Whether you are travelling alone, or with a group, it is likely that you will meet people along the way. The likelihood is that they will be from all around the world and from all walks of life, and will become your family during your time there. Keep your wits about you, but don’t shut yourself off from everyone.

6) Budget

Foreign currency

Your time travelling will soon stop being fun if you run out of money in the second week. Ensure that you have enough money for the trip and that you can easily access it. Set yourself a realistic budget per day and stick to it. Factor in any major excursions that you want to do to ensure that you are not disappointed. Do not rely on your parents to fund your trip. You will get so much more out of it if you have to budget your own money.

7) Respect local laws


Make sure you have thoroughly researched the area that you are travelling to before you get there. Be aware of any laws or locals rules and regulations, such as dress restrictions and make sure you abide by them. Finding yourself on the wrong side of the law is never a good idea, but especially not in an unfamiliar country.

8) Research the area

travel guides

Do plenty of research before you go. This will give you a good idea of what to expect and ideas of what to do. Read up on reviews from people who have visited the same area, and look up any regulations that you must follow (see above). Don’t leave everything to plan when you are there. Whilst spontaneous trips are often good, it is safer to have a rough idea of what you want to do.

9)  Participate in a volunteer project

Volunteer project

Depending on where you choose to go on your gap year, there may be different volunteering projects that you can be part of. These will need to be sorted before you leave, but are incredibly worth doing. Not only does it allow you explore the local area, it also gives you a chance to help. Knowing you have had fun and made a difference on your travels is extremely rewarding.

10)  Stay safe



Finally, but possibly most importantly, stay safe. Do not put yourself in unnecessary danger, particularly at night, and remove yourself from any situations that you do not feel comfortable in. Remain vigilant and in control at all times. 

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