How to Plan a Gap Year – Tips and Tricks

Now is the perfect time to plan your future gap year as during this time we are exploring the wonders of our home country! Down below, you can read more about how to plan a gap year.

gap year

Travelling in 2020

Everyone is waiting for summer and plans are done way ahead. Could it be a road trip through Europe or family vacation somewhere by the Mediterranean. This year may didn’t go as expected and even though countries are slowly opening their borders, you need to be aware of the restrictions that each country request and see the possibilities, where it is allowed and safe to travel. Most of the countries have opened their borders to neighbour countries, which gives a chance to make a plan for somewhere close by. how to plan a year abroad

And plus, now is the perfect time to explore the wonders of your home country and charge your batteries for your next adventure, cause now you can also plan your future gap year.

What is a gap year?

Gap-year can be a year-long break or even a couple of months, that gives you the time to step back a little and experience moments out of your regular daily life. This year is entirely up to you how you want to fulfil it, places you want to see, people to meet, experience new kinds of adventures.

Why take a gap year?

Of course, everything has its pros and cons, as well as taking a gap-year. There’re many people who go to college right after high school and don’t have the time to take a step back and discover the world a little. Gap-year is a great way to experience what the world has to offer. It helps you to get to know yourself more as you note different perspectives, build new friendships, try new foods, you may want even to learn a new language while being abroad. You can achieve and see so many things, that will lead you to more rich experience and independence in life.

As everybody knows it’s a big decision to take as you will need to leave your family and friends for a while, and missing home while travelling around is something each of us could experience. Coming back after your break can also be something to adjust to, deciding your next step. Seeing that your peers are off in college or work, could make it seem that you’re behind, but you should see that you have experienced a lot in your year of break, this will give you more inspiration to achieve your goals. And plus, imagine, you are going to have such stories to tell when you come back.
It’s not about, who is where and doing what, but more how the journey is teaching you and where it will guide you.

How to plan a gap year?

1. What the year will be about?

Beforehand it would help if you think a little bit about what you want to make this year about and which places you would like to see. Do you wish only to travel and see new places, or maybe you want to take part from workaway jobs or voluntary work, which will also help you to experience different environments and chances to interact with new people?

2. Where you want to go?

There are a lot of places you could go, but mostly you need to see where it’s possible to go. Is it somewhere close to your home country or somewhere different from your own culture?

Some of the famous places among backpack travellers are Australia, USA, Peru, India, South Africa, Brazil, New Zealand. Of course, these are only a few places you can plan your gap-year. 

3. How to manage financially?

The most asked question among people who want to take a gap year, how to finance your break when you don’t work or don’t have any other income.

One way is to save up some money, that means working beforehand when taking a gap-year. In that way, you know how much money you can put aside and plan your journey. It’s essential that you start planning your journey long before, you approximately calculate how much money you each month will spend and on what. Calculate the cost that you already know and are necessary: fight tickets, visas, travel insurance, the equipment you may need. That gives you a better overview of your budget and you don’t need to worry in the middle of your travels when running out of money. 

It’s good to know your budget for weekly, mainly food and accommodation, and from there money left, you know will go to additional costs. Of course, prices will vary from which country you are. A little bit extra money aside for emergencies is good to have, as you never know what situations can come.

4. Ways to save money during travels

  • How to save up money turning your travels is to do a Workaway while travelling around. There are many possibilities for different areas and how you can help others and get in return accommodation/food or even a little bit of pocket money.
  • Using Couchsurfing for getting accommodation while travelling abroad is also a good way how to save money as many backpackers use this platform. It’s easy to use and get in contact with people who offer accommodation. You also meet new people and can build connections in another country, which is another plus.
  • You can travel the whole year without paying for your accommodation. Okay, it’s 49$, but for an entire year. If you are a member of Worldpackers, then this is the advantage you will have. You can apply for accommodation anywhere in the world, and if the host accepts, you spend a few hours a day helping them in exchange for accommodation from them. Plus it will allow you to explore the surroundings as you will have days off.
  • Book a hostel/motel that offers breakfast included in their price. In that case, you don’t need to go out every morning and buy breakfast. Most of the accommodations have these options. Check out Hostelworld, the best way to look for hostels anywhere.
  • Local food markets. At markets, they have really good deals for food. Breakfast, lunch, fruits, anything you can think of. In that way, you can also get to taste the real, local food. 
  • Take part of free walking tours. These are offered all over the world, and it’s a good way to learn more about the culture and hear the stories of the city you’re staying in. Strawberry tours are one of the most popular free walking tours out there. So next time you are travelling, you know where to look for tours.

5. Apps to have for your next travels

Here are listed some recommended apps to have when travelling abroad and could be useful on the way.

Revolut – This is a great bank system. Making transfers, seeing your expenses, have many different currency accounts. It’s super easy to use and convenient. If you and your friends both have Revolut accounts, you can easily send money in 2 seconds or split the bill.

Mapsme – Mapsme is free and doesn’t require you to have data or wifi on if you have downloaded the map beforehand. It also allows you to save your favourite locations. 

Packr – This is a perfect app if you tend to forget to take things. In this app first, you choose the dates of going and coming back, the destination you are going, activities you are going to do during this trip, accommodation and so on. It then gives you the list of things it recommends you to take. You can also add things by yourself there. 

Timeshifter – If you fly from Europe, for example, to South America, you can easily add your flight there and what date, time is the departure, and it lets you know when to go to sleep, when to drink coffee and when to not, in order not to have jetlag.

A Gap Year is a good way how to invest in yourself and gain new experiences out of your comfort zone. Hopefully, you picked up some ideas and tips for your Gap Year!

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BTP period – 3 months

Returning to school with heads and hands full of new knowledge and energy for Bringing it to the Public. Meeting with the team, showing, telling, exchanging experiences and making it common knowledge.

Producing articles, pamphlets, videos, presentations, exhibitions, speeches for debate forums, books and more. Studying further the curriculum in Fighting with The Poor, bringing the truth to the public. 

Going to different schools around Europe to spread the new knowledge in various creative ways – speeches, newspaper articles, lectures at universities and colleges, debates and other public events, exhibitions – leading to a better understanding and inspiring to take an action.

Passing the final exams in Fighting with The Poor. Using the last months together to conclude our future perspectives and possible ways of improving The Poor’s quality in life with humble ways of sharing knowledge.

Volunteer period – 6 months

The Project Work in Africa or India in cooperation with Humana People to People. In this period, you can work at:

  • Teacher training colleges
  • Educating teachers for rural areas
  • Vocational schools for young people
  • Schools for street children.Preschools
  • Sanitation and hygiene in rural areas
  • Tree planting campaigns
  • Raising funds for social projects by forming partnerships and selling second hand clothes and shoes
  • Stopping the spread of HIV/AIDS (following the program TCE/Total Control of the Epidemic)

Arriving at the project in Africa or India, having left behind a courageous journey where fundamental human capabilities have been turned around, refreshed and energised by knowing that things such as travelling can be done in a totally different way than the mainstream tourist travelling.

Ready for doing the work needed at the project, bringing plans and materials from the previous periods. Getting to know the people at the project, the vision and idea of the project and the many concrete tasks to be carried out.

Carrying out the tasks as defined within the necessities of the project and by the Project Leadership. Fighting shoulder to shoulder with The Poor: building preschools, starting Garden Farming, doing literacy campaigns, eradicating malaria, teaching about big issues of our time while working as a teacher at DNS, starting income-generating activities, working as a TCE Special Force in the fight against HIV/AIDS – as a few examples.

Studying and working with your Specialisation in Fighting with The Poor, finalising with a People’s Exam and a written thesis at the end of the period. Acquiring skills in information work: making interviews, taking notes and pictures, writing summaries and reports, recording videos.

Living together with the people at the project, being a good example of living a humble life while improving things with small means to make daily life better.

Travel period – 3 months

Living on the road, being on the move, finding means of transport and places to sleep, talking to people on the road, being curious to understand and know about the countries you are traveling through.

Making investigations, meeting people, visiting their workplaces, staying in their homes, understanding their problems, meeting their culture and values and sharing thoughts with them about the world and the future.

Telling people about your venture to a third world country, trying out bringing it to the public what you have so far experienced and learned. Putting up investigations on a higher level, asking tough questions to self and to the group, getting hold of more answers and putting up new questions.

Taking notes and pictures, writing reports and discussing the seen and the experienced.
Finding good ways of sticking together in the Trios and in the group as such during the travel period.

Study Period – 6 months

At this school, you will find that learning is not first and foremost about listening to the teacher.

The school’s Program consists of a range of intense and spirited activities, theoretical studies and experiences that constitute the sum of learning and life processes carried through by a group of people who for a considerable period of time share a Program with each other that demands cooperation and efforts, and which at the same time is sprinkled with elements that are inspiring and also quite out of the ordinary.

Thus, learning will also take place through communication, deliberations, through working out your plan for learning and sticking to it, and putting to use what you learned, the methods you used, the ideas you got from it and the results you harvested from the training.

You will train yourself in being adventurers and survivors, living and traveling under very humble conditions, not using much money and always finding a way out by ingenuity, being smart and sticking together with your teammates.