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!