How to prepare for backpacking

If you’ve just finished your ‘A’ Levels or need a break from the world of work, you have plenty of options. You could go to university, study from home, try and set up your own business or, to broaden your horizons, perhaps go on a gap year. Gap years are very popular because they offer an opportunity to volunteer, explore a new country and develop personal skills. After deciding to go on one, there are several things you need to organise and consider before finalising everything.



Firstly, you should know what equipment you need for your year-long trip abroad. You’ll need medical supplies – iodine, aspirin, a first aid kit and any medication you need to take regularly such as inhalers or insulin are vital. Take enough to last you for a whole year. You should also take a sleeping bag, mosquito repellent, plenty of clothing and footwear, a mobile phone, charger, a laptop or other device with an internet connection and any other essentials that may come to mind. Money is also important, as without it, you won’t be able to do much during your trip.

What to pack also depends on what it is you’ll be doing on your gap year – many people just want to see the sights and find out what every country has to offer. There are a few ways to do this, with varying amounts of expense involved; escorted tours with an operator like Worldwide Journeys is one option; otherwise just try talking to the locals while you’re out there if you want something a little more spur of the moment.

After packing, you will have to make travel arrangements. Ideally, if you’re going abroad, you’ll need to arrange flights, which can be expensive at times. Fortunately, it’s possible to search online for cheap tickets, which will give you more money to spend during your stay. Booking in advance will help too, meaning you can get on with the process of preparing everything else for your gap year.

The next step in your gap year preparations should be to arrange any vaccinations against tropical diseases. They can be a nightmare to deal with, so immunisation is important. You could visit your doctor before you go, and they will help you to get vaccinated. As for passports and visas, you should make sure your passport is up to date and that you have all the relevant paperwork. If you’re unsure about all that, you could go online and look for advice from the relevant government website.

Finally, when you’re there, you might be worried about money. To put any financial concerns aside, you might want to get some part-time work to fund your stay. On the face of it, that might seem like a difficult task, but by printing out several copies of your CV, looking for vacancies on a daily basis and mastering the local language (if you don’t know it already), you’ll be prepared.



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