Preparing to leave for your gap year is pretty stressful right? So. Much. To organise.
You need to know your trip plans, your money situation, leave any love and relationships in a good way, sort your insurance and packing, and most importantly, get yourself mentally ready for the epic adventure you’re about to embark on.
If you can’t answer every question on this list confidently and easily, you’ve still got some work to do, my friend.
Gap year route
1. Do you know where you’re going? At least roughly off by heart?
2. Do you have all the details of any project you’re joining? The meeting times, phone numbers and important details you might need? Print them out, or make a note.
3. Do you know how to say hello, please and thank you in the local language? A little can go a long way.
4. Has your passport got enough time left on it to cover your travel and a few months after?
5. Have you had all the necessary vaccinations?
6. Do you have a letter from your doctor regarding any medications, for airport security?
7. If you’re allergic to anything, have you got it written down as a note in the local language (ie. peanuts)?
8. Have you got a photocopy of your passport? And given one to your parents too?
9. Do you know when you can check in online to get the best seats?
10. Do you have the required visa for the countries you plan to visit?
11. Have you printed your tickets?
12. Have you triple checked what time you have to be at the airport?
13. Are you up to date with any travel warnings, or alerts from your destination?
14. Have you booked accommodation for at least your first night, and do you know where you’re going when you exit the airport?
15. Are there any special precautions you need to take for where you’re going?
16. Have you told your bank you’re travelling?
17. Do you have access to at least two accounts in case your cards don’t work / get stolen?
18. Have you asked your bank if your cards will work in the destinations you’re going to?
19. Have you set up a phone / app alert for when money is running low?
20. Do you have emergency access to some serious cash?
21. Have you stashed a spare $50 somewhere in your possessions for emergencies?
22. Have you got some local currency for when you arrive?
23. Are you signed up to airline schemes and money back schemes to make your money work for you?
24. Have you set yourself a budget so you know exactly what you can spend?
25. Do you have a back up plan if you run out of money?
26. Have you looked into pre pay cards? They can save you a fortune on bank fees.
27. Do you know the exchange rate so you’re not confused on arrival? Download an app like xe.com on your phone so you can access it offline.
28. Have you got travel insurance?
29. Do you know what it covers you for? Check. The amount of metres you’re allowed to scuba dive is important, and you’ll probably need to wear a life jacket if you jet ski too.
30. Is it worth paying the excess waiver?
31. Is the personal possessions coverage enough to cover your gadgets, or do you need a separate insurance for your laptop / phone / camera?
32. Have you emailed a friend or family member your insurance details?
33. Have you got phone insurance?
34. Will your phone work abroad?
35. Do you know a loved ones number in case of emergency and you lose your phone?
36. Have you downloaded the important apps ready to go? Especially Google Maps to follow your initial taxi journey and Find Your Friends so your parents can see roughly where you are.
37. Have you got your travel adaptor? You’ll want to charge up as soon as you arrive.
38. Is your phone unlocked so you can use local SIM cards there?
39. Do you know your price plan abroad? Some phone providers offer the ability to use your phone as you do at home. Look into it – could be worth changing before you go.
40. Do you have a good case on it? Your phone is bound to go through some traumas as you travel, protect it.
41. Do you have a PIN on it to protect your data?
42. Can you set your background to have your email address on so if it gets lost, the finder knows where to send it?
43. Have you packed the essentials – money, bank card, spare bank card, phone, charger, and medication and passport? Everything else can be purchased.
44. Does your baggage adhere to the regulations of your ticket?
45. Have you packed effectively?
46. Have you got all the contact lenses you’ll need? Could be difficult to get the ones you like out there.
47. Have you got your driving licence? You’ll need that for the mopeds.
48. Do you really need everything you’re taking?
49. Have you got your International Student Identity Card? It can get you discounts all over.
50. Have you left some space? You’re bound to want to buy some tat while you’re there.
51. Is there anything about your travel partner that worries you? Do you need to talk?
52. Do you know about any medical issues your travel partner may have?
53. Are you and your travel partner on the same budget? If not you need to discuss. Money will become a big issue when you’re running out.
54. Do you actually like your travel partner?
55. Do you have the details of each other’s next of kin?
56. Do you want to keep a diary or a blog while you’re away?
57. Have you tied up everything with your education and future for the year, or is there stuff you need to keep an eye on?
58. What are you going to do if you get homesick?
59. Have you tied up any loose ends in relationships?
60. Are you ready?