Your gap year will be one of the best years of your life. However its important that you keep safe whilst away so it doesnt end in disaster.
Keep Travel Documents Handy
These are a very important part of your trip because if you lose them it can be a real pain to get replacements. Get yourself a travel wallet or document holder to store them all in. There’s nothing worse than pulling out your undies as you search for your documents in a hostel or airport! Make photocopies of all documents and keep them in a separate place in your luggage. If possible also email yourself scanned in versions then you can obtain them in an internet cafe in an emergency. Keep details of the UK embassies in the destinations you are visiting. Its worth getting a notebook together with useful contacts in then you can add new friend’s details as you travel!
Take a copy of your insurance policy with you when travelling as each company has a set procedure you need to take in case something goes wrong. You may find you are unable to claim when you return home because they stipulate you obtain something in your travel destination at the time of the problem. Make a note of the emergency medical support number they supply. Photocopy the policy and leave a copy with parents and email yourself as above.
Basic Luggage Security
Get yourself some small padlocks to hold your zips together. It wont keep hardened criminals out but will deter a lot of would be thieves. Depending on your luggage and when you are heading think about purchasing a cable lock to secure your luggage to a bed or lampost if you need to leave it. Have a look in our safety and security section for a range of security accessories.
Always carry a small amount of local currency with you in case they dont take cards or travellers cheques. Store the money in separate places around your person and luggage. Don’t keep it all in one place! For larger amounts get travellers cheques or have an international cash card. A credit card is good for emergencies. I always gaffer tape some £20 notes sealed in a small plastic bag into the seams of my backpack and also my shoes. However remember where you placed them and make sure you don’t accidentally throw them away as I did!
After taking a gap year in New Zealand, Chris got the travel bug and has spent lots of time travelling through Australasia and Europe. With 5 years at the company he has lots of gear experience to boot!