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The A-Z check list for planning your gap year

Written by Jenny McWhirter on 27 / 10 / 2017

Gap Year Advice

We've compiled an A-Z list of everything you should be thinking about to make the most of your gap year, so here goes...

A is for...Adventure

Being adventurous is vital for every Gap Year. Get out of your comfort zone, try new things, get off the beaten won’t regret it. Feeling adventurous?

B is for...Bus

Travelling by bus is a great way to see a country. You experience the variety of a country first hand. Although pretty tedious after a certain time, you'll see more than just backpacker honeypots.

C is for...Cocktails

Doing a cocktail course is a great way to start your gap year. The European Bartending School lets you choose from cities all over Europe where you will spend a month learning the art of cocktail making. Not only will you have one of the most enjoyable months of your life, you come home with a qualification that will enable you to get a job behind a bar anywhere in the world, great if you're strapped for cash.

D is for... Diary

Writing things down is a great way to remember the memories you made on your travels...but if this isn't your thing, don't panic. The Journi app allows you to document your travels through pictures. At the end of your trip it creates a photo album for you which is super easy and cheap to print.

E is for...Eating

You didn't travel hundreds of miles away from home to eat the same plain food. Be brave, try the local food, you may love it! Here are some of the best traditional foods to try on your travels.

F is for...Farm work

A great way to earn a bit of money on your travels, and not as bad as you think.

G is for...GoPro

Invest in a GoPro - it's small and hardy so you can take it with you anywhere. You'll capture some sights you just don't want to forget.

H is for...Homestay

Rather than just sticking on the tourist trail, why not try living with a family for a period of time. You'll get to experience what it's really like to live in that place and you'll become part of a community. Check out our Sri Lanka program which offers just this.

I is for...Investment

Don't be afraid to invest in something that may not be on your original gap year budget plan. Buy a small memento or take that day trip, you won’t get the chance again. Don't have an I wish moment.

J is for...Journey

“For my part, I travel not to go anywhere but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

Remember that a gap year is a once in a lifetime opportunity, so don't waste it. Don't focus on your final destination, because it’s the journey that makes all the difference.

gap year journey planner

K is for...Knowledge: Know before you go

Do your research... you don't want to turn up in Zambia in winter, with only shorts and vests, expecting scorching sun. A mistake made by one of our very own leaper's

L is for...Learn the local lingo

Whether you're near fluent, or you can just manage a "hello", knowing some of the local lingo is not only a huge help when talking to locals, but is a sign of respect. You're less likely to get ripped off if you’re seen as more knowledgeable about a place.

M is for...Maps

MAPS.ME is a great app to have on your phone. It allows you to have access to a map without having to use your navigation or data on your phone...It's reliable and a definite game-changer when it comes to exploring.

N is for...New Friends

Don't be scared to do something on your own, you'll make more friends on your travels if you do.


O is for...Orangutan

A must see...and time is running out for these beautiful creatures as more and more of their homes are destroyed every day

P is for...Padi

Get scuba certified, not only do you get to discover the magic of the deep ocean but you’ll also have a skill that you can use in years to come… check out Madagascar, a chance to get qualified and live the island life.

Q is for… Quiet

You’ll do a lot on your gap year and it’s ok to sometimes take some time out for yourself. Find a remote beach and take some quality ‘you time’ you’ll need it.

R is for… Read

Don’t feel you have to take an endless supply of books to read whilst you’re away. Most hostels run a books swap so take one and just keep swapping them in. If you’re wanting some good reads that will inspire you to travel have a look here.

S is for… Safety

No it’s not the most fun topic but it’s super important. Get yourself a good travel insurance policy, tell people where you’re going, look after yourself no matter where you are.

T is for… Tape

Electrical tape, you never know when you might need it. To use as a plaster – it’s waterproof, to fix a broken bag…the list is endless.

U is for… UV

Don’t get caught out, you can burn on a cloudy day. Make sure you sun cream up!

V is for… Volunteering

A great way to challenge yourself, there’s so much out there, get exploring.

volunteering on a gap year

W is for… Water Bottle

Don’t keep buying endless plastic bottles, take your trusty one and you’ll always have water with you. Splash out on one with a filter and you can fill up anywhere…

X is for… eXchange

This is a time for exchange, of culture, opinions, understanding, knowledge. The more you share the more you will learn.

Y is for…Yourself

Be yourself, peel off your make up, put your hair up and don’t worry. It’s one of those special times in life where you don’t have to worry about what you look like, what you’re wearing or when you last showered.

Z is for… Ziplock bags

Useful for many things, most importantly keep a top, knickers and socks so you always have some dry clothes.

Check out our gap year programs

We have award winning programs across Africa, Asia, South and Central America. All include a mix of projects and adventures. All are supported. All involve team work.

Gap year programs

Get in contact

With the covid travel experts

Worried about how to travel and plan your gap year through this pandemic?

We can help. We have sent lots of gappers away through the last 12 months and can confidently call ourselves Covid Travel Experts. Get in contact to start the ball rolling.

Or give us a call on +44 1672 519 922

And chat with one of our friendly and knowledgeable team

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