5 Tips For A Gap Year

Keep a Diary

And be strict with yourself. It will start to feel like a chore but it is 100% worth it and everybody else will be jealous you ever started. The longer you go without doing it, the more hassle it becomes so just do it when you can; there will be a lot of times when you’re waiting around for buses etc. so make use of this

Likewise, back up your material photos too. It’s easy to think ‘oh I’ll do it later but you never know when stuff might get stolen/broken and then you’ve lost all your memories. All you need is a USB and access to an internet café / hostel computer / new friend’s laptop. Every couple of weeks upload your photos onto the USB – and keep them in a separate place to your camera.

Take a Brand New Perfume

Something completely unfamiliar to you – our sense of smell is more closely linked to memories than any of our other senses, so use this every day and whenever you smell it again you’ll be taken straight back. It’s a similar effect with music; download some new albums before you leave and listen to them on long journeys – in years to come hearing that one track will evoke more memories than one photo ever could.

Choose Overland Journeys Where Possible

Not only are they usually much cheaper, but bus/train journeys allow you to see a lot of the countryside you would otherwise miss, and becomes an experience in itself. To get optimum viewing, figure out a particular journey beforehand – if you are travelling along the coast you will want to get to the seaside. Similarly, you don’t want the sun getting in your eyes or making you sweat, work out where the sun will be using your primary school knowledge –are you heading north/east/ south or west? Are you travelling in the morning or afternoon? Which hemisphere are you on? Unless you’re on a time limit, use the opportunity to really see the world.

Don’t Overspend on Food

There are many money-saving tips out there but this is something many tend to overlook. Food doesn’t tend to create lasting memories in the way that experiences and activities do. Of course, you will want to try the local dishes, but fortunately, these are usually the cheapest items anyway. If there is a new/unusual food then by all means splash out as it is a new experience; but as far as just filling up, go cheap. Remember the rule ‘Food is Fuel’.

Wear Swimwear as Underwear

Not only does this mean less packing, but when travelling in hot countries you never know when you may be faced with a swimming opportunity in the form of a beach or waterfall. Also, swimwear is more convenient to wash; it stays cleaner longer, can be washed in the shower and dries much quicker. Just beware when wearing bikinis that they don’t untie while you’re asleep on the bus.

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