Plan for extras
If you're planning to do any adventure sports such as skiing / sky-diving etc, you'll need to take this into account as they don't always come cheap. Before you leave - make sure you have adequate funds. It's often better to over budget in case of emergencies.
Have a backup
Take at least two forms of payment - a mixture of cash, travellers' cheques and credit cards, and don't keep them together in one place in case you lose them or they are stolen.
Carrying your cash
For carrying money, take a wallet for loose change and day-to-day spending and a secure money belt should be worn under clothing for your valuable documents and money.
Before you go:
- Plan a budget for while you are away. Look at the exchange rates of where you are going and have an idea of how far your money will stretch. Plan a budget before you go and try to stick to it;
- Be careful when you use a credit or debit card to take money out of an ATM, as there can be hidden charges when using both abroad;
- The best option is to get an STA Travel cashcard. This allows travellers to hold up to £5,000 in a secure online “eccount” from where it can be safely moved onto the card by text, via the internet or phone. You will get a second card free in the event that one is lost, plus access to the eccount enabling them to hold money securely off the card. Your parents can credit your card over the web from home, should you run out of money.
- Check how much it will cost to use your mobile from the countries you will be visiting before you go. Roaming charges can be very expensive, so check with your network provider before you travel to see how much it will cost to make and receive calls. STA Travel offers global sim cards from £5 and up to 70% off international roaming phone rates to help control your spending.
- Earn money while you’re travelling and ease the pressure of saving thousands of pounds before you leave home. UK residents aged between 18 and 30 travelling to Australia can now apply for a two year working visa. There are plenty of jobs available and the salaries and perks are attractive too. The visa allows travellers to work full-time, part-time or on a casual basis, which makes it a great way to have fun in the sun, while gaining some valuable work experience.
- Waste no time getting to work. STA Travel offers a working holiday programme for young people planning to work in Australia. The induction package can be booked for two, four or six days and as well as getting help with finding a job and free internet access, you also get hotel and hostel accommodation, orientation and day trips. A two night induction package costs from £132.
- Teach English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) in many countries around the world. You can now gain your TEFL qualification on-line or on a weekend course, with prices starting from just £156.
- Travel insurance can seem like an unnecessary extra cost, however, it is undoubtedly the wisest purchase you can make before going on your gap year. You should ensure the travel insurance you take out covers all the countries you plan to travel to and any activities you plan to participate in. Be prepared for the unexpected.