Welcome to the very last edition of my "Gap Year Guide". This chapter will be all about my final top tips and the small little things to cover while you're actually away. I hope you find it helpful if you'll be travelling too :)
My first tip is to pick the person that you'll go travelling with very wisely! These sorts of experiences can really make or break a friendship. I went travelling in May with my best friend, Georgie, and I'm pretty sure she's the only person that can put up with me for a month solid!
Bring a bit of home comfort. Now I can hands down say that I've never actually experienced home sickness. I just kinda live in the moment regardless of where I am. Something that did actually help me was a bar of galaxy chocolate that my friend's mum actually brought us to have a little bit of comfort whilst travelling. (Thank you Gillian and Laura for getting that!) So it was sweet to tuck into a bit of chocie after a long day of travelling.
Social media is key. Again, this is something that I find really helps with home sickness. Being able to stay in touch with everyone back home really makes you feel like you're not missing out on anything. It also lets people know that you're safe. And if you're family is anything like mine, you'd end up getting a million and one phone calls if you don't constantly post your whereabouts haha!
Know your local embassy. Ok this admittedly is something that I only thought of once I returned home. But it is so important because you never know what might go wrong and you don't want to end up stranded.
Know the local emergency numbers. You don't want to find yourself in a tricky situation, and then have to quickly google the number for people that can help. FYI: The European emergency number is 112 ;)
Don't keep all your money in one place. This is very important because you never know if you'll forget your purse, or have something nicked. What I did whilst travelling was keep my credit cards in one purse, with a bit of money for the day. And then the rest of my travel money in my bag. That way if one goes missing, you still have some emergency money.
Take photos of all your documents. This includes passports, insurance policies, hotel room conformations. That way you always have a backup, and if you need something replacing whilst away you still have the details of the documents. Also, send these to a family member or friend so they have a copy too.
Accept that not everything is going to go to plan. This is all you can do really. You might miss a train here and there, or not make it to your hotel on time to check in. Or forget your favourite pair of sunglasses in your last accommodation. But things often have a way of working out. When lost, google maps finds all. And people are generally more helpful than not, so never be afraid to ask if you find yourself out of your depth.
Google the safety of places where you're staying. Generally places, especially touristy places, are safe. However, it doesn't hurt to take precautions and see if there are parts of certain towns that are best to avoid, or find out if places are known for pick-pocketing. It's always fantastic to go out of your comfort zone, but it's also better to be safe than sorry.
Thank you very much for reading my final Gap Year Guide post. The song of the day is Happier by Ed Sheeran. I hope I've covered everything in this series, but if you have any questions please let me know in the comments,
Izzy K xxx