The time is nearly nigh. We are now into single figures on the countdown clock! This is the time when my planning-ninja abilities start to come into their own.
What better way to start than a checklist! If you are also planning your own gap year, holiday or #GapLife then this is the post for you.
For those of you unfamiliar with me incessantly banging on about #GapLife, here’s a bit of background.
All caught up? Yay! All converted to the #Gaplife? Yay!
Now we can continue… Notepads and pencils at the ready folks.
⊗ Read and follow the instructions here.
⊗ Buy Insurance
So you’ve paid for your flights across the globe and you’re a little out-of-pocket. Insurance can wait, yeah?
NO! As soon as your flights are booked, make sure you have insurance to cover you as soon as possible. You may break your leg tomorrow and not be able to fly – so long flight money! Unfortunately we’re not invincible (yet) so insurance is a definite.
Potentially another budget-buster but hopefully one you’ve prepared for. Working holiday visas for countries like Australia, New Zealand and Canada can be expensive but well worth it if you need to fund your travels on-the-go.
Make sure you check how long the process takes and apply with plenty of time to spare.
⊗ Book Internal Flights and Transport
If you’ve managed to get a rough itinerary down then it’s time to start connecting the dots. Think about the best way to get from A to B. Will you have to book internal flights or ferry crossings?
⊗ Book Accommodation
It’s usually only necessary to book the first couple of nights at your first destination as you don’t want to be tied down to overpriced hostels or fixed locations.
You want to know where your headed when you step off the plane and to have that first night security blanket (literally). Check out sites like hostelbookers.com which allow you to book in advance and pay on arrival.
⊗ Start Inquiring about Work
How are you going to be funding your travels? If you’re going to have to work then it’s a good idea to put some feelers out there before you jet off. Search Gumtree, local temping agencies and Facebook groups to see what type of work is available.
If you can secure a job before you go, bonus!
⊗ Tie-up Loose Ends
Cancel your phone contract, inform your bank and check if you’re entitled to any tax rebates (kerchingggg). It will give you peace of mind to know that you won’t have to worry about these things once you’re abroad.
Scan copies of your passport, bank cards and insurance details to hand over to your next of kin at home. This way they will be able to help out if you get in a pickle on the road.
I’ll probably be dedicating a whole blog post to the trickiest checklist item of all – dreaded packing. In my experience, I always over-pack. I’m someone who will pack 6 pairs of shoes yet end up wearing my trusty flip-flops the whole time.
If you’re going to be lugging a backpack around with you then every piece of clothing and kit needs to be thought about carefully. If you end up clamoring for a pair of heels when you’re on the road (unlikely…) then you can always buy some there.
⊗ Say Your Goodbyes
Ok, maybe this one might be a harder one to check off than packing… Throw a party, have a few drinks and reconnect with your nearest and dearest. Promise to stay in touch – and stick to it! Skype is an incredible travel tool!
⊗ Off you go!
AHHH! The day has finally arrived! All your hard work and planning is finally about to pay off.
Double check the checklist, triple check it just in case, throw on your backpack and leave all doubts at the door.
It’s time to start your #GapLife.