Golden Gap Year Safety Rules You Need
When you’re finishing high school and about to go off to college, you’re stuck in an ‘in between’. You’re not quite an adult, because you’re still heading to school every day and you’re still living at home with your parents. But you’re also not a child; you can drive, have a job and be independent most of the time. This kind of ‘in between’ can be fairly frustrating, but it also gives you the chance to choose whether you go directly to college or whether you decide to take a break from studying and go and explore. Part of choosing to have a gap year is about finding that independence away from parents and the rules of school. Despite getting away from those rules, a gap year comes with a new set and it’s all about keeping you safe while you explore the furthest reaches of the globe on the smallest budget possible.
There are very few things that are more exciting than travel. Travel opens your eyes to new places, cultures and experiences that you wouldn’t necessarily find in the town you grew up in. The one thing that prevents people from hopping onto the next flight and getting the heck out of dodge is the media. The constant news reports about disruption, civil wars and terror mean that people are put off globetrotting. However, it’s important to remember that the world has so many things to offer anyone travelling around it, and for the most part the world is a safe place to travel. That being said, there are some things that every single traveller should be doing to ensure their own safety when moving from place to place. This includes knowing the safest areas for a studio apartment for rent while you’re on your way, so that you don’t have to stay in various hostels. Travelling doesn’t have to be a scary experience, but safety is paramount so check out our golden gap year safety rules and you can enjoy your gap year with maximum effort:
Medical Check Ups Are Important!
Before you go anywhere, you’ll need to plot your travels and decide where you are going to visit. Always have a medical check-up with your usual doctor before you get going anywhere; especially if you’ll need vaccinations for any of the countries that you plan to visit. Each place you visit will have their own health concerns and you need to be aware of these so that you can plan your medical insurances. Know the requirements for jabs before you get to places; the last thing you need is to be turned away!
Electronic Copies Are Important!
You’ve got your visas, tickets, medical insurance and proof of vaccinations alongside your passport. These are things you need to keep absolutely watertight when you are travelling, but to make it easier on yourself, you need to have electronic copies of EVERYTHING. Lock it in a protected file and email it to yourself. Doing this means that even if you lost the actual copies, the USB stick it’s all stored on and the back-up drive (we’re exaggerating, yes) you’ve still got a copy.
Theft Watch Is Important!
You may be aware that wherever you go in the world, people will always try their luck to pickpocket. You need to be vigilant about this, as while you can feel safe putting your wallet in your back pocket normally, you cannot do this while travelling. It’s all too easy to have your wallet and cash snatched all because you weren’t paying attention properly. It may be really tempting to keep your documents and cash all in the same place, but try not to do this. Carry only as much cash as you need in the right currency, and invest in a money belt so that you keep it as close to your person as possible. Walk with your bag on your front so you can’t have it unzipped or cut open when you are battling market crowds and be aware of your surroundings at all times.
Stranger Danger: Still A Thing!
While travelling, you will meet all types of people from all backgrounds, of course you will. You should also make a point of getting to know people – it’s a part of the experience. However, you shouldn’t trust every single person you meet for the first time. The childhood rules of stranger danger still apply, and you need to make sure you stick to these. That means you should never accept a drink from someone you don’t know, you shouldn’t get into cars that you don’t know and don’t go anywhere alone with someone new unless you’re on a licensed tour. It sounds like there’s rules imposed on you while you enjoy your travels, but these rules are common sense rather than restrictive.
Heroics Are Not Necessary!
If you find yourself at the receiving end of crime while you’re enjoying your gap year, don’t try and be a hero and fight. It’s far better to give your wallet to someone threatening you and keep your life and your safety, than find yourself without your belongings and in a hospital across the world. It’s not something you’d do at home, we get that, but when you’re in an unfamiliar place you cannot judge the reactions of those around you in the same way. Be vigilant and be smart!
Going on a trip around the world means that you are going to have epic adventures, but it also means you have to cover those adventures with the right insurance. You need to be able to get the help you need if you find yourself in a medical crisis or a victim of crime. You also need to be covered if you miss a flight or find yourself stranded. Don’t skimp on insurance because it may be expensive; it’s priceless if you happen to need it while you’re away.
Travel hard. Travel safe. Travel well. And have fun while you do it!