This may sound like a slightly obscure part to planning a gap year but it’s also one of the most fundamental:
Where do you want to visit?!
You’d be surprised about the amount of people I see at work on a day to day basis who simply come in wanting to get away from it all. And upon asking where they want to go a lot simply reply “I don’t know”.
And if your researching where you want to hit up on your round the world trip you may not be entirely sure either.
But all is not lost!
In fact most of the people who aren’t sure actually have a pretty good idea of where they want to end up, it’s simply a case of approaching the question from a different angle.
So instead, ask yourself what you want to do.
Do you want to simply lie on a beach or do you want to explore?
Do you want to take it easy or get your adrenaline going?
Do you want to meet heaps of other travelers or the locals?
Do you want it hot or cold?
Do you want to get to know somewhere in depth or explore many places?
And through these questions (which are by no means exhaustive) you can begin to narrow down a good initial route or specific country.
For example if you simply want to lie on a beach, meet other travellers and want to do that solidly for a year then a working holiday visa to Oz and staying on the gold coast would be a perfect option.
But if you wanted to explore, get a culture fix, maybe get your heart pumping and meet the locals then maybe a bit of south america and even the Inca trail may be in order?
The type of traveller you are has a lot to do with how you should approach your gap year too.
If you haven’t really travelled extensively and are relatively nervous about hitting the road then maybe more westernized countries would be the best place to break your travel shoes in – especially when it comes to language barriers and feeling comfortable in your surroundings.
You may be a seasoned traveller who has no idea where to go next.
You may well have done the major backpacker route and are feeling in the mood for something different. In this case a few simple questions may help you realise that you know exactly what you want to do, or point you in a new direction.
Did you enjoy what you’ve already done?
What country did you enjoy most?
What is your motive for travelling this time?
Do you want to try something new?
Perhaps you’ve done Thailand, Oz, New Zealand and Fiji and want to escape e crowds this time around and really get your teeth into something unique – how about taking the vodka train from Russia, through Mongolia and into China?
Or maybe you’d like to put together the trip of a lifetime and head somewhere like Alaska?
I’ve put together a brief mind map to help you start your planning if destinations are evading you. Its a simple tool (and by no means complete or perfect) but it will hopefully point you in the right direction :)
And once you know where you fancy hop onto the STA website and download some of our brochures to help you figure out what to do when your on your travels.
Don’t forget to give me an email if you need any extra advice or want to book everything!
Shameless plug but I’m happy to help – it’s my job after all :)