Some Overlooked But Essential Things to Sort For Your Gap Year Trip
This week I encountered a rather hefty shock in regards to my RTW budgeting. In fact a few rather hefty hits to the travel funds that I had slightly anticipated but had completely forgotten to factor in when running through my outgoings.
So although this post is pretty boring in comparison to getting snogged by a Ladyboy or all the drunkeness of Australia but it serves a rather useful purpose if you’re planning your travels at the moment – a few mundane but overlooked RTW expenses, and a few helpful tips thrown in for good measure!
Jabs and Medication
The whole things that got this post started was the fact I suddenly realised I needed to get some jabs sorted for South America. I’d had a few last time I visited Ecuador but I knew my prolonged trip this time would warrant some boosters and additional stabs to the arm.
What I hadn’t fully bargained on was the price.
So this week my travel fund took a hefty £250 hit – not good times.
However I’m in the mindset that I’d rather shell out that dollar now than find myself in a south american hospital suffering from Hepatitis B!
With all things health it always pays to be cautious and prevention is better than cure!
The jabs I got this time round were Hep B (a 3 dose course at £30 per jab), a Typhoid booster (courtesy of the NHS!) and rabies (another 3 does course at £45 per jab).
Guys if you’re planning a trip give yourself a heap of time to get these done as it’ll save you a lot of stress! I’ve luckily left just enough time to get them done! And the sooner the speak to your GP about what you need the easier it’ll be to budget them into your pre travel funds!
My next medical hit is anti-malaria tablets – and for a 3 month trip to a high risk zone that is going to set me back some serious dollar too!
But it’s not just jabs you need to factor into your pre trip planning – girls make sure you have enough time to stock up on the pill, guys get a stash of condoms, and make sure if you’re on regular medication you can get everything stockpiled before you need to fly – no point leaving it until the last minute!
Time to Fly
Even the nitty gritty such as your train ticket to the airport can be an unwanted cost if you don’t plan a bit. If you’ve booked your flights sort your transport asap!
If it’s a bus or a train do the research and make sure you can meet it up with your flight and when you’re going to need to leave home. The last thing you want to be doing is sorting it the week before to find nothing matches up!
You might park at the airport if it’s only a short trip. On my recent trip to Morocco Park BCP was the easiest and cheapest way to go – and they have heaps of options all over the country including airport parking at Gatwick and Heathrow car park – where most people tend to begin their RTW trips!
Again..booking in advance will save you stress and more importantly money!
One of my biggest headaches in Oz and with travelling is banking. It’s boring, it’s time consuming and it’s not fun!
So again get things in order before you fly.
Tell your bank that you’re heading abroad, tell them where and tell them for how long – if you know your dates give them all the info you can and there’s no excuse for them to mess up!
Hopefully this will stop them blocking your card – but it’s doubtful!
The better option is to get your parents or relatives named on your account, allowing them to unblock it on your behalf from the UK or transfer money around. Super helpful when your in a time zone 12 hours ahead!
And while you’re there make sure you sort out any over draft limits and direct debits that you have – don’t do what I did and suddenly find your student overdraft slashed and with heaps of extra interest to pay.
No point giving those bankers anymore of your hard earned cash!
Make sure any other contracts you have are all sorted and budgeted for. Cancel you phone contract if you’re away for ages and pay the lump sum if needed. That way it’s all done and dusted rather than needing to keep a constant balance in your bank account.
Stupid things like gym memberships, library cards – anything that could be the difference been a hassle free trip or unwanted bank charges!
I was given a slightly off topic but effective tip by my travel nurse this week too – have a code word or phrase with your parents.
Lately there has been an increasingly common scam where email accounts used in internet cafes are hacked into and emails asking for money have been sent to worried parents. A lot of people have been needlessly stung for pretty large amounts thinking their bailing out their kids because they’ve supposedly been robbed.
Simply agreeing a password or phrase to verify it’s a genuine need for help before you leave can leave your parents worry free!
So to quote one of my Dads most overused phrase – “proper preparation prevents a pathetically poor performance…” and in travel this is definitely one to remember!
Giving yourself plenty of time to address the boring stuff will allow you to enjoy the whole experience. And by getting things out the way you can have a solid budget to work from months before you actually go – which will allow you to relax and not stress.
And lets face it that’s what you want to do! Chill and enjoy the ride!
So go make a list.
Work through it, add to it, but make sure you sort it!
And if you need any other help sorting out your gap year or RTW trip I compiled a rather useful Gap Year Planning Feature to get you started!