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Gap Year Hell – Things To Avoid

Gap Year Hell – Things To Avoid


So you have decided to take a year out from university or you job. The burning question is what you should do. Gap year activities should reflect your interests, hobbies and perhaps even your career goals.

They are also limited by the size of your bank balance. Common options that people choose are: round the world trips, volunteering overseas (or at home), work placements, working holidays, or a mixture of all, or some of, these things.

Tips for traveling abroad:

If you choose to travel abroad it is important that you do your research thoroughly about the countries you are planning to visit.
Staying well

Find out what immunisations you will need and make sure you take the relevant certificates.

Always carry your medical insurance the time you dont have it is the time you will get an infected cut or nasty rash.

Check if any of your prescription medicines prohibited, and make sure you carry your prescriptions for medication and glasses/contact lenses.

Brits are not used to extreme heat, and there is a real danger of heat stroke or sunburn. These conditions are not to be taken lightly, and can be life threatening. Make sure you take sun cream, after sun and protective clothing. On no account allow yourself to fall asleep in the sun as this can result in blistering second degree burns. Make sure you cover up and drink plenty of bottled water.

Find out what dangerous insects and animals are common in your holiday destination, and how to avoid them. Unless you have had survival training don’t go off the beaten track on your own.

In Countries that are recovering from wars there may be a danger from landmines make sure you know where the dangerous areas are and if you are driving somewhere keep to the road.
Water, water everywhere – if you are traveling in the third world you need to be extremely careful about water contaminated water can result in life-threatening diseases such as hepatitis, cholera, or severe diarrhoea. Only drink bottled water (make sure the bottle is sealed), or water cleaned by your purifying or iodine tablets. Do not take ice in your drinks. Avoid water melons, shell fish and salad vegetables such as water cress, lettuce and cucumber that might have been grown or washed in contaminated water.
Other pitfalls to avoid

Check if there has been any recent political, military or civil unrest in the area you are headed for before you travel. The British Embassy can give travel safety advice.
Avoiding prison

Never agree to carry anything across borders for anyone, however friendly they are. If you have been traveling with people you don’t know well, and have become drunk or fallen asleep, check your luggage thoroughly. Always be suspicious if anyone offers you a new bag or suitcase. Foreign prisons are not fun, and some countries still have the death penalty.
Getting conned

There are lots of ways of getting conned. Credit card and identity theft are things to be aware of. But unwitting students are often ripped off by unscrupulous companies cashing in on those who want to volunteer overseas. Research a potential company thoroughly, ask about them on Internet travel forums if they are scammers you can be sure that someone will have ranted about it on the Internet. Beware of parting with large sums of money it is common to have to pay your air fare and sometimes a little towards accommodation, but beware of companies asking for thousands of pounds up front.
Getting swept out to sea

Just because a beach is beautiful doesn’t mean it is safe. If you are swimming in rivers or seas, ask where the safe places are to swim. Find out if there are dangerous currents, and whether you need to watch out for jellyfish, sharks, alligators or crocodiles.
No go areas

Check whether there any dangerous areas for tourists, even in America there are no go areas for tourists.

For more information on how to keep safe on your gap year try here.
Sam Wright is a freelance journalist who has an interest in volunteering.


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About the author

-Vagabond, editor and founder of  EVASER. Find on Facebook, follow via Twitter or view his personal site.

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