Are you planning on travelling abroad for a year before entering the world of work? A gap year can be great for self-discovery, to explore new cultures, learn a new language or to just figure out what you want to do once you return home. After studying hard, you’ll want to celebrate your success by taking time for yourself.
Travelling can be a great way to do this!
At Kangaroo Self Storage, we’re taking a look at how to plan that perfect gap year, from staying safe to storing your belongings – after all, you want to get the most out of the year and take advantage of the amazing opportunities that are sure to come your way.
The first step is to pick your adventure. If you’re having trouble narrowing down the list of countries to decide where will be your home for the next year, consider what you’re looking to achieve from this experience. Do you want to be involved in a charity organisation? Would you like to learn more about yourself? Do you want to see as many countries as possible? Do you want to explore nature? Do you simply want to see as much of one country as you can?
Once you’ve decided what you want to achieve in your gap year, you will find it easier to pick the right country too. A backpacking experience through Asia will be very different from being involved in a local school-building project in an African country or from camping out in the Canadian wilderness, for example. So, think about your end goal and go from there.
Now that you know where you’re going, you’ll want to think about packing. It’s not as simple as throwing some clothes into a bag and jetting off without a care in the world. Packing strategically will save you a world of hassle in the long run. First, you shouldn’t leave it until the last minute. A lot of people do this when they’re going on holiday for a week or two, but a gap year is, well, a year long…
Packing for twelve months is a completely different matter and needs time and careful attention – organisation is key, so start by making a list of everything you’ll need. The clothes you take will depend on the country you’re travelling to, so keep that in mind. You don’t want to end up lugging a cumbersome puffy coat around if you’re going to Thailand or Bali. So, plan your wardrobe around your chosen destinations.
The worst thing you can do is overpack. Bringing ten shirts may seem like a smart idea when you’re packing, but it will only slow you down and take up space. Do you really need five of everything? Do you absolutely have to bring multiple electronics with you? This will depend on what you want to get out of the experience – if you intend to take loads of pictures or start a travel blog, then you may have to take your camera or laptop with you.
Don’t forget, leave enough space to bring something back from your travels as well so you have a physical souvenir of your adventure.
Knowing what to expect before you go will help you stay safe. Get to know the country’s laws, legislation and understand the country’s cultural expectations. Most importantly, consider the healthcare system abroad. Not all countries have a similar system to our NHS, so it’s crucial that you get travel insurance which covers everything from health to theft of valuables. It may also be worth considering insurance for the types of activities you plan to enjoy – not all travel insurance companies will automatically cover injuries from extreme sports! Make sure to get all your vaccinations in order before you go as well.
Becoming fluent in another language is easier when you’re immersed in it, so you don’t need to study in-depth before you go. Learn the basics, such as ‘hello’, ‘thank you’, ‘how are you?’ and ‘how do I get to the …?’ You can pick up a lot as you go, so try to plunge head-first into the culture of the country you’re visiting, be it trying out the food or visiting more remote places where people may not speak as much English.
Of course, try to speak as much of the language as you can instead of relying on English; you may feel embarrassed at first, but we promise you that no one will be laughing. On the contrary, people will appreciate your effort – and they may even help you to improve!
One of the most crucial elements before embarking on long-term travel is how you’re going to safely store your belongings back here in the UK. The last thing you want is to worry about the safety of your dresser or your TV. Dealing with the stress of ‘what if someone steals my stuff?’ is no fun at all.
But what can you do about it? Cheekily asking your parents to store everything you accumulated from your time living at University may not be the best solution. They may not have the space – or the inclination – to keep your wardrobe or your huge collection of books at their house, especially if they need to get rid of their things to make room for yours!
But don’t worry. Here at Kangaroo Self Storage, we have been helping students in your position for a long time, so we know exactly what to do.
Our friendly stores offer many unit sizes, so we can store pretty much anything. Need storage for bulky winter clothes that you don’t know where to put? Check. Run out of space to keep your ever-growing collection of vinyl records? Check. Or maybe you need somewhere to keep that sofa you don’t want to get rid of? Check.
No matter what you need to put in storage, we’ve got you covered! We can even provide all the boxes and packaging you need to move your stuff into our units. Enjoy your gap year without having to stress about a thing; our secure units have 24/7 CCTV and round-the-clock alarm systems. Begin the new chapter in your life with confidence and peace of mind.
Whilst you explore a new country and learn more about its culture, you can be confident that your belongings are safe with Kangaroo Self Storage. Don’t let your stuff stand in your way – talk to us today to see how we can help.