So you've decided to go travelling ... wahay! Best, decision, ever. Before you start getting to the nitty gritty details of your trip you should start to think about your budget, and how much money you want to spend on your adventures. Whatever you decide to do, you'll need to put money aside to save for those all important flights, visas and travel insurance - and as soon as the boring bits are over, you can then start planning your trips, adventures and independent travel, aka- the fun bits!
To all of those school leavers, gap year travellers and students- we know it can be hard. Heck, fundraising is always a bit of a toughie- but we promise it'll be worth it! To help you along your merry way we've put together some hints and tips for you to save your way to the best gap year ever!
The amount of money you'll need will completely depend on where you want to go and how long you want to stay there for. On our Real Gap Experience adventures accommodation and internal travel during the trip is included (as are some meals) so you won't have to budget for as much whilst you're there- but if you want to travel independently afterwards, you can research the cost of living in your chosen destination on this website: www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/
Volunteering is a fantastic way to really get to know a country, learn about the locals and make a difference. You can volunteer with us for up to 12 weeks on some projects, and as each week goes on, the accommodation gets cheaper. It's a real cost effective way to travel, and perfect for those on a budget. Why not spend eight weeks volunteering on our surf project in South Africa (some serious beach time there!) or coach football in the beautiful Rio for 12 weeks? Some of our projects don't cost much more than £100 a week in the long term, which is fantastic for those on a budget.
Mix volunteer travel in with one of our 'experience' tours, and you'll be sorted. Adventure, culture, volunteering and travelling all in one gap year - perfect!
Set yourself a target
Once you've done some hardcore research (and decided what you actually want to do during your time away...) set yourself a target and try to stick to it! Once you've got a figure in mind it'll be much easier to work out how much fundraising/working you'll have to do to reach your goal. It's always worth adding a leniancy fund onto the end too, just incase anything unexpected crops up.
Now you've got the magical numbers in mind, now's the time to get to the drawing board and think of ways to start fundraising. Pester family members and friends to get on board, I'm sure they'll be happy to help!
Check out below our top tips and money spinning ideas:
Get your entrepreneur on! You could do some babysitting, dog walking, take note from the 'Great British Bake Off'... you name it! It's surprising how much the little bits will help; you'll be at your target before you know it.
Getting sponsored to do something crazy/adventurous is always a good plan! Think of the possibilities... you could bungee jump, run a marathon, sky dive, parachute jump or even swim the English Channel (we said they'd be crazy)! Don't forget to drop a line to some local businesses and the paper, raising awareness will mean you raise more for your target!
Factor in some work abroad
Want to leave right away, but need the funds? You could work abroad! With Real Gap Experience you could work in Australia, New Zealand, China or the UK, and whilst you're working you could save for the rest of your adventures.
On a working visa, you'll get all sorts of experience - from retail through to office work, which is great for your CV. If you play the game right your travels could cost you nothing, as long as your proactive when looking for work and factor in the cost of the flight/living beforehand. Who wouldn't want to work in somewhere exotic for a year? It's a fantastic life experience!
Give yourself a monthly budget
...and when you're out in-country, give yourself an amount that you'll allow yourself to spend each month, and then split it into weekly portions so you can really keep a tabs on your spending! It's really easy to 'just spend' money when you're away, but if you stick to a carefully planned out budget you're less likely to have one of those horrible surprises when you next look at your account!
Real Gap Experience Support
Regardless of the amount you're looking save, we'll support you every step of the way. We can provide company headed letters as proof of your plans, so if you do want to send some all important letters out get in touch with us.
All of our Real Gap Experience team have been on big trips themselves, so if you do want some more advice please feel free to give them a call!