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How to fund your gap year ...

With a little bit of planning, and a fair amount of legwork, getting the money together for a gap year is easy enough to achieve; there’s a multitude of options to choose from in this regard, and we’ve summarised some of the best options below, to minimise your stress. Whether you intend to save while still at home, or earn while on your travels, we’ve provided some suggestions.

Shop around for the best deals

Gathering money for your gap year isn’t just about managing the money coming in; it’s about managing the money that you’re spending. Whether this is in the case of renting a room in a hostel, booking flights, or searching for affordable insurance; hunt around for the best deals. It’s amazing how much you can save through a little bit of detective work, and this extra money can be the difference between spending a few more days abroad or seeing one more exciting attraction.

When looking for ways to reduce your expenses, there are a number of great guides out there to help cut your costs. Therefore, if you take one lesson away from this article, make sure it’s this one; plan ahead and do your research first. Visit http://www.holidaysafe.co.uk/tipsandadvice/backpacker-travel-advice/how-to-keep-gap-year-travel-insurance-costs-down for more information.

Cut back on expenses

Everyone’s got at least one vice that they spend large sums of their hard earned money into, whether it’s smoking, drinking, video games, music, clothes… the list is as extensive as it is expensive. Cutting down on such habits, or even cutting them out altogether for a period of just a few months, can potentially save you hundreds of pounds! Only allow yourself to buy essentials in the run-up to your trip; if you find yourself wavering, just remember what it is you’re saving for! For the trip of a lifetime, cutting back on such things isn’t a massive price to pay.

Don’t spend too much on supplies

A pitfall for any holidaymaker, let alone those going on a gap year, is the temptation of spending too much on gadgets and supplies; you don’t want to be carrying around anything that’s ancillary to your needs, let alone spending your hard earned cash reserves on needless extravagance. Buy smart: get only the essentials that you won’t be able to easily source when on your travels, and buy pre-owned devices whenever possible/practical.

Get your money working for you

It’s a good idea to set up a bank account prior to your trip, as you’re not going to want to be carrying large sums of money around with you on your travels. But security needn’t be the end of such an account’s utility; if you transfer your money into a high interest savings account, you can be gaining additional funds, without lifting a finger!

Take some time out to save

Of course, the most obvious solution is often the best; working a job for a few months prior to your trip, and saving every penny possible while doing so, ensures that you have suitable cash reserves available prior to leaving. There are many added bonuses to such an arrangement; as well as making money, you can get an additional wrung up on your chosen career ladder, or gain experience that will make it easier to land a job while traveling.

Work while away

A very popular option for many gap year travellers, http://gapwork.com/gap-year-jobs/index.html working a series of jobs while travelling allows you to fund yourself while staying on the move. The sheer variety of different jobs to pursue makes this an easy choice for travellers, regardless of prior work experience. Teaching is a great way to fund your travels, also allowing you to learn new skills as you go. Teaching English in particular is a great way to learn a new language yourself, picking up the native tongue while you teach.

There are plenty of other alternatives when it comes to holiday work. In tourist orientated areas, your fluency in English becomes incredibly useful; making you an ideal hire for service orientated jobs. Qualifications in activities such as scuba diving, skiing and sailing can also lead to lucrative tourist facing vacancies.

More isolated or less travelled regions still offer potential areas of employment; you may just need to look a bit harder. Seasonal work as a fruit picker or farm hand can provide more than enough money to fund the next leg of your travels.

Get sponsored

If you intend to be getting involved with charity work, or achieving something more productive than simply taking an extended holiday, it may well be possible to get some variety of sponsorship or bursary. Needless to say, the source of said funding will depend entirely on what you intend to be working on, or who you intend to be working for. Charities are a popular choice, while many other organisations offer bursaries or funding to causes that they feel support their own. Regardless of your plans, it’s worth having a look around for such a financial benefactor, and contemplating how you could better align your travel arrangements to support their needs.


Tom Chapman