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How to plan a Gap Year on a budget

The infamous Gap Year is taken by many post-A level students and it can be an unrivalled experience. However, when planning your travels, establishing the logistics can be daunting at first. It isn’t always clear how to experience all there is to offer whilst remaining within your budget. Therefore, here are a few tips to enable you to travel with ease. 

1. Bus Passes

 The Kiwi Experience (New Zealand) and the Greyhound bus (Australia) are excellent options for transport. The buses have pre-planned routes travelling through all of the best spots, saving you a lot of time and effort in planning a route, not to mention allowing you to truly relax knowing that your transport is pre-arranged. If you’re a solo traveller, this can also be a fantastic way to meet new, likeminded friends to spend your time with.

2. Download the Hostelworld App

Whilst on a budget, it is highly likely that you will be staying in hostels throughout your travels. Using an app such as Hostelworld facilitates this, enabling you to compare prices of the hostels in your area, read reviews about them, and even view images of the rooms you may be staying in. Spending a pound or two less per night may seem insignificant, but in the long run this can save you a lot of money. With this in mind, perhaps a larger room or a mixed dorm ( which does not make a huge difference but it is cheaper), may be worth opting for. Rooms can be found for as cheap as £16 in Australia and NZ!

3. Monzo

 Whilst travelling, it is highly recommended to have a Monzo card (or any similar travelling bank card) as they maintain a zero transaction fee policy, therefore minimising the money lost through exchange rates. This card will be linked to a user-friendly app, which contains a number of features to help handle your money responsibly and effectively. This can allow you to even set a monthly budget or goal for yourself by allocating money into different sub-sections (Groceries, Transport and Accommodation). Another recommended feature would be to put aside small amounts of money in ´pots’, allowing you to save your money wisely. 

4. Limit unnecessary purchases

 It is all too easy to splash the cash on small purchases here and there when on holiday, for example spending a few pounds on a coffee every morning. However, by doing so you will notice that this may use up a substantial amount of your budget as time goes on. Try to refrain from unnecessary purchases like these in order to save up for more memorable experiences you have in mind, such as a bungee jump or boat trip. After all, these are the moments you will remember in the long run!

Save your money to spend on experience such as the Ruaki Caves, NZ

Words by Izzy Weldon


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