Gap International Planning Tips
Here are tips to consider as you plan your trip.
- Get Adequate Insurance- Ensure it also includes 24-hour emergency assistance.
- Have Local Knowledge- Check out the US State Department’s site and click on "Travel Warnings" to give you up-to-date info on specific countries and regions
- Research the specific cultures, customs and laws of the country you will be visiting. Read the State Department's country specific Background Notes.
- Check Visa and Passport Regulations.
US citizens can get tips on how to apply for a passport at www.travel.state.gov.
- Be Health Aware and Stay Healthy- Find out if you need any specific immunizations and when you need to obtain these. The Center for Disease Control has recommendations on immunizations, disease challenges and location specific health information on their site.
- Avoid Drugs and Be Careful with Alcohol
- Be Alert
- Take Care of Your Belongings
- Keep in Touch-Set up a secure web based email account before you go, buy an international calling card, or depending on your budget, get a cell phone that allows international roaming. Make sure family members have your itinerary and know where you are in case of an emergency
- Be Aware of Local Perspectives of You and Your Group- Once again be culturally sensitive and find out what is acceptable and what isn’t
- Take Enough Money
- Book a Flexible Plane Ticket
- Book Your First Night’s Accommodation Beforehand
A useful pre-departure health safety check list can be found on the CIEE website and the also provides safety info and travel tips specifically for students. The UK government website gogapyear.com is specifically for gap travelers but please note that a lot of the specific info is for British gappers and not Americans.