Going on a gap year?

The definition of a gap year:

a year between leaving school and starting university that is usually spent travelling or working

Although most people will take a gap year between school and university it isn’t the only time you can have a gap year break. Some people take a year out of studying to learn invaluable experiences in their field of study or you may decided to travel between leaving university and settling in to a full time job.

There are also many people, students in particular, who are not taking a full year out but rather a few months ‘break’. Not only does this mean less cost, but gives them the opportunity to travel and experience an adventure without spending too long away from family and friends.

Whenever you decide to take your gap ‘year’, you should take out gap year insurance as soon your trip is booked. You need to have your departure and return dates as we can only cover round trips.

Why do I need gap year travel insurance?

If you have an accident or fall ill abroad and you don’t have appropriate travel insurance, you could end up paying for expensive medical bills and extra travel expenses out of your own pocket. Not only that but holiday cover includes cancellation, personal belongings, personal liability and legal advice and expenses amongst others.

Also, make sure that the travel insurance policy you choose covers any activities you’re planning on taking part in while abroad. On a gap year holiday, you never know what activity or great adventure you might end up taking part in.

Photo by Frontierofficial on Flickr of volunteers taking a break

by Frontierofficial on Flickr

Working holidays and volunteering abroad

There are many companies now that offer you the opportunity to take some time out and work on projects such as teaching sports to children in South Africa or volunteering at an Elephant Sanctuary in Thailand. These can run from anything starting at a week onwards and tend to include your food, accommodation, transfers and in-country support for a fee. You sometimes have to pay for your own flights, visas and of course travel insurance.

Working holidays are great for those who want to travel and earn as well as gain experience and add to their CV. You may decide to secure a job before leaving the UK or find something when you have settled into an area. There are companies that can help you by offering advice and support both in the UK and abroad in terms of applying for a Work Permit, opening bank accounts, organising events between others that are doing the same as you and providing emergency support if needed.

Meeting new people and making new life-long friends has got to be the best thing about travelling abroad for a period of time.

Photo by Frontierofficial on Flickr of a volunteer teaching students

by Frontierofficial on Flickr

Benefits of the travel insurance for Gap Years:

  • Cover for travellers taking an extended trip overseas up to 18 months
  • Two levels of cover available so you can pick the right policy to suit your needs
  • Over 100 activities are covered as standard
  • 24/7 medical emergency assistance helpline
  • Click here for further details

These benefits are available under the P J Hayman Longstay & Backpacker policy. The 24/7 Backpacker & Longstay policy is currently unavailable.

Some handy top tips to help you have a safe gap year:

  • Check the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) for any risks associated with your destination before you travel
  • Find a good guidebook and get to know your destination including its local laws and customs
  • Ensure you have a valid passport that’s in good condition and the necessary visas before travelling
  • Check what vaccinations you may need – ask your GP
  • Make sure you have your travel insurance details with you
  • Make copies of your passport, travel insurance policy, airline tickets and any other important paperwork. Leave these copies with your family and friends.
  • Ensure your family know where you are including hostels where you are staying
  • Take with you a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) if you are travelling within Europe (even just for a few days). It can provide you with sometimes free or discounted medical treatment in state-run hospitals.

Don’t forget, taking out a gap year travel insurance policy is a lot cheaper than having to fork out on expensive medical bills!