Written by Lucy Snowden
So maybe you didn’t quite get that graduate scheme you wanted, or quite like the idea of putting off the real world for another year, or actually, you’ve never travelled all that far and fancy heading off on a round the world adventure now. Whatever your reasons for the urge to become a jet-setter, I can’t say there’s anything more exciting and unforgettable than a post-uni ‘gap yah’.
First things first, the fun bit – where are your travels going to take you?! Whether you want to venture Down Under or stay a little closer to home discovering South East Asia, you need to know your stuff.
5 things you need to know about South East Asia
- Get the right jabs. You need to make sure that you’re fully vaccinated from diseases such as Typhoid and Hepatitis so you can have a stress free trip! For more information head to the NHS website related to all things medical.
- Check you have the correct visa. There’s nothing worse than that sweaty palm feeling at customs because you’re unsure if you filled in your visa applications correctly.
- Invest in a backpack. Admittedly, they’re not the most stylish things in the world, but they are way more practical to carry about when you are moving from hostel to sleeper train and back!
- Make a bum bag your new best friend. Travellers stick out like a sore thumb when let loose among the locals in South East Asia, making you an easy target for pickpockets. Make their job ten times harder by picking up one of these beauties. For the fashion conscious have a look here.
- Bug spray, bite cream, more bug spray. The little blighters just love having a nibble and when you have thirty or more bites it can get really itchy and unbearable! Make sure you’re well equipped, I’d recommend Jungle Formula for keeping the mosquitos away and Tiger Balm to soothe those nasty bites.
The Temple of Dawn lit up at night. Halong Bay in Vietnam.
5 things to know about Australia
- It’s easier to fly. Australia is such a vast country that for many journeys, taking a plane to your next destination is the best option. It can often take over 12 hours on the Greyhound buses to get from one place to the other on the Gold Coast, so when you’re on a tight time schedule, flying is the best option – it’s not as expensive as you might think.
- Slap on the sun cream. Yes, I know it sounds so painfully obvious, but you’d be surprised at the amount of people applying tanning oil instead of sun protection. We all want a gorgeous golden tan, and you can get a decent one with a factor 30 sun cream – promise!
- Prepare for eye-watering prices. The popularity of Australia comes with a rather large price tag – on everything. A hostel bed in a dorm room will set you back roughly $30 Australian Dollars (£15) and food can be pretty expensive too. When you can, cook in the hostel kitchen, it’ll save your pennies for a scuba diving lesson or maybe even a sky dive!
- Learn to love Goon. The better known name for boxed wine, it’s the cheapest drink going, you can buy 5 litres for the equivalent of £5 – what’s not to love? Well, for you wine connoisseurs you might notice it’s not the finest, but it means your precious dollars can be put towards sailing to the Whitsundays or a trip to Fraser Island instead.
- Watch out for the wildlife. Australia is known for the exotic animals that inhabit it. Take care when on the beaches or exploring the Outback, snakes and spiders are fairly common, if in doubt, grab a fearless Aussie to hide behind!
The Great Ocean Road Uluru, Ayers Rock
Where’s that money tree?
The Bank of Mum and Dad has officially closed its doors and you’re wondering how to fund your year of fun, frolics and finding yourself. Well here are a few figures to help you add up what you might need…
If you’re travelling after graduation, you’re most likely going to have hit the big 21. This means your minimum wage will be £6.50 an hour. So, if you get a part-time job working, let’s say 26 hours a week, it will take you 6 weeks to hit the £1,000. Return flights to Australia could set you back £600 and depending on whether you get a working holiday visa or not, living costs out there will vary. It is important to price up your plans before putting down your hard-earned cash!